Messages by Anthony

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General » Ivy English language school
One thing to keep in mind when looking at comments about schools, especially in China.

There are literally MILLIONS of schools in China hiring foreign teachers.

Not all teachers will like the school they are in. I have easily the best teaching job I have EVER had in 7 years and some people I work with say it sucks. Can't please everyone.

If the comment just says "It Sucks" without details why, it would be impossible to determine whether it is the school that actually sucks, or patrick... For every "bad school" out there (and they of course do exist) there are equally as many "bad teachers" who are simply in China because of the easy teachers lifestyle, partying and readily available girlfriends.... *No, I am not kidding, MANY MANY MANY male teachers are here to "score" with as many women as possible, stupid really* So it could also be a case of that teacher being a loser and the school not liking him, thus the negative comment.

Do a little more research. If you can't find out anything else, but still want to try that school, ask the school to send you current teacher emails so you can ask current or past teachers what is really going on. If the school can't provide those emails, well, I did mention there were MILLIONS of school in China right?


Good luck in any case!
General » New China Visa Issues - Please READ if you are coming on a tourist visa.... SERIOUSLY!!
Hi Davin,

Sounds like you are doing everything the right way before coming, that will make things so much easier.

As for renewal, that's no problem at all. That's essentially what you are doing already. It is not possible (or at very least VERY difficult) to get a work visa from within China when on a tourist visa. However, with an existing Z Visa renewal, or even starting a new job it is actually quite painless, not even requiring a Visa run to Hong Kong at all.

As long as you have an existing Z visa in your passport, whether a temp 3 month one(like you are getting) or a 1 year multi-entry one from a current or recent job, the school can process a new visa or renewal on your behalf, possibly with an interview at the local police station, but nothing more strenuous.
General » New China Visa Issues - Please READ if you are coming on a tourist visa.... SERIOUSLY!!
I am truly glad so many people here find my information useful. Global TESOL truly changed my life and I can't help but want to help others achieve the same things I have.

I am still amazed to this day how a "Teach English Overseas" advertisement which I saw in local newspapers for years, never really believing it could work for me, ACTUALLY worked for me!

Teaching has now become a career for me and I have never been happier. The only thing that makes me happier still is helping out however I can to smooth the road for those other hopefuls out there, who like me took a chance on a little newspaper article and are now looking to change their lives as well.

That's why I am still here, posting regularly even though it has been 7 years now since I actually took the TESOL course in Edmonton, bought a plane ticket and became a new man.
General » New China Visa Issues - Please READ if you are coming on a tourist visa.... SERIOUSLY!!
Hi everyone,

I am JUST back from Hong Kong from my first official Visa run in years... Previously the company I worked for hired me as a manager, therefore I had a special residency that allowed me to work, but teachers need Z visas, and now I am a teacher officially again.

The process of getting a visa has CHANGED dramatically however!! I would like to share my experience with those of you planning to come to China in the near future to explore this huge and lucrative teaching market.

It used to be you would come on a tourist (L) visa and the school would then process the Work visa here..... Not since the Olympics....

Ok, here we go!

First off. It is absolutely EASIEST (and pretty much mandatory) to get a Z Work visa IN your home country!! Do not come on a tourist visa!! If the school tells you to come on a tourist and then fix it here, you are in for a surprise, especially in a Tier 1 city like I am in . Chinese Government Visa regulations state you must receive an invitation letter in your home country and then go to the Chinese consulate (in person or by mail) and process a single entry, 3 month temporary work (Z) visa. Could take up to a month. THEN begins Phase 2.

Go to China.....

Next you MUST present yourself at the local police station to register your residence in China. You will get a letter either from your school or landlord which you deliver with a bunch of passport photos to the station and it is done. Very easy and no cost. However, if you do NOT register they WILL come looking!!! They will phone the school or you and if you don't report in within 30 days you will be found and deported and your teaching career in China is pretty much over. With that in hand comes Phase 3.

Now you can finally deliver your passport, residency form, TESOL certificates (not copies!!! you need REAL papers) health check (costs about 75 dollars at an approved Chinese hospital, not optional and reports from home not accepted) and finally the school can now apply for a real, multi entry full year Z visa.


