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Making the Move to China--Chinese Visa from Thailand

Discussion in 'Visas and extensions of stay' started by DavidUSA, 10 Feb 2016.

  1. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    I apologize as I don't find the right words to thank you for the detailed information that I'm really overwhelmed by your sincere words.

    I've just filled out a registration form, but reading some online reports is in no way as informative as reading your posts.

    I had to go to school today and the fresh graduate I've interviewed won't be with me in each and every lesson as they first told me.

    I'm writing these words with tears in my eyes, because they'll "give" the new teacher as an assistant to a Filipina who'll teach grade one EP.

    That makes it to three people having one class.

    The Thai homeroom teacher, only sitting on her fat one, the Filipina who already started to command the new teacher around while she's too busy watching some YouTube stuff, etc..

    Nothing has changed for me, I'll still have two classes EP ( one grade two and a grade three class) and I'm completely on my own.

    The Filipina already showed her real face when i made it happen that SS Immigration gave her the 90 day stamp and I was stupid enough to give my word for her.

    I searched for the forms ( cancellation of WP form, etc), printed them out and advised her how to do it. But she didn't even listen to me and threw the documents back on my desk??? Who in this world would do that, for god;s sake? A nice way to show me that i earn more money? i don't get it.

    She got fired from a "private school" in Pitsanulokm , but never worked there for six years , ( that's what she said and finally had the full overstay package to pay when she thought she'd be smarter than anybody else when she didn't follow Immigration's advice and wanted to leave the country via Mukdahan.

    All red lights went on and she had to pay 20 K and go back to Pitsanulok to get the paperwork done, exactly what I'd given her before, but she threw it away.

    She then phoned our HoD pressed some crocodile tears out and told her that she'd be arrested if the school wouldn't help her out with 20 K.

    They're stupid enough to sent her money and she came back like nothing has happened. When I met my Immigration friend again, it took a while to make her understand what went wrong. I felt like an idiot, guess i am one. At least for a while, I had lost credibility.

    "How can you give your word for such a woman from the F........"were her words. And I really felt like Mr. Pee Baa in person. Can't make that up, right?

    She started short before the midterm break last year and only had to teach a few hours of Anuban, without teaching experience 24 K, pretty good money. When her Filipino male colleague comes into the office I have to listen to Tagalog all day long.

    And it's clear that they do that on purpose. Shouldn't English be the spoken language in an English department? The problem is that they don't want to talk to the kids who come in and continue in Tagalog. So, it's not just unfair to me.

    The one who taught the grade one EP class last year was a fantastic teacher with a good command in English. She lost her ( guess better paid position) because they said she couldn't control the kids?

    I'm sorry, the glass of whiskey in front of me will land in the sink, it doesn't help me to think clear.

    Thanks again for your time you've spend to write such fantastic posts. It seems that I'll have to leave this place regardless of the just signed contract.

    I'm sorry when my words sound so insane, it's just what I think now.

    I feel totally betrayed and i know that nothing will change. The new teacher, a real wonderful young woman now the slave of somebody who's got a problem how to spell education?

    I've never heard her using past tense. For example: " Yesterday I go to bed."
    ( Sometimes without "to")

    And that goes on all day long.

    I've already moved my desk far way from hers. Nope, there's no country for old men there.

    Thais don't get her wrong speech and her brown tongued way of talking to important people, calling all of them "Ajarn", does the rest.

    Sorry, Stamp. You're free to delete all, if that's tot,.( totally off topic)
     
    Last edited: 13 May 2016
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  2. chuachinsoon

    chuachinsoon Well-Known Member

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    That sounds sh**ty. Hope you've gone over it. Hang on there, mate.

     
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  3. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    School starts in a few hours...
    I don't have an assistant as promised, nor a teaching schedule yet and deeply regret that I've signed up.

    Thanks a lot for the heads up. :go10
     
  4. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    1 24.jpg Ajahn Mun.jpg

    Thailand has produced great people from whom we can learn.


    Today clouds and rain, tomorrow sunshine. That is just how it is.

