Tick list for Canadian citizens applying for work visa and flying to China

This article was last updated 20th May 2022. Be sure to check at each stage for any updates to the procedures. For any questions please get contact with your Gold Star recruiter,  contact us here or speak with the HR department at your school. Very useful groups to join with lots of up-to-date information – WeChat group “Canadians trying to get to China”. Download WeChat app and add the WeChat ID “Altinium” as a contact and ask him to add you to the group.– Canucks in China– Foreigners Stuck Outside China Facebook group– China Visa page on Reddit Important note about your passport:Your passport must have at least 1 year validity and 2 blank pages and have no damage such as creased pages or water damaged pages. If your passport does not meet these criteria your work visa could well be rejected, so please apply for a new passport. Please note, if you already have a residence permit from China that expired after 28 March 2020, you can apply for a renewed work visa. Please contact us for details. 1) Get required documents notarised and authenticated Apply for a criminal background check at from a local police station in Canada or here. This is an official statement stating that you do not have a criminal record in the country that issued your passport. This document will be valid for the purpose of the China visa application for six months from its issue date. -Get your degree certificate, TEFL certificate (in some cases required, check with your school) and criminal background check notarized and authenticated. Process:1- Get a high quality colour copies of your degree certificate and TEFL certificate notarised by a local public notary or lawyer.2- Then get your degree certificate, TEFL certificate and criminal background check documents authenticated provincial authority responsible for authentication, as lsited here: Québec – Chambre des notaires de Québec Ontario – Official Document Services British Columbia – Order in Council Administrative Office Alberta – Deputy Provincial Secretary’s Office Saskatchewan – Ministry of Justice and Attorney General Manitoba – Commissioner for Oaths/Notary Public New Brunswick – Executive Council Office Nova Scotia – Department of Justice Prince Edward Island – Department of Justice and Public Safety Newfoundland – Deputy Minister’s Office Nunavut – Nunavut Court of Justice Northwest Territories – Department of Justice Yukon – The Commissioner of Yukon List of all contact details for locations in Canada where to get documents authenticated. Visa Agents -Consider using a visa agent to assist with the process. They can offer free advice or take care of the entire process for a fee. Some suggested visa agents: ALSCCIBT VisasChina Visa Canada ServiceHive Google China visa agents in your city for more options Medical check certificateYou may be required to provide this, however, you may not. Please check with your school to ask if it is required.-Book an appointment with your local doctor-Download and print this form and take it to the doctor’s with you-You might not have to have the blood test, chest x-ray or ECC tests done, please check with your school-Make sure the doctor writes ‘healthy’ and signs at the bottom of the form-Doctor must stamp over your photo on the top right of the form and at the bottom of the form-The health check certificate is valid for 6 months from date it was issued 2) Get a letter from your employer stating why it is essential that you enter China -You will need this for step 11, when uploading your COVID test results –See this guide for what to include in the letter. Example letter 1. Example letter 2. 3) Get documents legalized by Chinese Visa Center Once the copy of your degree certificate, TEFL certificate and criminal background check are notarized and certified, the national stamp / seal must then be “authenticated” or “legalized” by the Chinese Visa Center. –FAQ on legalising documents–Step by step guide for getting documents legalised by Chinese embassy -We have heard recently that you also need to submit a letter from your employer stating why it is essential you move to China (as detailed in step 2 above) and a letter written by yourself, also stating why it is essential that you move to China, both need to be submitted with your application to get your documents authenticated. -Getting an appointment can be tricky, we recommend using a visa agent to book the appointment as they can have a preferential access to appointments. See links at the start of this guide suggested for visa agents. -Try phoning, emailing and booking an appointment online regularly. Use ‘URGENT’ in your email title. We have heard from teachers who were first told there was a long delay for booking an appointment and when they tried again a few days later managed to get an appointment for the following week. -If you have been fully vaccinated against COVID, provide evidence when booking

Tick list for Canadian citizens applying for work visa and flying to China

For any questions please get contact with your Gold Star recruiter,  contact us here or speak with the HR department at your school.

Very useful groups to join with lots of up-to-date information

– WeChat group “Canadians trying to get to China”. Download WeChat app and add the WeChat ID “Altinium” as a contact and ask him to add you to the group.
– Canucks in China
– Foreigners Stuck Outside China Facebook group
– China Visa page on Reddit

Important note about your passport:
Your passport must have at least 1 year validity and 2 blank pages and have no damage such as creased pages or water damaged pages. If your passport does not meet these criteria your work visa could well be rejected, so please apply for a new passport.

