Doing business in China can be tough…..but hey, if it was easy, everyone would do it. In this episode I discuss this week’s biggest China business challenge – China Work Permit and Z Visas for foreign staff.

Trouble with the new Point System for China Work Permit

NB: This is a YouTube video and cannot be viewed from within China.


Hey there, this is Anthea Palmer and I’m coming to you from Zhongshan in the Guangdong Province of China.

This is video 1 in a new series that I hope to release. I’m doing this because a lot of people are interested in what it’s like to do business in China, what it’s like to come over and be a start-up, what it’s like to live here with a family, what are some of the highs and lows, barriers etc.

it’s not going to be a personal VLOG, I’m not going to share a lot of feelings with you, I’m going to bring you on the business journey more than anything else.If it’s of interest to people…great! If it’s not….I’ll stop.

I don’t have a lot of time to allocate to this process, so it’s going to be my laptop, which I’m talking to now, this broken microphone, no lights, no make-up, It’s going to be very “bare bones,” just you, me, and some business stories.

Too much has happened to catch you up on what I’ve done until now, you can have a quick read of my website at About Anthea Palmer, and that will fill you in on some background. I’m just going to run with it people…so catch up!

Current Problem for China based Business

The biggest problem I am having with my business right now is that I want to expand and it’s very difficult to hire other foreigners to help. I have fantastic Chinese staff here, but there are some roles and situations where another foreigner would be great. For instance, to bring another Australian over to work with me who has some skill in the areas I required would be fantastic.

New China Work Permit Point System

One reason it’s difficult now is because in April the Chinese Government changed the system to a point system. They did it because in the past there was some grey area as to who could have visas and who couldn’t, why some people did get China working permits and others didn’t, so they now have a point system where you have to achieve a minimum of 60 points to be awarded your work permit and/or Z visa.

This is problematic because a lot of foreigners who have worked here on z visas for a long time, are now finding that they don’t have enough points.

Not only is the point system an issue, but they are cracking down on making sure existing work permits and visas are very specific to the role that people are working in.

China Police Visa Checks

To give you an example. a friend of mine has a restaurant and just last week the police came through to check foreign visas. Their Chef did have a currently work permit, however it was for restaurant management role rather than for a Chef position. As a result the restaurant received a70,000 RMB fine an the Chef is about to be deported.

In the past I didn’t hear about so many situations where they were checking and so fussy about the work permit role, and deporting people if it didn’t match their current job.

Difficult to Hire Foreigners

Fun and games here. It is making it difficult for foreigners with businesses here to hire other foreigners. You can see why the Chinese Government are doing it, more jobs for the Chinese, which is understandable.

To fill you in on the point system, there are points allocated for your age group, they prefer people of a particular age. Also, they would like you to have some Chinese language skill. Tertiary qualifications are not surprisingly on the list. They would like you to have many years or work experience specifically in your role.

For detailed information on the China Work Permit Point System visit Point System Explained

Current Role Specific Experience Only

One of my problems is that although I have many years, over fifteen years of experience in General Management, only five of those years are relevant to the restaurant / hospitality industry, and so I was only allocated points for 5 years of experience.
The China work permit point system is becoming quite tricky to manoeuvre.

China Visa issues are the biggest hurdle that I’m facing this week. I’m hoping to grow my business. I will take you along on that journey. It would help me if I could hire some foreigners to assist me with what I’m doing here….but just at the moment it’s a “can’t do.”

You can find out more about my business in China by visiting Jimmy Hornet

That’s it for episode one. I’m Anthea Palmer. See you again soon.


China Work Permit and Z Visa – Business Challenge
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