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Huge! Foreign Students Can Work in China With This Visa

Foreign students can work in China Is it true foreign students can work in China? Yes, it is true! If

Image showing chinese traditional setting that foreign students will enjoy whilst interning in China

Foreign students can work in China

Is it true foreign students can work in China?

Yes, it is true! If you’re an international student studying in China, you’re probably looking for a way to gain work experience to enrich your resume. You’ll not only learn some skills and work ethics in China, but you can also make some extra money.

Unlike some countries, where your student visa automatically guarantees you some number of hours to work, the case in China is different.

It is illegal for international students to simply work with X1 visa.

In this blog post, we will discuss the X1 visa and how you can navigate around it to work part-time in China. Let’s get started.

What is the X1 visa?

The X1 visa is an official Chinese visa given to international students to pursue their studies in China.

How to apply for the X1 visa

The process of applying for X1 visa  is relatively straightforward

Despite the fact that it depends on the international student’s country of origin/residence, the Chinese university that gave the student admission plays a key role.

Generally, foreign students must submit an application for X1 visa to the local Chinese Embassy or Consulate in their home country or country of residence.

Documents required to apply for an X1 visa

These include:

  • A valid passport
  • Admission letter
  • Proof of financial support (such as bank statements) if applicable
  •  Transcript and diploma/certificate (s)
  • Physical exam
  • Filled out the visa application form, etc.

Once all the documents have been submitted, you will be informed about the date to return for your interview or visa.

International Students should remember to check the visa application requirements for their particular country of origin before beginning the application process.

How Can foreign students work in China?

International students who hold an X1 visa can legally take up part-time work in China after they have secured the internship visa.

Workplace for foreign students who can work in China

How can I use my X1 visa to work in China?

Once you have your X1 visa, it’s time to start looking for work. Do your research on local companies and businesses that offer part-time job opportunities.

You can also search online for tutoring jobs. Make sure you read the job requirements carefully and make sure you satisfy the requirements before applying.

After getting the job offer, follow these steps:

  • Speak to the International Student Office personnel in your university.
  • Inform them about your intention for an internship
  • Submit the internship appointment letter to the international students’ office
  • The international students’ office will issue an approval letter to you
  • Submit your passport, internship appointment letter, approval letter and other required documents to the Public Security Bureau (PSB).
  • The PSB will then issue the internship visa to you.

What kind of work opportunities are available for international students in China?

There are plenty of job opportunities that international students can explore with an internship visa. This ranges from internships at local and international companies and businesses to tutoring jobs and online gigs.

With the right skills and qualifications, you’ll find a job that fits your lifestyle and schedule.

The two major categories of work for international students in China

The “Work-Study Assistance for International Students in Colleges and Universities” policy has two major categories of types of work for international students. Namely:  On-Campus and Off-Campus types of work.

Workspace for international students in China

On-Campus type of works

Working on campus as an international student is possible. There are varying opportunities on campus in different sectors to work part-time as an international student.

Here are some on-campus job opportunities:

Language  Assistant or Translator

If you are fluent in Chinese and any major international language (ie. English, Russian, French, German, etc.), then you can work as a translator in the international students’ office of your university.

Student Ambassador

International students have the opportunity to work part-time in their universities as ambassadors to promote the university to prospective students.

Research Assistant

With significant recognition on the global stage, many universities in China focus a lot on research. This creates a glorious opportunity for international students with research skills to work as research assistants.

Teaching Assistant

If you have a strong academic background in a particular subject, you can take advantage of this and work as a teaching assistant. Normally, your department or faculty will announce the vacancies for you to apply.

Campus Event Assistant

Universities in China host a lot of events within the academic year. Thus, they create avenues for international students to work as event assistants or translators.

Library Assistant

Some of the universities in China allow international students to assist in the library. If you’re fortunate to have that offer in your school, don’t miss it for anything.

Social Media Handler/Manager

Universities in China like most universities in the world aggressively use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc., to reach out to international communities and prospective international students. As a result, they create opportunities for international students who are social media savvy.

Content/Video/Picture Editor

Are you good at writing and organizing write-ups or are you awesome at editing videos and pictures? If your answer is YES, then here you go. You can work part-time in your university in China as a video and content editor.

Content Creator

How creative are you? Do you know how to put words and pictures together to catch the attention of readers and viewers? If you see yourself as one, then you’re good to go. Content creators are making big strides in universities in China.

International student working for a university on part-time basis in China.


Universities use the services of international students who have creative minds and are good at taking pictures and videos.

Largely, there are plenty of opportunities for international students on campus to work part-time.

One advantage of working on campus is that you get to build a network across the spectrum, ie. from the student level through to the higher management level within the university.

Off-Campus types of jobs

As a foreign student in China, you have tons of opportunities to gain work experience before you return home or move on to your next destination.

What jobs are available for international students in China?

key areas where you can easily find off-campus jobs include:

IT, Engineering, Marketing, Graphic Design, Writing, Voice Over, Translation, hospitality, freelancing etc.

Be determined and patient when searching for off-campus jobs and remember to obey Chinese laws and regulations so that you don’t get your student visa revoked and get deported.

Working hours for international students according to Chinese Laws and Regulations

The Chinese Government has set out specific rules regarding the working hours for international students in China. In the “Work-Study Assistance for international students in Colleges and Universities” policy, foreign students must not work more than 8 hours per week. And not more than 40 hours per month. Meanwhile, during Summer and Winter vacations, foreign students could work not more than 16 hours per week and must be within 80 hours per month. In all cases, part-time work must not interfere with the study of the student.

Essential Requirements for International Students to Work Part-Time in China

In order to work part-time in China, international students must meet certain requirements.

Valid Students Visa

An international student must have a valid visa in order to be eligible for a Student Work Permit. It is crucial because it is the primary document you need to consider before even thinking of working part-time in China.

