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School Demanding 6k Payment for Z-visa Transfer


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My current school manager is demanding 6,000RMB from my next employer to do the z-visa transfer. If they don't come to an agreement then I'll have to do the whole z-visa process from scratch which involves leaving the country, etc. 

I've never heard of anything like this before. It's not like I'm being bought out of my contract - I will have served my 3 months notice PLUS an extra six weeks I agreed to do this morning as a FAVOUR. Then in the evening she tells me she is demanding money from them and complains that they are being difficult...

Is it standard practice in China to demand payment when transferring a teacher to a new school? Is it legal (and does that make any difference)?


What the hell?

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No, it is not standard. This is a money grab. Sorry that you have to go through this. I'm just gonna brainstorm some ideas below:


Find out who is making this demand and go over their head. This is likely your schools 外办公室 which takes care of all visa stuff as well as students who want to study abroad in either direction. Is this just one employee there making the demand or is it the head of the office.


Ask them where the rule is written down that makes this demand and have them show it to you. Is it in your contract? Assuming they are in fact making a money grab, then asking them to show where this is written down will call their bluff.


You can always go directly to the dean or assistant dean of the school and see what they have to say. Don't tell them someone is asking for money. Ask questions about the process of changing schools. Ask if you will need to pay anything and see what he/she says. If you can't get to the dean or they brush you off because it isn't their job, try different people in the 外办公室 and ask similar questions. If it is a big school, there will be quite a few people in this department. 


Not sure how big of a city you are in but where I'm at there is "the" place to take care of visa stuff. With a little shmoozing a lot can get done under the table. They should also be able to answer questions about how normal this is.


These are all suggestions but what best fits your situation at your school will greatly depend on the power structure there.


If you aren't fluent in Chinese, bring someone to help you translate as to avoid a word or two changing the whole situation for the worse. Perhaps your school has a translation major and one of the upper classman would be willing to help you work through this. Remember, in China teachers can make big requests from students.

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I'm in the process of doing this from one international school to another and there has been no mention of money being part of the process. I have a hard time believing it's anything other than a money grab. 

Shining some light on what the person is doing could be helpful as 艾墨本 suggests, but it could also backfire too. They could do something that could stop you from getting a new visa altogether. It's probably a lot easier if you are at a school or university, rather than at a training center.


Good luck.



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Money grab, maybe, but we're short on details as to why.


OP mentions he gave 3 months notice, but how long was the school expecting him to be there?  There is a non-trivial cost for each Z-Visa a school applies for.


If OP originally signed up for a year, but ends up leaving after 6 months (e.g. gave notice 3 months in), then the school is probably feeling a little shortchanged on z-visa costs that they cannot recover.

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艾墨本, thank you for the suggestions although I already acted on this before seeing the comments here. I believe there is only one boss above the person I'm dealing with.


imron - I had originally signed up to do a second year with the school, but changed my mind shortly after. This was before the second year actually started. They hadn't given me a new residence permit at this point. When my permit was nearing expiry they reapplied to extend it to the end of my notice period. I don't know if they lost any money here but this was never part of the conversation. 



Anyway, they had been dragging their feet regarding the transfer process prior to this. Before the 6k thing even came up the new school told me that my school was considering not doing the transfer because I had apparently sworn at the headteacher. What actually happened is that I had a heated argument with our HR guy as he refused to communicate with HR at the new school (which was obviously essential to complete the transfer).


I heard this morning from the new school that my manager had been badmouthing me, was reluctant to let me go, and was generally not happy with me (yet simultaneously trying to sell me as "a really ok teacher!"). They weren't going to pay the 6k because they were doubtful my school would actually follow through and extend my z-visa, as opposed to putting me on a business visa or something else. They mentioned some sort of middle man.


At this point I decided that they had no right to interfere with my reputation at the new employer. I was fed up with her playing god with my visa and future position. She was acting like she was representing me, and told them "oh you don't want to spend money on him? I can find him a better job." I haven't signed anything with the new school, and I am concerned they might pull out because of all this drama.


So today (perhaps against better judgement) I made a big scene and walked out of classes demanding that the manager sort it out. In front of parents and new staff...it wasn't pretty.


I arranged to meet the manager with the FT manager to translate. She's telling me that she asked for the 6k because the new school wanted all my documents sorted out ASAP. Our school would only agree to release everything at the end of my contract, and would extend my visa for ten days after I finish. She was adamant that this was enough time for the new school to complete the process, and said that she would only release documents early if she got the 6k. The new school told me they don't understand why she wouldn't sort the documents earlier.


She also denied that anybody had said anything bad about me to the new school. So somebody is lying. I doubt it's the new school because they things they told me coincided with events at my school... Is it a magic coincidence that they things they told me just so happened to make sense in the context of my year at the school?


In the meeting I played hardball and laid down some options for her. Either pay me off today and I'll book flights asap, or let me finish the contract (ie the 3 month notice period without the extra 6 weeks) as normal and pay me off at the end of that - with no transfer and no 6k nonsense. We have agreed and signed on the latter. The only troubling thing is that I am due to receive my final salary (including apartment deposit etc) on the very day that my residence permit expires.


Even if the 6k rhetoric makes any sense, I don't appreciate them talking about me to the new employer and then denying it after the fact.


Is there any set of circumstances that can justify how they have handled this?



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On 6/4/2017 at 7:54 AM, Jon Long said:

Lesson: find a good employer who values you!

You're a token foreign teacher in China. They just need a foreign face without an accent.


On 6/3/2017 at 9:25 PM, Villain_101 said:

Is there any set of circumstances that can justify how they have handled this?

Besides money? Nope. Management is being childish. This is the China I know and come across over and over. Something similar happened to a Chinese coworker under the pretense that she didn't give the man enough gifts. 

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