Wednesday, 25 January 2017

How to get a Chinese Z visa in Thailand

Chinese Z visa
A step by step guide to getting a Chinese Z visa (for teaching) at the Chinese Consulate in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

I did this in early 2017. The whole process took four months but we had a few hiccups which you can avoid if you follow these steps.

Chinese Consulate in Chiang Mai
1. Apply for a teaching job in China. (Skype interviews, negotiate terms etc.)

2. The school will email you a contract. Sign it, scan it and email it back along with scanned copies of your passport, qualifications, CV and proof of teaching experience.

3. The school will now apply for a work permit and an invitation letter from various government agencies in China. This takes months and requirements vary by province.

4. The school will send those two documents to you by courier (e.g. DHL/TNT).

5. Download the medical form from the Chinese Embassy's website. I went to Maharaj Hospital and paid 2,000bt for blood (HIV) tests, X-rays and an ECG test. Stick a passport photo on the form and ensure the hospital stamps it. Make sure you haven't got AIDS.

6. Complete a visa application form.

Right on the moat
7. Go to the Consulate (0900-1100) and wait in line. When it's your turn submit:

  • Completed application form
  • Photo with white background
  • The 2,000bt medical check
  • The invitation letter (original)
  • Work Permit (copy - not original)
  • A photocopy of your passport information page
  • A photocopy of your Thai visa
  • A photocopy of your Thai work permit

8. Go back 4 working days later (1500-1600), pay 1,100bt and collect your passport replete with a shiny Z Visa.

9. Book a flight to China.


All white?
1. Make sure to remind the school which Consulate you will be applying at. My invitation letter was addressed to the Consulate in Hong Kong instead of Chiang Mai. That mistake (just one word) caused a two month delay.

2. Make sure your photo has the whitest background possible. If you can look at it WITHOUT welding goggles it's not white enough. The photo on the left was rejected. The one on the right was OK. The mind boggles. You'll likely waste a day as you'll have to walk miles to the nearest photo booth.

3. They'll return the 2,000bt medical check without looking at it. I asked why they made me do it and they just shrugged and said I'll have to do another one in China. So be prepared to pointlessly spunk 2,000bt up the wall. At least you'll know if you have AIDS or not.

4. The invitation letter looks like this < and the work permit looks like that >

5. They'll want the original invitation letter but a copy (and only a copy) of the work permit. Obviously, this isn't mentioned on their website so be prepared and make a copy of everything you have .... just in case. That way you won't have to walk miles to the nearest copier like I did.

6. Conveniently, this Consulate has neither a photo booth nor a copying machine.

7. Good luck. You'll need it.


  1. This is very informative, thank you.I am going to process my z visa soon here in Bangkok, however i have one problem. My working permit here in Thailand expired already last April.Do you think i can still get the z visa even without it?thanks

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  4. Hello, before obtaining work permit, did your employer ask for education documents to be notarized and authenticated? Did you do it through your country's embassy in Thailand or how did you do it?

    Appreciate the post it's so useful

    1. This is difficult and tricky in Thailand. If you are visiting Thailand on a tourist visa you must first notarize and authenticate your education documents in your home country and then have them validated locally at the Thai Foreign Ministry (within 10 days of entering the country!). Only then can have them legalized at the Chinese Embassy with the stamp.

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