Now, if you are like me, and in China already or planning to come on a tourist visa first then you have more problems. You must still get the postmarked Invitation letter, even though you are not in your home country. This requires a school with SERIOUS connections that can have things processed without you needing to go back. This will depend A LOT on your schools relationship in their city, government "connections". The smaller the city, the easier to "fix" little problems like this.

So if the school CAN get the invitation letter sorted (took mine 2 months.... during which time I could not work and make money...) then you need to get yourself to Hong Kong. (if you are in North China this is a LONG and costly trip!) Once in HK you are "officially" out of China, so you can now go to the Chinese Embassy to apply for your temporary work visa. Regular service is 4 business days, express is 3, RUSH is 2. So no matter what you are spending 1-3 nights in Hong Kong, with some of the most expensive hotels in the WORLD!! I paid for the rush service and only stayed 1 night.

The embassy....... Oh wow the Embassy.... What an experience! You need to be VERY good with maps and directions to find it.... Not easy at all. Then you must go through security. No luggage, drinks, food, dangerous items AT ALL allowed. Picture airport security... Thats pretty much it exactly. Once inside, as they have changed this policy for everyone, you will find hundreds of very pissed off looking foreigners waiting in a room that is ICE cold! *note to self, bring jacket next time* and then prepare for a 2-3 hour wait. The staff would go from 1 to 3 open counters open periodically but there was no sense of urgency by the staff.

I was number 263 when I walked in, the counter was at 112.... I waited 3 long hours.... And man oh man did I hear some complaints!!! You MUST fill that application out EXACTLY or you will be rejected and have to come back!!

One thing to note, if you do need to do a Hong Kong visa run, download, print and fill out the form FIRST! When you arrive you will not be given a number to wait, even though it is a 3 hour wait, until the form is fully completed. Another VERY important issue was the local Hong Kong phone number!!!! You MUST have a local (not cell) phone number contact like a friend or hotel BEFORE arriving at the visa office!! If you do not fill it out they will reject it till you have a phone number. I saw many people scrambling trying to find an internet connection in the hopes of pulling down ANY hotel number.

I was lucky in that regard! I knew which hotel I would stay at so had their business card in my pocket. I gave that number and a fake hotel room (as I didn't know it yet since I hadn't checked in) and that worked. It may be tempting (as it was for me) to come as early as possible, but if you don't have hotel info you will have to leave after 2-3 hours waiting, go get a phone number and line up again..... Not a fun way to kill 6-8 hours in Hong Kong... At very LEAST have a phone number, even if its one you got online!

1 thing they did have was a self-operated photo copier and passport photo taking machine, so if you don't have passport copies and proper photos you can get them. They also have an internal money exchange if you need it. But that's about all for "good" things...

Soooooo many pissed off people.....

So that was my day yesterday. My VIP card at the hotel saved me 800 hong kong dollars, but it was still expensive and most of the hotels seemed fully booked, oddly enough. The girl who eventually processed my visa was VERY bitter and overly mean, obviously hating her job and likely VERY much why it was running so inefficiently. But it is done. I thought the folks at the DMZ were bad back home, but these ladies.....

I now have a temporary 90 day Z visa and a 30 days residency form from the police station. Tomorrow the company will process the full residency so that I can then go with the HR rep to the police bureau and apply AGAIN for a full 1 year, multi entry work visa...... So even though I HAVE a work visa now, it is still just temporary and pretty much a waste of a passport page, nothing more. Even though the temp visa is for 90 days, the residency is only 30....

All this for a job.

I had my first interview for this company on September 12th, killed the demo class and was offered the job on Sept 15th........

Then because I did not have a teachers Z visa (I had the managers residency) I had to wait for the company to do the invitation letter magic..... If you already have a full Z visa, it is easy to renew, but NOT to get new!

Nov 9 I went to Hong Kong to get a temporary visa and I should be able to start work officially on Nov 22nd...... Oy

Long story short, I had to wait 2 months, without pay in Visa LIMBO because of these new regulations. If you are planning to come to China to teach, DON'T DO IT on a TOURIST visa!!! One young couple I met while waiting did exactly that 2 months ago.... As the school told them to. They have been living off savings like me...

