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China not recognizing South Africans as native English speakers


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I just wanted to check if anyone has heard about this recent development. A friend of mine who lives in Taiwan and recruits teachers for schools in China just told me that this will only affect SA teachers in Shanghai, Jiangsu Province and Sichuan Province. 
Apparently the information was released 2 days ago, but will go into effect on May 1st.

Without this recognition, SA teachers would be denied Z visas for those areas.

Anyone hear anything about this?

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I got more information from my friend. She said



Just letting you know that we just got some unfortunate news from the Shanghai Foreign Expert Bureau. In line with the South Region and East 2nd tier cities, they have decided that South African citizens without a Degree from the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand or Ireland no longer qualify as "Native Speakers", and will not be issued Foreign Expert Certificates. With typically short notice given, this policy is effective May 1st.

South African teachers currently employed will be able to renew their visa once, provided it expires before August 2016. Current teachers whose visa expires after this date will not be eligible for renewal.

We're very disappointed with this policy, but there's really nothing we can do to influence things. We will contact South African SH candidates already in the pipeline, and ask you to send all future South African candidates without a "native speaker" degree, but with 2+ years of teaching experience for Beijing positions (as far as we know, the only city where they are still visa eligible)."

So basically, it seems there is nothing for SA teachers to do other than get a degree from one of those eligible countries, even if they have a degree already. Even getting another Teacher's Cert wouldn't be sufficient because it's the 3/4 year degree that is required for the Z visa.

I feel fortunate for being Canadian, but sad news for a lot of my SA friends.
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Since when were English teachers ever able to get a job without a degree?  :roll:  I thought this was the basic standard for any foreign expert.  And to get a FEC without a degree took 10 years experience plus extra paperwork saying they couldn't get anyone else, blah blah.  


Also, "South African citizens without a Degree from the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand or Ireland"?  So, where are they from, South Africa or one of the other countries?

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@vellocet - nobody said they didn't have degrees. They have degrees from SA, which used to satisfy the requirements for the Z visa. Unfortunately, that has now changed. As it stands now, if a South African has a degree from the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand or Ireland they will be okay. If they don't, they won't be able to get their visas renewed.

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Just looks like Vellocet misread.


As you've said in this thread, it seems to just be in those provinces. We have a few South Africans working for us now and I believe we have some more coming. It doesn't sound this is happening in Beijing. As above, if it's true, it would just be less options for South Africans. You could hope that it doesn't extend to all provinces but I think these things do tend to spread.


From personal experience, A fair number of Chinese parents and students don't really consider South Africans native speakers. For some, English is technically a second language, right? (1. Africaans 2. English)

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I think you are right about it spreading. That seems to be the way they do things here.


South Africa has eleven official languages with Afrikaans being spoken third most (13.5%) and English fourth (9.6%). Zulu (22.7%) is first and Xhosa (16%) is second.


I can see why it's up for debate.  

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Yeah, well, if you read the sentence again it's ambiguous and can be read two ways. 


As for native speakers, there are a ton of Africans and people from the Middle East and India teaching English in my town.  They're students at the medical college doing part-time work and thus laws like this won't touch them. 

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Can you say that most white South Africans speak Africaans as oppose to any other of the S.A languages (excluding English)?

I don't know much about this country. The teachers we have are mostly white. They all seem to speak some level of Africaans.

Don't worry Vellocet ;-)

Not sure how this will pan out. Might end up not actually being enforced anyway OR if the school has some connections they could just get round it.

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