How to get your legal work visa for China:

In order to get your CHINESE WORK VISA you will need to follow the process to ATTEST the necessary documents.

The process is similar for both TEFL and MAINSTREAM teachers, with the

difference being the lack or addition of a TEFL certificate.

If you not a TEFL teacher, then please ignore the references to this document.

The documents that you need to get your CHINESE WORK VISA are:

  • Degree
  • Police certificate
  • TEFL certificate (if appropriate)

It is recommended to start the ATTESTMENT procedure once you have all 3 of these documents, the police certificate often takes the longest so, if you have not applied for one yet, do that first.


Apply for a police certificate, this can be done at your local police station. You can then take the fingerprints with you and use a courier to send it directly to SAP Head Office in Pretoria for processing

This will speed things up.


If your degree was obtained at a mainstream tertiary institution, then you will need to take it to the Department of Higher Education. A letter will be issued, verifying the relevant tertiary institution as a recognised entity.

(if your degree was issued by a smaller institution, you will need to follow the steps as laid down for a TEFL certificate)

DEPT OF HIGHER EDUC: 012 3125911

123 Francis Baard Street, Pretoria (free service)


You will need to have a notarised copy made of your TEFL certificate; this can be

done at a notary (there may be a fee involved here) and it then needs to go your

closest High Court for notarisation to be authenticated.

Your TEFL certificate, plus the notarised copy and the High Court’s authentication must then go to DIRCO.


The degree (with the letter issued by the Department of Education) and your police certificate (and notarised and authenticated TEFL certificate – if applicable) is then taken to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) where it is then authenticated.

DIRCO: 012 3511726

OR Tambo Building, 460 Soutpansberg Road, Rietondale, Pretoria (free service)


All your documents now need to be taken to your closes Chinese Embassy or

Consulate for the final verification and their stamps. Some Embassy’s/Consulates charge approximately R500 for this service, others do not – please call to make sure.

CHINESE EMBASSY and CONSULATE locations and contact details

authenticating services and procedures


Once you have completed this entire process, you need to scan and email copies of these documents to SA-Recruitment as well as your school.

Your school in China needs these documents to begin the process of getting your Z-visa so this needs to be sent to the school as soon as possible as their processes

will take several weeks.


If you have not done your medical exam, now is the time to get it done. Your school will be able to send you the relevant form to complete, but SA-Recruitment can also send this to you. There are costs involved in this as you will need to see your GP and then also have blood work and x-rays done.


Your school will email you your Invitation/Work Permit letter. (some schools do courier these letters to you). You need to print this in colour and make your way to your closes Chinese Visa Agency office.

They have offices in Cape Town/Johannesburg and Durban. Please note that these offices are NOT at the Consulates.

You will need to take the following documents with you:

  • Passport
  • Medical examination
  • Invitation/Work Permit letter
  • (we recommend taking your employment contract with you)
  • (we recommend taking 2 passport photos with you)

The fee for this is approximately R450, but please confirm this with the relevant

centre and whether they have credit card machines for payment.

Once you have handed in your paperwork and your passport, you will receive a sms

to collect your stamped passport from the same visa office. Cape Town and Durban

has a processing time of about 5 working days, Johannesburg about 3 working days.


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