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To move to Ningbo?

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Well done Aaron, and best of luck. Don't forget there will be a bit of a culture shock initially so if you're not really enjoying yourself,   give it some time and it will get better. 

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Hello again,


Just an update since i have moved on a bit towards moving to China, perhaps this might be of use for anyone searching around.


Initial problems confirming start date

So the offer I received was actually a second choice offer, they had originally made offer to someone else who didn't turn up so came back to me. In that period of time I had started work somewhere else and completed my probation period. My notice period increased from 1 month to 3 months which meant it became awkward to confirm my start date with HR as she felt she did not have authority to confirm the additional delay.


Although I accepted an offer email, she would not issue me with my contract until the start date was confirmed. However to meet my suggested start date I had to hand in my notice to not cause further setbacks. This made me feel a bit uneasy but I thought it would go quite smoothly, the HR lady then would not issue me with my contract until until the start date 'issue' had been sorted out, It felt a long 2 week period of emails of her saying she is going to get hold of the hiring manager to confirm, but not really coming back to me.


After not having my emails replied to in a speed that would give me peace I called her directly and decided to try and move the situation on by asking for a meeting with the hiring manager directly. The hiring manger was very lovely and the issue was resolved with the start date, although it took another week or two to get this and the contract in writing from girl in HR. She actually sent it with a second note telling me that she was leaving the organisation and with her colleagues details, which may have made sense with how quiet she had been.


My learning was that it’s good to always ask questions and ask for progress updates without inferring blame on anyone. When I asked for the meeting with the hiring manager I was actually trying to go over the persons head, but I did not want her to feel that way so I tried to make it sound mutually beneficial and she actually seemed very happy with that outcome.


I'm the type of person who is always making contingency plans in case things don't work out, so perhaps my level of nervousness is a bit over the top but I feel it’s beneficial to have a predisposition to asking questions rather than waiting.


Obtaining Invitation to work from local government

I had been rushing to get all of my documents prepared in panic. Even though there was 2.5 months to get my visa, I felt that with all of the steps involved things could be a little bit tight.


  1. Obtaining degree verification, work experience certificate and police check and verification in UK actually has a total lead time of one month 
  2. Employer obtaining the local government invitation to work (was advised) could take one month.
  3. Apply for a Z Visa takes one week (appointment can be 3 week wait).


While this is a pretty standard process detailed in many places online and probably on this forum, I would highly recommend anyone considering a move to china and actively looking for opportunities to begin obtaining the police check (6 month validity) early to speed things up. 


In summary, with the lead time for everything being listed above as around 2 months minimum, starting in one month would really have not been possible anyway.


Fortunately the HR were able to obtain my invitation to work from the local government within one week, this is an electronic (bar coded) document that I can use over email. Interestingly,  it was sent back to me the day after I chased for it, I feel very relieved as I should now be ready with a month to spare. I had pre-booked my appointment for my Z visa as I didn't want to get caught in the busy pre summer period.


So I feel my process is expedited somewhat and took 6-8 weeks end to end. I just wanted to make a note for anyone who happened to be reading for their realistic expectation of the time to obtain a visa for working in china.



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