Do you want to immigrate and work in China as a software engineer? You can do it if you are qualified and get a job offer. The visa you need is a Z visa or work visa. This article brings all you need to immigrate to China as a software engineer. 

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Immigrate to China as a software engineer

Immigrate and work in China as a software engineer eligibility 

There are no particular eligibility requirements to immigrate and work in China as a software engineer. But you must be well qualified to immigrate and work in China as a software engineer. Here are some of the items that you would better consider before starting the process. They can be determining factors in whether you can move to China or not. 

Having work experience 

Just having an academic qualification is not enough to work as a software engineer. You must have enough work experience to prove you can do the job in China. 

Remember that you must satisfy a Chinese employer to hire you. It is possible through work experience and demonstrating that you are good at developing and coding. 

Having a valid passport from your home country. 

You need a valid passport for at least the duration of your stay in China. Your conditions in your home country must allow you to get a passport and leave the country. For instance, if you have to finish Military service to get a passport, like in some countries in the Middle East, you have to complete them to get your passport. 

If your passport is about to expire, you must apply to get a new one. 

Having a clean record certificate 

One of the supporting documents for a work visa is a clean record certificate. The authority that issues it is up to your home country. But you must submit it besides your supporting documents. 

If you have a criminal history or background and can not submit the certificate, it is unlikely that you will receive a China work visa. 

Get a job offer 

The key to unlocking the China work visa is to get a job offer from a Chinese employer. It is up to your experience, skills, and abilities to convince the employer to hire you. 

There are various ways to find a job in China. You can look for one through the websites that advertise jobs. Also, you can get help from employment agencies. 

You could apply for a China tourist visa and move to the country to look for a job. But be careful with the rules and regulations over the tourist visa as it doesn’t allow you to work in the country. If you get the job, you must leave the country and apply for a work visa from your home country. 

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Moving to China as a software engineer visa option 

Every foreign national who wants to work in China needs a work visa or Z visa. It’s the standard China work visa that you need to immigrate to China as a software engineer. 

The first requirement for a Z visa is to have a job offer from a Chinese employer. Why? Because you must have a work permit to work in the country. It’s the government’s approval for foreign nationals to work in China. You can get familiar with the process of getting a Z visa in the below section. 

Highly talented people that have an international awards in their fields can also apply for a China R visa. There are so many benefits with an R visa; you can work in the country for up to 10 years, it’s a multiple entry visa, and you can leave China and return again. Also, you can bring your family to the country to live with you. But you must be eligible and have international recognition in your field. 

Visit the Visa Library article from the right sidebar to learn about China R visa. 

How to immigrate and work in China as a software engineer? 

You will find the standard process of moving to China as a software engineer. Follow these steps, and you can immigrate and work in China as a software engineer. 

The process of moving to China as a foreign worker is a bit long and needs some paperwork. You have to go through different stages, and there might be more. 

Chinese officials are strict with security and rules for entering foreign nationals. So they have created a system to ensure their people’s safety. 

Find a job offer with a Chinese employer.

The first step to immigrating to China as a software engineer is to find a job offer from a Chinese employer. This is the most difficult part that is in your control. Being highly qualified to persuade an employer to hire you is up to you and your skills and abilities. 

You need the job offer as the Chinese employer must apply for Chinese officials’ approval. Without that approval, you and no foreign national can move to China. 

You can look for a job position on websites that advertise such job positions. Also, there are some employment agencies that can help you find a job in China. The choices are yours to pick the option and find the Chinese employer. 

When you find the job and persuade the employer to hire you, you must sign an employment contract with the employer. The working conditions and all the details about your employment must be verified in it. The contract is part of the supporting document, and both parties must sign it. 

Chinese employer applies for China Work Permit Notice. 

At this stage, the Chinese employer applies for a Work Permit Notice. It must be achieved before the employee moves to China. If the government agrees and issues the work permit notice, the employee can move to China. If not, the software engineer can not move to China. 

Software engineer applies for a work visa. 

When the Work Permit Notice is issued, the employee must apply for a work visa. He/she must apply to the Chinese embassy or consulate or a visa center in his/her country. The center is up to the employee’s country of residence. You must find it out yourself. 

There is a list of supporting documents you must prepare to submit to the embassy. You can find it in the article from the right sidebar. 

When the work visa is issued, the employee can move to China. 

Register your stay with the police. 

When you arrive in China, you must register your stay with the police. You must carry some documents and visit the police center in the city you live in to register your stay: 

  1. The original passport, not a photocopy;
  2. The housing contract;
  3. A copy of the landlord’s ID and phone number.

 The police may call the landlord to ensure you are truly living in the apartment.

They may even ask the landlord to show up with the employee.

Take a medical test 

You must also take a medical test to prove your health to the government. If you have taken a full medical test outside of China, you can present it to the officials. But you must have it translated inside China. It must be complete and cover every aspect the authorities want. 

These documents are needed when you want to take the test: 

  1. An original medical checkup from your country (if it is partially completed)
  2. Cash to pay for your medical test. 
  3. One ID Photo. It must meet these requirements:

– Taken within the last 6 months, on a white background, printed on high-quality paper;

– 48mm by 33mm wide, not 2 by 2 inches, which is usually used outside of China;

– Full frontal view of the head, not smiling, face fully visible;

– There can not be any sign of tape or staples on it.