Valid student work permit

The most important of these is obtaining a valid Student Work Permit from the appropriate authority (ie. Public Security Bureau-PSB) within 10 days. This permit allows international students to legally work off-campus provided the employer has obtained the relevant permit from the Chinese authorities.

Valid resident permit

In addition to the Student Work Permit, international students must also have a valid residence permit that is issued by their local Public Security Bureau. This permit allows them to legally stay in China for more than six months and apply for part-time work.

Must not have less than six months of student visa

International students must also be enrolled in a full-time degree program at an accredited Chinese university or college. This is the only way you can qualify to work part-time in China.

Consent from the host university in China

Your school must also provide a letter of approval for the part-time job before you can start working. It is important to note that depending on the type of job, additional permits may be required.

Geographical scope for the part-time work

The student can only work in the city where their university is located. It is illegal to take student work permits in City A and work in city B. If you do otherwise, the laws will punish you severely.

Age requirement

International students who wish to work off-campus must be 18 and above.

Hazard Free

According to Chinese laws and regulations, it is prohibited for international students to engage in any kind of hazardous work. So, to avoid falling on the wrong side of the law, it is advisable to do proper background checks on the company and the type of work you are being offered before accepting the offer.

Must fulfil your academic obligations

The policy governing international students working part-time in China frowns on the work interfering with the performance of the student in school. Hence, when working part-time you must ensure that you perform well academically, and take part in school activities as well.

When working part-time in China, it is important to remember to always observe good conduct and respect the culture, customs and regulations of your employer and the country.

Find the details of the updated Chinese policies on international students working part-time in China.

How does the internship visa work in China?

Once you have your internship visa, you as a foreign student can work in China on a part-time basis. International students are allowed to work for up to 40 hours per month with the X1 visa. Make sure that you follow the rules and regulations of your job and keep track of your hours worked.

There you have it! Those who want to take advantage of legal working opportunities in China should definitely consider applying for an internship visa. With the right skills and qualifications, foreign students can work part-time in China.

What are the requirements for an internship visa in China?

In order to be eligible for the internship visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be an international student currently enrolled in a Chinese university
  • Have sufficient financial resources to support yourself while working
  • Must have a valid passport and a valid X1 visa
  • Submit an internship appointment letter issued by your school or employer
  • Must submit other required documents as requested by the PSB

Note: In most cases, students whose internship opportunities are in line with their major easily get support from their university.

Benefits of interning in China

Interning in China has many advantages. Including:

  • International students can gain valuable work experience
  • Learn about the local culture and customs
  • make new friends with Chinese locals
  • Earn a bit of extra money in most cases
  • Gaining industry insights and developing valuable skillsets that will be useful for future career opportunities
  • Being able to explore different parts of this culturally diverse country
  • Having the chance to network with professionals from different industries and companies;
  • Learning the language and immersing oneself in Chinese culture
  • Being able to apply for permanent residency after gaining two years of professional experience.
  • Some international students turn internships into full-time jobs after their studies in China.

How much can an international student earn in China?

The income of international students who work in China may vary depending on the type of work the student does.

Generally, foreign students who are working legally in China must not work beyond 20 hrs a month. And must not be paid below the minimum wage. As a result, most international students who legally work in China earn around 2,000 to 5,000 RMB per month. However, you can earn higher if you’re doing your own business.

Which companies can I intern with whilst studying in China?

Some of the most popular companies for international students to intern in China include Huawei, Tencent, KFC and Lenovo. However, there are many other companies offering opportunities for foreign interns.

Some universities in China also advertise internship positions in various faculties. So keep your ears on the ground whilst studying in China.

Look for agencies within China that help international students to find internships with top companies in China.

What is the purpose of an internship appointment letter?

The internship appointment letter is an official document that either your university or employer in China issues to you stating they have given you the offer to intern with them.

This document is typically required when applying for your internship visa (X2) and will serve as proof of both your employer’s consent as well as your educational institution’s support.

The letter should include details such as the duration of the internship, job responsibilities, salary/stipend, benefits and any other relevant information regarding the position.

It is important to keep this document safe because it serves a crucial role in obtaining the X2 Visa.

All these documents will help you to get your internship visa approved quickly without any hiccups.

What happens if the international student doesn’t have an internship appointment letter?

An international student without an internship appointment letter will not get an internship visa. Simply because it is a required document when applying for the internship visa.

Foreign students can work in China as entrepreneurs!

Yes, you heard that right – it may be illegal for international students to work in China whilst schooling, but there’s a way around it.

International students are allowed to start their own businesses in China without breaking any laws. It’s the perfect way to make money while studying overseas.

Who needs a part-time job when you can become an entrepreneur? So, if you’re adventurous, why not give it a go?

After all, who knows where your business will take you? Maybe your business will take off like wildfire.

The good news is that there are entrepreneurship hubs that assist students to unearth and shape their ideas to take off.

Foreign Students can work in China as Freelancers

Yes, you heard it right – International students can put their skills to work and earn some extra cash without breaking the law.

International freelancing platforms such as Upwork or Fiverr can be of great point to get started.

Foreign students can offer services such as translation, writing, editing, graphic design, web development and more.

So if you’re an international student looking to make a few extra bucks while studying in China – go ahead and give it a try. Who knows what opportunities await you?

A freelancer busily working from home.


If you keenly follow these steps, I can assure you of success in your search for a part-time job in China as a foreign student.

Once again, I entreat you not to be mindful of the visa process and always act in accordance with the laws and regulations.

Now that you know about interning or working in China as an international student, why waste time? With the right qualifications and skills, you can find a part-time job that fits your lifestyle.

Well, it is time to gain experience and make some extra money while studying in China.

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