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How to change jobs -- visas/ residence permits


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I would like to know how this is done, if you have a non-teaching job and residence permit.

Do you simply find a new job and quit the previous job? Do you need to get out of China and go thru the Z visa process again?

Thanks for the advice.

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You don't need necessarily to go through the visa process again. However, you need a release letter from your current employer. They will cancel your current work permit. Your visa should stay valid, unless your current employer decides to give you an exit visa (which they are entitled to do). An exit visa declares you are going to leave the country (quickly ... but also entitles you to take your money legally with you outside China).

Your new employer should give you a new work permit. In case you'd have an exit visa, they'll have to apply for a new residence permit. If there's no exit visa, they'll just have to renew your residence permit before it's expiration date.

In general, the hassle of cancelling a residence permit is too big if you notify your employer of simply changing jobs. There are also costs involved, which I'm sure your current employer will likely avoid.

But it is imperative your get your hands on the release letter. Without it, you simply can't get a new job. Unless you would indeed leave the country and go through to the whole Z visa / residence permit / health check etc. again.

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  • 2 years later...

I'm in a similar situation, but contemplating not immediately finding a new job. Instead I am thinking of staying in China to do freelance stuff for a bit and maybe later find another job.

So, if I can get the release letter, and leave on good terms (ie: they don't do the nasty exit visa thing), then I can stay in China for the duration of my residence permit. Is that correct? It sure would be nice to have that leisure time to really find the right job.

A second question: My alien employment permit expires on the same day as my residence permit. If I only find a new job after that, what happens? Would I have to start the employment permit process all over again? Or since you've already gotten the employment permit in the past, does that simplify the process the next time around?

Thanks everyone!

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I think it depends on what your company do. If they inform the PSB of the change, the PSB may want to know what you're up to. If not, you should be good until something expires. Best thing to do is remain on good terms with the company, offer to help out in any busy periods or some other gesture of good relations, and establish that they'll let you know if they need to tell the PSB you've gone (or if the PSB come round to check, does happen), and that if you find a new job you'll take care of the paperwork and not work elsewhere while being on their books.

Hard to say what would happen otherwise - the PSB may chase you up and have you change to a tourist visa or something, they may just not bother. Phone up anonymously and ask?

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