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Chinese Embassy Spokesperson's Remarks


Q: According to sources, recently many South Africans have applied for jobs as English teachers via agencies in China, and some of them are investigated, detained or deported due to working without proper permits or their employers' information inconsistent with work permits. What is your comment?

A: Currently, the China-South Africa relations maintain a strong momentum of development with frequent and closer people-to-people exchanges. More and more South Africans go to China for business, tour or work, which helps boost China's opening-up drive and economic growth. The Chinese government welcomes their visits to China.

China, with its commitment to further opening up, shares extensive interests with the rest of the world. In the spirit of openness, inclusiveness and mutual learning, China is always willing to modestly learn advanced technologies and experience in management from other countries, including South Africa. Therefore, the Chinese government has listed the English language as the compulsory discipline at primary and secondary schools, and every institution of higher education provides the course of English learning. Nowadays, many kindergartens in China's major cities compete to introduce English teaching, underpinning the strong demand for foreign English teachers. Last year, the Chinese Embassy and Consulates General in South Africa issued over 1,200 work visas to the South African citizens, most of whom intend to work as English teachers there.

According to statistics, over 58 million foreigners entered into or exited from China in 2017, and about one million of them went to China for work. Unfortunately, some of those foreigners work and stay illegally. China, like South Africa, has a sound system of administration on entry and exit of foreigners, as well as residence permits. The Chinese law enforcement authorities take due measures to prevent and combat illegal immigration acts, which is essential for China's rule of law and also an international practice applied by all the countries. And I would like to stress that the operational activities by the Chinese government target all violators, rather than selectively targeting South Africans.

The Chinese Embassy in South Africa would like to take this opportunity to welcome the South African friends to China to teach English, but especially remind them to carefully read the Exit and Entry Administration Law of the People's Republic of China and Rules for the Administration of Employment of Foreigners in China to fully understand how to work legally in China. The following requirements for foreigners to work in China are specially highlighted:

A. Chinese employers shall be legally registered, and their offers for foreigners shall be specialized posts that comply with Chinese national regulations, when no suitable Chinese candidates are available. Foreign employees shall be aged 18 and above, in good health and without criminal record, and have necessary professional skills and expertise.

B. Foreign applicants shall proceed to a Chinese embassy or consulate to apply for work visas (Z or R visa) by presenting a Foreigner's Work Permit Notice issued by Chinese competent authorities. The foreigners shall be admitted to China for work only upon a work visa approved and issued.

C. Work location and post shall be consistent with the information on the Foreigner's Work Permit Notice. For instance, the Chinese study and tourist visas holders shall not be engaged in paid employment in China.

D. Foreign employees shall apply for a Foreigner's Work Permit and a work-type residence permit within 30 days upon arrival in China.

The Chinese Embassy in South Africa appreciates the South African friends for their concern and support granted to China's development, and wishes all the South African friends a happy stay in China.

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