Applying for a Chinese work visa

In order to successfully apply for a visa to teach in China, you will need to get a criminal background check and submit the following authenticated documents to the Chinese consulate in your country:

  1. your university degree
  2. your background check
  3. your TEFL certificate (we will provide a temporary certificate in advance).

If you are a UK citizen:

  1. Apply for your background check here.
  2. Get your documents notarised by a lawyer or a public notary.*
  3. Send your notarised documents to the Foreign Commonwealth Office to be authenticated and apostilled.
  4. Once you receive your documents back from the Foreign Commonwealth Office, take them to the Chinese Embassy to be processed.

If you are a US citizen:

  1. You can apply for your background check at a local or state police station. Going to a local police station is probably the quickest way. In the event that your employer requires an FBI background check, you can apply for that here.
  2. Have your background check notarised by a local notary.
  3. Your documents must be certified by the Secretary of State’s office – and it needs to be the office for the state where your documents were originally issued. They will also verify the notarisation and seal the document. Depending on the state you live in, you might need to have your documents authenticated by the US Department of State after they’ve been certified by the local Secretary of State office. These states include North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington DC, Delaware, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska and Wyoming.
  4. Once you have your authenticated documents, you’ll need to take them to be certified by the Chinese Embassy or Consulate that has jurisdiction over the state where the documents have been authenticated.

If you’re a Canadian citizen:

  1. Apply for your background check from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
  2. Get your documents notarised by a local notary, a lawyer or the Commissioner of Oaths for Canada.
  3. Get the notarised documents authenticated by the Office of Global Affairs Canada.
  4. Once your documents have been notarised and authenticated, you’ll be able to take them to be processed at the Chinese Embassy, or Chinese Consulate.

Once you have all your documents in order, send scans of these documents to your future employer (we’ll put you in contact) and they will apply for a work visa on your behalf. It’s important to tell them which consulate you’ll be going through as you won’t be able to change this afterwards.

When you receive your work visa from your employer, you’ll return to the consulate to have your work visa stamped, and then you’re ready to go!

If you’re from Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa, the process of visa application may be slightly different. Contact us for more information.

*To get a document notarised, just look up a local notary, make an appointment, bring your documents along and they’ll do the rest!