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Advice about working Visas and criminal records


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Hi there all,

So, I am in something of deperate situation here. I have been in China for 15 years and worked in three different companies. I have worked at my current place for 10 years. I am married to a Chinese national and have two kids. I have recently applied for, and passed an interview,for a new job. Yay! Now here comes the twist. To obtain my new working visa I need to complete a criminal record check for my home country, the UK. This is much more stringent than before. I have two offences (fines) from 30 years ago and it seems China now has a zero offence policy, so this would prohibit me from working in China. I cannot find any advice on this matter, regarding people who have lived and worked in China for many years, or those that have married Chinese nationals and have families here.Are there any variations to the policy?

If anyone has any useful insight or advice I will be eternally grateful.




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7 hours ago, xlbtt2413 said:

If anyone has any useful insight or advice I will be eternally grateful.


You need some powerful guanxi 关系 。

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I don’t really see why you need the criminal check if you’re just transferring your residence permit over. I’ve transferred without the need for a check. 


I thought it was just new applicants that needed to do this. Unless they’ve changed it or you’ve not been “working” officially before? 


Otherwise, if you currently have a job. Just stay in it. Don’t change. It’s the new job that requires the check. Either that or, as above, you need some “help” from someone. There might be an agent or someone out there who has enough guanxi.


If the criminal offences are 30 years old and fines, you sure they’ll show up? The only check you used to be able to get as an individual was through Scotland and it simply says a “yes” or “no” to offences. Anyway to get them expunged?

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I thought it was just new applicants that needed to do this. Unless they’ve changed it or you’ve not been “working” officially before? 


When switching to the new system I had to provide all my new documents for the new card, even though I was staying with the same employer (myself).


As for the criminal check, as ChTTay said, try to get them expunged. If you can't, since you're married, that might help since the government doesn't like splitting up families.

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@xlbtt2413 have look here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rehabilitation_of_Offenders_Act_1974


Not having the full details of your history I have no idea if this applies, but according to this article fines are expunged after 5 years so you may not have a record BUT I would double treble check this as I am no expert.

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Oh really? Are you from the uk? Is it still that Scottish system that lets you do it as an individual?


Its possible I may need to switch over this summer then. Is it essentially the same process as a residence permit renewal but you get this card? 

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I'm from Australia, so I'm not too familiar with the UK system.


Aussies can apply for a police check online: https://www.afp.gov.au/what-we-do/services/criminal-records/national-police-checks



Its possible I may need to switch over this summer then. Is it essentially the same process as a residence permit renewal but you get this card? 


Now you asked for it...


The new FWP (Foreigner's Work Permit) card system replaces the old FEC and AEP booklets, combining them into one card.




The requirements under the new system are pretty much:


Always Required (Pretty Much) - Investors and low skill work may not require this
  • A Bachelor's degree or higher
At least one of:
  • 2 Years post graduation work experience (preferably related)
    You will need to provide letter(s) of employment to prove you have at least 2 years relevant work experience. The letter should include your name, period of employment, employer information, your position as well as the name and current email or phone of the person who wrote the letter. This should be stamped with the company stamp or signed.
  • Masters Degree
    A Masters degree or higher
  • Related Degree
    University degree in a directly related field to the job you are applying for. For English teachers this could be English Language, Language Teaching, or such.
  • Certification
    Appropriate certification for your field of work, for example English teachers may use a TEFL certificate.
    This should be authenticated in the country of issue.
Profession Specific
  • Language Teachers
    Your native language must be the language you are going to teach. Nationalities eligible to teach English can be found here.
    Note: Dual nationals, you should be able to use either passport, though the English may be simpler.

When applying, you will need the following documents

Primary Documents Required
To apply for a Foreigner's Work Permit you will need to supply the following documents:
Authentication Overview
The Chinese government requires many foreign documents to be authenticated. This requires the document being authenticated / stamped by an authority whose stamp is recognised by the Chinese government.

The Chinese government recognises the stamp of all Chinese embassies and consulates around the world, as well as all foreign consulates and embassies in China.

The goal then is to find out the requirements of that embassy

Authentication must be done in the country the document was issued in.


Where to apply?
This is all done through SAFEA and has nothing to do with the PSB.
Applications start online at http://fwp.safea.gov.cn where first a business account is created by the employer, after which they add employee information inside, upload all your documents.
The employer will later need to show the originals of all documents when collecting your card.
IF OUTSIDE CHINA the process is similar, but you get a NOTIFICATION LETTER pdf file that you take to the embassy to get your Z-Visa. Your original documents only need be shown after you enter China when collecting the physical card.


Residence Permit
Now we're to the PSB part.
So you're in China, you've got your FWP card, you've registered your residential information with the local police, you're ready!
Go get a photo at a photo shop and make sure they know it's for a visa and give you the appropriate printed out form with the bar code.
Bring your passport, your residential registration form, photo print out, 2 actual photos, print out of the page shown after scanning the QR code on your FWP, photocopies of your current visa, entry stamp, passport information page, residential registration, possibly medical booklet again depending on location.
In some locations the PSB may require your business to register online with them or do online bookings. Check ahead!


It's that simple, and that hard.
Any more questions just reply and I'll answer.





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My reading of this (pdf) is that a fine is treated as non-custodial and will 'have been 'stepped down' by now, while my reading of this is that it therefore won't appear on any Police Certificate. 

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Depends on category of visa.

I didn't need one as I applied for category A visa. 

Further criminal records do not appear on certificates after certain number of years depending on severity of consequence as Roddy s link noted.


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