    I'll put in my two bits: the secret to living in a small town in Isaan is to discipline yourself. What other people do does not matter much. Discipline yourself means professionalize (find a way to continue your education online--it is easy to do these days), it means take care of yourself (think about how you dress and present yourself), and above all: work, work, work. Find something in particular you enjoy doing and then accomplish something--no matter how difficult it might be. In fact, the more difficult the better.

    This might sound superficial: in Thailand as an ex-pat, in order not to become sub-par, get a shave every day, dress well, work hard, better yourself, discipline yourself, improve your English, and enjoy yourself. Improve your English? Exactly. I am in a small town in China, and I am taking an EdX class from Harvard University (online) and I listened to the BBC for about three hours today (Edmund Burke, Empiricism, Erasmus). That is my strategy. Or, as George H. W. Bush said, "stategery."

    Whatever one likes to do that is constructive--fix motorbikes, write books, plant trees--pursuing that to completion will make life in rural Thailand much easier.
    To paraphrase a character in Voltaire's Candide, work keeps at bay the three main evils of human existence: need, vice, and thought. (Actually, it went like this:
    "...boredom, vice, and need.")

    Being in a tough work environment can be beneficial. We don't have to stay in a negative place forever. Also, a negative place can change and become positive. One other thing, I hope you agree: Thailand has a lot to teach us.
     

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    Last edited: 16 May 2016
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  5. gungchang

    gungchang Well-Known Member

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    We had one teacher who got caught in the middle. She couldn't return from the "F" because she lacked some paperwork from the school. The school was bringing teachers in on tourist visas and converting them to non-im. (This seems to have something to do with not paying severance.) Ergo, it was Catch-22. They couldn't say "she's going to work" because she had a tourist visa. But, if she didn't have a job lined up, she couldn't leave her country. Or something like that.

    There is no shortage of ultra competent teachers from F. This is a reminder that schools, not just other teachers, will exploit you. I won't even start on insane farang.

    It's a shame you encountered a lemon. I've dealt with more than a few lemons, both in Asia and North America.

    In the PRC, I've been lucky. There have been surprises while processing my paperwork. So far, the school has always called people in and done what needed to be done to get my residence permits, etc. The other teachers put me to shame. They're all very hard working and very accomplished.
     
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  6. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    So far, I have had the same experience. One word to the wise: if your spouse comes to China, make sure to check her in at the local police station within 24 hours of landing. They will put her (or his) info into a computer system, and such registration is mandatory if you want to get a residence permit for your spouse.
     
  7. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    In case anyone actually goes through the process, here are some details about getting a residence permit in China for one's spouse. After your spouse gets the S1 visa and boards the plane for China, things are looking good. But you need to make sure and do one more thing as soon as she lands: either get her passport registered in a hotel that allows foreign guests (emphasize to them to do it), or better yet, go to the local police and get them to put her into the system.

    Once that is done your school fills out a form for a temporary residence permit. This should only take one or two days. The temporary permit allows the spouse to get the health check. The health check costs 300 Yuan (about 1680 Baht). Once the health check is finished, which takes about a week, your spouse can apply for the residence permit. That is good for up to one year, and it costs 400 Yuan.

    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Even a good hotel might screw this up. They certainly did in my case, but I fixed it. It would have been easier if I had gone to the local cops--even though none of them are candidates for winning the Mr. Friendly contest.
     

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  8. portnoy58

    portnoy58 Well-Known Member

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    Well thanks to David I am in the throes, as some of you know, of making my own move to China after seven eventful academic years of teaching here in Thailand. My starting point was this thread and I went on echinacities.com as advised and funnily enough found one job which stood out. I applied for it and got a Skype interview with a recruiter, a Polish guy with perfect English, and a few days later received a job offer and a contract to sign. That was at the end of June.

    It's been a bit of a blast since. I have quit my job in Thailand as I gave notice. To be honest it's been wonderful getting out of that school as it had really been getting me down. In due course I'll write about this experience. However progress at the Chinese end has been painfully slow and I am still in Thailand and wondering when I am going to get moving.

