First, I secured a job in China prior to applying for my Z Visa.
Next, my employer mailed me the contract and a Physical Examination Record for Foreigners form to be completed by my physician. The form includes everything from blood work to a vision test. You’ll also notice at the top of the page there is a section to attach a photo. I did a quick Google search and found the cheapest place to get a photo done with the best reviews. I brought my form with me so the photographer knew the exact size of photo that was required. Once I had my photo in hand I brought it over to my physician. This part took forever as the physician I chose to go to decided to send me to several different specialists to get all the tests done. I have friends who mentioned that they were able to go to walk-in clinics and get everything done in one visit. Once all the tests were completed, my physician was required to stamp all the pages and record the results. After completing the form, he asked me to pay $50 (really bro??), I left the office, got home and jumped for joy.
Third, a criminal background check was required. I headed to the nearest Police Headquarters with two-pieces of government issued ID, one that contained a photo and a signature. I paid the $20 fee and it was mailed to me within 2 weeks.
The next step was to send my employer the required documents; within a few weeks I received a package with the documents I needed to apply for a Z Class Chinese Visa (the only Visa worth having as a foreigner working in China, but that’s for a later post). The package from my employer included a Foreign Experts Work Permit, an Official Invitation Notice for a Chinese Work Visa and other documents in Chinese that I couldn’t read even if I tried. I found my nearest Chinese Consulate, went to their website, completed the Z Visa Form online, printed it, made an appointment, grabbed all my documents including my passport and skipped over to the Consulate. Really though, I felt like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.
At the Chinese Consulate I handed over my documents, paid the fee, which was approximately $150 +tax. I headed back to the Consulate five days later to pick up my passport, which had my Chinese Z Visa attached inside.
I almost peed my pants when it was handed to me; I was ecstatic for my new adventure ahead. A few days later I purchased my one-way ticket to Harbin, China.
Fast forward, the day after I arrived in China I headed to the police station with my co-worker to register and a few days later I had to head to the hospital to have the physical exam done again. The hospital was an experience in itself, it was nothing like I experienced in Canada. There were tons of people and I had to head to different rooms to have the same tests done again; the weirdest part was the blood test and the urine test. When my blood was taken I was sitting beside several other people having their blood taken as well. I’m already squeamish when it comes to blood so I had to try not to faint as I placed my skinny arm on the table to get my blood taken. After I peed into the little test tube I had to place it in a test tube holder that included many other test tubes full of other people’s urine. It was extremely weird. Two weeks later we headed over to the local Public Security Bureau (PSB) to apply for my Residence Permit I handed them my passport which they kept for two weeks, there was no escaping China. Two weeks later I felt a sense of relief and happiness.
If you haven’t had a chance, don’t forget to watch my video I Moved to China which briefly describes what I had to go through prior to arriving in China.
Friends, have of you been through this before in China or in other countries? Let me know below!