Learn Chinese in China
sam_SH

Visa for PhD and postdoc

29 posts in this topic

Dear all,

I am starting a postdoc in a chinese university. I have the contract but after two months of paperwork, the university told me that it had no idea about which kind of visa was the good one for me because of new visa policy. It is hard to believe that no foreigner managed to get a visa for PhD or postdoc since last october. Did anyone got one for that kind of contract? Which one and how long did it take?

Thank you for your help!

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Tell them to enrol you in one-to-one tuition class.

 

The tutor is your postdoc tutor....

 

That way you get X1 and no need to fight with a badly constructed system.

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but then I cannot get paid by the university ... seems like I have to go by the rules. Otherwise thanks that would have solved the problem.

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Ah, so it's a paid position? That would change things. Maybe if they could call it a 'scholarship'?

 

Where are you going?

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It is a scholarship, it is a very classical contract called "postdoctoral contract". I think that is why Z visa is not applicable. For now the university is looking for a solution so it is not on my hands anymore, but I am very interested in knowing if this situation is only in my university (Fudan) or in all chinese universities.

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but then I cannot get paid by the university ... seems like I have to go by the rules. Otherwise thanks that would have solved the problem.

 

Do a token piece of translation work for them and charge them your scholarship money....?

 

 

AAAHHH. I've been in China too long...

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Hello Sam,

 

I am having the same issue. I am told to apply for X1-visa. However, some universities in China ask to apply for Z-visa as postdocs receive monthly salary. Did you solve the problem? Which kind of visa did you get?

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It also turned out to be a X1 visa for me, after we tried all other options. The truth is that each university has a different interpretation of the law so in the end you have no other choice but to wait until they decide which visa to use (in agreement with the city government). It might be a long process if they are not used to have postdoc or if the visa policy has just changed. Conclusion: do whatever the university asks you to do, even if it has no sense and even if it fails, they will find a way to make it work. Also, be aware that the postdoc contract is very strange: most of the time it is written that you should pay your salary back if you cannot finish the program, which is of course negotiable but could put you into trouble if the professor you work with is an asshole (not my case, just warning). 

Have fun during your postdoc and welcome to China!

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Thank you Sam for your helpful reply.

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Hi all,

 

A new poster here. Sorry to resurrect an old post, but I figured this might be the best way to find an answer.

 

I'm currently in a bit of dilemma. Similar to Sam_SH, I have secured a post-doc position in Fudan and was told to apply for an X1 visa. However, I'm just wondering if I am supposed to receive a contract with the payment and term stated clearly on it? Because I didn't get anything and my "admission letter" states self-supported, despite my objection. Therefore, during my visa application, I was told to provide a proof of financial support. Since I'm not used to the system, I am not sure if I can safely assume that this is just the common ways of doing things there? When I asked for a copy of the post-doc contract, I was told I wouldn't see it until I arrive there to sign it. Seems a little sketchy to me, as I do expect to be paid during my post-doctoral. Could someone who have gone through similar process walks me through it?

 

Thanks!

 

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ChenZH, just provide a bank statement to the embassy showing you have sufficient funds. Your application should be approved. The problem is not whether you can be issued a visa or not. But the embassy (on behalf of China) is just wanting to be sure you can support yourself initially. 

It do es not matter once you are in China. X1 visa, you can do (could do?) internships which i assume this is what you will be doing. The school will take your residence permit (changed from X1 to a study residence permit) to the Public Security Bureau in your city and will replace your RP with same rp with a notation saying you're doing an off-site/on-site work where income will be accumulated 

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It's a postdoc position, not an internship. Have a ban for repeatedly misunderstanding questions.

 

ChenZH, I'd just do what Fudan want, but do make sure you've got a clear statement (not necessarily a signed contract, but something in writing you can point to if there are problems) of how much you get paid, any accommodation provided, etc. The problem for Fudan is that if the embassy sees you're getting paid, it may want you to apply for a work visa, which is more complicated for the university.  

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Thanks, Stephen. For me, it's not a problem of how to prove I have a sufficient fund, but whether or not I could ensure that I would be paid regardless of the "admission letter" that I received (which states that I am a self-supported student).

 

Thanks, Roddy. That clears it up. Didn't think of it from the university's side. I guess I gotta send an email to my prof to have the "money talk" (Have yet to get anything in writing with regards to the payment except from a student who has been helping me). I originally assumed that since Fudan is a large university, it has a reputation to keep hahaha.. however, an acquaintance of my friend received a contract for his postdoc (from another university), complete with the payment and terms. Rattled me up a little. I guess different universities have different ways of handling the system eh? This relaxes me quite a bit.

 

Thanks again for all your prompt replies.

