Home Forums Before Leaving for China + Visa Process How soon can I start teaching English in China?

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    The amount of time things takes really depends on the teacher, but it is best to expect the documents to take at least four-to-six weeks.

    The quickest was a Canadian girl who had her paperwork done in about two weeks, her work permit came in two days and it took three business days to process the visa.

    That is not normal though.

    We try to get the schools and teachers to move the process forward fairly quickly. Reference checks will take a couple days, and usually chatting with some teachers, and reviewing the contract takes a couple days. The documents for the visa are generally the delay.

    The time it takes to gather the documents depends sometimes on the area and sometimes there are unexpected delays.

    Next, teachers who have a valid passport (if not that can take time), get their documents ready for the work permit. The most time consuming would be getting the diploma/graduate certificate and police check/DBS authenticated (We’ll give full details when you get to that stage).

    The work permit letter (needed before you can apply for the visa) usually take a week or two, but that is after the Chinese school has all of the documents needed to apply for the document.

    Getting the visa is normally done three business days after the application is submitted (Which is sometimes delayed by lack of available appointments depending on the area or time of year).

    See the document process here:

    Often time moves fast. We have had teachers apply six months in advance thinking that they had a lot of time to prepare, take their time and then barely were able to start on time. It is best to get moving on documents and preparation as soon as you can.

    The Police check/DBS needs to be max. 6 months old when applying for the work permit (so don’t get this if you are trying to start next year), but if you want to move things forward the first step is making sure you have your DBS/Police check ready and your university diploma ready.

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