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What Is An Appropriate Visa For Internship In China?

What Is An Appropriate Visa For Internship In China?

So what is a right visa for internship in China? The answer for this question is: Student Visa. X1 or X2, depends on time plan to study in China. 

But what do we know about M and F visas? What are they for? 

They are types of Chinese Visa for business visits. In past few years they were pretty popular visas to complete internships in China. So far the Chinese government left the question about visas for foreign interns unclear, they were the most convenient way for young specialists to come into China for a short time with business purpose. However, in 2015 there was a big scandal in Hong Kong with one of the largest internship providers in China when all foreign interns with M visa have been departed to their home countries. Obviously the Chinese government made it clear that M visa isn’t the right way to stay in China when completing an internship. F visa still could be a solution but it becomes very rare nowadays and often applicants get rejected while applying for F visa planning to do internship. 

So it’s obvious that a Student visa is the only safe solution left. 

Lecture on how to obtain a Chinese student and do an internship

It means if you want to complete an internship in China you have to firstly find an educational institution in China and then apply for study there. It doesn’t have to be a college or university specifically as there are many language schools for foreigners in China that have a right to provide X visa for their students, it’ better to confirm it with said school before applying (and usually they have that information on their official website). Once you have applied for study, your school must help you to obtain a Student visa, X2 for a short-term study and X1 for long term. X1 visa also requires from you to apply for a residence permit while studying in China. 

Let’s come back to internships. Once you’ve got a student visa you have the right to perform an internship in the city of your study. You just have to make sure that your school administration doesn’t mind it. Sometimes you may need to ask the school administration for an official letter confirming that they support your decision to perform an internship. 

Now we know that if you want to do an internship in China you have to be a holder of student visa, it’s logical because internship is just another level of studying anyway. But then comes a tricky question. 

If you have a right do an internship with a student visa in China, do you also have a right to get paid by your employer? 

The answer is sadly no.  There is only one visa in China that allows you receive a salary – it’s a working visa (with further working permit) and this visa requires a full time employment contract with your employer. So after successful completion of your internship you have a good chance to receive a full time job offer from your internship host company, then you’ll sign a contract with your employer and subsequently receive help to apply for a working visa. Please keep in mind that changing from a student visa to a working visa might require you to come back to your home country.

There is one last thing - If it’s impossible to receive a salary during your internship in China then how come there are many paid internships? It’s simple. “Payment” provided by many host companies is nothing but a small allowance, usually it’s not much than a few thousand RMB and can help the intern cover transportation and perhaps a daily meal during internship. 

This how-to guide in obtaining working permit in China is brought to you by Laowai Career. Laowai Career is a new source for jobs and career opportunities in China. It bridges the language gap by connecting foreigners to excellent companies in China and China companies with competent foreigners.

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