How can I legally teach in China?

Teaching English in China has many different needs, as anybody who has looked into teaching English in China for any length of time knows. Not at all, and it's the result of a system that's difficult to comprehend and constantly changes at the level of the school, municipal, and even provincial.

a few things to keep in mind

In China, the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) regulates the criteria for foreigners to teach English there. This government agency determines the minimum criteria for all employees from other countries who want to work in China.

There is no uniform interpretation or enforcement of these rules on a provincial level, therefore some cities are more liberal than others when it comes to hiring foreign workers.

There are certain criteria for getting a Z Visa to work lawfully in China, and the main objective is to verify that you are qualified.

Teaching English in China Requires a Few Essential Qualifications.

According to current information, teaching English in China requires the following qualifications:

A four-year college degree

One and a half years of professional experience (or TEFL certification)

Investigation of criminal history by a native English speaker

These are the criteria SAFEA suggests, and a candidate should be able to satisfy all four of them. There are certain prerequisites to getting a job in the United States, but fulfilling them does not guarantee you'll obtain your ideal job straight away. Different companies may set their own criteria (more on this below), and the most prestigious positions can be just as demanding as those back home.

What They're Trying to Say

a four-year college degree

For the Chinese government, it's important that the English instructors who are passing on their knowledge to the country's young have completed their own education. They prefer instructors with at least a 4-year degree (or the equivalent) in order to achieve this objective, although it is irrelevant what topic they studied in college. In the United States, this is often referred to as a four-year degree, while in the United Kingdom, it only takes three years.

In China, without a degree, finding a legal career will be difficult, so you're best off looking elsewhere.

Minimum of Two Years of Professional Experience

The Chinese government wants English instructors with some prior teaching experience before placing them in a classroom (especially at public schools). However, when it comes to teaching in China, there are many schools and recruiters, such as the well-known EF, that take less or are ready to accept experience in exchange for a teaching degree.

English as a Second Language (Native Speaker)

This is, by far, the most strictly enforced of all the criteria for becoming a Chinese teacher. As a result of student and parent demand, schools often require that all of their instructors be native English speakers. When it comes to getting a job as a teacher, experience doesn't matter nearly as much as proficiency in English or a heavy accent.

There are many of excellent (and terrible) Chinese instructors who cannot claim English as their first language. It is not, however, impossible, and if you fall into this group, we don't advise giving up hope.

Checks for Criminal History

A background check is now required for everyone seeking for a Z visa after the Chinese government strengthened border security procedures in recent years.

A nationwide criminal check is progressively being established (still based on province), although some regions still accept a statewide criminal check from anybody wanting to teach English in China (much as the FBI check for South Korea and other locales for teaching English abroad).

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