Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Updated 2016 Official China Foreign ESL & TEFL & AP Teacher Mandatory Legal Requirements - SAFEA Confirmed

Are You Looking For:

The new year brings us all good news for those wanting to teach in China. The official 2016
requirements for foreigners to teach ESL or TFL English programs in China are the same as they were in 2015, 2014, and 2013!  In others words... NO CHANGES!  Here is what you MUST have to legally teach in China...

(1) Must be 22-55 years of age

(2) Must have a VERIFIABLE bachelor degree (yes, they are now checking)

(3) Must have a Z visa in your passport BEFORE you even tutor a single class even on a part-time basis

(4) Must have 2 years verifiable teaching experience (any subject)

(5) Must speak and write fluently in English

(6) Must have a police certificate proving you have no criminal record (Beijing & Shanghai only at this time)

TEFL/TESOL Certificates are not a government requirement but about 20% of the chain schools like WSW, Webb, and EF require one. Native Speakers are also in high demand and command the highest salaries. (12,000 to 20,000 per month)

CAUTION:  Do NOT believe any agent or recruiter who tells you that you can work on a L, M, or F visa. This is totally false and you will end up like the Disney teachers or these 49 expats in Shanghai that were recently arrested and deported. Here http://www.shanghaiexpat.com/phpbbforum/topic191151.html?sid=b646940d6697c43a446b554cb655d2d6

Finally, be aware that the PSB is now checking 50% of all foreign teachers - not only for Z visas but also t verify diplomas.  If you are caught without either, here is what you can expect: http://eslwatch.info/eslwatch-forum/china/319-can-you-teach-esl-in-china-without-a-z-visa.html

In closing we remind you that spending only 30 minutes to read the below 5 websites will keep you safe from China job and internship scams. Also be sure to see the 1,569 white-listed schools/employers on our CFTU White List (just scroll down two posts on this blogsite)
If you have any questions or doubts about the above requirements you can confirm with your own embassy or the Chinese government at http://SAFEA.gov.cn or drop us an email at admin@chinaforeignteachersunion.org

Notice To CFTU Members:  Please check in at http://www.chinaforeignteachersunion.org for update on the messages and job placement requests.

Here They Are! http://www.slideshare.net/LaowaiCareerCenter/2018-cftu-white-list-of-china-tefl-teacher-employers

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


  1. I'm a non native speaker, I have a TEFL, one year of experience and a BA in English studies, the thing is that I did not obtain my BA from a commonwealth country, I was able to get my BA notarized by my local Chinese embassy, so what is your take on this am I eligible to teach or not?

  2. hanks for all the info. We're processing the visa and
    us work visa application guide, together with the property conveyancing of my aunt's house in Russia. Hopefully they would make an online process for it too, because it's a bit difficult to deal with the notary and stuff. If we succeed in all these, I'll be moving to Russia soon.


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.: