A work visa is required for foreigners who want to get salary in China. Foreigners are confused when they face tons of information online, whether China's Z visa is China work visa? If want to work legally in China, foreigner should get Z visa, residence permit or work visa?

You will see the evolution of China work visa by checking the scan of following visa pages.

2004-2005 China Z visa

2004-2005 China Z visa issued at Beijing

Z visa was work visa in China before 2007. And this visa was valid for 1 year  and has multiple entrys.

China Z visa issued at Hong Kong

2009 China Z visa issued at Hong Kong

After 2007, Z visa is issued at Hong Kong, or the country which issued the passport for China Z visa applicant. As you can see the duration of each stay became 000 days. The Entries limited to 01.

China Z visa comparison

  Before 2007 After 2007
Visa Category Z Z
Visa Entries Multiple 01
Validity 1 year 000
Issue at China cities Hong Kong or Oversea consulate
Whether need convertion No Yes, to Residence Permit


China Residence Permit for work

China Residence Permit issued at Wenzhou in 2013

Currently, the holder of China Z visa has to get residence permit (as below) in 30 days, after he/she get Chinese entry stamp.

China work visa comparison

  Before 2007 After 2007
Visa Category Z Residence Permit
Visa Entries Multiple N/A (practically multiple-entry)
Purpose of Residence N/A 任职(working)


So when we talking about getting China work visa nowadays, it contains series of steps, such as Z visa application and Residence Permit application.

The steps and flow chart of getting China work visa.