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They might be disorganised, they might be worried about the visa side of things, and it's not impossible they think they can save a bit of budget by waiting until you're already there to start negotiating payments. Personally I don't think I'd worry about not having a signed contract in hand, but I would want a clear statement of what the arrangements are, and I'd not be happy about any later changes to that. Not good to be turning up and finding you have wildly differing expectations - or to be negotiating while jetlagged.  It might help if you explain you understand the embassy shouldn't know about any contracts or payments. 

 

If this is part of a relationship between Fudan and your university, it might be worth seeing if they can help. Also, please do invite your friend to come along and tell us about his or her experiences - all adds to the knowledge. 

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Yeah, I will definitely get in touch with the prof to clear it up :) The prof is very nice and pleasant, so I'm not quite sure why I'm very hesitant to bring up money matters into our conversation this far. I imagined it was a standard pay where all postdocs are paid the same, so I already have a rough number in my head. But like you said, better to clarify it prior to me going there. Thank you.

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Hello ChenZH,

 

Just to add to the above information, the professors or a person of the department handling your application usually tell about the salary at the time of postdoc application. I was told about the salary range when I asked about a postdoc position. So, it is normal to ask the professor about the salary before going there. Another thing is that the salaries for the postdoc vary from one university to another and even varies within the university.

 

It might also be helpful for you to know that for the residence at Fudan, there are two types: one is the older type (near the East gate and Guanghua building) with a rent of around 1000 RMB, and another one more modern type with a higher rent (around 2000 RMB but I am not sure about the exact amount, it is a little it far from the university but I was told that there is free transport from there to the university). For the postdoc visas, it varies from province to province, for some universities a Z visa is needed while for the others X1-visa is needed. If it is a salary, it may be taxed; however, I believe the postdoc salary at Fudan is not taxed (my professor told me). The visa services normally ask you to apply or a Z visa if they think you will receive a salary (that happened with me) and as Roddy said, that might be difficult for the university to arrange.

 

I would also like to ask you a question: As you have said, you received an admission letter from Fudan? Can I ask you if you received it in January or in December? I am also waiting for an admission letter from Fudan. I applied in November and I was told that the committee meets in January. In the beginning of January, I was told that a positive decision was made regarding my postdoc application. I was further told that it will take a few months to process the application for foreign students by the university and issue the admission letter. I was wondering if you can let me know if your application followed the same procedure.      

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Hi Hamad,

 

Thank you for your detailed reply and for the info! Very much appreciated.

 

I am assuming the dormitories in Fudan (both old and new) are shared dorms? As in multiple occupants per suite?

 

I received the admission letter last Friday (express mail, quite a hefty price to pay for the mail though :(). I didn't submit the application myself (the application was in Chinese, was that the same case for you? Unfortunately, my Chinese is still very limited). However, I believe my application was submitted around the same time that you submitted yours (Nov-Dec 2015). A student in my prof's research group helped me to apply and to obtain the admission letter once my application was approved. I had to fill in an additional table to obtain the admission letter. Could you perhaps ask your prof to designate a grad student to help you with this process? I'm assuming it might expedite the process if someone is actually present in the University to do the talking directly to the admission office.

 

Maybe I'll see you there in the near future then? Looking forward :) 

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Hello ChenZH,

 

Thanks for the information.

 

Normally for the postdoc, they have something like an individual apartment, around 20 m2. In the old-style buildings (located on Guoding road near Fudan's East gate), there is a bed, chair, study table, a side-table and a closet. There is a Walmart near there (125 Songhu Road, Yangpu, Shanghai) if you need to buy anything. There is a separate bathroom with every apartment. The kitchen is a common one outside the apartment within the corridor at each floor. For the new buildings, there should also be individual apartments, I do not know the exact layout but I was told that the apartments there are better equipped. Also make sure that the university apartment rental contract is in your name and the university will give you a registration receipt after you arrive there. That receipt is needed when you apply for a residence permit in China, which you will do after arriving there. If you are renting a private residence, you need to go to the police station to register your address and then a receipt. If you are living in a university residence, then it should be provided by the university administration. Just make sure that this is the case. You can find more information about it by searching "temporary residence registration for foreigners in China". One link is: http://backtoshanghai.com/blog/20146/20/registration-with-the-police-in-shanghai

For my application, the form was in Chinese and I filled parts of it in English as told by the professor. It was submitted by him. Later, a student managed it, but I am not sure about the delays. Now it is new year vacations time, so the rest of the processing will take place after the vacations.
 

Hope to see you there.

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Hi Hammad1 and ChenZH

 

Have you both commenced your fellowship at Fudan? Would you like to share your experiences please. I am in the same spot, where you were, few months back. I would love to hear from you both regarding experiences so far.

 

Regards

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Hi Sal,

 

I did not take the fellowship. However, I have been to Fudan University as a visiting scholar, and I am sure you will have a good experience there. Good Luck. 

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