Old thread is here but locked:
Post here to ask:
> Where is good to go
> How to overcome <random paranoid bureaucratic rule>
> How to visa/visa run
> Where to meet qt3.14 (Skout app is a good start)
> How to facebook (just use bing to find a free vpn)
> What phone apps to use (Pleco is 1st)
> Can you drink the water (NO)
>How to 4chan in China
4chan is NOT blocked in China but 99% of google is, including captcha which 4chan uses.
So...either use VPN or 4chan pass and you're fine. Heavy manual IPs in your hosts file will also work to a point but you have to update it sometimes and it doesn't *always* work.
>how long do L tourist visas last
There are different kinds, the standard is 30 days. You can get 60 and maybe 90 and definitely one year.
The stay is usually 90 days, then you visa run. Single entry is standard but you can get multi-entry on the one year visa.
The one year visa is complicated to get, unless you're in LA where it's handed out without question. You can get visa agents who will send your passport to LA to get a visa there.
its a big city but not much to do besides general city-stuff. also the air is pretty terrible, i had a constant cough and runny nose, thankfully im back in the US for a couple weeks to recuperate.
Yeah, the air can be bad though Chongqing is worse. I was in Wuhan for a week or two. Had fun riding over one of the bridges though the other one denied me.
Wuhan has some very particular rules for their bridges, i usually avoid them and just take the subway if i really need to get across the river to the other side of town.
The L visa I got back in 2013 only allowed me to stay for 30 days each duration, then I'd have leave and come back if I wanted. But I think it was a year long visa with multiple entries.
What type do you have? How many days duration can you stay in the country and how many entries?
I took the ferry once, that was even worse. Five minutes stuck in a boat full of motorcycles, the fumes from the ferry were even worse though upstairs was a bit better.
Mine is an M class visa which is business without local salary. You can get 90 day stay on one-year tourist visas as well but it's rare. Like I said, LA is the place to do that. My 90day/multi-entry/one year M visa is available as an L, you just need to go through agents and maybe not all agents can do it. I think it's also available as an F which is where you're paid locally.
I couldn't find an agent in HK that could do it but possibly I didn't look hard enough because I've seen the odd ad for them now. I found a hookup in Shenzhen though. If you google for 'Shenzhen China visa', you'll find a few agents that will do them. If you're in the USA near the west cost, cheaper to do it yourself though. This specific visa is definitely not available in HK and (in theory) not in China either, your passport needs to go somewhere else to get it. You don't necessarily have to go with it though, that's what agents are for.
In general, a business visa is better than a tourist visa anyway, you don't *have* to do business and you can just bum around if you have the money but if you want then you can apply for an ID card which means you can stay in any hotel and not just tourist ones. That might come in handy now and then.
Ah, thanks a lot.
So what are the requirements for an M visa exactly? I'm an American as well that lives on the west coast, but fairly far from LA.
And you can't stay in regular hotels or rent an apartment on an M visa without a local China ID?
>stay in regular hotels
Only in hotels that are licensed for foreigners. There are plenty of those but you have more choices if you have an ID card and if you're staying a year, it might be worth it, especially if you go to remote areas. Though anything remote enough to not have tourist hotels will probably not care too much about breaking a few rules either. Still, it makes it easier if you have a card.
Apartments are fine, the rental agent will probably need to register you with the police but I think they can do that.
>requirements for an M visa exactly
Mostly a letter of invitation from a Chinese business I think, that gets the visa anyway, you don't need anything special beyond that. Agents take care of those sorts of things, don't ask questions but be ready to bluff a little if required. It probably won't be.
Check the webpage for the consulate, they'll have the list of requirements.
what's the best place to live?
I spent about five months in Beijing and I really enjoyed it. However, I'd like to see some new stuff. I've also spent time in some cities in the South (Guangzhou, several in Yunnan, several in Fujian).
I prefer bigger, more metropolitan areas. Shanghai is a little more Western than what I'm looking for. I enjoy hot weather and humidity but I don't mind cold weather.
i've heard Guilin is awesome. I'd be teaching ESL so I'm pretty flexible. I speak a bit of Mandarin.
>what's the best place to live?
That's an unanswerable question, all we can say is 'depends'. Be more specific.
Is Beijing as awful and polluted to live in as everyone says? I've been there a few times but not for years and not for very long.
If you like hot, humid weather, Chongqing might be perfect. Those are it's down downsides according to most people so if you like them then it's probably all good news from there. There isn't a lot of English around in CQ but a bit, here and there. If you're a teacher and you're not tied to a school then sure, give it a shot.
