Okay gang...due to hundreds of emails every month asking about this girl or that guy, we have decided just to show you how you can DIY - for free! Let's face it, no agent or recruiter is going to tell you that they are not registered nor licensed to do business in China. Likewise they will not tell you that they are collecting 30%-50% of your salary from the school where they place you nor that the principal is in on the ruse for a kick-back. They will never tell you their real legal names - unless they are honest and legitimate. All of these things you will usually find out on your own, AFTER you lock yourself into a contract with an agent or recruiter and you notice on the first pay day that your colleagues are making a lot more money than you!
So to avoid this grief, you need to avoid the bad apple agents and recruiters and depending on whether or not you are already in China or still abroad will determine what you need to do. If you follow the below instructions you will be 98% safe and secure against agent fraud.
1) If any agent or recruiter tells you to come work in China but does not provide you an invitation letter for a work visa ("Z" visa) they are dishonest and you need to ignore their calls and emails. So once you get past this initial litmus test here is what you do next if you are in Beijing. If you are anywhere else, just follow steps five and six below:
2) Visit Bldg. 6 of the Friendship Hotel complex (bring your passport or the guards will not let you go in). Go down the long corridor on the first floor until you pass the bathroom. The very next door opens into the international office of SAFEA and a woman named "Song" speaks English and will look up your recruiter in their system. She can tell you in five minutes if they are registered as a recruiter.
3) Go to the Tuanjiehu or Liangmaqiao subway station (line 10) and go just West of the Canadian International School you will find the government licensing building and on the first floor they have a reception desk for Chinese and one for foreigners. If you give them the CHINESE name or the license number of the recruiter, they will look them up and tell you in a few minutes if they are legitimate and how many complaints have been filed against them.
4) Visit this website with a Chinese friend and enter the license number of the recruiter http://www.saic.gov.cn/ and see what comes back and see if the addresses, names, and telephone numbers match.
5) Visit this link and see if you find the recruiter blacklisted. For them to be on this list, three or more people would have had to file a complaint within the last year that did not get resolved (no I don't know what "resolved" means - I forgot - sorry). http://www.chinaforeignteachersunion.org/2012/12/china-foreign-teachers-union-posts-esl.html
6) If you are in a hurry or to lazy to do all of the above, just send the agent the below letter and ask them to fill it out completely then it becomes much quicker easier to know just who you are dealing with.
Please don't be foolish enough to think that only the Chinese agents will cheat you. About 30% of the scam recruiters are in fact foreigners. To learn about all their deceptions and what questions you need to be asking them, visit htttp://www.ChinaScamBusters.com . Good luck and welcome to China!
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