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What to Know Before Moving to China

Monday, August 7, 2023
A street photography of Shanghai by night - a busy street with a lot of neon lights

The Red Dragon commonly referred to as China is a unique country from the point of view of the Western world. From cultural nuances, practical tips, and gain more insight to your new future home, this article aims to help you make the move to China. And, give you some advice on what you need to know before moving to China.

Is Moving to China a Good Idea

Kids playing soccer in the middle of the green forest in China

China is one of the biggest economic forces in the world. This alone is why many Moving to China as an American citizen decide to take the chance even if there is a language barrier. But, as is with anything, there are pros and cons of moving to China, a whole new world way different from the Western one which many people are used to.   

The pros of living in China are: 

  • Healthcare since China gives free public one to its citizens. Expats are not left out of this equation since there are healthcare treatments at a lower price. Plus, you can find English-speaking professionals in the field that you need. 
  • Job opportunities in China are quite high, certainly so if you plan to teach English in the country. 
  • China has a great to excellent reputation in the field of education. There is a range of the best international schools in the land where students can excel in different fields of employment. As well as rate high on their academic tests. 
  • Living costs are low meaning that you can have a great life in China without paying a lot when compared to most other Western countries. It is said that you can get by with 500 euros (about $552) per month (rent included). 
  • There are high-tech public transportation systems from trains, subways, highways, airports, and ports. Therefore, you can get around China and even the rest of Asia with their networks of public transportation. 
  • China is known for being a safe country so much so that it is rated as being one of the safest in the world. This is due to its harsh penalties and CCV cameras being everywhere in major cities as well as having a high police presence. Plus, the residents and locals in China are known for their friendliness while being described as modest but still showing their emotions. 
  • The landscape of China is an inviting one as well as its people. There is a range of natural wonders due to the country's diverse biodiversity as well as geography. 
A Chinese woman reading a book

But, as you have guessed, there are cons when it comes to living in China. Such as: 

  • The language barrier where all the public texts will be in Chinese meaning you have to learn Mandarin to get by.   
  • While the people are friendly in China this does lead to crowds since the country is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. This can have a dominion effect in that it can make having a sustainable life a bit difficult. Also, it can lead to pollution such as air. So get your masks ready to be on the safe side. 
  • And, there is constant surveillance in the country as well. 

Plus, China is known for making quite a difficult visa process and the embassies are strict when it comes to applications. There are a set of conditions you have to meet to be allowed to move into the country. It would be best to speak to a professional about all the requirements to move to China, to get your facts straight before you commit to anything visa and moving-related. 

There is a chance that you could win citizenship if you meet the citizenship requirements. However, you would have to legally live there for at least four consecutive years or have family relations with a Chinese citizen. 

Other Ways to Become a Chinese Citizen 

Fresh chinese traditional food being served on a table

While living in the country for four or more years is worthwhile, you can also aim to get citizenship in the following ways: 

  • Birth
  • Investment
  • Marriage 

However, you cannot have dual citizenship. Therefore, if you do become a Chinese citizen then you would have to decide which one to keep, your original citizenship or the Chinese one since you are not allowed both by the Chinese Nationality Law. If you decide to keep your original citizenship, you will lose the Chinese one and vis-a-versa. 

Moving to China from the USA

A table set for fresh chinese tea and sake with bonsai tree in the back

As is with any country there are a variety of visas that you can apply for. Before deciding to move to China, you should visit the Chinese embassy to get more information and to decide which direction you will go. But, basically, there are: 

  • Z visa- Moving to work
  • X visa- Moving to study
  • Q visa- Moving for family reunification

After you applied for a visa, and have gotten it approved, you would have to travel to the country. When you arrive you have 24 hours to register at a police station in the area that you will live in while in China. And, within 30 days of your arrival, you have to apply for a temporary residence permit. You must apply at the Public Security Bureau (PSB) Exit and Entry Administration. 

