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Part time work on an X1 student visa


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I had heard that visa regulations have changed and you can now work legally on an X1 visa (you'll need an annotation to Residence Permit). I had heard about these changes on a forum somewhere  some months back and searching recently found this:




The problem is, I cannot find any official websites to back this information up. I sure would like to know this for sure, as I plan on applying for an X1 soon.


I also heard that's it's always been at least possible to work legally on an X visa. It was up to the discretion of the school, and I suppose it involved them getting the paperwork for the PSB done for you. I've seen this on the Web and I've heard about it former X visa holders (not illegal work). I've been on a Z visa for two years now, and would like to finally make the switch and focus solely on studies without going bankrupt.

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We heard about this where I was working also. Main thing is to go through the school - although it does seem that you can legally work with the visa it is, as you suggest, very much dependent on the school. We have seen a lot of cases where schools have just said no way. Many who weren't aware of the regulations. Will update if I find anything - my work is related to recruitment in China.

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Thanks. I would like to find Chinese sources verifying the new regulations, but haven't had any luck. It would help a lot to have the information from an official government agency that could be brought to the school's and the PSB's attention. Maybe someone can help me with these references (State Council regs and EEAL; at the time of the writing, they were still not published but maybe they are now):


"Under the new rules, a person with a residence certificate for study who wants to take a part-time job or internship off campus should obtain approval from the school, then apply to the PSB Exit-Entry Administration for a notation to the residence certificate showing the part-time job or the location and period of internship off campus. (State Council regs, art. 22). Notice that short-term students with X2 visas do not have such opportunities.

The law delegates to the Ministry of Education the obligation to establish a framework for foreign students to obtain work authorization. (EEAL, art. 42.) The Beijing PSB stated orally on Oct. 16, 2013, that the framework has not yet been published, so it’s not yet possible to apply for authorization for a part-time job or internship, except on an ad-hoc basis. Presumably, that framework will cover any rules related to on-campus employment as well.

It’s illegal for foreign students to work without authorization or beyond the scope authorized. (EEAL, art. 43(3).)

In contrast, under former rules, “work-study” was allowed in accordance with the school’s regulations. (Rules on Foreign Student Enrollment in Institutions of Higher Education, promulgated Jan. 31, 2000, by the Ministries of Education, Foreign Affairs, and Public Security, art. 36)."


From: http://lawandborder.com/faq-new-china-visa-law/?replytocom=184413#respond

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I'm unable to comment on the X1 visa annotation, but regarding work on an X visa and getting permission from your school, I think it's more correct to say it depends on your local PSB. Unless the school cooperates closely with the PSB, it's unlikely that they'll have the authority to decide whether or not part-time work is legal.


When I attended Xiamen University up to last year, the conclusion given to us by the Xiamen PSB was that paid work is a no-go regardless of circumstance, but unpaid internships have always been legal on X visas/res. permits providing the school has given the student permission. Xiamen University's Overseas Education College has a strong relationship with the Xiamen PSB and a PSB officer makes a speech at each year's opening ceremony for new and current students. The regulations according to the Xiamen PSB were made clear to us.


Internships are legal partly because an internship during one's third year of a BA is compulsory for most students in Chinese universities, and our college was no exception. When we were told about the internship requirement during our third year, our local PSB officer returned to have a chat with us and clear things up. Unpaid internships were fine; paid internships were only acceptable if the payment was in terms of a stipend and should not appear to be an hourly pay rate. Technically we needed to declare this to our department heads, but I don't think either the teachers or PSB officers were all that fussed. I know most students found paid work for their internships and a teacher just told me not to worry about declaring my own stipend.


This was in 2012, so it may not be relevant to the current regulations. But I expect these new regulations may have been plastered on top of the old, so some relevance might remain.

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I appreciate all your information. Yes it seems there's overlap- the new regulations allowing for work on an X1 (not X2) visa began in 2013 and a lot of people don't know about them yet. Up to 2013 would have fell under the old regulations. The problem is that the new regulations are so new that neither the schools or the PSB's know about them yet! I believe they were issued along with a whole set of other new regulations around Sept. 2013.


The language has changed to 'approval' from the school. I don't know how that differs from 'permission.' I imagine schools are conservative and probably don't want to give approval to employers they don't know. But you may be able to teach through introductions through colleagues, which would be easy to get approval for. The question is can you get your annotation later- if you have to get at the time of issue only it makes it much harder.


And of course we're talking about part-time work.


Check out my link if you're interested, though it sounds like you've finished your school.

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In reality, do most companies care what visa one is on? Not that I tried myself, but when I was in Beijing several people working there told me they were on all kinds of visas there. One even flew to HK every second month for a new visa.



Indeed it is true that even with the best intentions it can be hard to stay 100% 'above board' here in all manners. Of course for obvious reasons people do not post on such things. Personally, I have never worked illegally and would not want to risk my good standing with the PSB as I would like to be here a long time. The worst thing I've ever done is not reporting in to the local police station when traveling and walking around with a copy of my passport instead of the real one!

I think if you dig into it you'll find that most violations in this regard will get you fines, but it's doubtful you'd get you blacklisted much less deported; according to people I know they are cracking down a lot now (not on particular violations as much as getting stricter on issuance of visas types and entries). 'Getting busted' and fined certainly would make your standing weaker here if you were in a delicate situation later. Finally, I'd hate to get an X1 visa knowing I need at least some money for living expenses but not sure how I was going to get it. Better to study on a Z. 

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  • 2 years later...

Bumping this topic to see if anyone has found part-time work while on an X1 visa and had this approval officially granted and had the annotation added to their residence permit by the PSB.

Also, the English regulations talk about off-campus part-time work/internships. What about working on campus, for example as an English teaching assistant?

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  • 9 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I only teach my classes (z visa), but I've been offered lots of extra work that I don't want. There's TONS of work here and it seems to me that it's fine if it's through the school and the school has a good relationship with the PSB. I don't know this for sure, but I can say that most of the teachers and foreign students I know are working part time jobs that they got through contacts at the school (i.e. their bosses and Chinese teachers) and I'm certain that they have no extras stamped into their visas to give them permission to do this.

I think it all depends on your school and where you live. It seems very unlikely that you can find part-time work that is technically legal as a student, but private part-time jobs (often teaching the teachers' children!) are for the taking around here. But I'm not recommending anything- just saying what goes on at my uni. And I've probably said too much already. Yikes.

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