How to get an Employment Z Visa in China

 |  China, Visa  | 

How to get an Employment Z Visa in China

I recently had to renew my Employment Z Visa that allows you to legally work in the city and it was very straightforward. In fact it took 5 working days to get a renewed working Z visa.

Renewing a Z visa is pretty painless but getting it for the first time can be quite a headache, as you have to prepare and produce many documents.

Most expats will agree that you become somewhat an expert on the visa subject after a while. Anyway I will tell you the steps all foreigners have to go through to get a Z Visa in Beijing that allows you to legally work in the city.

Hopefully my experience will help you and other foreigners going through the same stage.

Z Visa

Z Visa

You’ll need the following documents to get a Z visa:

1. Work Permit for Aliens
Before you can even get a Z visa, you need to find a company that is willing to hire you and help you prepare all the relevant documents in order to obtain a Z visa. If you’re lucky, the company HR department should be familiar with all the relevant steps, if not, you have to work with the company to prepare all the documents.

The documents needed from you are:

  1. Copy of your passport
  2. Copy your diploma or degree
  3. 2-year reference letter from previous employer, which needs to be translated into Chinese (2 years because you need to be at least a 2-year graduate or at least 24 years old or have 2 years working experience).
  4. Your CV in English and Chinese with company seal.
  5. Your company business license provided by the company.

2. Invitation Letter
The invitation letter has to be provided by the company inviting you to work for them.

3. Medical Check-Up Exam
You need to go to a designated clinic in Beijing to get a medial check-up to ensure you are healthy. Make sure to bring:

  1. Your passport with a valid visa
  2. 2 passport photos
  3. Under 700RMB cash (can’t remember how much the exam was)

At the time of writing, you need to go to the International Travel Healthcare Center in Haidian, which is North-West of Beijing and is pretty far out from the city centre.

To get to the clinic, you need to Xiyuan station, which is on subway line 4 and either take a taxi or take bus 333内, 438 or 384 to “百望新城.” The address of the clinic is:

The Haidian Branch of Beijing International Travel Healthcare Center
No.10 Dezhenglu, Haidian District, Beijing
Tel: 010-82403675
Hours: 8:30am – 11am for exams

Also remember to don’t eat for at least 12 hours before your check-up. Once you get to the clinic, you’ll need to fill in some paperwork and pay at the desks. The receptionist people will then give you a checklist of medical check-ups you need to do in order to complete the medial check-up. You then need to go from room to room to get the relevant check-ups by the relevant nurse or doctor.

Tip: You can complete the medical check-ups in any order you want so if you find a massive long line of people waiting, just go to another room and come back later.

All-in-all, the whole medical check-up should take less than an hour to complete and you can get the medical results mailed to you (for additional fee) or you can come back few days later to pick the results up. The medical check-up exams only needs to be done once but you should get extra copies of the results (additional fee), to avoid going back there again.

4. Temporary Residence Permit
You can get this from the local police station and all foreigners that live in Beijing are required to report to their local police station within 24 hours of landing in the country. To get a temporary residences permit, you to present the following to the police station:

  1. Housing contract
  2. Copy of landlord ID
  3. Passport with visa

5. Work License
Give all the above documents to your company who’ll help you obtain a work license or “Alien Employment Permit”, which is a red book.

6. Residence Permit
When all the documents have been submitted, you should get a residence permit in your passport. This together with your “Alien Employment Permit” forms your Z visa that allows you to live and work in China for 1 year. When the year is nearly up, you just simply renew and you are set for another year.

To the first-timer, the above sounds overwhelming but if you want to work in China, this is what all foreigners are required to go through. When I eventually got mine done, it was a best feeling in the world, knowing that all the effort and stress was finally printed in my hands.

If you need help or advice regarding the Z visa, you can check out the China Embassy UK website for more information. Alternatively, you can give me a shout if you have any questions or need help. Good luck!


  • Dave_harrisok

    Brilliant advice. Thanks :)

  • Erika

    I’m Italian but I live in the UK. I have to apply for a z Visa and I have been told that I don’t need the physical examination for foreigners to apply for the Visa but it will be required in China. Could I do it when I get to China?

    • Ving

      Hi Erika,

      You need to do the physical examination to get the Z Visa and yes, you can do it when your China.

      Best bet is to check your local Chinese Embassy in Italy for further information.

      Hope that helps.