Get the contract and the invitation letter sent to you back home and process the temp work visa there... Will save you a bunch of hassle and money.

Speaking of money.... Hotel + visa + travel to and in HK + health check = a bunch of money YOU likely need to provide UP FRONT! The school "should" reimburse you, but they may very well not. Check in ADVANCE! So far I have put out about $500 Canadian and haven't been able to work for 2 months... Keep in mind, getting to Hong Kong for me is a city bus ride away! If you are coming from further off in this huge country, your could be shelling out $1000+

Now that said, I am not trying to scare people away from China!! I now make more money than ANY teacher starting out in South Korea or Japan, and I am LAZY and not taking as much side work as I could! This economy is exploding and English Teachers who are professional and hard working can make a career of it like I did!

The company I will now be starting with has been great! They are easily one of the biggest ESL organizations in the world and not only did they help me with the whole invite letter and that process (requiring them to do most of the processing in a different city (where I *at the moment* technically work) but they will reimburse me for all my transportation, hotel, meals, visa and are even sending me to a full week training program in another city, once again paying for everything.

Well worth the effort I figure, though you can easily avoid the costs, hassles and grief by taking the relatively easy step of processing that all important Temporary Work Visa (Z) AT HOME before ever getting on a plane.

Not only will you avoid the whole hassle of the dreaded Hong Kong Visa Run, but you won't have to meet that nasty Visa Lady.....

Good luck everyone!

TEACH! Teach like the wind!!!
General » Hidden Job Market in China!

In fact the 12,000rmb kindy job did not work out; these things happen.

As it turns out it was for the best. I have now secured a much easier job, teaching adults for a substantially larger salary!

And to top it off, IKEA is also trying to hire me as an editor.....

Neat huh, the things that happen in the most unexpected places....
General » Teaching ESL - Career? Travel? Unsure? - A poll, just for fun!
Oooohhh..... Arlene you are in luck!

not only are English teachers highly sought after here, but also apparently those of you with medical knowledge, specifically medical language!

There are many private training facilities here that teach medical English to doctors and nurses being sent overseas to work. Apparently it is in high demand!

Once you have your feet wet and decide which direction you want to go, you may well have opportunities that the average teacher will not.

General » Another Warning abuot working in China illegally....

For clarification, the reason I am caught up in this mess is when my passport was replaced I lost my last work visa page. If you have an existing work visa (already working in China) it is no problem to renew your visa.

Since my new passport does not have a valid Z visa, I am going through the hassle....
General » Another Warning abuot working in China illegally....
Another Update!!

In the bigger cities now the Visa policy has once again changed!!!

Now they are requiring foreigners without a current work visa in China to apply from their HOME COUNTRIES!!!!!

This means you CANNOT just hop on a plane and pop into a Chinese city and look for work!!! My passport had to be replaced due to lack of pages and now I am in a 2 month purgatory of waiting for my company to get my visa together so I can start working. It would be "easiest" for me to come back home for a month, but that is simply not feasible. Even though I have been here for 7 years, it still affects me.....

So quick note:

ASK the company specifically about the work visa situation BEFORE you come!!! If it is a smaller city, should be no problem. But if your Visa needs to be done in a major center, you may end up going BACK home if you jump the gun and come before checking.

General » Chuansha
Hi Robert,

You haven't run into any other foreigners...... WOW!!! Shanghai area should be loaded with them.

do a Google search for Shanghai Expats or Chuansha expats. There are many expats sites in China that will get you mingling with tons of new friends in no time.

Be warned though.... They are often very cute and seductive young ladies on such sites looking for handsome young fellahs like yourself.... Might start making too many friends.....

Though may not be a bad thing? :D
General » question for teachers in hainan
Also, just a side note, may want to hold off on Hainan for the moment. It is pretty much a disaster area due to typhoons and flooding. hundreds of thousands evacuated and life still not restored....

Great place, been there before, but they are still cleaning up and that may affect schools and contracts... best to check in advance.