How to Change a Student Visa to a Work Visa While in China

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You need a resident permit as well as a work visa to stay for employment.
You need a resident permit as well as a work visa to stay for employment. (Image: China image by Madiha from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

If you have been going to school in China and you fall in love with the country, you will need a job to stay. If you are not a citizen of China, you are not allowed to live for an extended period of time without employment. Switching your visa from one status to another requires some battle with red tape and a few documents you must obtain.

Things You'll Need

  • ID
  • Passport
  • Student visa

Receive a letter of invitation from the company you wish to work for. No employment of aliens is allowed without proof that the company wants and needs you to be employed.

Obtain a work permit or a foreign expert’s license from the company for which you are going to work.

Take the letter of invitation along with your student visa, passport, work permit or license and ID to the Public Security Bureau. In some cases you might be asked to leave the country and reapply for the different visa. Taking the short trip to Hong Kong can take care of this. In either case, the process is the same. If you must leave, go to the Chinese embassy to reapply.

Fill out the application you are given. You must do this in person. No applications are accepted by mail or over the Internet.

Wait until you receive your new visa before doing any work. There are fines and possible expulsions from the country if you are caught working without the proper visa.

Apply for a residence permit at the Public Security Bureau when you receive your visa. This allows you to live in the country. There are several types of permits: permanent, temporary and foreign resident. Permanent permits renew every 10 years and are difficult to get. Temporary permits are for a length of time between six months and a year. And foreign-resident permits are for one or two years, renewable annually.

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