Hope you like spicy food. My breakfast this morning was noodles in chilli oil soup that was so thick it was dark brown in colour.
i hated it for about a week but then grew to love it. the pollution is pretty terrible, especially in the winter, but it's not nearly as bad during the Spring and Summer when the sun burns it off. there's so much to see and do, i think anyone could enjoy living there.
you live there right now? of course i like spicy food. how else would i punish my asshole with laduzi? what are the upsides to living there?
>Be more specific.
-preferably large city
--although: i could deal with a small place if it's really special / cool and not filled with those cookie cutter ugly concrete with white tile chinese buildings
-not terribly polluted (by Chinese standards)
-okayish expat community
Tourist heading throughout china for 5months here, Currently spent 6weeks total in china, xining to lhasa and tibet, and from beijing down to guangzhou.I am also the guy that made that autistically long list that sometimes is talked about in china threads.If you want to know whats in your area that is interesting or how to get there cheaply, ask me what you wish.
>you live there right now?
Yes, well...spending a few weeks here, working out of a hotel and maybe a hostel next week for the socialising.
Chongqing has amazing topology, with all sorts of crazy stuff built on the sides of hills and cliffs. It's a rabbit warren of underground arcades and malls in some places, I had been in my hotel for ten hours before I found the street entrance. I found it through a sign on an arcade wall that led to a basement elevator. I was actually going somewhere else entirely.
It's large. The scenery is unique.
It *is* polluted, even by Chinese standards but not really any worse than cities like Wuhan, probably better than Beijing. A good day, like today, will blow it away but otherwise you can't see over the Yangtze.
I don't know about the expat community, the city has a reputation for being a party town though I haven't found it yet.
I have a bit of a thread over in /n/ about the city: >>>/n/774256
Got a bunch of questions. Appreciate if anyone can help me out.
English teaching vs. working for yourself online in China. Which would be better?
I really want freedom to be able to travel around and do whatever I want, but online gigs are sometimes hard to come by and not completely reliable. Is it possible to work a 9-5, 5 day a week teaching job, then take weekend trips to other cities since plane tickets are generally pretty cheap?
Also, I just got a job in a decent tier 2 city. They're preparing to send over my work visa, but I also have jobs that are interested in me in Shanghai. If I choose Shanghai instead and drop this school, I'll have to wait another month or longer again, and I kind of need money now. And I want to be in China ASAP, but everyone says Shanghai is best for longterm living. Wat do?
Personally I'd take the shanghai option, just an all round more tolerable city to live in than most in china, easy to get around, people are more westernised and better behaved etc.Keep in mind the vast majority of expats I meet that teach complain that they never get away from their home city and whenever they are on holidays so is the rest of china and it makes travelling around unbearable.
>then take weekend trips to other cities
That doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun, you'd be constantly rushed and your tourism would be competing with anything else you wanted to do on your weekend.
I was in Shanghai last month and the air pollution was pretty bad.
keep in mind you can't see far in shanghai without polution. even hundreds of years ago there was tons of fog, which made the area popular with pirates, because it was impossible to pursue ships.
I'm an English teacher. I had a few schools tell me to come to China on a tourist visa and work for them, then they'd "convert it" later and I'd fly to Hong Kong to get a Z visa. I know it's illegal and mostly bullshit, but can you get away with it in most cases?
Or would the company try to fuck you over and not pay you, as well as threaten to report you to the Chinese govt if you don't do what they say?
Lots of people do that, it's a hassle but plenty get through it, I picked up a US girl in LKF, HK who was on exactly that sort of visa run/change. She got her new visa the next day and flew back to Shanghai. A few schools will just keep putting off the work visa and keep you there illegally though.
You're taking your chances but it can work. If the school you're with starts being dodgy then you can go talk to the other schools anyway since you aren't bound to a school by a work visa. You don't really have any way to force them to pay you outside of physical violence though.
There are schools that do it legitimately as well though.
get hooked up with a larger and more reputable company like EF and they wont try to screw you with Visa shenanigans.
>a year on a Z visa
I *believe* that qualifies you for an id card. It might not be exactly the same as a citizen ID card but it counts for hotels, maybe train tickets too. I've been asked for one even after I explained that I wasn't Chinese.
Confused the fuck out of me the first time, I'm like 'do I LOOK Chinese?', showing them my passport and they're like 'whatever, give us your id card', ended up staying there illegally I think.
I'm pretty sure an M or F visa can get you one, Z is foreign technical expert isn't it?
