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Seedy employer?


CharlesLi
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I was recently in talks with a private school boss for teaching English at her school.

She wanted me to get there asap but her method was interesting -

1) arrive on tourist visa and teach while we get your z-visa processed.

2) go to hong-kong and receive your foreign experts certificate and z-visa

3) come back and continue teaching.

As I understand, teaching under a tourist visa is illegal.

Having said that, is it worth negotiating further with this employer?

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She probably wants you to go on a tourist visa because arranging the paperwork for a Z visa takes some time, and she probably wants to avoid the delay. So I wouldn't write her off immediately on the basis of this alone. The problem is that some people promise Z visas, but when you actually get there, they procrastinate indefinitely, often while in possession of your passport, leaving you in a difficult position. Is the school reputable? Do they have permission to employ foreigners?

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She probably wants you to go on a tourist visa because arranging the paperwork for a Z visa takes some time, and she probably wants to avoid the delay

precisely. she said it herself. she also mentioned she has "a way" with authorities so it shouldn't be a problem.

I'm just hoping not all of China's private school bosses are this dodgy.

Is the school reputable?

It's a new school which opened last year. They're still working on the website so I guess their reputation is impossible to ascertain.

Do they have permission to employ foreigners?

How do I find out?

Thanks

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How do I find out?

That is rather difficult.

Your options are to either forget it and just look for an alternative, or at the risk of wasting your time, go for it and play it by ear when you get there. The only thing I would advise is that, unless you are able to ascertain the legitimacy of the organization, don't hand over your passport or any other important documentation to the school. That way at least you can walk away and find another job or leave the country without the school having any leverage over you.

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How do I find out?

That is rather difficult.

Not necessarily so. The Foreign Experts' bureau in each provincial capital (or equivalent) keeps a full list of approved schools and, in my experience, welcomes enquiries.

I'm perhaps lucky. I am in Guangxi and the local bureau send me regular updated lists of approved schools by email. I have also consulted offices in other provinces without problems.

In the meantime, just ask the school for their approval number from the Foreign experts bureau. That should baffle them unless they are real.

The issuance needs back up in the form of certain documents from the school, which I strongly suspect she doesn't have.

I'm just hoping not all of China's private school bosses are this dodgy.

Not all, just most.

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  • 7 months later...

From what I have seen and heard, this is actually pretty common. Most English Teachers are working under tourist visas and private schools don't really follow any rules or regulations. They just want to get a white face in the classroom as quickly as they can and the government for the most part doesn't care all that much.

But before you go, make sure you understand the situation which is:

Zero job security

They will probably reneg on part or the whole of your contract at some point

They may try to brow beat or intimidate you into doing extra work or paying for stuff they should pay for.

To avoid this you should:

Make sure you get paid on time, every time.

Don't let them keep your passport or any important documents.

Always negotiate (get money) for any service that falls outside of what you agreed to.

When you see a lot of new foreign faces and "part time" teachers, start looking for a new job.

It's a pain in the butt but eh, you get used to it over time. The key is ALWAYS HAVE OPTIONS! :D

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