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Peasant

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Q: non natives renewing current work permit

Hello.

 

I was wondering i anyone can shed any light on the current situation regarding non natives and work permits. I have been in China three years. This is the second year at my current school in Taiyuan, Shanxi province. On Friday the school called a meeting and has informed us that those of us who are non native English speakers will not be able to renew our work permits next year (this is four out of the seven foreign teachers we have). Therefore our contracts will not be renewed and we have to leave by the end of June.

 

The school have been informed by the FEB that Shanxi will no longer accept new applications or renew existing permits unless the teacher is from one of the six designated countries.

 

Has anyone else had this news? Is it isolated to this province? The school are themselves in a panic about it as it is really difficult for them to attract native speakers, in fact of the expats I know in Taiyuan, the vast majority are non native.

 

Obviously myself and my colleagues need to start looking for new jobs. I am wondering if I will be banging my head against a wall or can anyone else suggest a place where this rule is not being enforced. At first we were suspicious it was a disguise for the school to release us but a friend who teaches at a nearby university has been told the same thing, in fact he will have to finish at the end of this semester as his contract finishes then.

 

Any advice would be appreciated.

1 week 4 hours ago in  Visa & Legalities - China

 
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Emperor

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No, it isn't isolated case!

'Native English Speaker' is new requirement at English teaching jobs in China and all WP applications by an employer can be completed only online, i.e. no guanxi (my Chinese is good ).

 

Non-native English teachers have slight chance at securing WP if presented degree was completed in Native English speaking country and it's authorised by the University (stamp) and Chinese Embassy (stamp).

 

I didn't test that. I left China instead in June of this year.

You can most likely get an English teaching job under F visa, but working with Business visa isn't legal by Chinese law.

I don't suggest, you accept work on any other visa but Z/RP, because you will be sucked and abused by an employer and you cannot expect help of Gov. (SAFEA).

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1 week 27 min ago
 
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Posts: 13410

Emperor

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No, it isn't isolated case!

'Native English Speaker' is new requirement at English teaching jobs in China and all WP applications by an employer can be completed only online, i.e. no guanxi (my Chinese is good ).

 

Non-native English teachers have slight chance at securing WP if presented degree was completed in Native English speaking country and it's authorised by the University (stamp) and Chinese Embassy (stamp).

 

I didn't test that. I left China instead in June of this year.

You can most likely get an English teaching job under F visa, but working with Business visa isn't legal by Chinese law.

I don't suggest, you accept work on any other visa but Z/RP, because you will be sucked and abused by an employer and you cannot expect help of Gov. (SAFEA).

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1 week 27 min ago
 
Posts: 4

Peasant

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I understand that. However we all currently have category B work permit cards. We went to all the trouble of getting authentications and have the stamps. It was necessary in the summer to do this to qualify for the work permit card. It seems at that time this 'native speaker' status was not being enforced here.

 

Is it possible to transfer the card I have to another school. Does anyone know if there is another province(Drunk where this rule is not applied? I would rather go home than work on a business visa.

 

This is all very stressful at the moment.

icnif77:

I would say, it's slim chance some provinces/cities accept Non-native speakers, because all card/WP thing is completed over the Internet, so the rule applies universally around China.

 

You could find out by sending your CV to new jobs openings and see if you'll get any replies from Schools.

Even if you'll get positive replies, you should be careful because most likely employer who'll offer you a job, doesn't know new rules.

6 days 21 hours ago
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6 days 21 hours ago
 
Posts: 2801

Shifu

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Probably the best thing you can do at this point is to apply for jobs in less developed places, make them aware of your status and if they say they can get you legal speak to the other (non-native) foreign teachers there and ask them if the school is legit and can be trusted to come through with the right visa. Hopefully someone has just been renewed or hired so you'll know they can.

 

I really don't like your chances mate, the new rules are making things hard for a lot of people but good luck.

 

 

icnif77:

Things for work in China got harder even for the Native English speakers. Have a look at Dave's ESL Cafe/China Board what some must go through to secure job in China.

6 days 14 hours ago
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6 days 14 hours ago
 
Posts: 4

Peasant

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Thanks for all your replies, particularly icnif77 who seems to understand my situation.

 

I have been looking for other jobs and actually frequently do see jobs which say 'non-native speakers okay' (even if the salary is lower). I replied to one in Gansu province who replied very quickly. When I asked about work permits at least they were upfront and said 'yes we are qualified to get them but for our non-native teachers we can only offer business visas'.

 

Our local expat wechat group has been awash with this topic since last week. It appears that anyone here who is non native and has a work permit card has been told the same thing, it cannot be renewed, if you want to stay it will be on another visa. Its a big unsettling time for us.

icnif77:

That happened to me this year, but I rather exit China.

I had several new offers (Public Schools) with signed and stamped Contract which all turned to 'we can't employ you!' few months later.

'Work with Business visa' offer followed ...

I had to fight with employers about Contract respect while I was working legally with Working permit/RP. I don't want to think how that fight would ended-up if I would work illegally with Business visa.

 

Why do you see job offers to Non-native English speakers?

China cannot afford to apply the same rule as in Taiwan, Japan and other smaller countries, because in China there are 300 million English language students .... There is not enough Native English speakers in the whole world to satisfy this demand.

Whatever I am concern, Chinese English teachers can have all my students.

4 days 17 hours ago
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4 days 20 hours ago
 
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My two-cents, and that's all it's worth, two-cents.  I'm just curious what they mean by saying 'Native speaker'?  

 

Ok, So lets get it on the table once and for all -

 

 • What qualifies a person to be a 'Native speaker'.

 • Why is this qualification required.

 

diverdude1:

Ok, I'll answer the question and see what you guys think about it.

