Well I made it to China and I am poised, so to speak. It didn't quite go the way I planned it or the way recommended by David. I took a risk and entered China to work on a tourist visa. One month later the risk looks to have been worthwhile and it would be fair to say that I would be hitting myself had I missed out on this opportunity. My tuppence worth.... Here's the dilemma. An employer insisting on a new employee breaking the law by entering China to work on a tourist visa. My dilemma was this: what next? I mean your employer inciting you to act illegally is hardly a propitious start to an employment contract. It may well render the contract null and void because I doubt there is any jurisdiction which would allow a contract to subsist for illegal purposes or in which one or both parties are required to act illegally to perform the contract. My employer in China is actually a Singapore based company and the minute I met their people in Singapore I felt much more comfortable. They took me to the visa centre in Singapore and sorted out flights etc for me. For once some one else was shelling out money and that was reassuring. The whole process of getting the much needed Z visa, the work visa, can easily take over four months. For one of my new colleagues it took six months. There appears to be no rhyme or reason - different provinces have different rules, different officers have different moods on different days - sound like somewhere we know?! My advice would be if you are planning on working in China do two things now: get your degrees notarised and certificated by the Chinese embassy and apply for a criminal record clearance. The former is one of the biggest sources of delays. Be clear too about this: there are a lot of unscrupulous, rogue employers out there pulling many of the stunts we are familiar with in LOS. One day an employer told me my Z visa paperwork had been approved, the next day that he had made a mistake. There is an abundance of relatively low paid training centre work, probably nearest to the shop front language schools/crammers in Thailand. Huge amounts of work with kindergarten and early years. There is a huge amount of ageism and prejudice in operation too. One agent insinuated I must be a paedophile because I was 58, had lived in Thailand for eight years and had a stated preference for working with upper primary years students - you can see on this basis it is self-evidently true! By virtue of getting my degrees notarised for a school that blew out on me, ( thank goodness I add in retrospect), I am now sitting in Hong Kong International Airport ( awaiting Mrs Portnoy's arrival from LOS) and I have all the papers to apply for a Z visa. I am heading to the Chinese visa place first thing Monday morning. My school reimbursed all my pre-employment expenses ( 45,000 THB in total) 24 hours after submitted them, they have paid for this trip - flight, hotel, visa fee and per diem) and they paid me the whole month of October despite not starting until 8th October. And I am earning just under double the money I earned in Thailand, a little shy of 100,000 THB. The job - home room teacher to Year 3, ( 5 students in total) and I am teaching the IB Primary Years Programme. I actually feel like a teacher and it feels as if I am working in a school. There is a whole pile of shit I don't have to deal with here. And the city is excellent. Two hours north of Shanghai, very green and reasonably clean - modern, well planned. Nice flat. Let's say we're set fair. Glad I took the risk, glad I am in HKG and hope to return next week to become completely legal. More soon.