Documents Required for China: Do's and Don'ts

Roisin Johnson
Roisin Johnson

Originally from the UK, I've been living in China for many years - in roles ranging from teaching, management, and international teacher support services.

 / Nov 14, 2019

As part of your application, you will be asked to submit documents by your recruiter. It sounds simple enough but we want to make sure you do this correctly as it can help save time and mean we can match you with an employer more effectively.


So let’s talk about red tape… China visa authorities require very specific things from documents and spending a bit longer preparing the documents correctly will mean the process of obtaining the working visa is that much easier. To make things more complicated, each region may have variations on the document requirements. For example, did you know Changsha requires TEFL transcripts and Nanjing is one of the few cities to accept a name affidavit your name on the documents doesn’t match your passport? These are just two examples of regional differences – there are many more. Furthermore, different nationalities will have different requirements in some situations. Therefore every visa application and job offer needs to be tailored to the applicant and their personal situation.


This means that before we give a formal offer of employment, we ask for some documents so we can check with the visa team whether the documents will be accepted in different regions, and we know what additional information is needed. The aim is to avoid any unexpected surprises during the visa process.


Now, let’s have a look at what we ask for…


We require all documents are scanned, in colour, and of a high resolution so that if the image is zoomed in, the pixilation is minimal.


1. Passport

Having a valid passport is crucial for getting the correct working visa for the position. If you have dual nationality or multiple passports, you should send a scanned copy of the passport we will use for the visa. As Career China specializes in recruitment into the English teaching sector, all candidates must have a passport from the UK, USA, South Africa, Canada, Australia, Ireland or New Zealand.


The copy of the passport must be scanned and have the passport information page (which is the page with your name and photo on) and include the other page above. This is normally a signature page. 

The reason the first picture will not be accepted is because it is not scanned, and therefore the lighting is poor and makes it difficult to see the information clearly. 

2 .Your degree certificate and TEFL certificate (if you already have the TEFL)

For some candidates, it is possible to authenticate your degree in China which means the process is slightly faster than authenticating the degree at home. However, for this the Chinese authorities a very high quality, scanned copy of your degree certificate. 

The reason the first example will not be accepted is because it is not scanned and therefore will not be accepted for the authentication process in China (if applicable). The second example will not be accepted because it is not in colour and not scanned.

3. Degree transcripts and TEFL transcripts (if you have the TEFL already)

As part of the authentication process, your degree transcripts mat be reviewed. Some cities will also review TEFL transcripts to check for certain modules before approving a work permit.


The transcripts should clearly show a student identification number, or a unique code such as a social security number (SSN). If the degree is being authenticated in China, the authorities may call your university to confirm you were a student there and the degree certificate is genuine. For American application, the SSN (social security number) is used to help with the authentication process.


The transcripts should show a break-down of the modules takes and the grade. 

The first example will not be accepted because it is not a scanned copy of the transcripts.


The purpose of this is not to make your life more difficult, although it might seem like this! We hope this helps to make your application smoother. If you experience any difficulties, reach out to your career consultant or to our customer service department on


Have more questions about China? Check out The Ultimate Guide for Moving To China

  • How to Get a U.S. Passport

    Unlike residents of other countries, many residents of the USA do not have passports. Here are the steps for how to get a US passport so you can obtain your Chinese working visa & move to China!

  • China Work Permit vs. China Work Certificate

    We explain the difference between a work permit, work certificate, and resident permit which are needed to get a work visa in China.

  • china visa process
    What To Know About the Visa Process for China

    An overview to the whole process of applying to work in China, from your interview to the visa application.

    china visa process
Roisin Johnson

Originally from the UK, I've been living in China for many years - in roles ranging from teaching, management, and international teacher support services.