All are essentially the same thing: an official document, issued by your home country or country of residence, that states you have a clear criminal record. Basically, China wants to ensure foreign criminals do not enter and work in their country. So far, so good.
The procedure for obtaining your criminal record check differs depending on your country of origin yet before we move on to our step-by-step guides, you should know that there are a few prerequisites they all share.
Your criminal record check should be:
- No more than 6 months old
- Signed by the issuing authority
- From your country of current residence PLUS any other country (countries) you have resided in, for more than 6 months, in the last 5 years
- Authenticated, in the issuing country, at a local Chinese Embassy
If you have been working as a TEFL teacher around the world in recent years, this will obviously be a time-consuming endeavour so factor this in when ascertaining your China work visa application time.
Please note that Criminal Record Checks application incur a fee in every country, EXCEPT New Zealand
It’s important to note that China works differently to most other nations – the criminal record check requirement may also differ depending on which province (and city) you intend to work. Some Chinese provinces require federal records whilst, for others, a locally (State) issued certificate will suffice. Differences can even occur between cities IN the same province. Even though the requirement will not be decided by your prospective employer, he/she will still have the most up-to-date information on what kind of criminal record check you will need for your work visa application
Whilst getting a criminal background check will be a somewhat easy and swift affair for some, others (like US citizens and residents) should count on a more complicated procedure, one that can take up to 10 weeks! There are ways to maximise time-efficiency, however, and we’ll detail those on a country-by-country basis.
Here are the short-cuts to our step-by-step guides:
We’ve also included:
This is something you will need when you have had your run of teaching English in China and want to move on elsewhere. Given you will likely have clocked up a year (or more) living in China, you will need a criminal background check and it’s imperative you obtain one before you leave the country.