For any foreign citizens in China, visa is always an issue that could create lots of stress. A new visa is required when they are switching employers or deciding to be an entrepreneur. Although the process and documents required are similar, for those who decided to set up their own business, they could apply for the new visa as if they are the employee of their own company. Therefore, the incorporation process of the new company in China is the first step.


The general application processes:

1. Temporary residence registration at the police station (1 business day);

2. Employer registers a new account in the system if there is no previous existing account (2 business days);

3. Application for Work Permit (15 business days);

4. Application for Residence Permit (7 business days).


Once the Work Permit application is lodged under the new employee, the Entry ad Exit Administration Bureau should be notified and process to cancel the existing Residence Permit under the previous employee. The applicant would be granted with 1-month M visa (bridging visa) that allow them to stay on shore until the new RP is obtained.


Applicant Document Checklist:

1. Passport with valid Residence Permit attached (30 days before expiry date)

2. Resume (in English or Chinese)

3. Original of degree (Notarization required for degrees issued overseas)

4. No Criminal Record from applicant’s home country

5. Original Employment Contract

6. Cancellation of Work Permit from the current employer

7. Temporary Residence Registration Form

8. Original resignation letters to the current employer (2 documents required, stamped by the employers)

9. Three (3) passport photos

10. HSK certificate (optional)


The new employer company is required to provide: 

1. Copy of the business license

2. Request Form for employment


Please note:

1. If the application for switching visas is lodged while the current one is expiring within 30 days, the process will essentially be the same as applying for a new visa. Therefore, if possible, prepare for switching process early.

2. For HK, Taiwan and Macau citizens, Employment Permits are no longer required from Sept, 2018. All employment rules are as per China citizens.

3. The success rate of application might be discounted if the current employer and the new employer are from different industry. For instance, the current one is an accounting firm and the new one is a restaurant.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *