Avoid being scammed for teaching in China, what to look out for?

Now Shenzhen   |   March 25, 2023

If you’re going to avoid being scammed when you teach in China, then here’s what to look out for:

Unsolicited approaches

Don’t trust anyone who reaches out to you on social media and offers you a job. This kind of eagerness usually covers up bad things.

Changing or no qualifications necessary

To teach in China legally, you need a bachelor’s degree to get a Z visa, the only visa you’re allowed to teach on. Full stop, the end.

You’ll also need a teaching certification like TEFL. And you should never believe anyone who says otherwise.

Generic email addresses

Emails from your school or recruiter may come from the free sites that everyone uses, like Hotmail, Gmail or 163 (Chinese).

While this is common, be on guard if they don’t also have a proper work email address.

No Z visa

You must have a Z Visa to work in China. This means that you’re a legal teacher with rights.

If you don’t have this visa and something goes wrong, you have no recourse. You could also get into trouble with immigration!

So, never agree to work in China on any other visa, no matter how attractive they make it sound.

Too good to be true

If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Don’t believe anyone who promises wages that are much higher than the norm or a ridiculously small number of hours.

You’ll probably end up working hours of overtime without pay or something.

Just don’t do it.

Unclear contract

Contracts are taken seriously in China. If you don’t have one, then your employers can pretty much make you do whatever they want, and you have no right to complain.

So, get it signed and sealed.

Make sure you read through your contract carefully. It should promise everything that was verbally promised to you.

You should also check when you get paid, so you don’t end up teaching for months without pay.

Vague escape clause

There will be an escape clause in your contract. It will tell you how much notice you have to give and what to do if you need to leave.

Peruse this part very carefully. If the terms aren’t very clear, get it re-written or walk away.

At most you should have to give a month’s notice before leaving.

There should also be a section telling you what will happen if you don’t give notice.

This should be written out in detail, so make sure you find the terms acceptable.