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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. portnoy58

    portnoy58 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  2. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Well-Known Member

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    The start of a journey keep us all posted
     
  3. Gor Blimey Guvnur!

    Gor Blimey Guvnur! What the duck ! Staff Member

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    Outstanding you old 58 ...yeah got there in the end eh and glad its panning out and hope all the legal stuff works out.
    :thumbs up:runaround:cheers
     
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  4. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    So far so good. When there is a will, there is a way. I got a part-time job recently, mostly for fun, and they offered to hire portnoy58 part-time too. It is 1045 Baht/hour, which is not that much here, but you get the VIP treatment and get to meet a lot of educators. His school is one hour by car from my part-time school, and so we will probably meet up sometime soon and throw a pic onto this website, celebrating his successful move.
     
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  5. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    The Face Job

    In China, a Chinese businessman gains prestige when he has a Western employee. His peers all get to look at that well-fed exotic animal that he keeps: a teacher from America, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, or Great Britain. It makes the CEO look really good. I know what you are thinking: someone who is white makes the CEO look good. Well, that is not the full story. I know teachers here who were hired because they are black. In other words, you just have to be Western, be different, and that is a quality that comes very easily to some of us.

    A "Face Job" means that you will be asked to contribute your mystical Western insights into education, as doubtful as those might be. It might mean that you don't have to teach that much, at least not during the first year or so. It might entail having your picture taken and it being plastered all over posters and other ads. If might mean that you often find yourself in a five star hotel sitting on the right side of a Chinese businessman, there goes that camera again, whom you have grown to respect because you see how generous and smart he is--did he really just buy another British company?--all the while drinking hideous Chinese fire water from a tiny cup and learning a lot about the seven different kinds of Chinese cuisine.


    How to spot such a job? The job ad will first ask for a photo: "send your photo, degrees, and transcripts to..." Such work is usually in a growing private company. The good part is that you get to be centrally involved in what is going on with the school, and once in a while they will even listen to you.
     
    Last edited: 5 Nov 2016
    sirchai likes this.
  6. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    In my experience, this is one of the nice things about working in China. They do not cheat you. They like to save money, that is for sure, but when it is time to pay something legitimate, you see the money. Thailand is not as economically successful, so in many cases they just don't have that kind of money to spend and help you out. I asked for a new apartment because my wife wanted a bigger one. My company said yes, and they paid for everything. They had to pay for six months of rent up front. 7800 Baht (equivalent) x 6. Utilities, everything, paid for, month by month. No tricks.

    If you come to China and you pay for your own apartment, then be ready to fork out 3 or 6 months of rent up front. Some schools provide housing, others give you a stipend. Very few have no housing benefit. The ones with no special housing benefit usually offer a high salary.

    Here is what a typical Chinese apartment looks like, right as one would move in:

    IMG20161104071546.jpg

    IMG20161104071535.jpg

    IMG20161104071503.jpg

    As far as the Chinese go, working for them, I don't have anything bad to say. Fair and straightforward.

    Of course there are some bad eggs out there, but I have not run into one, thank goodness. From what I hear of the other teachers here in my province, Jiangsu, things are good.
     
    Last edited: 5 Nov 2016
  7. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all your posts. :thumbs up
     
  8. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Well-Known Member

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    portnoy58: Good luck, getting your z visa. This process can take awhile indeed. Your thread is good advice to people thinking of coming over on a tourist visa to work. Don't do it! It isn't worth the risk. If you get a job in China from abroad, make sure you go through the process of getting a z visa. It does take awhile, especially if you are living in Canada/US. I have a friend that just went through this process and it took him three to four months to get over here.

    Ageism here is mostly because teachers cannot get a visa over 60. If you are at a school at 60 and you are still on contract, you may be able to stay. I have a friend who is 60 now, and it took him over a year to find a job in China that would accept him. I guess there are some jobs that will hire up till age 65. He is in a very small Chinese city in the south.

    Your job sounds great! I also teach in an IB school, and you will get some good professional development in an IB school. What city are you in?

    Best of luck!
     
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  9. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Well-Known Member

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    I am glad you are having a good experience. I have also been lucky at my school.

    However, China is notorious for corrupt and illegal employers. I know a handful of people who have had very bad experiences and have been ripped off and not given what was promised before they came over. A word of caution to others based on what I have heard from other people that have been screwed over. Do your homework on the school. Beware of some recruiters. China is booming when it comes to jobs, and not just in the bigger cities. Research the school in detail and speak to other people that work at the school currently.
     
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  10. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    Some recruiters are OK, but some are really bad. The bad ones take a big chunk of your salary. If you look closely at ads on China Expat | Expat China|外国人网|Guides to 41 Chinese cities - eChinacities.com then you will see that some recruiters are simply reselling a position that could be applied for directly--at a much lower salary.

    Definitely do some homework, come on a Z, and negotiate. I am making more than triple what I made in Thailand. Professionally, it has also been very good. I cannot imagine a better group of people. My old workmates in Thailand were amiable enough, people I really respected. But the big picture was not good (to say the least), so I left.

    No one is talking about Taiwan, but I understand that Taiwan is one of the best places in Asia to teach English. The salaries are higher than on the mainland. Talk about putting your Thai Teaching Certificate to work! They require a certificate, any certificate...
     
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  11. Fatty

    Fatty Member

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  12. muppetminder

    muppetminder Member

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    Does the WP need to be current? I'll have two expired copies. I think I'll keep my third WP original, but I won't be working when I start looking. Problem from Thailand?

    I've got all my originals, letters of reference, photos...nice PKG really.

    I hold a valid CA substitute teaching credential 2017-. It required fingerprints. I doubt this will suffice despite run thru FBI DOJ.

    Would a non O allow me to apply from Thailand regardless of WP?

    What's the test like? I hate grammar. Grammar gotchas in Skype interview? I can teach it but I won't. Never again. I'm strong in other areas 4 skills plus pronunciation, vocabulary, literature, public speaking, parliamentary procedure...

    Possibility teaching Social or History?

    How quickly can you land a solid job from the moment you start the search to departing on the flight? I ask bc we might be able to visit my folks in USA for few most while I find work. Theyd like that.

    Can you get work after 60? I'm 57.

    Really do not want to teach tots at language school. No animated, edumacashun. No early morning late evening splits like Fing Korea.

    I've heard due to all the farang in Yunnan wages are half. My ltd searches seem to validate.

    How do you negotiate after you arrive on Z? Is not the contract inked?

    University pay less, but work is less yes?

    Anyone know about Chengdu?

    Best sites to job search
    Best sites to post resume

    Tips to avoid agencies
     
    Last edited: 10 Jan 2017

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