How Do I know If I'm Eligible?
That’s an easy question! Obviously being able to talk clearly and being friendly is essential! The official requirements of the Chinese authorities are equally straightforward:
- You must be a native English speaker.
- You must have a British, Irish, American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand or South African passport.
- You must have a Bachelor’s Degree as a minimum (Postgraduate degrees are obviously acceptable too).
- OR, be an undergraduate who is soon to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree.
- You must have a clean criminal record as a background check will be completed for the visa application.
- You must be 55 years old or under at the start of the post.
Is it necessary to have language skills or previous teaching experience in order to apply?
No, you do not need to have any language skills or previous teaching experience to apply for this project. However, an interest in getting international experience, teaching, Chinese culture and learning Mandarin is useful!
What do I actually have to do in the classroom?
You should expect to take on responsibility in the classroom, and your duties will be similar to that of a teacher. However, you will usually have a Mandarin speaking assistant with you, and if you are asked to plan lessons and lead your own classes, you will receive training to help you prepare for this. Often though, lesson materials are pre-prepared by our partner institutions. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back!
Do I need to have my degree certificate before starting the role?
Yes. If you were an undergraduate when applying, you must have obtained your degree certificate by the time you leave for China. You will need it in order to apply for your residence permit et al.
What costs will I need to cover for my placement?
GGP aims to cover the basic costs for our candidates. This usually includes the visa process and flights (normally refunded to the candidate after arriving or paid up-front), health insurance, the TEFL course (paid for by the employer), and some help towards the cost of accommodation / or at the very least, help finding the accommodation.
However, candidates will need to cover:
- Any (if required) vaccinations for China. Please contact your local doctor for costs.
- A full medical examination (if required). Please check pricing with your doctor.
- International Child Protection Certificate application (circa £60 in the UK).
NB: As mentioned above, flights and visa costs will be paid up-front or reimbursed to graduates upon completion of the first semester after arrival. Any candidate who leaves their role inside the first semester may be liable to repay these costs. This will be assessed on a case by case basis.
Is it compulsory to attend a TEFL course?
If you have a teaching qualification (PGCE in the UK for example) or two years of teaching experience it’s NOT compulsory. All candidates without either of these things must complete an online TEFL course (usually 120 hours) and/or attend the in-person “TEFL in China” training and qualification – the type of TEFL course depends on the partner institution who takes you on. We’ll keep you informed, don’t worry!
FYI, The TEFL in China course is administered by the Chinese Authorities.
What accommodation will be provided?
All of GGP’s candidates will either have (i) free accommodation, (ii) some financial help towards the cost of accommodation, or at the very least, (iii) help finding the accommodation.
The living quarters will likely be a private bedroom in a shared apartment with other candidates, but each situation is different. Most of our partners will offer accommodation near to work. Please see below for some examples of the kind of housing available:
Can you give me an A to Z for the visa application and pre-departure process?
Most of our partners will assist candidates in the visa application process, while GGP will also support each individual as much as possible. That said, candidates should also be self-sufficient and should lead the process themselves. With that in mind, here is an example of the different pre-departure stages for graduates:
The Visa Requirements
The first step in the process is to check if individuals meet, or have the ability to meet, the work “Z” visa requirements in China. It can be difficult to secure a position in China if candidates don’t meet these requirements, as employers can face heavy fines if they are caught hiring teachers without the correct paperwork. Here is a reminder of the requirements:
- Must be a native English speaker.
- Must have a British, Irish, American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand or South African passport.
- Must have a bachelor’s degree as a minimum.
- OR, be an undergraduate who is soon to graduate with a bachelor’s degree.
- Must have a clean criminal record.
- Must be 55 years old or under at the start of the post.
Getting A Notification Letter
The notification letter is a document graduates will need asap when applying for the Z visa. It is used to show that a legitimate employer has signed a contract and intends to hire an individual. Its official name is the “Notification Letter Of Foreigner’s Work Permit”, though it’s often referred to as simply a notification or invitation letter.
After securing a job offer (and before a Notification Letter is received) graduates need to get their paperwork in order. Several documents need preparing and they also need to be approved for use with work permit and visa applications. Originals of the following documents are required:
- Visa application form
- Proof of two years of teaching experience (if applicable)
- Degree certificate
- Criminal record check
- Employment contract & notification letter
NB: These documents will then need to be notarised (a way of checking that certain documents are legitimate, and is usually performed by a solicitor/lawyer or court official).
After notarisation, documents usually need to be ‘legalised’ too (similar to notarisation, but extends their authentication for use overseas). This is usually performed by a government body – the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK.
This final step then permits the documents to be used within China as part of a candidate’s visa process and is performed by a Chinese Embassy or Consulate. In some regions graduates need to deliver their documents in person (with their passport), while in other regions, a postal service can be used to apply for a visa. After this process is complete, graduates will have fully-approved documents which can be used with the visa application.
Getting The Visa and Landing In China
Now, candidates will be eligible for the Z visa and can start looking for flights. After arriving, candidates will be greeted at the airport by one of our partners and then taken to their accommodation and helped with anything they need.
Work & Resident Permits
Next, having completed either the week long TEFL in China course (if applicable) or an online course (if applicable), there’s one last piece of paperwork which is required after the graduate arrives. Our partners will guide you through these stages, but here’s what it will include:
- Initial Police Registration: within 24 hours of arriving, candidates need to take their passport to the nearest police station and register their presence in the country.
- Work Permit: this document gives candidates the legal permission to earn money in China. Within 15 days of arriving, graduates will need to get their Foreigner’s Work Permit. In most situations, the employer should do this. They will take the passport(s) to their local State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) office and get the permit arranged.
- Resident Permit: this gives a candidate the permission to stay in China for the duration of their contract. In most situations, the employer should help with this. If not, the graduate should go to their nearest Public Security Bureau Exist & Entry Administration Service Center, and apply for a Residence Permit. They MUST take their passport, work permit and letter of employment with them. The employer will be able to advise on this process, and will likely send a helper to guide them through the application.
- Resident Police Registration: finally, the candidate is required to let the police in their area know that they’re now staying as a resident. Similarly to the Initial Police Registration, candidates need to go back to their local police station with their passport and their new residence permit.
The process is now complete! Candidates have their job, accommodation, visa, work permits, and residence permits done and will now be ready to really settle into their new life in China. The rewards are certainly worth it.
I Still Have More Questions?
No problem! Just contact us here.