>so a local ID card would be amazing for me
I've only ever had an unresolvable problem without one once, when I walked into a hotel a few days ago, they told me to go stay in the hotel upstairs because it took foreigners. Three floors in an elevator later and I had no problems. If that hotel wasn't there, the first one might have taken me off-the-books anyway, I don't know. Have been meaning to look into them though, just not sure where to inquire.
>leave them or quit if you don't like the job? Do you have to leave China ASAP?
In theory, maybe. The visa is tied to the employer but you can apply to change it I think. All rules in China are flexible to a point. If the new employer has the connections then you'll be fine. You're supposed to leave once the employment isn't valid though, you probably have to be out within a few days. I'd organise the new job before quitting the old job.
Of course, you can defect to another school, work illegally for a week or two then do a visa run to get a new work visa. That's more likely to work but I think I've heard of people getting their employer switched legitimately. Hopefully this anon (>>944558) will comment as they sound like they actually did EFL instead of just regurgitating the information dumped by previous posters like I am.
The big legit schools don't like to take people locally though, I've heard of them only recruiting state-side.
Interesting, and yeah, the Z visa is a work visa, and you need to be classed as a "foreign expert" to get one (I'm only teaching English though).
How did you actually get the ID card though? At a PSB? Or did you just have to do whatever it is Chinese people need to do to get one?
>The big legit schools don't like to take people locally though, I've heard of them only recruiting state-side.
Nah, I work for EF, and some of our teachers worked in other schools for a year or 2 before working here, and they did it without being home. If you're teaching illegally (i.e. on anything other than a Z visa), then you might have trouble though.
>How did you actually get the ID card though?
I don't have one yet. I've just been asked for them, have gotten away without one until a few days ago.
>on anything other than a Z visa
I'm sure you can teach on an F visa, that's the normal one for foreign workers.
Z visas might be easier to get though. I think they have low requirements.
Lots of dodgy schools/recruiters tell you that you can teach on an F visa, and a lot of people even have F visas and teach on them and have no problems, but if you get caught, you'll get fined and/or deported and/or banned from returning, depending on who does the checking. Only Z visas are legal, even if plenty of people manage to teach on other visas (and to anybody reading, bear in mind that China is getting stricter and stricter every year in regards to this).
Ask on any ESL forum like Dave's Cafe. They'll all say the same thing.
>tfw eligible for that extended visa
Anyways, if possible, go to the San Francisco Chinese Embassy for visa processing yourself.
Much better processing than the other embassies I've gone to for processing.
That could be a while away, it would take some sort of international degree checking system. I'm sure plenty of western universities have numbers you can call to ask if so-and-so graduated from there with a given degree but I doubt it's a very smooth process to do on a large scale.
Also, who cares? Not the schools, it's just a visa requirement. The immigration department hopes that the schools will care and do the work for them, they are like all Chinese government departments....just checking that the boxes are ticked.
Confucianist bureaucracies don't optimise results, just processes.
>Academic transcript has the dates and grades of each subject and course.
>Each page has a unique number tied to the university database for identification by employers.
>Official seals and stickers etc.
Not easy to fake. It's the reason why most people without a degree can't work in Japan and other degree required countries.
>Official seals and stickers etc.
My academic transcript doesn't have that, only the actual degree. And seals and stickers are easily made, they only have to look the same.
>Each page has a unique number tied to the university database for identification by employers.
I'm not sure whether mine do or not but I'm sure no employer has ever checked. Do they want to start making calls for every recruit? Sounds like a lot of work for some HR person who isn't going to get in any trouble if they don't do it.
Large companies, universities and international schools have HR dedicated to checking backgrounds and academic records. If you want a higher paying job in teaching then you might need to worry.
But you're right, most of China doesn't check or bother.
Well sure, if you're getting an entry-level job at IBM then they'll check. Funnily enough they stop checking after a certain level because work experience is the real requirement, it's how you have execs with fake doctorates and things, takes decades for them to be noticed.
Maybe some of the very big schools will check but I'd be a bit surprised. It's likely only the ones that aim to be teaching native fluency to corporate clients or something.
not really. most cities can be done in a weekend, and there are 52 weekends in a year. its not hard to find spare weekends.
Going to Ninghai this weekend
yeh it sucks, but if you live here for a few years and then moved back home, your lungs will heal after a few years. i dont even wear my mask any more
here , i work for EF in one of their schools in Wuhan. its a very large company with hundreds of private English schools in China, so everything is done 100% legally and by the book, there are several people on staff at the school whose entire job is to get Visa paperwork and foreign expert certification set up. they also handle your housing and will help you with alot of smaller things like getting a cell phone and dealing with your landlord, which is always nice.