    The upshot is my documents are stuck in the Foreign Experts Bureau. They issue one of the critical approvals for obtaining the Z visa, necessary for entering China to work. I fielded some enquiries the upshot of which is I need to get my credentials notarised, legalised and then approved by the Chinese Embassy. Being a Brit I have decided to go with a firm of 'Notaries Public' in London who will get the job done for a fee just south of £500.00 - ouch! Add on a bit more for some courier fees, probably not much change out of £600 by the time I have couriered my documents to London and then couriered the apostilles etc to China. I am hoping that the successful completion of this stage of the process will mean 'open sesame'.

    One thing I would highlight is that different provinces in China apply the rules quite differently. I am hoping to work in Guangzhou, China's third city in Guangdong province, once better known as Canton. It's very close ( 2-3 hours by boar or train) to Hong Kong. I have learned that Guangdong is one of the strictest in terms of scrutinising foreign teacher applications. Inter alia, applicants :


    • are required to return to their country of origin in order to apply for the Z visa - cannot be done at the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok unless the applicant has Thai residency;
    • expressly forbidden from obtaining a Z visa from the Chinese Embassy in Hong Kong on the basis of having entered China on anther kind of visa;

    On the plus side I haven't been required to provide a Thai police check. It seems they are happy to accept self-certification of no prior criminal convictions. Mind you as I write this I am starting to think this might be the next line of scrutiny once I have produced notarised academic credentials.

    Obviously the experience has been a little unsettling in view of the time it's taking and I currently don't have any income. The latter is only a longer term problem as I have enough money for a few months. The new school administration have actually been quite helpful. We're in regular contact and they have advised that they will keep the job open for me. So I am happy to go with it and reckon it will all fall into place, hopefully some time before I reach 60!

    I did a border run to KL in Malaysia a few days ago as I wanted to make sure my Thailand status is legal. So I am on a 30 day waiver right now. The border run was absolutely problem free , not a dicky bird ( rhyming slang for word!) from immigration. I had some show money on me and another flight booking out of Thailand just in case questions were asked on re-entering on a waiver, but they proved unnecessary.

    So here we are! Exciting and expensive times! Hopefully all leading to the big move towards the end of September. Once more thanks to DavidUSA for the original posts and valuable information. You can get it all here on TTA!
     
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  9. Stamp

    Stamp Administrator Staff Member

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    :thumbs up
     
  10. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    I know Portnoy58 is going to a good location. The different provinces do have different rules, and some provinces are more strict than others. Guangdong province is very good to work in because one will have the opportunity to work a lot of extra hours on the side--and the pay is high.

    If you are to work in Jiangsu province you can get the Z visa in Thailand as long as you have a valid Thai work permit. The Foreign Expert Certificate (FEC) is what allows one to get a residence permit. No FEC, no residence permit. That, I believe, is true all across China.

    If anyone comes to China, or is about to come, and gets in a jam, then write me here and we can make a plan to get a Chinese education administrator from my school on the phone to the relevant authorities. There are people in my school who are bilingual and they know all about this stuff--they know who to call and what to ask and say. In my experience, there are difficulties but things turn out well. China loves paperwork and stamps and all that, but in the end it is worth it.
     
    Last edited: 31 Aug 2016
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  11. professeur

    professeur Well-Known Member

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    Gosh, that is a bit of an unexpected setback. Hope it will all work out; in the meantime enjoy your last days in LOS.
     
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  12. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    1. Do not come to China to work on any other visa than the Z. If asked to do so, then know it is highly illegal and a scam.

    2. You need a Thai work permit to apply for a Z visa from Thailand (Unless you are Thai, I presume). In other words, do not quit your job first.
     
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  13. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    I gave out a lot of advice here. Make sure to read the bold print. It is really important.

    One thing has changed recently: they want teachers to have their credentials certified by the Chinese Embassy in one's home country. This does not apply to every location in China, as we speak, and there are ways around this one, but overall it does apply.
     
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  14. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    I plan on coming back to Thailand to teach, but I will be staying the course in China for another 16 months. I understand that others may be interested in working here, even for just one year. I have learned a lot about finding a job in China because I recently made a big effort to land an even better position. I just signed a contract for 76K (Baht converted from Yuan, after taxes) + a new apartment + bonus + etc. That was not the highest salary I was offered. There are lots of nice jobs out there, and I will go into detail about who offered the highest salaries.