 

 1.  It means to hold a passport from one of these countries:

         

           UK

           USA

           Canada

           Australia 

           New Zealand

 

 2.  No why. Or rather it's just them satisfying a widespread preconception that that is where English speaker are from.  

 

*Now for the unofficial answer:  Means you need to be of the Caucasoid Persuasion.

4 days 17 hours ago
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Stiggs:

Yep, that's pretty much it.

4 days 17 hours ago
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icnif77:

I think, South African and Irish passport holders also qualify for WP, however I am not sure how that is implied. 

4 days 17 hours ago
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4 days 19 hours ago
 
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Do any of you have degrees from the accepted countries? If so, doubl-check. 

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4 days 19 hours ago
 
Posts: 4

Peasant

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According to the rules, 'native speaker' is defined as someone who holds a passport from USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. It used to include South Africa but they have been removed from this list.

 

I am from The Netherlands. We are taught English from birth. We use it in our daily lives as much as we do Dutch. My degree is in English however I studied in Holland.

icnif77:

What rules? You are in China. Sorry to say, buTT ... you aren't considered Native English speaker to teach English in China.

I am blunt, but it will save you a time and troubles.

 

 

4 days 18 hours ago
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Posts: 2801

Shifu

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Not saying I agree with the native speaker requirement or how it's enforced, but I can see how it would have come about.

 

Someone in the education department would have decided there has to be some control on the standard of English being taught by foreign teachers. There needs to be some standard criteria that can be applied regarding who is legally allowed to teach English. That's fair enough, you really can't have people teaching English who can't even speak it properly.

 

The thing is the average visa official is in no position to judge individual people's English ability and even if they could it wouldn't be practical to individually test each and every applicant's English before they're allowed in the classroom so they just came up with a blanket rule - people from these five countries are eligible, other countries are not.

 

Yes, there are a lot of countries where the people are as comfortable with English as with their own language but I can't imagine the official who made the decision spending a lot of time asking questions about those countries, he would have just said 'what countries have English as the primary language?' OK cool, that's our new rule then. Now, who's up for KTV later?

 

There's also the accent thing. In China they have the opinion that there is a 'proper' Chinese accent and everything else is wrong. I never understood that but I think they don't want to admit that there are different dialects in China, because China is united under one language and all that.

Anyway, they assume that English is the same - there is a 'proper' accent and if you learn the 'wrong' accent you won't be understood.

 

I've seen it time and again, people thinking American English and English English is basically a different language - the same way Mandarin and Cantonese is. They're often surprised that say a Kiwi and an American, or an Australian and Canadian can communicate freely. When you throw in English speakers from any more countries then it would just blow their minds.

 

 

 

 

diverdude1:

Excellent explanation. And yeah, unfair, erroneous assumption or not, I can see how they would need a simple, easy to understand and apply rule regarding the issuance of WP. 

4 days 17 hours ago
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Posts: 1

Peasant

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I was searching or jobs and and came across this posting. I find myself in a similar position. I am in Henan, Sanmenxia and yesterday we received similar news. It is very concerning. I went to the expense and trouble of returning home in the summer to get all these background checks, authentications etc and my work permit was approved. Now, after several months they are telling us we cannot renew and have to find another job.

 

You can add Henan to this list of barred provinces for non-natives to work. People suggest to go to not so popular regions, well Shanxi and Henan are not on the developed list that's for sure so does anyone else work in a province who is non-native and have a work permit?

 

Please let me know before I waste time sending out resumes. The clock is ticking for me now. I'm very upset.

icnif77:

Read my comments above!

School's application for your working permit can be submitted only online!

That means, the same rule (only passport holders from Native English countries qualify for an English teaching job) applies all around China.

 

I am Non-native (passport holder) English teacher worked in China since 2009 with proper visa (Z/Residence permit), but I exited China by the end of June of this year.

 

You could never secure working permit as Non-native English passport holder in Japan, Taiwan and other smaller Asian countries! That is the reason you are (I was) working in China. Now, all that has changed!

You could still send your CV to job openings in China, and you can also try the same at Dave ESL Cafe/International Job Board. Private English teaching mills in EU could be good place to try (for EU passport holder) and they are all looking for an English teachers (with lower pay than in China).

EU passport holders don't need working permit to work in EU for the difference of 4 Native English countries passport holders (USA, Ozz, NZ, Canada) and UK soon, he he.

English Schools in EU will employ you just for that reason alone, if your English sprach is without an accent.

Good luck!

3 days 16 hours ago
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3 days 17 hours ago
 
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Governor

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To add a little more fuel to the fire, what do we think is going to happen to the industry here (training schools et al) when there are no longer those 'non-native' teachers to fill them? There are going to be a lot of empty mills and angry blokes with a tenuous grasp of English who opened them.

icnif77:

IMO, there's no other solution, but domestic (Chinese) English teachers must take over like elsewhere in the world.

3 days 12 hours ago
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mike168229:

That is true but, the whole industry is built on the fact they can give you 'native speakers' or lie about it at least. There is nowhere else in the world that relies so heavily on that kind of USP for the classes. You all know that the main pull for the parents is the 'school' being able to provide a foreign teacher of some description.

3 days 12 hours ago
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icnif77:

I was at IELTS/TOEFL prep. mill in Kaifeng, Henan in 2015, which employed only Chinese English teachers with big Uni Campus near-by with some 10 Native English teachers (Ozz, UK).

School's fee must be much lower ('cause no Native English teachers) and that solved the problem and 'no other choice' but prep. in English with Chinese teachers who all studied or lived in Native English countries for last 100 years at least ....You know, 'crafty Chinese'.

3 days 12 hours ago
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mike168229:

Of course, they'll always find a way around it.

1 day 20 hours ago
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3 days 13 hours ago
 
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