Please note, if you already have a residence permit from China that expired after 28 March 2020, you can apply for a renewed work visa. Please contact us for details.

1) Get required documents notarised and authenticated

Apply for a criminal background check at from a local police station in Canada or here. This is an official statement stating that you do not have a criminal record in the country that issued your passport. This document will be valid for the purpose of the China visa application for six months from its issue date.

-Get your degree certificate, TEFL certificate (in some cases required, check with your school) and criminal background check notarized and authenticated.

Process:
1- Get a high quality colour copies of your degree certificate and TEFL certificate notarised by a local public notary or lawyer.
2- Then get your degree certificate, TEFL certificate and criminal background check documents authenticated provincial authority responsible for authentication, as lsited here:

Québec – Chambre des notaires de Québec

Ontario – Official Document Services

British Columbia – Order in Council Administrative Office

Alberta – Deputy Provincial Secretary’s Office

Saskatchewan – Ministry of Justice and Attorney General

Manitoba – Commissioner for Oaths/Notary Public

New Brunswick – Executive Council Office

Nova Scotia – Department of Justice

Prince Edward Island – Department of Justice and Public Safety

Newfoundland – Deputy Minister’s Office

Nunavut – Nunavut Court of Justice

Northwest Territories – Department of Justice

Yukon – The Commissioner of Yukon

List of all contact details for locations in Canada where to get documents authenticated.

Visa Agents

-Consider using a visa agent to assist with the process. They can offer free advice or take care of the entire process for a fee. Some suggested visa agents:

ALSC
CIBT Visas
China Visa Canada Service
Hive

Google China visa agents in your city for more options

Medical check certificate
You may be required to provide this, however, you may not. Please check with your school to ask if it is required.
-Book an appointment with your local doctor
-Download and print this form and take it to the doctor’s with you
-You might not have to have the blood test, chest x-ray or ECC tests done, please check with your school
-Make sure the doctor writes ‘healthy’ and signs at the bottom of the form
-Doctor must stamp over your photo on the top right of the form and at the bottom of the form
-The health check certificate is valid for 6 months from date it was issued

2) Get a letter from your employer stating why it is essential that you enter China

-You will need this for step 11, when uploading your COVID test results

–See this guide for what to include in the letter. Example letter 1. Example letter 2.

3) Get documents legalized by Chinese Visa Center

Once the copy of your degree certificate, TEFL certificate and criminal background check are notarized and certified, the national stamp / seal must then be “authenticated” or “legalized” by the Chinese Visa Center.

–FAQ on legalising documents
–Step by step guide for getting documents legalised by Chinese embassy

-We have heard recently that you also need to submit a letter from your employer stating why it is essential you move to China (as detailed in step 2 above) and a letter written by yourself, also stating why it is essential that you move to China, both need to be submitted with your application to get your documents authenticated.

-Getting an appointment can be tricky, we recommend using a visa agent to book the appointment as they can have a preferential access to appointments. See links at the start of this guide suggested for visa agents.

-Try phoning, emailing and booking an appointment online regularly. Use ‘URGENT’ in your email title. We have heard from teachers who were first told there was a long delay for booking an appointment and when they tried again a few days later managed to get an appointment for the following week.

-If you have been fully vaccinated against COVID, provide evidence when booking your visa appointment, it will likely help your application.

-Please note: we have heard from teachers who have applied for Z, M, or F visas. Once they arrive in China the visa is then converted to a residence permit by the school which allows you to live and work in China. Please check with your school on what type of visa you should apply for.

-You can have the legalized documents posted back to you

China Visa Application Centre – Ottawa
www.visaforchina.org
Suite 1450.
220 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa ON K1P 5Z9
Tel: 613-563-8472
ottawacenter@visaforchina.org

China Visa Application Centre – Toronto
www.visaforchina.org
Suite 1501.
393 University Avenue
Toronto ON M5G 1E6
Tel: 416-345-8472
torontocenter@visaforchina.org

China Visa Application Centre – Vancouver
www.visaforchina.org
Suite 250.
999 West Broadway
Vancouver BC V5Z 1K5
Tel: 604-336-8866
vancouvercenter@visaforchina.org

China Visa Application Centre – Calgary
www.visaforchina.org
Suite 200.
855 8th Avenue SW
Calgary AB T2P 3P1
Tel: 403-930-2288
calgarycenter@visaforchina.org

China Visa Application Centre – Montreal
www.visaforchina.org
Suite 700.
2000 Mansfield Street
Montreal Quebec H3A 2Z6
Tel: 514-680-8472
montrealcenter@visaforchina.org
montrealcenter2000@gmail.com

-How to book an appointment 

Please note, this is the link for the Ottawa office. If you require Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Montreal, please visit www.visaforchina.org

4) Email notarized and authenticated documents to your school in China

5) School applies for ‘PU letter’ (invitation letter) and work permit notification letter

-Process can take around 3 weeks

6) Get a letter from your employer stating why it is essential that you enter China

-You will need this for step 6, when applying for your work visa

–See this guide for what to include in the letter. Example letter 1. Example letter 2.

