Among the flurry of documents you’ll need to collect for your China Work Visa application is a criminal background check. A government-issued certificate that tells the story of your illegal past. Or, preferably, lack thereof. Previously if you had a minor criminal conviction, all was not lost. With the exception of serious crimes, the issue of employment was dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Unfortunately this has changed. Now, any infraction listed on your criminal Background Check (or Police Certificate) will mean that you will be denied your visa. But don’t worry, if you’ve had a speeding fine or some minor traffic violation, this will not appear on your background check and prevent you from getting a work visa.
If you live in Ireland or have done for 6+ months, in the last 5 years, you’ll need a criminal background check. You generally request one from your local Garda Station and we’ll tell you how to do that in just a minute.
First, however, you need to ensure:
- That your criminal record is no more than 6 months old. The six-month validity starts from the day it is issued. It is counted up to and including the date of your visa application. Do note that, as far as Ireland is concerned, the document is valid for 12 months, It’s the Chinese requirement that you’ll need to abide by.
Applying before you have a teaching job lined up makes sense in some circumstance. US citizens, for example, know that their process can take upwards of two months so they usually get a head start. As a resident of Ireland, that’s not the case. The whole process, from beginning to end, should only take about 3-4 weeks (usually only 2) and that includes having the document authenticated by the Chinese Government. If you know your local Garda on a personal level, there has been cases applicants getting their certificate in a matter of days.
Here is the PDF of the Irish Police Certificate you can download.
In Ireland, Police Certificates are issued free of charge