The employee applies for a work permit 

At this phase, you must visit the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security to apply for a work permit. It is permission to work in the country. 

These documents are needed to apply for a work permit: 

  1. The actual passport;
  2. An ID photo. 

It must be the same as for the medical checkup. 

  1. The police housing registration form you got from the previous stage. 
  2. Medical report verification;
  3. Some documents from the company.

Apply for a residence permit. 

At the final stage, you must apply for a residence permit. It is different than a work permit. 

You must go in person to the local Exit-Entry Administration Bureau. And You must bring these documents:  

  1. The actual passport;
  2. Police housing registration form;
  3. Resident permit application forms;
  4. ID photo;
  5. Original work certificate;
  6. Some documents for the company.

If you don’t register with the Exit-Entry Administration Bureau and receive the residence permit, your stay in China will be illegal. 

This is the final stage of registration in China, and it’s done after this part. Now you can live in China as long as your permit allows. 

Infographic How to immigrate to China as a software engineer

Best cities to immigrate and work in China as a software engineer 

Asking what the best cities to immigrate to and work in as a software engineer could be wrong somehow. You never know where is the job opportunity and which employer needs a software engineer. 

You must look for the position and keep an eye on the available options. 

However, there are more companies, businesses, and trade with the large cities. So you might have a better chance with them. Here you can find the list of the largest cities in China. You can try your chance with them and look for a position. But a small city in China can be large in our eyes as there are 1 billion and 300 million people living there. 

  • Hangzhou
  • Chengdu
  • Guilin
  • Nanjing
  • Harbin
  • Beijing
  • Shenzhen
  • Shanghai
  • Xi’an
  • Ningbo

Recruitment agencies in China to find a job. 

This is a list of the recruitment agencies you can get help from to find a job in China as a software engineer: 

  • 3-Step Foreign Work Services Co., Ltd.
  • Access People.
  • Acropolis Associates.
  • Adrem Group.
  • ALS International.
  • Antal International.
  • ArchiBat.
  • AsecorpChina.

Immigrant software engineer salary in China 

According to the payscale website, the average salary of a software engineer in China is about 219.000 Renminbi. But your salary is up to several factors. 

This is while the Salary Explorer says the average salary is 29,100 CNY per month. It can start from 15.000 to 43.000 per month by the same source. 

This is while that Glassdoor indicates that the total salary of a software engineer in Beijing is 57.000 renminbi per month. The base salary is about 20.000. 

Your salary is up to various factors, and the mentioned numbers are samples. You would better look at the available job positions and see how much the employers are willing to pay. 

Consider the below items when you think of salaries; 

  • Experience 
  • Skills 
  • Developing language 
  • City 
  • Company 
  • Employer 
  • Position 
  • Management experience. 

Websites to find a job position as a software engineer in China 

Although foreign websites are restricted in China, the internal internet is active. You can find job positions in websites like the below list. 

They are the best websites to find a job position as a foreign national: 

  • Chinajob.com 
  • Chinasemester.com 
  • foreignhr.com
  • Echinacities.com 
  •  jobsitechina.com
  • Hiredchina.com 
  • Jobleadchina.com
  • Chinaexpat.cn
  • Pingwaijiao.com 
  • thebeijinger.com
  • echinacareers.com
  • linkedin.com

Immigration and working in China as a software engineer benefits 

There are so many benefits to living in China. Here are some of them to immigrate and work in China as a software engineer; 

Access to Asian countries 

You have access to a large number of countries with one short flight when living in China: 

  • Bhutan
  • India
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Mongolia 
  • Myanmar (Burma) 
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Russia
  • Tajikistan 
  • Vietnam.

You can get to them with a short flight and enjoy exploring them. A long weekend is a perfect opportunity to visit these countries. 

A Huge number of tourist attractions 

You might need a lifetime to explore tourist attractions in China. every city, whether modern or in remote areas, is a wonder, and there is always something to see and enjoy. 

China holds people from various cultures and tribes. So you can enjoy visiting them. Also, the modern wonders are amazing and you will enjoy them. 

A completely new experience and culture 

China is different from any other place you have been in the world. Their lifestyle, hard work features, rice culture, and food are different from the rest of the world. 

You will never get bored and have something to learn about them. Also, with the advancement in economy and trade, it’s a useful experience working in China and with them. 

A good point in your resume 

A person who can handle working in China and dealing with them has proved to be tough. You can trust this person to delegate important projects and tasks. 

Working in China is an outstanding peak in your resume and will lead to good working conditions. 


China enjoys a high standard in terms of safety. It is among the safest in the world and in Asia. There is nothing to worry about it, and you can live there with peace of mind. 

Affordable cost of living

With a booming economy and a government that supports people, the cost of living is affordable. You can have peace of mind and no worries over the inflation and high prices you see in some Asian countries. 

Frequently asked questions about immigration and working in China as a software engineer. 

First, you must get a job offer from a Chinese employer. The rest of the process is explained.

Websites that advertise job positions are introduced in the article.

You need a Z visa or work visa to work as a software engineer.

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