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Cancel a contract before getting a Z visa


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  I'm teetering on a bridge with this company I'm currently working for.  They've been 'working' on getting me the paperwork I need for the Z visa for 2.5 months now - I know I would have to leave the country and come back - but this was an opportunity to 'get to know the students while having me teach.


 As of recently, they have only been able to issue me a work permit.  I've had to leave the country and managed to come back with an 8 year tourist visa and they are demanding I return to their city (living with a friend now) and teach.  I am refusing to do so until I have a Z visa and in process of getting the RP. 


  Other than this issue, there have been a few lies told here and there which is a part of the 'it's China' response but I'm beginning to feel like this company has no intention of allowing me to work unless I do it illegally. 


Question:  If I leave this company now, will it affect my chances of being employed somewhere else because the blue work permit (used to apply for Z) is already issued?  Is there anything I can do about it?


Thanks in advance! 

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Hi candybacon,


I don't know much about the ins and outs of canceling a contract, but here's my very recent experience with the mafan:


The bureaucracy is notoriously slow. It took me 2.5 months to get my work permit (license in my case because I'm in "consulting" with the management bureau) too, though I was in my home country and doing some work/training related activities remotely. I think if you have your work permit you are well on your way to a Z visa, but as you are aware, you simply can't work on a tourist visa. Well you can but if you got caught it'd be bad news bears. Why did you get a tourist visa instead of waiting out-of-country to get your Z, personal reasons? I know that isn't always possible due to expense, but hey, you could have chilled on a beach in Thailand right?


Hopefully all this will work out, keep on truckin'

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Hi Huina,


Thanks for the encouragement!  And to be clear, I don't want to work on the tourist visa and the reason I came back quickly is personal.  My view on it is a little of the "it's none of the company's business since I'm not really employed by them," which is why I did come back with a tourist visa, but not to return to the school.  I DID want to work there, but they're getting nasty.  


A part of the problem is that they're getting aggressive about my return to their school, which is something I can't appreciate and I'm losing my patience.  Demands like "Come to ******* tomorrow, so you can teach on [day after]."  Followed by "If you want to wait for the paperwork, it will not work."(which has me a little confused to be honest - something lost in translation?)


But I do know of another school looking to hire, where a friend of mine works.  He's had great experiences so far.  I'd like to be able to apply there, but I'm not sure if it would be a problem since I don't have the "Z" yet.  And I don't want to carry work related problems from one place to another...


I'll take any advice!

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If they've got you a work permit (I'm assuming this is a 就业证?) then they're presumably serious about employing you - those take hassle and money to get. Are you the first foreigner they've hired? Those cases do take longer, as first the employer has to go through various processes, and then you do. Ideally you don't turn up in country until they've got to the point they can get you the Z visa. 


At this point, assuming they've got the documents I think they have, I'm inclined to say that they do intend to get you a proper visa and residence permit. You're entitled to refuse to work until they do that, but that might force them to find someone else and create quite a bit of bad will - it may be at this point it looks to them like they've jumped through a lot of hoops to be able to employ you, and now at the last minute you're letting them down. 


How good a job is this? Are you happy working there? Do you WANT to go back and finish the contract? 


(edit: sorry, hadn't seen your last post when typing)

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Hi Roddy, 


Good questions!  Here is some time line info:

May?:  Find new employer for CQ school.


End of June:  Employer says I have to go to Yunnan for a semester minimum.  To work with experienced teachers, get training and get to know the company.

Early/Mid-August left my old job, with all the paperwork they could give me (release/reference/personal reference...etc.).  During this time, my new employer told me to not cancel my work permit, however the school I was with does do this and applies for the 'humanitarian' permit.  In CQ you can apply for a new job with this and not have to leave the country.  Yunnan doesn't accept this, and we agreed I would have to do a visa run, but I would come to the school in Yunnan and settle down and "do the cultural exchange/get to know students,' and the paperwork would be ready for me to take care of by the end of the permit.


September:  The apartment had mice, refrigerator full of some bacterial goo, furniture ready to topple over and asking for help achieved nothing.  The job itself is at a private/international school.  There were no teachers there but me.  No training.  No books/materials.  My old job gave me the reference letter/release letter/etc...but they didn't apply for my work permit (就业证) until the last week of my being there.  I had to leave with 2 days notice (HK).  They were supposed to send me that and the invitation letter while I was out of the country but they said they can't get the work permit in time so I should return.  And I did (foolishly).


October:  I thought, okay, one more trip and it's over.  With 3 business days of my (somehow I got an S2 - error?) new permit expiring, I was told I'd have to go to CQ and get a Chinese criminal record check (because I've been in China for a while).  They had the permit for 3 weeks and hadn't bothered to try to apply for the invitation letter till my last week.