7) Book appointment to visit Chinese visa center to apply for work visa

– www.visaforchina.org – click ‘America’ > hover over Canada > select city

-You have to attend the appointment yourself. You can not have an agent attend on your behalf.

-Make sure to bring all the required documents

8) Pick up passport with China work visa stamped in it, or have it posted to you

-2 days for express service, 3 days for regular service or 10 days for the postal service

9) Book flight

Be sure to carefully read the notices from the Chinese embassy / consulates for the latest information:

Chinese embassy in Canada notices

Chinese consulate in Vancouver notices

Chinese consulate in Calgary notices

Chinese consulate in Toronto notices

Chinese consulate in Montreal notices

-IMPORTANT: Make sure you book a flight that is approved to fly to China. Lots of websites and airlines list flights even though they are not approved to fly to China, which are then just cancelled later.

-Here is a list of the approved flights to China as of 23rd May 2022.

-You need to book a direct flight from Canada to China with no stops or layovers. Layovers are not allowed. If you try to take a non-direct flight from Canada to China, you will be denied boarding on the plane. Currently direct flights to China from the Canada only depart from Vancouver and Toronto.

-These are the approved flights from Canada to China. You can only take one of the below flights to China, no others are allowed:

Vancouver to Guangzhou – every wednesday – China Southern Airlines – flight number CZ330

Vancouver to Xiamen – every tuesday – Xiamen Airlines – flight number MF806

Vancouver to Chengdu – every wednesday – Sichuan Airlines – flight number 3U8502

Vancouver to Shanghai – every tuesday & friday – Air Canada – flight number AC25 (this flight includes a crew change in Seoul, South Korea, passengers stay on the plane and this does not count as a transit)

Vancouver to Zhengzhou – every thursday – Air China – flight number CA998

Toronto to Shanghai – every saturday – China Eastern Airlines – flight number MU208

Toronto to Xi’an – every sunday – Hainan Airlines – flight number HU7976

Toronto to Shanghai – every thursday & saturday – Air Canada – flight number AC27 (this flight includes a crew change in Seoul, South Korea, passengers stay on the plane and this does not count as a transit)

Toronto to Guangzhou – every friday – China Southern Airlines – flight number CZ312

Vancouver to Beijing – every thursday – Air China – flight number CA992

Procedures for searching and booking flights:

-We have heard reports that a return flight can be cheaper than a one-way.

-Search on the airlines websites directly for the flights and days listed above:

China Southern Airlines
Air China
China Eastern Airlines
Hainan Airlines
Xiamen Airlines
Sichuan Airlines
Air Canada

You can also check on flight searching sites, or use travel agents, but it’s best to actually book the ticket directly on the airline’s website:
www.kiwi.com (good option as you can set the destination for all of China)
www.trip.com
www.expedia.com

-WeChat app also offers an option for searching for and booking flights. Within the WeChat app app click ‘Me’ then ‘Pay’ then ‘Rail & Flights’

-Please note, there are flights that have a crew change at Incheon airport in South Korea and then fly on to China. Passengers do not get off the plane in South Korea so this is counted as a direct flight. Make sure your ticket has the same flight number for both legs.

–FlightRadar24 is a useful site for checking the flight history of any flight for the last 7 days, so you can check that certain flights actually flew and were not cancelled. Click Data / History at the top and search for the intended flight numbers.

-Official flight schedule checker to check approved flights

-Check for flights on a daily basis as new options can become available due to cancellations. You can try phoning the airlines too.

