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Q: Changing employers and the "release letter".

I am going to change my employer in Zhejiang.


For the moment, I work for an agency called Haida, where I have been empoloyed for two years. 


My Residence Permit expires June 14th. The college (which I do not like and would quit yesterday if I could do so) has me schedules to work until the end of June. Got this mess cleared up by me doing extra classes for them for me to finish a day before my deadline of my Residence Permit.


I went to Haida about a week ago to collect my documents for my new work permit and asked for my release letter. I was told that I could not get said 'release letter' until I finished the contract. This upset me obviously since they wont give me the letter I need until the day my Residence Permit expires, saying that the letter will void my work permit if I got it sooner.


Told my new employer this and she asked to talk to Haida which she did yesterday. So we worked it out so I can get the release letter on May 31st. The new employer says this shouldnt be a problem. The new employer also said that the application can be done online. So I am trying to ask some probing questions about the procedure, because I feel that two weeks will not be enough time to get this done. The new employer states that there should be no problem. Ok, but am still very concerned about this.


I am really pissed off at Haida for not giving me this "release letter" so we can start the process now or next week. I dont see what the difference is between May 6th and May 31st. May 31st I will still work for the old employer for two more weeks. Haida wont budge on the May 31st thing either, which is a Friday which means I will have to take off a day from my job. I am off Monday, so asked, what about May 27th. No, was told by Haida there is a process of about three weeks of cancelling the work permit (even though I will stll work there after this for two to three weeks). I dont understand why Haida just doesnt just give me the fking letter NOW and then go through the cancellation process.


My understanding of the process is that your paperwork goes to the Foreign Expert Bureau and they sit on it for about three weeks and then the PSB. I can go to the PSB on the last day of the old Residence Permit which I have had to do several times in the past which causes stress because if something is wrong or messed up, my time is up. In my life, I am not a very disciplined person, but I am disciplined on time. I like getting things done early. I dont like and hate others who do things at the "last minute".


To renew with same employer you must do it within 30 days. I was told by the new employer with it takes less time to change jobs. Don't know and the internet is sketchy on this point. What is the straight answer on this? Chinese dont seem to like to give straight answers to anything which I have always found to be highly annoying. One person tells you one thing and someone else another.


Advice or experience? Thank you.

47 weeks 5 days ago in  Visa & Legalities - China

Answers (1)
Comments (1)
Posts: 16

Minor Official

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Not sure about Zhejiang, but here in Sichuan it's been simplified and explain like this. The release letter should have been provided by your current emplyer the momnet you told them you would be changing jobs. Chinese employers just screw with you, because they don't want you to work for someone else if they can help it. Fortunately SAFEA are on your side on this, as your new employer probably told them. 

Anyway, the process for an employer is first: apply online through SAFEA for permision to employ. This is the starting point, and is the check that ensures you have the right to be mployed by the new company. It takes 5 working days in Sichuan, not sure about where you are, but check with employer. Once they recieve the permisionto employ, you and they go with your documents to apply in person for your Foreign Work Permit. This takes 10 working days BUT, and this is important, your reciept showing your application recieved date is your safety. As long as that is before your current Resident Permit expiration, you're good to go. Don't worry. It might be worth going with your new employer to the PSB office and having this fact confirmed by them, but remember your first Resident permit was probably issued well after you arrived in China, but backdated? It's the same with renewals. As long as you've started the application (Foreigner's Work Permit then Residence Permit) process BEFORE your Resident Permit expires, your cool.

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43 weeks 2 days ago
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