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Q: Got fired unlawfully. Can they just cancel my visa forcing me to leave China?

After complaining to the local labor bureau about several things like illegal work time and not getting paid according to my contract I received my termination.
My employer is in Baoding. When trying to call the responsible SAFEA bureau in Shijiazhuang - if they pick up at all - they hang up as soon as they realize I cannot speak Chinese.
My employer has a lot of guanxi here. So also dealing with the labor bureau in Baoding is very difficult. They are not helpful at all and just try to delay as much as possible.
I believe that my termination was unlawful based on Chinese labor law.
Now that they cancelled the visa I have no idea what my legal status is. I didn't receive any certificate about the cancellation. Also no letter of release, tax documentation etc.
There are new jobs in China available to me already. And I still have the sticker for the residence permit with several months to go in my passport.
I want to stay in China and receive my outstanding salary. Could somebody explain my options to me? Many thanks for your help.

36 weeks 6 days ago in  Visa & Legalities - Shijiazhuang

 
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Are you sure they've "cancelled" your visa? When you leave a job, whether through resignation or the employer terminating it, the employer has to give you a release letter and the recipt to show they've canceled your work permit (or FEC).

 

You'll need to keep contacting SAFEA as they are the only ones who can help you unless you pay a Chinese lawyer. Also keep going back and pestering the labour bureau to help you get the release letter, recieipt and salary owed.

 

How did the terminate your employement? Unless you broke their working regulations they have to give you 30-days notice. If you've worked there less than 6 months they need to pay you half a months salary, if more than 6 months then they need to pay you 1 months salary.

 

Do you have any Chinese friends who could phone SAFEA for you?

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36 weeks 6 days ago
 
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Are you sure they've "cancelled" your visa? When you leave a job, whether through resignation or the employer terminating it, the employer has to give you a release letter and the recipt to show they've canceled your work permit (or FEC).

 

You'll need to keep contacting SAFEA as they are the only ones who can help you unless you pay a Chinese lawyer. Also keep going back and pestering the labour bureau to help you get the release letter, recieipt and salary owed.

 

How did the terminate your employement? Unless you broke their working regulations they have to give you 30-days notice. If you've worked there less than 6 months they need to pay you half a months salary, if more than 6 months then they need to pay you 1 months salary.

 

Do you have any Chinese friends who could phone SAFEA for you?

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36 weeks 6 days ago
 
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Enter 'SAFEA' in search above for address and contact numbers of Provincial Gov. and dial them up.

 

Be polite, and ask for help and advice!

 

In some Provinces (Henan), there's nobody who speaks English, so if it's the same in your Province, either get Chinese person or your student, who can explain the matter in Chinese.

 

I usually ask for answering agent's email address, and I send them an email with detailed description of the problem.

 

I have good experience with at least 5 different Provincial SAFEA, all with contact details out of our web link here!

 

Good luck!

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36 weeks 6 days ago
 
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You gotta walk in SAFEA and handle this, no choice. If all else fails no choice, you gotta go to the PSB where you got your visa and one phone call from them will help get the ball going.

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36 weeks 6 days ago
 
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Wow. Thank you guys for all your immediate feedback. Feel much better already. Smile
Let me get a few things straight.
I came to China as an experienced engineer and was working in Baoding for what's probably the biggest employer in the region... with a lot of clout on local authorities.
NOW I'd like to do teaching work and got some offers already.
I already received a lot of help from friends. They helped me getting labor arbitration started. Which took them really a lot of time and effort.. I want to avoid to stress their kindness too much and try to do things on my own whenever possible. Since my employer also kicked me out of the company's apartment I'm living with a friend now.

HR says they have cancelled the visa and are in possession of the receipt. But don't hand it to me until I stop the labor arbitration...

I just send my local SAFEA office also an email. Let's see if I get a feedback.

My understanding after 1.5 years in China and studying some Chinese law blogs is that things here are usually not simple and clear.. and reading Article 40 of the labor law tells me that my termination was unlawful even if my employer actually pays the economic compensation described in Article 46 /47.

But they don't acknowledge that there is much more money missing (mainly uncompensated overtime). To discuss this I need time and I think now their strategy is to just force me to leave China..!? So I cannot pursue my rights...

Am I legal just with the ok residence permit in my passport?

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36 weeks 6 days ago
 
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Minor Official

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I am not very learned in China labor laws, but you can always contact your embassy in Beijing. I don't know how it works in the case of your country, but from my own experience I can say that they can be really helpful at times. I had a somehow similar problem when my university out of blue refused to inform me about the results of my exam telling me that I don't have the right to learn about my score (typical Chinese bluff) . Believe it or not, but few phone calls to the embassy solved the problem. As long as your workplace believes that you are just a helpless waiguoren they feel strong, but if they get a phone call from the embassy it may work in your favor. Wish you a lot of luck and persistence.