10) COVID PCR testing before flying

Be sure to carefully read the notices from the Chinese embassy / consulates for the latest information:

Chinese embassy in Canada notices and here too

Chinese consulate in Vancouver notices

Chinese consulate in Calgary notices

Chinese consulate in Toronto notices

Chinese consulate in Montreal notices

According to this announcement from the Chinese embassy (also Toronto and Vancouver), passengers traveling from Canada to China need to provide:

– COVID PCR test anytime 2 days before your flight – from any approved testing clinic (the result needs to be uploaded to apply for the Health Declaration Certificate – see point 11 below)
– COVID PCR test anytime 1 day before your flight – from any approved testing clinic (the result needs to be uploaded to apply for the Health Declaration Certificate – see point 11 below)
– COVID antigen test taken less than 12 hours before your flight. The test can be done at any medical institution, hospital, or pharmacy recognized by the Canadian public health authorities. The antigen test result has to be shown at the airport check in, it does not have to be uploaded to the Health Declaration Certificate.

-The two PCR tests should be done at different testing clinics.

-Make sure to take the COVID tests at an approved COVID testing facility. Tell them that you are travelling to China.

Important Notes:

– The test report needs to include: passenger’s name, date of birth, passport number, the testing agency’s address, contact number and email, the date the sample was taken, the date the report was issued and the test results, collection method used, testing method used. The passenger’s name has to match their name on their passport.

Make sure you also get the following at the COVID test center, which will be needed for the next step:
– take your passport with you to the testing site
– make sure you tell the testing site you are travelling to China
– receipt from your testing visit

If you have had any vaccine, you should download and complete the ‘Letter of Commitment on COVID-19 Vaccination‘ Word doc at the bottom of this page and upload it along with the other requested documents when applying for the health declaration code. You should also upload your vaccine certificate, obtained when you received your vaccine.

Consulate contact info for inquiries

healthcheckottawa@gmail.com , phone: 1-613-5621616 (Embassy in Ottawa)
covidcheckfortravel@gmail.com , phone 1-249-8749071 (Consulate General in Toronto)
wenhsjc2020@gmail.com , phone 1-236-9846031 (Consulate General in Vancouver)
hs@chinaconsulatecalgary.com , phone 1-403-5376911 (Consulate General in Calgary)
consulate_mtl@mfa.gov.cn , phone 1-514-2418930 (Consulate General in Montreal)

Previous COVID infection
If you have previously tested positive for COVID, please see the procedures here.

11) Upload negative COVID PCR tests results via online health app

Instructions from the Chinese embassy here

Guide for how to complete the Health Declaration Form here.

Guide for iphone users here.


Step 1 – Sign up for an account on the website – https://hrhk.cs.mfa.gov.cn/H5/
Non-Chinese passengers should log in the application program by visiting https://hrhk.cs.mfa.gov.cn/H5/ on your computer or phone or scan the below QR code with your phone. Make sure to set up a profile before going for the COVID tests, so that as soon as you have the test results you are ready to upload them.

Notes:
-Some people have said it is easier to set up the profile using a computer and then upload the COVID test results using your phone
-Use Safari not Chrome as your browser
-Don’t use upper case characters for your email address
-Password can not contain words related to China or Chinese cities and can not contain a symbol (even though it asks you for one)
-Password must include upper and lower case as well as numbers and letters
-Uploads need to be JPEG format not PDF. If your COVID test results are in PDF, take a screenshot of them, which will be created in JPEG format and upload that

Step 2 – Upload the following to the program

-Photo of your passport photo page
-Photos of Chinese visa or residence permit
-Cell phone number (your Canadian phone number is fine)
-Photo of flight itinerary (make sure it includes your name)
-Flight Information: When they ask you for “your flight number to China” and “the departure date of your flight to China” This is the flight number/date of the FLIGHT LEG from the CANADA TO CHINA. Do not enter your domestic legs.
-COVID PCR test results (the results from 2 days and 1 day before your flight)
NOTE: Files need to be .jpg or .jpeg files not PDF! If your COVID test results are in PDF, take a screenshot of them, which will be created in .jpeg format and upload that. The file extension can not be capitalised. So .jpg or .jpeg are able to be uploaded, but .JPG or .JPEG are not.
-COVID vaccine certificate / report (if you have received COVID vaccine)
-‘Letter of Commitment on COVID-19 Vaccination’ Word doc at the bottom of this page
–Travel history form

Step 3 – Wait for the QR code to turn green

– After you press submit, you will receive a QR code. The QR code will be Orange.

– They will NOT contact you when you have been approved, so you need to keep checking on your own to see if it turns Green (approved!) or Red (denied)

– Once your QR Code is approved, it will expire at the end of the day (11:59pm), 2 days after the testing date

– The QR CODE is valid for 2 days (48 hours) after the DAY that you get tested (NOT when you submit your application or when you get approved for the health code).
So you should apply for your health code ASAP after getting your test results. Do not wait.

