Jan 12, 2022: Updated Policy for Foreign Students Working in China

If you are a foreign student working in China, or who wants to find a job, here is some good news for you!

The Chinese Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, and the National Immigration Administration released new guidelines for foreign students working in China on January 12, 2022. The policy is currently in force.

The original Chinese copy of the policy is here.

We will translate and explain the policy here for you:

Quick Summary:

This new policy allows international students who are enrolled in degree-granting higher education institutions to pursue part-time work either on or off-campus, for a limited number of hours, and are allowed to be paid for it according to local wage standards. Work-studies must be registered within 10 days at the local Entry-Exit bureau.

foreign students working in China

Who is this policy for?

The policy is for international students in China with valid residence permits who are current students of higher-education institutions that offer academic qualifications. It covers “work-study” jobs (勤工助学), which are defined as “practical activities that international students, under the organization and management of the school, do in their spare time to obtain legal remuneration through labor and use them to improve their study and living conditions.”

This policy does not cover teaching practice (教学实习) or social activities organized by the school.

This policy does not cover non-students, alumni who already graduated, or high school students.

What is in the policy?

Working Hours

I. International students can work-study on and off-campus no more than 8 hours per week and no more than 40 hours per month. During winter and summer vacations, no more than 16 hours per week and no more than 80 hours per month.

Type of Work

I. Schools shall not arrange or authorize students to participate in toxic, harmful, and dangerous production operations, and must ensure that international students engaged in work-study activities have purchased insurance covering work-study activities.

II. On-campus work-study for international students, the posts should be mainly on-campus teaching assistants, scientific research assistants, administrative management assistants, and school public services. Positions are set up to meet the needs of students and avoid taking up normal study time. The remuneration of international students’ on-campus work-study activities shall be arranged by the school as a whole.

III. To engage in off-campus work-study activities, international students must meet the following basic conditions:

  1. Be at least 18 years old and meet the physical conditions required for work-study positions;
  2. Hold a valid residence permit for study in China, and the remaining valid residence time is more than six months;
  3. Comply with Chinese laws and regulations and school rules and regulations, be of good character, perform well, and have no criminal record or violation of laws and disciplines;
  4. Undergraduate students, graduate students, advanced students, and research scholars who have been studying in the current school for more than one year;
  5. The academic progress and attendance rate meets the requirements of the school;
  6. Other conditions prescribed by the school.

IV. The geographical scope of work-study assistance is limited to the district-level municipal administrative area where the school is located. The duration of each application for work-study shall not exceed the validity period of the study residence permit, and the maximum period shall not exceed one year.

Payment for Work

I. Work-study international students are paid according to the following standards: fixed positions on campus are paid on a monthly basis. In principle, the remuneration of 40 working hours per month shall not be lower than the minimum living standard of local residents, and it can fluctuate appropriately.

Temporary positions on campus are paid hourly. The hourly remuneration can be reasonably determined with reference to the minimum hourly wage standard stipulated by the people’s government where the school is located.

The remuneration standard for off-campus work-study shall not be lower than the minimum wage standard stipulated by the local people’s government or relevant departments, which shall be determined by the employer through consultation with the student, and the amount of remuneration shall be stated in the employment agreement.

Registering A Work-Study

I. Students should submit a copy of the agreement signed with the employer to the school for recordation, and submit a unilateral commitment letter to make commitments on risk-taking and other aspects.

II. International students who engage in work-study activities outside the school must submit the agreement, school certification letter and relevant materials to the Exit and Entry Bureau where the school is located within 10 days, in order to get work-study information and deadlines added onto their residence permit. Holders of a residence permit without work-study-related information are not allowed to engage in off-campus work-study activities.

III. International students who want to change their off-campus work-study unit and duration should submit a new agreement and a school certificate, and apply to the local public security bureau’s exit-entry administration department within 10 days to apply for a change of annotation information.

IV. International students who terminate off-campus work-study activities due to reasons such as the employer’s termination of the agreement should submit a written report to the school within 10 days, and go to the local public security authority’s entry-exit administration department for information change.

Disqualified from Work-Study

I. If an international student is under any of the following circumstances, the school shall cancel his work-study qualification and report to the exit and entry administration department of the public security organ in a timely manner:

  1. Completed studies, dropped out of school, suspended or dropped out of school;
  2. Violating national laws and regulations or relevant school management systems;
  3. The moral character is inferior, violates social order and good customs, and causes adverse effects;
  4. Other situations where academics are affected by work-study and other situations where the school determines that it is no longer appropriate to continue work-study.

II. If an international student’s work-study program exceeds the scope of the post or the prescribed time limit, the exit and entry administration department of the public security organ shall investigate and deal with it according to law.

foreign students working in China

Any Questions about foreign students working in China?

This is a new policy for 2022, so we do not know every detail yet. If you want to get a part-time job in China and pursue a work-study, you can communicate with your university’s Career Department or International Students’ Department for more specific information.

If you have a question, leave us a comment and we will try to help you answer it.

You can also read our guides:

How To Find An Internship in China
Find a Job in China: Companies Hiring Foreigners in China

Savannah Billman has a master's degree in Chinese Law and Society at the Yenching Academy of Peking University. She holds a B.A. from NYU Shanghai and has also written for The World of Chinese, TechNode, SupChina, and Sixth Tone.
Savannah Billman
Latest posts by Savannah Billman (see all)
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Neal Bartuah
Neal Bartuah
2 years ago

Thanks Savannah

Kiran Tajpuriya
Kiran Tajpuriya
1 year ago

In how many days we get work permit from University after joining the university as an international student?

Hira Yousaf
Hira Yousaf
1 year ago

If I want to study in MBBS in china university but I have nursing diploma from Pakistan can I work on diploma base as a nurse to finance my studies?

1 year ago

Can Chinese Language student take up part time job as well?

1 year ago

I’m enrolled with a long term course which will only last for a year. In the article it said we need to be in the current school for at least 1 year, does this mean we’re not eligible to do work-study program?

1 year ago

Well, as i read this article. I finally get confirmation of this policy. When i first time heard about this , i went directly to ask the school about it. But like always the school don’t care about it

Sharon Eric
Sharon Eric
1 year ago

Am planning to apply for a university by next year in china and i will need a work study program to help me so i could be suppoorting myself in school so how can i go about it and whats the cheapest

Budhi Ram Chaudhary
Budhi Ram Chaudhary
1 year ago

I am getting a PhD scholarship in China I want to do part time job during my study period. Can I get a work permit to finance in China ?, If yes, then how can apply and find the job in China?

1 year ago

What is the easy way to talk to the university career department please I will like to do work studying while in school

Lukas Simon
Lukas Simon
7 months ago

Hi there,
I would like to pick up Wanwan’s question:
Is it possible for 1 year language program students to work? The article says that one must have been enrolled for more than one year.

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