Why Your Work Permit Needs To Be Cancelled When You Change Jobs


China Tips

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The beginning of every year is a time when many people begin looking for new jobs or even changing jobs. For foreigners in China, changing jobs also means changing or updating work permits and work visas. 

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Based on the current work permit policies, these are the steps you need to follow if you are looking to change jobs:  

1. Cancel the previous work permit

    1-2 weeks

2. Apply for a new work permit

    2-3 weeks

3. Apply for a new work visa

   7 working days

Cancelling your previous work permit is the first and most important step. Since now all cities in China are using the same work permit system, it doesn’t matter if you wish to change to a different job in your current city or another, you still need to cancel your current permit before you apply for a new one. 

How to cancel your current work permit?

The work permit cancellation needs to be applied through the work permit system by your previous employer and it takes 6-10 working days to process, so if you want to change jobs, it’s best you ask your previous employer to apply for the cancellation as early as possible, in which case, the following documents need to be prepared: 

1. An application form from the system signed by both the applicant and employer, stamped by the company stamp. 

2. A release letter which needs to be signed by the applicant and the employer, stamped by the company stamp

(a template can be downloaded at VisaOfChina’s official WeChat)

3. Your original work permit

4. Your work permit’s scan information

(found by scanning the QR Code)

To make sure there are no disputes between employee and employer, all papers need to be signed by both parties (signature and stamp) and need to be submitted to the bureau. If you are planning on changing jobs anytime soon, it is important to keep a cordial relationship with your former employer, as it might affect your application process or you might not be able to apply at all. 

Once all the steps have been completed and your permit cancellation has been successful, you will receive a cancellation letter issued by the work permit bureau. 

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With the cancellation letter, you can start the application to apply for a new work permit with your new employer. These are the documents you need to prepare:

1. Original passport with copies

(first page, current visa page, last entry page)

2. Applicant's Resume 

(it needs to be continuous after graduation and have at least 2 years relevant working experience)

3. Working reference letter from any former employers 

(with more than 2 years relevant experience)

4. Non-criminal Record Report, needs to be legalized by your country’s Chinese Embassy or your country’s Consulate in China

(You can be exempted from this step if you apply on time)

5. Applicant's original diploma, needs to be legalized by your country’s Chinese Embassy or your country’s Consulate in China

(You can be exempted from this step if these documents have been submitted before)

7. Applicant's Medical Report

Please visit these website to make an appointment: sithc.chinaport-sh.com.cn

(You can be exempted from this step if you apply on time)

8. New Labor Contract

(it needs to show the exact position and starting date, working time and working content)

9. The cancellation letter of the previous China Work Permit

10. A release letter from previous employer 

(check the sample via VisaOfChina official WeChat)

11. To make sure your new employer has already registered on the Foreigner Work Permit system, or to find out how to register, please check VisaOfChina’s official WeChat

As you can see from this article, changing your work permit involves providing many different and hard to get documents. However, you can be exempted from having to provide some documents by adhering to some specific terms. We strongly suggest you hire an agency to help you through your application, as the process is extremely complicated. Professional agencies are guaranteed to save you time and money.