– You need to show the green QR code in order to board your flight to China

Commonly Asked Questions
Can one family sign up under one account?
– Yes, everybody’s results can be uploaded under one account. When you go back to the Homepage, there is a place to add additional people.

How long does it take for things to be authenticated?
– Anywhere from 10 minutes to a couple of hours. If it is taking over 3 or 4 hours, it is likely that there was a problem with your application.

Do I need a Chinese cell phone number?
– You can use your Canadian cell phone number for the Health Code.

If there was a problem with the application, can I resubmit my materials?
– Yes. People have resubmitted 4-5 times in a row (and rejected 4 times in a row) and then been approved in the end. Assuming that the error was a clerical one (as opposed to a problem with the sampling methods), they will not hold your mistake against you.

Check that you have included all the required information correctly and resubmit.

Consulate contact info for inquiries

healthcheckottawa@gmail.com , phone: 1-613-5621616 (Embassy in Ottawa)
covidcheckfortravel@gmail.com , phone 1-249-8749071 (Consulate General in Toronto)
wenhsjc2020@gmail.com , phone 1-236-9846031 (Consulate General in Vancouver)
hs@chinaconsulatecalgary.com , phone 1-403-5376911 (Consulate General in Calgary)
consulate_mtl@mfa.gov.cn , phone 1-514-2418930 (Consulate General in Montreal)

12) Arrival at the airport

IMPORTANT: When you arrive at the airport you will need to provide the email address and phone number of a contact person from your school in China. When you check in, you may be asked to have a verification code emailed and texted to them and they need to forward to you. We have heard this being requested but it is not commonly asked for. So it’s wise to make sure you have a suitable person arranged ahead of time and who is awake and in contact with you when you arrive at the airport, just in case.

-Get to the airport at least 4 hours before your flight as check in process takes longer than usual.

-Make sure to bring the green health declaration code on your phone and original negative COVID test results and passport

-Also bring all your notarized documents (degree, TEFL, criminal background check) as they will be needed to get your residence permit in China

Things to bring:
-Passport
-Boarding pass
-COVID antigen test taken less than 12 hours before your flight
-Printout of negative COVID test results (2 day and 1 day)
-Green QR code on your phone (Health Declaration Certificate) from the Chinese embassy as detailed in step 11 above
-COVID vaccination certificate (optional – if you have had a COVID vaccine)
-‘Letter of Commitment on COVID-19 Vaccination’ Word doc at the bottom of this page
-Valid Chinese visa or residency permit
-All your notarized documents (degree, TEFL, criminal background check)
-Medical face masks & hand sanitiser – cloth masks or masks with filter not allowed
-Phone with WeChat installed – this is needed for processing on arrival
-Enough cash in Chinese RMB to cover the quarantine costs and food or money on WeChat Pay or AliPay if possible
-Power bank to ensure your phone has power on arrival
-Name and phone number of a contact person in China
-Pen
-Download a VPN, if you wish, for use in China as they are hard to get once you arrive
-Food for the flight – some airlines only provide limited food
-Store on your phone, as will be required for forms: passport number, visa number, flight number, seat number, address in China (in Chinese and English), emergency contact in Canada, emergency contact person in China and their phone number

-Download and complete the WeChat mini program ‘Customs Pocket Declaration‘ on the WeChat app on your phone. This is a form you need to complete when you arrive at the airport with contact details, address in China, which countries you have been to recently, have you had a fever etc. Search for 健康码 (JiankangMa) in WeChat and add the mini app. Alternatively, open Wechat, click Chats, click the + icon in the top right corner, click Scan, and scan the image from your phone:

13) Quarantine for 14 days on arrival in China

-Once your plane arrives in China you will be taken to a quarantine hotel for your 14 day quarantine. The reports from teachers who have been through it have said things are organized very well, the hotels are of a good quality (similar to what you would expect from a 3 or 4 star hotel stay). They provide 3 meals a day.

-Here is an article from one of our teachers who went through quarantine in China in September 2020

-Here is another article from someone arriving and quarantining in Shanghai

-Here’s a YouTube video of the quarantine process

Useful links

– WeChat group “Canadians trying to get to China”. Download WeChat app and add the WeChat ID “Altinium” as a contact and ask him to add you to the group.
–Foreigners Stuck Outside China Facebook group
–China Visa page on Reddit
–Canucks in China

Procedures may vary so be sure to check at each stage.

For teaching jobs in China please browse our Job Board.