By Sun Jin(Marlow), Chinese attorney at Law, Zhejiang Xinmu Law Firm


Dear Lawyer, I am a representative of Russian company in Shanghai, China. I am planning be in China more than one year. Could you kindly advise me how to open business visa for one year with the further prolongation? Not long ago I was in China by visa "F" for one month with further prolongation. But this matter is not suitable for me and I am looking for another variant. Hope for your reply. Thank you in advance.



The solution for the situation is Z visa also named working visa. To get a working visa, you must be one employee/management of a Chinese company, or a representative in a foreign enterprise's representative office in China. Steps as follows:

1. Apply for a working permission certificate;

2. Apply for working Visa notice letter;

3. Apply for working visa in local China embassy;

4. Apply for working certificate after entry into China;

5. Apply for residency permission.

Brief guide of the procedure as follows:

Foreigner's working permission certificate

Employer shall apply for Foreigner's working permission certificate before the entry of the foreign employee into China.

When apply for Foreigner's working permission certificate, following documents are required:

1. Correctly finished Apply form of foreigner's working in China, 1 copy.

2. Business license or registering certificate in copy, organization code certificate in copy.

3. The foreign employee's resume (CV), which must include the highest diploma and whole working experiences, in Chinese and with seal of employer. If in English, must be translated into Chinese, and with seal of employer on the translation version.

4. The foreign employee's related career certificates (if no such career certificates, then the employee's former employer's certificate of qualification, or related diploma. If in English, need to be translated into Chinese, and sealed by employer.)

5. Employee's valid passport in copy.


1. The Investor of the employer, or legal representative on the business license, when offer certificate document of investor or business license (in copy), then NO need to deliver above 4th document.

2. Valid period of Foreigner's working permission certificate is 6 months.

3. The Employer goes to related bureau with Foreigner's working permission certificate to apply for Visa Notice Letter to China embassy, with which employee may apply for Z visa in local China embassy.

Foreigner's working certificate

After the foreign employee's entry China with the working visa, the employee shall go to related appointed hospital to get a healthy certificate. And within 15 days of entry into China, the employee/employer shall go to related bureau to apply Foreigner's working certificate with following documents:

1. Correctly finished Foreigner's working registration form in duplicate.

2. Foreigner's working permission certificate in original.

3. Employ Contract between employer and employee, if in English, must be translated in Chinese.

4. Employee's valid passport and visa (in original and copy).

5. Healthy certificate in copy.

6. Photo for certificate in two inches in tri-plicate (two on form, one on working certificate).


1. Investor of the employer, or legal representative on the business license, then NO need to deliver above 3rd document.

2. Employee may go to related bureau with Foreigner's working certificate and Working registration form in one copy to apply for residency permission.



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