If you are looking to change your job in China, then be prepared to get your hands dirty with asking your HR department for paper work to release you from your current company, to be able to transfer to your new company of employment.
Before we get started there are two ways in which you can transfer from one company to another, this all depends on whether you are holding a Z Visa or Expert Certificate. A Z Visa is a working visa which is issued to those here working on business related reasons, such as office workers, managers, working in a hotel etc. An expert certificate is held by those with skills such as teachers. Those of you working as a teacher in middle school, high school or university or franchised schools such as Lucky English and Wall Street English, will hold an expert certificate.
How to transfer my visa?
Depending on which job you a transferring to, there are a couple of ways which you and your new company will transfer you and your visa over.
Transfer existing Z Visa from Company A to Company B
Transfer existing Expert Certificate from Company A to Company B
Company A apply for an Expert Certificate for you from your Z Visa
Transferring a Z Visa or Expert Certificate go through two different government bureaus. Most international companies or schools will have two separate HR Departments to deal with both. The reason for having two different HR departments is the law and regulations are different for both.
Expert Certificate to Z Visa
If you currently hold an Expert Certificate and plan on changing jobs to something which requires a Z Visa, this usually requires you to leave the country and to reapply for a Working Z Visa from outside of China. If this is the case you will also need a letter of employment from your new company when applying for your new visa, this letter will have to be sent to the embassy along with your visa application form.
Paperwork needed to transfer company
Below is a list of documents you will need to hand over to your new companies HR department for them to process the transfer.
Chinese Residence Certificate
You receive this document when you register at your local police station, when you first come to China. If you have moved since your arrival you will need to re-register at your new local police station.
Contract Ending Certificate
This document is supplied by your current company, this document must state you start of employment and end or employment dates. This is also usually signed and stamped with a company government stamp.
Z VISA / Expert Cancellation Document
This document states your current company no longer holds you to your Expert Certificate or Z Visa, and allows your new employer to transfer your Z Visa or Expert Certificate to them.
You must supply a copy of your university degree. Due to new Visa laws only a Bachelor or higher degree must be supplied along with your visa application.
With all of this paper work, your new HR will need at least 2 new passport photo’s of yourself. Preferably these need to be stick-back photo’s, this is so your new HR can stick these onto your application forms directly.
Scanned Passport Copy
You will need to supply a scanned copy of your passport. One copy of the inside of cover which should displayed your passport number, your photo ID page and also your current visa.
Handover your passport to your new HR, they will need this to update your visa if needed.
Handover your Expert Certificate booklet (this is usually a blue book like a passport, which is issued to you from the government). Most companies keep this during your time of employment, and won’t give this to you unless you leave the company.
Expert Certificate Warning
[box style=’warning’] Most companies keep this during your time of employment, to ensure you don’t start work and work for another company. If you are a teacher your company will have this document and should keep this safe for you.
There have been many reports that some companies refuse to give this to employees, even after you have told the company you plan to leave. The reason for this is to try and make you stay within the company, stop you from spreading bad news about Company A, and a feeling of difficulty when changing jobs.
It is highly recommended that you give your company enough notice time, and part on mutual ground. Remember your current employer needs to supply several documents to help you transfer from one company to another, and it is better to give them enough time to prepare your paper work, and also themselves that you are leaving.
We recommend giving at least 30 days notice, this is normal for most company contracts. You may want to tell them earlier or give them a heads-up that you are planning on leaving. Leaving in good spirits, even if you don’t enjoy your current job is important and to get their help on the whole transfer process.
We are aware that some expats working in China, feel that giving there current employer their notice can cause them more problems, and in some cases don’t give any notice. This can cause some problems today, with stricter visa regulations in China, transferring visa’s from one company to another without this paperwork today is extremely difficult.
I need to leave China
If you are in a situation where you need to leave China and apply for your new visa, then most embassies can process a working Z Visa within 48 – 72 hours (Not in the holiday periods). This will cost more than the normal 7 day visa process, however we strongly recommend paying for the expedient visa process encase there are complications with your visa process, and you need to supply additional documents or information.
It is also important that you get your new companies contact information, email, phone and fax. If they have several people in there HR department try to get at least two different sets of contact information, in an event you need to contact them directly for any reason you have several people to contact. Many times have I had friends travel abroad to apply for their Visa to find the HR person they have been dealing with has gone on a 2 or 3 days holiday or has been sick, and won’t answer their phone.
If you do leave China and return on a new visa, you will need to go through the medical check process again. You can read more on the medical check process, click on the link below.
[button url=’https://www.tianjinbang.com/get-a-medical-check/’ size=’small’ style=’blue’ target=’new’] Medical Check in Tianjin [/button]
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Visa regulations and laws are subject to change at any time, and we will try to keep this article up-to-date to support those regulations. Visa regulations are getting tighter in China throughout, where the amount of paperwork you need to support your visa application to work in China is increasing. If you work in a reputable company their HR department should be able to help you with all of the transfer documents and advise you, on the entire process.
This article is designed to give you an overview of the visa transfer process, and some pointers to help you along the way.