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Teaching English in China with Criminal Record?


Rapture93
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Hi there,

 

I am a British student currently studying a business degree in the UK.

 

Having previous lived in Beijing for 3 years and Taipei for 4 throughout my childhood as my family moved about a lot, I studied Mandarin for 7 years. However, since I've returned to the UK I have lost quite a lot of it.

 

Upon uni graduation I'm thinking about teaching English abroad in China or Taiwan as a job, in a hope to become fluent in Mandarin after 2 years or so.

 

Unfortunately in the last 2 years I gained a criminal record. To summarise a long story short..

I was arrested for attempting to prevent an office arresting a friend, who I believe was being treated unlawfully at the time. Anyways..

 

I was convicted of:

Assault on a constable in his/her duty. (Category 3 assault, lowest level)

Assault with intent to resist arrest (my mates arrest, not mine).

Threatening and Abusive language.

 

I received a £200 quid fine in total and 6 months probation (Basically I couldn't do anything else wrong in terms of breaking the law otherwise these convictions would come back up). My convictions have become 'spent' as it has been a year since the conviction and I only received a fine, and so it becomes spent under the new reforms.

 

I understand teaching with a criminal record in the UK is a big no no, but how would this type of conviction affect me in getting a work/living visa in China or Taiwan?

 

Thanks for the help,

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I think your criminal record isn't criminal, just a little problem that ended up with a fine. I believe they differentiate between a big problem and a little one like yours. In other words check with your home country first they may allow you to work as a teacher. If they don't, check with China, typically if the issue as little as yours I don't think they'll not allow you. Many people got arrested, drunk, offending officers, are all aren't allowed to be teachers ? 

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If you're British, I believe the only criminal record check you can get as an individual is through Disclosure Scotland. This is the absolute basic one. I don't have a record so can't say for sure what it would show but it would probably be something with practically no details. 

 

If you have any doubt at all if this would show up on that, just pay for it and get it anyway. At the time I got it, they just send me a pdf version of it. Actually, at the time of my application I didn't need this at all.

 

What you could do i contact one of those placement agencies that help foreigners find jobs in China. Actually call them and see what they say. Maybe there are ways around the criminal records check.

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Is "spent" the same as "removed" from your records? This is the point I think. A criminal record is a criminal record, it doesn't matter what for, it just flags up yes to the question "does he/she have a record" not sure they read the details and differentiate between small wrongs and big wrongs, they are all wrongs.

 

I am no expert and this is just my opinion based on common sense and some small experience with this sort of thing (not mine,close friend).

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If it doesn't show up, its not going to be a problem. There's a question about a criminal record on the visa form, but personally I wouldn't have a problem with checking the 'no' box there, unless your crimes got you onto the front page of the People's Daily. 

 

Incidentally, as I understand it, the record doesn't mean you can't teach in the UK - spent convictions are still disclosed though, and that's going to mean greater scrutiny. 

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  • 7 months later...
  • 3 months later...

Echoing roddy's question! Would appreciate anybody's response, maybe new people have joined the forum. 

 

My problem: I have no criminal record, but I would like to participate in some acts of civil disobedience this summer [in the United States]. While I do not expect felony charges (I'm not breaking into a nuclear power plant or anything!), I wanted to know about the possible damage from an arrest (and potential misdemeanor charges) as I am currently applying for school in China. Obviously, the wisest course of action is "don't do it" and I quite understand that. Yet I would vastly prefer to do it so am looking for a more nuanced answer if anybody has one. Specifically, I am wondering how it will affect applications for a visa.

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Definitely keep a 100% clean record.

If you wanna risk it, find out exactly what shows up on the type of criminal record check you need to provide for China visas. In the UK, it just says "no offences" essentially and that's it. If you have an offence, it wouldn't give details but it's likely you'd get rejected for a visa due, in part, to the uncertainty !

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Indeed, the uncertainty was my worry. Not that I take the consular bureaucracy to be terribly interested in an excuse like "I deliberately got arrested!"  :wall

I may end up calling the embassy and asking (without giving my name!). If so, I shall update the thread. 

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I don't reckon you'll have much luck getting any straight answers. If you are lucky enough that someone answers the phone and tells you decent info, make sure to tell us.

I'd just play it safe though!

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It's all about trade offs and willingness to accept risk. If you believe enough in civil disobedience, then you have to accept the change in plan and not able to go to China/Taiwan. Assume the worst situation and have your plan B available.

Some people are willing to go to jail or die for their beliefs. They just have different and limited options unless reincarnation is an option.

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Of course only you can make this decision. But it does seem to me that you're being astonishingly short-sighted looking at this only in terms of its effect on a Chinese work visa. A criminal record, even just an arrest, can have all sorts of consequences, and who knows what twists and turns you and your career will make in a lifetime.

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I did not intend to make this into a broader philosophical discussion on the merits or negatives/trade-offs of civil disobedience or to discuss my personal decision, but thank you all for the advice. The question is really limited to the visa, which is an empirical/legal question rather than a moral or personal one. I quite agree that the moral question and that of trade-offs is a personal decision.

 

Obviously, the wisest course of action is "don't do it" and I quite understand that. Yet I would vastly prefer to do it so am looking for a more nuanced answer if anybody has one. 

 

 EDIT: And yes, I thought the same thing, onebir.  :wink: Thank you to those who commented on the visa question. 

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Unless of course you're going to protest against Japanese claims to diaoyudao, or something like that :)

 

Did you call them? (You could always use skype - which is difficult to trace*. & call several consulates to triangulate the replies, which are unlikely to be totally consistent.)

 

*http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2420131,00.asp

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