Living and Working in China: Emigrate to China? I have never heard of that! China is not the most popular country to emigrate to, but it is definitely an interesting alternative.
Sure, the language barrier is enormous, in most everyday situations you will not find a Chinese who speaks English well, but it is quite possible to get through in China with little or no knowledge of Chinese.
However, those who master the language have significantly more advantages and will be able to really enjoy their time in the People’s Republic.
Living and Working in China and Looking for a Job in China:
In general, China is open to foreigners and many companies are still looking for foreigners or they simply cannot replace foreigners in some professions.
You have good chances of finding a job offer in China as a teacher, mechanic, engineer, architect, translator or in the hotel industry. If you are not lucky enough to be sent from your previous company to China as an expat and you are not a highly qualified worker, then you usually only have the option of looking for a job as a teacher or translator.
Because while jobs as a mechanic or engineer require a certain level of previous training and professional experience, as a teacher in China you can almost dare to take a lateral approach. Unfortunately, the visa regulations were changed in the last year, which meant that at least some experience is required for the profession as a teacher.
In addition to having some experience dealing with students, one should also consider taking a TEFL or TESL course. These are courses specifically designed for non-native speakers to teach English. With a completed TEFL or TESL course from an accredited organization, it should be quite easy to get a job as a teacher in China.
Work Permit for China
You can only get a work permit for China if you have previously found an employer in China who can present you with an employment contract in English and Chinese. With this employment contract, a completed visa application form, your passport (valid for at least 6 months, a police clearance certificate and a health test, you can then apply for a visa for China,in chineese embasy in your country.
This visa enables you to travel to China. Once there, you have 30 days to do another health check and go to the local authorities before you get your “Residence Permit”.
Don’t forget: If you change your place of residence, you have to report to the responsible police station. The Chinese are very specific about that.
Unfortunately, China heavily censors the Internet and makes it impossible to open websites such as Google, YouTube, Facebook or Twitter without a VPN. This is not only bad for keeping in touch with friends and family, but also when you need it for your own business (Gmail, Facebook Business Page, etc.).
Country and People
The Chinese are all incredibly friendly people. Sometimes a little too friendly. As a foreigner in China it is easy to get to know new people as almost everyone tries to get into conversation with you. You are invited to dinner by strangers or you are called to the table in the bar to talk about China and the world while playing a game of dice.
China is huge. Do you want sun, sand and sea all year round? Then you should check out the Chinese Hawaii, Hainan. Do you like to live in a city with many people that can offer you everything? How about Shanghai, Beijing or Guangzhou? If you are looking for a simple life without hectic and stress, then come to me near Yinchuan or Xi’an. China still has so much to offer that I can’t even mention everything here.
Cost of Living and Travel Options
I would be lying if I said I didn’t appreciate the low cost of living. Around 6000 RMB (approx. 800 €) a month to pay for rent, food and leisure activities.
We eat outside 80% of the time and often use taxis or public transport. However, I also refrain from buying western foods such as cheese or imported beer too often.
Of course, China in itself is a great country to travel to. But if you want to discover the Southeast Asian region beyond that, everything is just a stone’s throw away. As soon as you are outside of China, the flights only cost as much as a flight with Rynair in Europe.
For me personally, China was extremely important for personal development, because this country and the rapid development have definitely helped me to set up my own business. The proximity to the factories to have your own products made was of course very helpful, but also this indescribable vibe that seems to be in the air here.