    The following information should fill out the picture as to finding a good job in China:

    The Procedure
    The most important point is that one should not quit one's job in Thailand before applying for the Z visa. Without a Thai work permit, one must return to one's home country in order to get the Z visa. Never attempt to come here and work on any other kind of visa because it is illegal. In China, everything has to be by the book.

    Paperwork requirements for the Z visa and residence permit vary by province. In order to work in Beijing, one needs the original TEFL/TESOL, etc. document(s) that one has earned, and such documents must show the number of hours that one completed was at least 120. One also needs original copies of diplomas and transcripts.

    Jiangsu Province does not need originals. Some provinces require notarization, some do not. The type of notarization needed can vary. So, long story short, find out the requirements of the province you hope to work in.

    Working for Whom?

    There are many different kinds of work:

    1. Universities. They generally pay at a low rate--6000K to 8000K Yuan--but one can get paid during the summer and winter breaks. Check to see that you will receive 100% of your pay during the breaks. Some schools do not pay at 100% during those long periods, some do. Some tell you that they do--until you ask more people more questions.

    2. Training Schools. Kids study on the weekends in order to improve their scores on their public school exams. Exams in public schools are very important to everyone in a Chinese family. I recently had the eye-opening, jaw-dropping experience of watching grandmas, grandpas, mom, and dad, get upset because junior was having minor difficulties with English. I discovered that the parents often compete with each other as to whose kid has higher test scores. (Seven years old and already deep in a ruthless system!) Highly competitive, extremely important, a huge business in China. Expect to see a lot of students, but the maximum number of hours one can teach in China is 27 per week.

    3. Advanced Placement Schools. These offer high pay, around 79K Baht (converted, after tax), and they can have nice benefits. Having a background in teaching IELTS would be helpful.

    4. Face Job. A private company hires a foreigner in order to gain the prestige of having such an exotic animal on the staff. The kind of foreigner they hire is someone who presents himself or herself well--and who had a nice photograph on the resume. This kind of job in not uncommon and may just turn out to be the bees knees and the cat's meow (I hear).

    5. Activity School. These schools are for young people to attend in the evenings. The tuition tends to be very high and the classes are small and friendly. This kind of school is not geared towards improving test scores. Their purpose is to actually teach the kids English, and there is probably a goal in the distant future of sending the young person to university overseas. The kids learn English while playing games, talking, watching videos, etc., with an American or British teacher.

    6. SAT/IELTS/GRE/TOEIC Prep Schools. These tend to operate in the evenings and on the weekends, and the pay can be really high, especially in major cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou. Be wary of any school that promises a lot of money while telling you that you do not need a Z visa. Ask them if they have permission to hire a foreigner.

    7. Public Schools. These can have decent pay and long breaks. I am told that classes generally have 30-40 students.

    8. Nursery Schools. The highest pay I have seen in China is for elite nursery schools, especially in Shanghai. In other locations the pay can be very high too, and such schools tend to be organized and professional. High energy. My wife and I taught at a nursery for about one month, and I did it just for the experience to teaching small children. Pretty amazing. For the right person, this is a very good job in China.

    9. Adult Learning. English language schools for businessmen and young adults, medical professionals, etc., are very popular: WEB, Meten, Wall Street. Wall Street strikes me as the most professional one of the lot. They enjoy a good reputation in China, and the pay they offered was the highest I have seen (especially for Beijing). I just did not want to buy a gas mask and have to wear it.

    What to Watch Out for

    1. Some spots in China are heavily polluted. Check the air quality of your future home city before you agree to come.

    2. Schools that do not have permission to hire a foreigner. Really bad news for the teachers who get caught up in them.

    3. It is best to deal with a school directly, if you can. Recruiters get a cut from the school, and some recruiters are getting a very big slice of the pie. Deal directly with Meten, WEB, Wall Street, etc.

    So it depends on what kind of teacher you are or what kind of teaching you would like to explore. There are many opportunities.
     
    Last edited: 14 Oct 2016
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  15. Stamp

    Stamp Administrator Staff Member

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    Thank you very much for the advice.
     

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