Legalities of part time work while on a Z visa in China

Hey9999's picture
By Hey9999 - Posted on
27 September 2017

Hello, I work in Beijing. I teach at a public school which sponsored my visa.

My question is: Is it necessarily illegal for me to work part-time for a different employer? My contract stipulates that I can only work for another employer if the school gives me permission. Do they have that discretion? If so, do they need to take any specific action?


EmmaL's picture
Last seen: 1 year 32 weeks ago
Joined: 01/08/2017

Hi there

Your best bet is to speak to your employer. What are you planning to do part-time? I know of some English teachers in China who tutor over the weekend, so while it's possible, it doesn't necessarily interfere with their full-time work, and perhaps their schools have given them permission.

It can be illegal if you knowingly breach your contract. Talk to other teachers and your employers, and if you can prove that it won't interfere with your work, you'll most likely be able to go ahead. Have a read of our doing business in China guide for some ideas on approaching the conversation. 

Hope this helped, and good luck!

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Anonymous's picture

Thanks for your response.

My friend as well as a colleague seem to think that it would not be legal despite the wording of the contract, and I should definitely not mention it to the school. They seem to think that the school most likely wouldn't even care, but if I actually brought it to their attention, they would say no.

I understand that lots of people do informal work such as tutoring on the side in China while on their work visa (along the lines what I was hoping to do) but it is not technically legal. I was hoping for a better understanding before I decide the best course of action.

Kind regards,


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Anonymous's picture

It is illegal unless you have a clause in your contract that allows your school to agree with another. However it seems a ambiguous because I'm pretty sure that foreign experts can't do part time work. I wAs recently take to the police station detained for right hours and made to pay 10000 rmb. I'm British and have all the correct paper work but this still happened. It was scary. I wouldn't advise on doing part time work now.

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