Published May 19, 2017

How To: Find A Job In China

Everything you wanted to know about getting work in Shanghai

By Dan Entwistle


So there you are, sat at a job you absolutely hate, flicking through your Twitter feed and then suddenly a thought pops into your head - “I know, I’ll get a job in China!” Who could blame you? While the rest of the world seems to be going to the dogs, all you’ve heard about China are stories of its insane economic growth and how it’s the new land of opportunity. So how do you actually go about getting a job out here?


Work Visa Requirements


Before you even think about applying for work here you should know that, like most countries, China has pretty strict laws surrounding who they give work visas to. The rules are constantly evolving but as a bare minimum you usually need a bachelor’s degree and two years of work experience after you graduate for the governments of Shanghai, Beijing and several other large cities to even consider your application for a work permit.


If you’re looking for a job outside a major Chinese city the requirements are usually a lot lower, but your future employer should be able to tell you exactly what their local provincial government requires from a job applicant.


People do work out here on tourist visas, student visas, investor visas and business visas but if you get caught doing this you can be fined, arrested and deported. If a potential employer suggests this as an option we recommend you run away fast.


The Best Way To Find A Job In China

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If we’re honest, the best way to find a job in China is to come out here, network and use your connections. Applying for jobs from outside of China does work, but you’ll find one far quicker if you’re already in the country.


How Do I Look For Jobs In Country Without A Work Visa?


Head down to your local Chinese embassy and apply for a tourist visa. Heading out to China before you get a job will help you decide whether or not you'd suit living out here. Most tourist visas are 30 days long which is a pretty good length of time to get a feel for a place. While you’re here, check out the sites, go to networking events, chat with foreigners already living in country and put in your job applications. If you get given a job offer while you’re here you can usually fly to Hong Kong to change your tourist visa into a work visa. Again, don’t work here on a tourist visa.


If you can’t find a job in the field you’re interested in during your 30 days here but you're convinced you want to stay out here, try applying for English teaching positions. They’re fairly easy to find and will give you more time in country to network and find a job you actually want.


Study and Intern Out Here



If you've got a bit of extra cashed saved up, we recommend applying to do a language course at a university here. Knowing some Mandarin will help you with job applications and studying out here for a semester on a student visa will give you ample time to find a decent job.


When you're not studying Chinese, be sure to take time to do some intern work at a company you'd like to work at. Getting your foot in the door this way can help you prove to the company how useful you are and will drastically improve your chances of getting hired. At Shanghai Expat we're always looking for enthusiastic, interns to help us create great content, so why not start by applying here!


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Career Engine


eChina Cities 


LinkedIn China  


Chinese Language Job Websites

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