Foreign University Students Now Have the Right to Work in China?

In addition to studying vigorously and acquiring knowledge at a geometric rate, it appears that foreign university students in China may now have the right to work, if an article on the People's Daily's website is correct.

"Until last year, foreign students were not allowed to work part time or take on an internship while they were studying. Some believe these policies were the major reasons that stopped some foreign students from studying in China," People's Daily writes.

"Last year the government updated the current visa system and introduced some changes to the application process for a residence permit. For the first time, foreigners holding study residence permits were permitted to take part-time jobs or internships outside the campus as long as they obtain approval from their academic institutions and the entry and exit administrative authorities," the report says.

After graduating, people at the beginning of their career are required to have two years of employment experience outside of China before seeking work here. This sounds like an invitation to abuse student visas for employment purposes even more, and in an ever-tightening visa regime, seems like a big loophole.

The article even hints at that: "When asked what if she couldn't find a job, she considered the question for a moment. "Well, I would go for postgraduate study like Chinese students do,'" [22-year-old Russian student Kristina Popova] said. Given the recent crackdown on illegally-employed models in China, we expect a sudden upsurge in the number of statuesque graduate students at Beijing university in the autumn.

Photo: Against Her Better Judgment


Here's what I'd do if I was the Grand Pooh-Bah: Waive the 2 years' overseas work requirement for all foreign students who can pass the HSK (as to what level, well that's open to discussion).



Books by current and former Beijinger staffers

That's an interesting loophole in the system if it's confirmed. It's on par with practices in Europe and the USA for international students. 

That said, it seems like the process itself for these students to get "permission" is not quite clear yet. Most of the institutions haven't heard of these rules apparently. 

Meanwhile, the rest of the world seems to be wanting to hire Mandarin speakers

Mandarin Chinese talent popular worldwide

Of course quoting only one person, from Belarus, is perhaps not the best evidence of Mandarin being popular worldwide.



Books by current and former Beijinger staffers

found this link, which explains a bit

14. What work authorization and internship opportunities are available to foreign students with residence certificates for study?

Under the new rules, a person with a residence certificate for study who wants to take a part-time job or internship off campus should obtain approval from the school, then apply to the PSB Exit-Entry Administration for a notation to the residence certificate showing the part-time job or the location and period of internship off campus. (State Council regs, art. 22). Notice that short-term students with X2 visas do not have such opportunities.

The law delegates to the Ministry of Education the obligation to establish a framework for foreign students to obtain work authorization. (EEAL, art. 42.). As of May 1, 2014, the national framework has not been published. Shanghai has issued interim rules that allow for off-campus practical training without pay (except for reimbursement of travel and meal expenses). Yet in many cities it’s not yet possible to apply for authorization for a part-time job or internship, except on an ad-hoc basis.

It’s illegal for foreign students to work without authorization or beyond the scope authorized. (EEAL, art. 43(3).)

In contrast, under former rules, “work-study” was allowed in accordance with the school’s regulations. (Rules on Foreign Student Enrollment in Institutions of Higher Education, promulgated Jan. 31, 2000, by the Ministries of Education, Foreign Affairs, and Public Security, art. 36).

Books by current and former Beijinger staffers

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