Panda eating bamboo

If you are applying for an X visa (studying) then you would have to be admitted to an educational institution first. Furthermore, there are two types of study visas. X1 and X2. You would have to start your visa process before you get your letter of acceptance. X1 visa is valid for five years as a residence permit. With this visa you can also work off campus for 8 hours weekly, coming to 40 hours monthly. 

People applying for the family reunification, Q visa, are only eligible for this type of visa are: 

  • Parents
  • Parents-in-law
  • Grandchildren
  • Grandparents
  • Spouses
  • Children 

With this visa, you can apply for a residence permit that lets you stay in the country for one to five years at most. However, you cannot work in China under a family visa. While we are on the subject of work... 

Moving to China for Work (Z Visa)

Interior of the Chinese temple with lovely red lights and dragon statues

To apply for a Z visa and move to China for work, you would have to get a job offer from a China-based company. As well as have a clean bill of health and a clear criminal record. Your employer would have to apply for the Foreigner Work Permit notification letter on your behalf. This would be done at the labor bureau. Companies moving to China would have to consider this as well. 

However, it is important that you speak to a professional and do your research when it comes to visas and moving to China. You would want to get your ducks in a row before you fly off.

Moving to China with Shyft as Your Aid

A Chinese man posing for a photo next to a river

Help is something that a lot of people want when it comes to certain aspects of life, with moving not being the exception. Asking for help is a noble thing and worthwhile to make your moving life easier, and smoother. However, it is also important to know who to ask for help. This is where the world’s first tech-driven moving platform, Shyft can be the go-to to aid with your move to China. Shyft will organize your whole move for you, making sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. Also, while saving you money.   

Check out our site to learn what we do, how we do it, and get in touch with us to get your moving process started. Likewise, you can download the free mobile app, Shyft Next, to get in touch with us. This app is essential to the Shyft moving process and either way you get in touch with us requires you to have the app. The app is secure so your details will be too, not to worry. 

When you get in touch with us, we will call you through the Shyft Next app. This will be a video call that will happen at the time that you say. We will not call you before that time, nor after it. Therefore, as you guessed, you can plan your day accordingly without waiting around for us to show up. This video call is on average half an hour to an hour. You get to meet your Move Coach who will guide you through the Shyft process. And, it is during this call that your Move Coach will create your inventory list right there and then. Without stepping foot into your current home. 

You just have to give them a virtual tour of your new home, and they will do the rest. The list will be delivered to you, virtually, within half an hour from the end of the call. This inventory list is already 95% accurate and with the Shyft Next app, you can bring it up to 100%. Add items, remove stuff, and leave notes all through the app. Once you have created your 100% accurate inventory list, you send it to your Move Coach. 

Finding Moving Companies to Help You Move to China 

A river with small fishing boats surrounded by old, traditional, chinese houses

When your Move Coach has your 100% inventory list, they will present this list (as well as only your moving details, no personal information) to Shyft's moving board. This is a secure platform where moving companies cover different ranges of moves from local to international. We will make sure to target international movers for your move to China. All the moving companies that are present at Shyft's moving board have been verified by Shyft, they all have experience, and they have their paperwork up-to-date. 

During this presentation, we will collect three or more moving quotes. Each quote is from a different moving company. And, all the quotes that will be sent your way are fixed. What you see is what you will pay even if your inventory list were to change. Also, we will send you information about the moving companies so that you can see what they have to offer you. When you have decided which mover is the right one for you, let us know so that we will lock them down for you. Plus, since you are looking for international moving companies, these can aid you when it comes to dealing with customs.     

Throughout this moving process with Shyft, we will be on call to you seven days a week to answer your questions, and even keep you up-to-date with what is happening. Also, we offer our Shyft Card if you are a business person looking to relocate with the company to China. The Shyft Card helps you directly transfer funds to your employees to help with their relocation process. And, you can check it to see how the funds are going. 

Without delay, contact us today.

Photo of Shanghai taken from the bird perspective

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