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36 weeks 6 days ago
 
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I have never had the FEC in my hands. The company arranged everything for us foreigners and also kept all the documents.
Even with Chinese support it was such a big issue to get me registered in my new place here in Baoding. It seems officials don't want to have anything to do with foreigners in their office. Probably I was the first foreigner they have seen in all these police stations trying to get registered.. It took us nearly 2 whole days being sent from one station to the next. I have never been to the one where I was originally registered with while working. It's a different one from where I am registered now. Which place should be responsible to inform about the current visa status?

I think I can trust that they really cancelled my visa at least 2 weeks ago. The termination came into effect one month ago.
Maybe I get into bigger trouble after going to the PSB in person with my passport (they invalidate the sticker in my passport too and also let me know officially..)?

Probably a tricky legal question: If my work contract was not terminated legally - is the visa termination lawful?
I read that it is very hard to dismiss under Chinese law. Probably that is why the company actually seems to encourage people doing the midnight run. I have seen a few coworkers doing it the last couple of months.. and they probably expected from me too.

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36 weeks 6 days ago
 
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Shifu

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Your FEC clearly states on the first page "Issued to Bearer" just like your passport. It is your document.

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36 weeks 6 days ago
 
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Can you name the School in Baoding, you are talking about, please?

 

You can edit original thread and write name of the School, you described your troubles.

 

It will serve as warning to the other foreign teachers, who are looking for the new position.

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36 weeks 6 days ago
 
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Wow. So the OP was employed as an engineer. Then he decided to become a teacher.

Different work permits. Brown book verses the blue FEC.

There seems to be a lot of confusion here. Can you change from a brown book to blue? What colour book does the OP have?

If he had a blue book, but was doing a brown book job, that puts a different slant on things.

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36 weeks 6 days ago
 
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Shifu

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I hate to be the bearer of (potential) bad news @ Mr joerg81, but depending upon which office will do the FEC for you, you may experience some issues by way of your nationality.

 

I can't speak to other areas or administrations but in my small neck of the woods they will only offer those with experience from The Big 5 an FEC - USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand.

 

Mr scotsalan raises an interesting point about the transfer of brown book to blue book. This could throw another spanner in the works because it is, I expect, an uncommon occurrence.

 

And we know how an out of the ordinary situation is often viewed. Too hard, just say no.

 

I hope this is not the case but as they say: hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

 

Good luck and please update your experience for others

 

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36 weeks 5 days ago
 
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I know the Chinese are not really good at dealing with reason.. but I would be teaching German. Wink Shouldn't it be handled similar to all the ESL info here? I'm from a native German speaking country..!?

Do I necessarily have to transfer to a blue book?

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36 weeks 5 days ago
 
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Governor

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You can name and shame all over the internet on every ESL and China forums to make it extremely hard for them to get a Foreign teacher in the future.

 

Oh they will hate you to death for it, but they can't do anything if you are not in China anymore.

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36 weeks 4 days ago
 
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it's very hard to make the judge even listen to what i had to say..

so a friend also thought publicity would be working better.. Laughing out loud

http://club.m.autohome.com.cn/bbs/thread-c-3298-60828276-1.html

..all the posts together got about 30,000 clicks so far.. Smile

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16 weeks 6 days ago
 
Posts: 62

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..there is even a site for naming and shaming.. Laughing out loud

https://www.nameandshame.com/r/cn-hebei-baoding/great-wall-motor-haval-w...

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13 weeks 13 hours ago
 
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Shifu

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Yes, they can. 

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13 weeks 7 hours ago
 
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..but it gets tricky when the reason for the termination is unlawful..

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7 weeks 3 days ago
 
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in my opinion i am actually not terminated

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7 weeks 3 days ago
 
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Common folk

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OP, I will help you! Contact me ~

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5 weeks 13 hours ago
 
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Soldier

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I sent u a pm.

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1 week 6 days ago
 
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That's really sad. You do need to keep all documents that prove you are here living and working legally (FEC etc). If the company won't show evidence that they cancelled the visa, they didn't. If you push forth in court, it all has to come to light and they'll lose.

 

For any other readers, if you were not fired on paper with stamp, you'd better keep going to work. Unfortunately I've heard SAFEA is not helpful for non Chinese speakers so I recommend getting an immediate lawyer. Even an intern at the courthouse can help with the first round (arbitration).

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1 week 4 days ago
 
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are u a lawyer how do u know u got fired unlawfully

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2 days 7 hours ago
 
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