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Common folk

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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.

11 weeks 3 days ago in  Visa & Legalities - China

 
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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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11 weeks 3 days ago
 
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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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11 weeks 3 days ago
 
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Common folk

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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.

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11 weeks 3 days ago
 
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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.

 

 

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11 weeks 3 days ago
 
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Common folk

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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.

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11 weeks 1 day 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.

 

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11 weeks 1 day ago
 
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Do any of you have degrees from the accepted countries? If so, doubl-check. 

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11 weeks 1 day ago
 
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Common folk

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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.

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11 weeks 1 day ago
 
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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.

 

 

 

 

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11 weeks 1 day ago
 
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Common folk

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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.

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11 weeks 5 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.

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11 weeks 1 hour ago
 
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Common folk

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I can confirm this is true. I work for EF in Taiyaun and all the non-native teachers have been given termination letters to this effect. Here is a paragraph from the letter:

 

'Unfortunately we have been advised by the Foreign Experts Bureau that with effect from 1st January 2018 we will no longer be able to hire new foreign experts or renew the existing work permits of foreign experts who are not from the official native speaking countries. It is with regret that we will not be able to offer you the option of continuing your employment with us once your existing contract has expired'

 

It is a very uncertain time for us indeed.

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10 weeks 1 day ago
 
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Governor

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I wonder when Canada will get dropped from the list too. After; all the people in La Belle province speak mostly French or Cree. And those Newfies speak a a form of English that is both Scottish and Louisiana/Mississippian. on The prairies it is Ukrainian and German.

On, and don't forget, Greater Vancouver; it's Cantonese and Mandarin.

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10 weeks 23 hours ago
 
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Governor

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I forgot Punjabi and many other Indian Sub continent languages.

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10 weeks 23 hours ago
 
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http://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/XS6swfhn0jH1XgsD3nQ9RA

Someone sent me this link today. Look at the bottom. Shanghai office will be closed for system upgrade.

I suspect the system is being joined up now. Work permits/ residence permits tied to our phone numbers and phone gps. Tax records connected to WP applications. Wechat pay connected to all. Super computers humming in the background.

Geo ringfence a school, what phones are there, how long for, who owns the number, beep beep to the PSB. Buy lunch outside the school at a street trader? Wechat pay recorded.

Expenditure v income/ tax paid... all recorded.

Spend time where drug dealers deal... beep beep.

Visit a brothel.... beep beep at next health check.

Renew spouse visa.. Do you work... no... erm... computer says yes.

But it will backfire on them in terms of teachers. Because they need the teachers. There are, put simply, not enough teachers already.

I am in the process of looking for an English teacher for my daughter. Weighing up the options and investigating. Not many options.

If the local middle class cant have the dream of their kids getting to Oxford, there will be a massive outcry.

Hang tight folks. I am sure these new restrictions will fail. Might take a year or so. But they will be relaxed.

Fingers crossed.

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10 weeks 10 min ago
 
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9 weeks 6 days ago
 
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Common folk

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Any updates/news?

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9 weeks 3 days ago
 
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Hi, I knew nothing of this matter but I have a different problem so advice for me p!ease....

I am english, native speaker.

I taught in liaoning for eight years, no problem. I retired two years ago but want to teach again as I love it and really miss it.

My problem is being 66!

I am fit and healthy, never missed class etc.

I have awards from China, great recognition of my efforts....

But I am 66. Too old.

I want to talk to xinjinping but dont have his contact details....

If China would relax the age rule etc....

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9 weeks 2 days ago
 
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Common folk

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It appears to be gradually creeping in. A Polish friend of mine who has been teaching in China several years has been told this and he is in Xi'an. His school said to retain him he would need to go onto a business visa.

 

I guess after New Year we will see the true picture.

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9 weeks 1 day ago
 
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Governor

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Maybe the younger people don't think teaching in China is that good anymore. Many are backpackers out of Post secondary institutions looking for some travel time to experience China while getting some valuable experience in people skills. Suddenly they find there are office hours in the 40 hour work week with scant pay a lousy living conditions. Us old, and experienced guys have roots and a home somewhere in China. We can pick and choose. too bad the government isn't taking advantage of us old and healthy guys with years of experience teaching in China.

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4 weeks 5 days ago
 
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