>I've heard of them only recruiting state-side.
for the most part yes, EF has at least one office in the US and several in Europe to handle recruitment of new English speaking teachers, but plenty of people already in China can apply through HQ in Shanghai and we've picked up at least one teacher just by word of mouth within the city.
>yeh it sucks, but if you live here for a few years and then moved back home, your lungs will heal after a few years.
shit, i was there for 8 months straight and the air was really starting to get to me, i was constantly coughing and hacking up slime from my throat with a bad cold that would always come and go. i've been back in the US now for a vacation for a week and a half and have already improved my breathing. maybe ill finally give in and buy a mask when i get back.
I recently got back from staying about 5 months in china. I had black mucus in my nose and was coughing it up and spitting it out a lot. I've heard it's even worse in Beijing and that whole northern area, where foreigners get hospitalized because it's so bad lol.
I imagine living more than a few years in some cities, you'll end up with permanently fucked up lungs and/or possibly cancer.
New topic: what's the best way to pick up hotties in tier 2 city night clubs? I went to a club in a 2 tier city smack dab in the middle of China while I was traveling one night. I had some very hot girls checking me out and smile at me. Problem was, I can't speak any Chinese, and it was one of those Chinese clubs with tables only so I couldn't really talk to them.
Do you need to get a table and bottle service to get the girls at these places?
>what's the best way to pick up hotties in tier 2 city night clubs?
I've been doing ok with wechat, skout and momo.
Momo is hard without some chinese or a lot of use of translator apps. Skout is mostly English speaking girls though.
Wechat has translation built in and has a 'find people near me' though when you're in a hotel, it mostly finds 20yo chinese girls ('within 100m') that are really pimps for escorts. Kind of annoying.
You need to learn to flirt. You can seduce someone by holding their hand if you're good at it. Just playing with your finger tips against theirs will get the message across.
Phone apps will translate if necessary.
Then you need to use sign language to ask them if you can join them. It's not rocket science, you gesture at an empty seat and raise your eyebrows. We mostly do this sort of thing without speaking when we're amongst English speakers.
I plan to go from Chengdu to Shenzhen during April.What would be the best mode of transport? I was thinking about a sleeper on a train but i wouldnt mind paying a little extra for a plain ticket.
I heard recently that most VPNs are blocked in China now as of a few days ago.
I was using Astrill when I was there, and Astrill was one of the VPN services that got blocked, and now it's useless.
Can anyone in China now confirm which VPNs are currently working there? I'm going to need to use one when I come back.
Some of the big ones were blocked, they're attempting to work around it.
I'm finding my DIY VPN has become a little unreliable, can't always connect on my phone. Not sure what's going on.
I'm currently using Open VPN so I might need to switch to something else that lets me use custom ports. If I can route VPN traffic on 443 or 80, it will probably never get blocked. Though there are rumours that the firewall does deep packet inspection and recognises (or attempts to recognise) VPN traffic and sends reset packets. If the current situation becomes too much of a hassle, I guess I'll do some research and experiment a little.
To anon though, smaller VPNs are ok, I know some people who had problems and others who are fine. It's not consistent and varies day by day but at least some free/obscure ones are doing fine.
>Where are the cutest English speakers?
I'm partial to Brighton girls myself.
As I posted in your other thread (and congratulations for using the China general, you should have done that in the first place), you need a China visa first, then worry about the rest of it.
Because you're not going on a package tour (your Tibet thing doesn't count), it will be a hassle to get the visa. I believe there are visa agents in SanFran and LA that can hook you up, if you're near those places.
Otherwise, I'd suggest heading to HK, getting a visa there which is straight-forward if you use a travel agent (there's one opposite iSquare main entrance that I've used before) and doesn't cost significantly more, even for rush service.
Then once you have the visa, head over to Shenzhen and do whatever you like.
So it seems that China is cracking down on usage of VPN which help people get around the Chinese Government censorship of internet. Will deter more non-Chinese people from visiting and working in China?
>Will deter more non-Chinese people from visiting and working in China?
Maybe the working part if it becomes widespread, I work here and use GoogleApps for all sorts of things.
Currently though, they're only targeting some of the big paid VPNs, not the VPN protocols themselves. There are rumours that they can but at the moment it seems ok.
In the past I've had times when I couldn't connect to my VPN using mobile data but it was temporary.
I use a home-brew VPN on a work server, not one of the public free/commercial ones.
How do you get tutoring work on the side in China?
It seems fairly hard. I tried it when I was there and couldn't really get any jobs. I got one company that was interested in hiring me for a gig as soon as I left, but I want to work for myself.
Are there Chinese websites where you can advertise your tutoring services? Craigs list doesn't work.