Saturday, September 28, 2013

How To Find An Honest Agent Or Recruiter For Foreigner Teachers In China - RE: China Jobs CFTU

Yes, the rumors are true...indeed there are a handful of honest and ethical agents and recruiters in China and abroad. There are not many but finding them is like finding the proverbial "needle in the haystack." Let's put it in perspective... In all of China there are only 329 registered/licensed teacher recruiters and agents. Yet there are over 300,000 teaching job ads placed every year by over 2,000 self-professed agents and recruiters. They fall into four basic categories:

A) Honest and ethical
B) Dishonest & Unethical
C) Identity thieves
D) Greedy (taking more than a 20%-66% monthly commission of teacher

All four categories advertise openly and covertly (blind ads) on the internet and on multiple ESL/TEFL forums which lends them credibility and wide viewership. So how to find one of the 329 licensed/registered agents or recruiters?

There are 4 easy and FREE ways to filter out all the bad apple agents and recruiters as follows:

[1] BEFORE you send copies of your passport and visas to any agent or recruiter, send them this form letter and ask them to complete and return it to you with all the blanks completed
Honest agents and recruiters will not object to transparency and be proud to prove they are legitimate. If they refuse to fill in all the blanks or fail to return the letter, move on and avoid all further contact with them as they are probably scammers. The letter is self-explanatory.

For those who do return the letter, be sure you verify the information online, especially the registration, which you can do at the below links or by asking a CFTU volunteer to run a check (just send an email)

Shanghai AIC:

Beijing AIC:!query.dhtml

Guangzhou AIC:

[2] You can google search the name of the agent with the words "problem, scam, complaint" and see what if anything pops up.

[3] You can check the various CTA and CFTU blacklists at and

[4] You can post an inquiry here at to ask others if they had any good or bad experiences with a particular agent.

But here are a few things to remember to obtain from whatever agent you plan to use (Just in case things go South)

A) Their full and complete legal name as per a scanned color copy of their government id card (if Chinese) and a full color scan of their passport (if they are foreigners)

B) Contracts that are in English that are signed, dated, and sealed on each page which specifically address working locations, hours, days, pay, insurance, visas, release letters, and who pays for all of them. You need to have a hard copy original in your hands BEFORE coming to China along with your Z visa.

C) Verifiable office address and land-line telephone numbers of the agents since more than 80% operate only from disposable mobile phone numbers and free email addresses like,,,,,,

Lastly, if any agent tells you to come to China on an L, F, or M visa to work RUN! You can only legally work in China with a Z visa and that Z visa needs to be provided to you along with a signed contract BEFORE you buy your plane tickets. Scam agents won't care about your legal problems, deportation, fines, nor reentry bans if you get caught working without a Z visa. Whatever they say verbally, make sure it is in writing in your contract or take a pass on that agent.

Follow the above advice and you will greatly reduce your chances of being swindled. And NEVER give copies of your passport and visa to anyone other than a "direct employer". If you need to know why, you can read this article:

If you are a CFTU member, please see this link below:

Here They Are!

© Copyright 2010- 2018 by CFTU - Reproduction with Source Credits Authorized

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You are welcome to add your comments, ideas, and suggestions below: Specific questions should be sent by email UNLESS you are on the Blacklist page. We do not accept requests to "please check ABC school" if you are not a current CFTU member. If your school is not on the White List, then check the blacklist.: