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Chinese Medical Exams and Visa Questions


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I am on the verge of completing my TEFL certificate and would like to work in mainland China. I do not have a job yet as I am completing the certificate first. I was looking at the requirements for a medical exam and they are quite vague. It does not stress how long an exam may have validity for. I am able to get the required medical elements plus ECG and Chest xray done in the UK but I do not know if I need a medical from my home country, one from China or both. Does the UK one suffice if it covers all of the diseases etc that the Embassy have noted?


I was also wondering, if I got the medical checked and went to China for a vacation with tourist visa before getting a job, could I leave China, get a job offer for TEFL and then get the working visa processed and picked up in a Chinese embassy in another area like Japan or Hong Kong before re-entering China? I would of course say to a prospective employer to say "will be picked up in Hong Kong."  


Does anyone have any answers on this? The Chinese authorities are impossible to reach and most of my friends who worked there are clueless because they worked as tourists for cash but I don't want to risk deportation etc. 


Thanks in advance. 

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It might depend where you work. In Beijing, If you have a medical exam done in your home country, you still have to go to the Beijing medical exam clinic to have the tests 'authorized'. If you don't have any tests you need, then you can have them done there. For this reason, seems like it's easier and cheaper just to get the whole thing done here upon arrival.


When I applied to work in Yinchuan. Tests were done upon arrival at a designated clinic. The school just took teachers there and did the tests one morning.


Unless you are explicitly told (by your employer or the embassy) that you need the medical exam for the actual Z visa (that you'd apply for in your home country), I'd plan to do it on arrival.


You shouldn't need a medical exam for a tourist visa. You could go and have the medical done in Beijing though, while you're here as a tourist. You can just go there and check the box 'work'. They'll do the right tests and you can pick them up later.


Technically you can only get work visa's processed in your home country. However, for a long time you've also been able to do it in Hong Kong. Recently there have been some reports of people not being able to process the documents in HK but others saying that they have done so (there is a HK Visa thread on this forum).


If I were you, I'd sort yourself out with a job while still in the UK. Apply for the correct work Z visa while in the UK then, once you've got it, head to China.


As for the job hunt, you don't necessarily need to wait to apply for jobs before you've completed the TEFL. Most places that will hire you based on a TEFL (an online one and/or one that isn't really accredited) will likely hire you without one. You can also just write that you have it, in anticipation of getting it shortly. Schools should currently be hiring for Feb starts right now.

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Do the medical exam after you arrive in China. It will be a lot less hassle.

I managed to get a Z visa in Hong Kong in December 2014. As far as I know, the invitation for the visa should state the location where the visa will be applied for. So you won't be able to do it in Hong Kong unless it specifically says this on the invitation.

By the way, it is very time consuming to arrange a Z visa. Many companies ask you to come over on a different visa first, and then convert to a Z visa (involving a trip to Hong Kong or back to your home country) after you have arrived. I'm not saying you should or shouldn't do this - just be aware that it is common practice.

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The time at our school is, at best, 6 weeks from the point you've been hired to actually being able to arrive in China.

As for coming over on an L visa and then tranaferring, I'd disagree that it's common practice now with teaching jobs. I'd have doubts about any school that asked you to do this. It may work out fine but you'd be the one working illegally while you wait. They might just keep stringing you along with the promise of a Z that never materialises. If you meet all the requirements to work as an English teacher in China there should be no reason to arrive on a different visa. The school can sort it out before you come. If they say they can't, maybe they don't have the authorisation to even hire foreign teachers.

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