  I returned to CQ, went to the PSB/Entry-exit and they redirected me to the local police station.  Having spoken to them, they are only equiped to do that with Chinese citizens with houku?  Got redirected to Notary Office and they told me to go to the Canadian Consulate.  And I ran out of time.  Took a vacation in Thailand this time.  Got an 8 year visa.  Made a self-declaration (last ditch effort) at the Canadian Consulate stating that I don't have a criminal record and will abide by PRC laws.


During the time I've been in CQ I've been asking for the location of the new school that's supposed to open here.  I am in that district and I thought I could swing by and take a look.  But any question about this is evaded.  Having been lied to about the school's staff, training, classroom environment, student abilities...I don't think I want to stay with this school anymore...I'm just fed up and working legally and having that stability is important to me.  Ashamed to say I technically did end up working illegally for few weeks...but the school trying to bully me to come back makes me wanna do 180 turn and not look back.   :(


I do still want to stay in China though.  And in CQ specifically.  Again personal reasons.

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Yeah, in that case I'd walk. I don't know how it works with the existing work permit though, especially as you DO want to stay in the same jurisdiction. Best advice I have is to find a friendly potential employer and get them to start working the case... let us know how you get on...

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Good luck. I hope it works out and the situation takes a turn for the better. Buy a gallon of bleach for your next apartment, you'll probably need it. I just wanted to add that any local police bureau should be able to register a foreigner, it's not only for people with hukou; that's probs because they didn't wanna deal with the annoyance of a language barrier.


crossing my fingers for you.

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Candybacon wasn't trying to register, but to get a criminal records check. Much rarer and I'm not surprised a local police station has no idea about doing one for a foreigner. 

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Chris Two Times

Sounds suspicious, like they are going to screw you in the end (not paying you?). I'd be very wary. Sounds extremely dodgy.


Residence permits do take time to get, but should have in hand after three months at the very latest...them insisting that you come in and work for them (illegally) is a bad sign.


"What have you done for me lately?" would be my attitude towards them.


Good luck with it all.


Warm regards,

Chris Two Times

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  I got a hold of some of their prior teachers.  While they left fed up with the school, they did get their resident permit eventually.  Knowing the people taking care of my paperwork actually makes it harder for me to be objective - as people, I like them.  I've told the school that I'm booking my flight away now to get the Z visa, so the paperwork should be done by then and they've agreed.  And they have paid me for the times I have worked.  So...some trust factor is there.


The fact that the Yunnan authorities asked for a Chinese CRC really threw us all off course, and Chongqing not being equipped to handle this is a surprise since the request for this is on a rise.  But I'm surprised they've accepted a Self-Declaration from the consulate (school's guanxi maybe?).


In the mean time, I'm going back for cultural exchange for a week and a half....Arts and crafts!  But I need the time to get my cat outta there and to my CQ home so I don't want to "mail back the keys" (as requested in a heated negotiation) too quickly.  If it gets real bad...I'll just have to do a run one more time with a new employer.  And money isn't a concern.


I will give a final update as to how this has all gone down.  But lessons learned:
1.  NEVER EVER admitting to a upfront school that I'm "currently in China and have this visa."  I don't mind doing the runs while they're possible.

2.  Yunnan authorities really like stamps.

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Criminal record certificates are done by public notaries in mainland China. I've done one myself in Shanghai, but this is true nationwide as well. The notary asked for a statement from my employer that to their knowledge, I do not have a criminal record during my term employment. If you don't have an employer, then it might make sense for them to ask for a statement from the consulate. The notary said that they would be responsible for checking the police records before issuing the certificate. It only took about a week after I submitted the paperwork to the notary before they issued the certificate.

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"Having been lied to about the school's staff, training, classroom environment, student abilities...I don't think I want to stay with this school anymore"


Sounds like you're taking an easier immediate option by going with the school already set up which will leave you fed up, rather than spending some time and hassle finding another school that (hopefully) won't. Which is fair enough, if it's an informed choice. I might set down a red line right now that you will be working in a certain location for a certain amount of time - sounds like the kind of set up that will send you off wherever the need is, with or without your cat. 

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  • 1 year later...

Hi, this query might have answered before but I just couldn't find the relevant one that suits my situation.


I've never been to China before neither I ever had any Chinese visa. In Jan, I've signed one year contract with a school and they agreed to process my Z visa. Classes meant to start from 1st of April as mentioned the contract but they said it's okay to arrive until late April. So finally, I have all my documents ready and out of nowhere they asks to attest/legalise them (which I did ask them about whilst signing the contract 2 months ago and they said attestation NOT required) but now they say, the policy has changed from 1st April, blah!. Attestation process is quite tedious (at least 3-4 weeks). Obviously, this would cause further delays in obtaining work visa.


Hence, they are insisting me to fly there on S2 visa to teach. I refused to do.


So whilst I was gathering documents, I found a better offer and I am keen to accept it (nothing signed yet). 


My questions are: 

A. Do I need to request the school to cancel the signed contract (no money paid in advance)

B. Is this gonna affect my future Z visa applications (like blacklisted or reported foreign experts)? If yes, what are my chances to fight them back?


Thanks in advance. 

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