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anonymous
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Q: Is it too late to get the release letter?

I've become sort of an expert in the subject of obtaining Z visa, FEC, and applying for the RP thanks to this site and since I had to go through a lot of red tape in the process of getting one I did my homework.

 

However I'm clueless as to how to chance jobs without breaking or bending the law. The entire time I spent in China I did everything by the book, followed the laws and regulations to the letter. Never ever resorted to easy solutions when it came to visa issues.

 

Then this situation arose: I got fired. Right before the Chinese New Year without being given the prior notice. I've never heard anything like this before. It was my employer that violated the contract at every chance he got by farming me out, putting me through extra workload, not paying me on time etc. I was never late for work, not even once. I wasn't allowed to call in sick, no matter how sick I was, once I showed up for classes when I was running high fever.  

 

So he reserved the right to fire me, to withhold my last paycheck till I give up my FEC. And I couldn't do a thing about it. 

I don't mean to turn this into a sob story or anything. I know that I'm not the only foreigner that got screwed over by their employers in China. I'm merely painting a picture so I might get some insight from a complete stranger. 

 

As one can imagine, I  only came across new job prospects after the holiday. Not during, not before naturally. Now I have several options, found a job I was asked to sign a contract just yesterday. But since I couldn't get the release letter on time, I'm facing the music now: "We can't hire you without the release letter. Besides you have to check the validity of your residence permit, it might have been revoked without your knowledge." There is however one school that claimed they could sponsor my new visa without the release letter. They might be lying who knows.

 

Any suggestion on how to sort things out at this juncture, or at least  any idea on preventive remedies for nervous breakdown?

 

 

7 years 29 weeks ago in  Visa & Legalities - China

 
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I chose to remain anonymous because I don't want to get recognised from my profile picture. I am too embarrassed to talk about it openly.

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7 years 29 weeks ago
 
Posts: 3046

Emperor

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I would like to point out to you three things that I do feel you do not know yet.

 

1.- By Law, in China, a former employer is supposed to issue you a release letter once you cease working for him.  If he refuses to do so, you go to PSB and tell them of the refusal, and seek their help in obtaining the letter.  But bear in mind that as a result, they may give you a 10 day permit to leave the country, so make sure you tell them you are changing jobs.

2.- The FEC is issued to you, in your name, and it is your document.  It identifies you as a foreign expert.  It doe nothing for your employer.  SO, IT IS YOURS, NOT THEIRS.

You do not have to surrender it at all.

3.- To withhold your pay is also illegal.  Tell PSB they are doing so also. 

 

And another one to further clear your thinking.  Your work permit, your residence permit, and FEC are all tied to your employer, since they should state where you work.  If you change jobs, you must also change the employer's name on all three of them.  And for that you must go to PSB and Labor Bureau within 10 days of leaving the former employer.  You can not legally work for a new employer under your previous permits.

 

Remember, a work visa allows you nto enter China for the purpose of working here,  But it expires after 30 days of entering.  The work permit, and residence permit, take over after that and do act as your visa here, but are tied to you and your employer.  If change employer, must change employer designation on them.

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7 years 29 weeks ago
 
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Governor

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you should try to get the release letter. make some threats to the school. it sounds infantile, but you have to be aggressive or they won't give it. get aggressive, make some threats, or pay someone to do it for you, you will get the release letter, it takes them a few minutes or an hour to do. when thye see that you are serious, they don't know what lengths you are willing to go to get it, so they will give it up.

 

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7 years 29 weeks ago
 
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you have little power compared to the school, have the new school file a complaint about the other school not providing a release letter, if they dont send release letter after the new school files a complaint , the psp can take away their license to hire new teachers and this will trash the cash flow when parents dont see western faces for the kiddies to learn english from. this usually gets the result you want unless your school is getting rid of ft to use cheaper chinese teachers and they dont care.

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7 years 29 weeks ago
 
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Governor

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Yeah, pretty much what everyone said above.  Though I had one school where they wouldn't give it to me, and even after going to the PSB.  The PSB told me I had to work it out with my school, and there was nothing they could do.  I actually sought legal advice and they said the same above go to the PSB.  The only way it got worked out was my wife had to get ahold of the provincial department on foreign affairs/workers and then the local PSB was willing to back me after we brought the relevant paperwork showing that the school had to give the release letter.  The provincial office was surprised I was having trouble.  Afterwards the PSB backed me and I got the release letter from the FAO though the FAO kept telling me that they were only doing what the PSB told them, and thus doing nothing illegal.  They seemed upset to give me the release letter.  It was something along the line of I keep the resident permit but no release letter or I get release letter but have to downgrade my residence permit to an L-visa.  I was able to get the letter and not have to downgrade my residence permit..  But the biggest thing is they can lose their license to hire foreign teachers if they are pulling that kind of shit.

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7 years 29 weeks ago
 
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Governor

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Sorry to hear you go through that experience.  That's one of the reasons I only work with reputable schools.  Anywho, here is a link about release letters.  Hope it helps.

 

 

 

http://www.icaltefl.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=116...

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7 years 27 weeks ago
 
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