This is a general work visa China preparation guidance for UK nationals, and we are working on visa application tips for other regions and countries. Please refer to this strategy first if you are not a UK national. It may vary from locations and officials, and sometimes there are some policy changes. So, this is not official guidance and we welcome any updates from you!

We all know gathering all your work visa China materials for your application can be a frustrating and anxious process so we have made things simpler for you. Here is our step-by-step guide for those residing in the UK.

Copy of Passport and a few Passport photos

You will need to get a good and clear scan of your passport which needs to have at least 6 months validity left. Scrub up well and go to a photo booth and get some nice passport pictures too.

Proof of No Criminal Record Check

You will need to get a copy of your criminal record with no convictions. This is quite easy to apply for in the following link. Called a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. It will cost about £25 and you should receive it in the post between 5 to 14 days.

You will need to get your criminal check, Degree and TEFL certificate signed by a notary public e.g. a solicitor or a lawyer

This is easier said than done but can be done and needs to be done. Going from past experience, you will be roaming around your hometown knocking on every solicitor’s door asking if they can sign and certify your document. Most will refuse or do not offer this service. However, keep persevering and if you’re lucky it will cost as cheap as £10 but if not maybe a lot more. It’s time to check if you have a family friend who is a solicitor.

Get your TEFL certificate, Degree certificate and criminal check legalized with an apostille

Your TEFL certificate, degree certificate and criminal check need to be legalized by the legalization office of the Foreign Affairs Department to prove that the signature, stamp or seal is indeed from a UK public official. They will legalize the document with a stamped official certificate (apostille). This will cost £35.50 including post and should take about 2 days. You can do this through the following link.

Get your TEFL certificate, Degree certificate and criminal check authenticated by your local Chinese Embassy/Consulate

You will need to download the form to do this, here is the link:

*There is also valuable procedural information here

There are 4 Chinese Consulates in the UK, in London, Manchester, Edinburgh, and Belfast. For your work visa China, you will need to go down there yourself as there is no postal service for this. Go to your nearest Chinese Consulate and bring your application form and documents to be authenticated and legalized (e.g. TEFL certificate, degree certificate and criminal check). It should cost about £17 for their regular service.

Full Health Check and Medical Examination, and Get your Vaccinations too

Oh no, the dreaded needle! Nothing to be afraid of really. But you will still need to get a full medical check. We will hand you a medical form and all you need to do is go to your local GP for your check and complete the form. Although not a visa requirement we will also advise you on which vaccinations to get if you’d like more details now then the following link has some good info. You will need to consult your local GP on the prices for the different vaccinations.

*Please get all your vaccinations in your home country before you get here, don’t start then continue in China. The medical practice in China may follow a different procedure than that of your country.


  • Copy of Passport and some recent Passport Photos ✔
  • Criminal Check (signed by a notary public, legalized by Foreign Affairs office and then the Chinese Embassy/Consulate) ✔
  • Degree Certificate (signed by a notary public, legalized by Foreign Affairs office and then the Chinese Embassy/Consulate)✔

*Degree should be at least a Bachelor’s degree, if you have other certificates above this, please use the highest degree you have.

  • TEFL certificate (signed by a notary public, legalized by Foreign Affairs office and then the Chinese Embassy/Consulate) ✔


The TEFL certificate should contain at least a 120-hour course; If you have a two-year or more professional teaching experiences and have a reference letter, no need for TEFL certificate then; TESOL or CELTA can be a replacement for TEFL as well.

  • Completed health check form ✔


Then we will give you some additional documents including your work permit notification letter which is an official invitation from the school to teach in China. ✔

Now you are ready to apply for your Work Visa.

You can download the Visa application form from the following link. Fill it in and affix a recent passport photo of yourself.

*Along with all your documents you can then go to the Chinese Embassy/Consulate and file the application for your visa. You will need to pay a visa fee and an application fee should cost around about £65 but more if you do it by post.

*Should take no more than a week, they will also keep your passport for the duration of the process too. When you get it back you can see the brand new visa page in your passport. I can already see the smile on your face.

One more thing!

*Please inform us which Chinese consulate/embassy you are going to submit your Z-visa application, as this cannot be changed once we submit your documents to the online system, and you must go to the Chinese consulate/embassy you select 🙂

Then high-five, you can relax and start packing! China awaits!

*We’d recommend you start this process 3-months before you arrive

*All prices stated are of the date July 23rd, 2019

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