I’m down to my last week of teaching kids, but there’s a lot of other stuff going on. As a result, my entries have been a little sparse lately. There’s still plenty left in me to write about, but it’ll have to wait a little longer. A possible upcoming visit to Taiwan could be very interesting.

Besides finishing up classes, I’ve also got to do a bunch of paperwork to stay legal. My previous visa and work permit will expire with my contract, so I’ve got to renew all that. Last week the HR boss lady gave me an envelope with some documents and the following instructions:

The address to process your work permit:
South Zhongshan Rd. #865 1F
Take the following documents with you:

  1. Work Permit Extension Application
  2. A copy of the company’s business license
  3. A copy of your new contract
  4. Your current work permit
  5. Your passport and a photocopy (including the current visa page)
  6. Your residence permit and a photocopy

The work permit renewal takes 5 days, and then I have to take the new work permit along with a bunch of documents (mostly the same ones) to a different office to get my visa renewed.

Ugh. Boring, yes, I know. Such is bureaucracy.


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Da Xiangchang Says: January 25, 2005 at 2:31 am

    Taiwan?! How fantastic. Need to go there someday. Need to visit all the places where there are a lot of Chinese people. So far, these are:

    1) Mainland China (done)
    2) Hong Kong (done)
    3) California’s San Gabriel Valley (done)
    4) San Francisco (done)
    5) New York’s Chinatown (not done)
    6) Taiwan (not done)
    7) Vancouver, Canada (not done)

  2. What happens when you enroll for school? Different visa? Or does the work visa cover it as long as the contract is in effect?

  3. Typically, schools don’t allow formal enrollment on a work visa, and it used to be that the student visa could not be issued within the mainland (don’t know if that’s still the case – John?)

    I thought I was being clever when I had my last employer give me a visa extension, but when I arrived at school, they wouldn’t enroll me until I went to Hong Kong to change the Z visa to an X visa.

  4. When are you going to Taiwan? Between Chinese New Year and the end of this summer, I’m probably going to be doing a whole lot of travelling in the mainland and might only back in Taiwan for month or so in that time.

    Nonetheless, one of the things that I love about Taiwan is the number of trips you can take that are only an hour or two outside of any major city. If you go, give me an email and I can at least give you a bunch of pointers of where to go if you have any free time.

  5. Tim P,

    My work visa will only be extended until the end of my new contract, which will bring me to the end of August. Then I’ll have to either get an X visa (student visa) or arrange for another visa. I thought it would be smart to get a non-X visa so I could legally work part-time while I went to school, but reading what zhwj wrote, maybe I shouldn’t count on that.

  6. Try marrying a Chinese woman in America, then you’ll know the true meaning of beaurocracy. I swear, the paperwork was brutal. You have to be real serious about your woman to wade through all of that. Maybe that’s the point? 🙂

  7. I thought it would be smart to get a non-X visa so I could legally work part-time while I went to school, but reading what zhwj wrote, maybe I shouldn’t count on that.

  8. Da Xiangchang Says: January 26, 2005 at 1:46 am


    What’s your itinerary like for Taiwan? I mean, besides Taipei. In all likelihood, I’ll be going there this summer.

  9. Yeah, John, what is the itinerary for Taiwan? You all know that Taiwan and China are working together for the first time in offering DIRECT non-stop flights between the mainland and island. It’s on! Tickets available only to locals (hint hint).

    I emailed you John. Man, today was crazy, almost got stuck in Macau with no money, no credit, no vouch. Until two rockstars and their manager spotted this lost soul and saved me. Woot!!!

  10. wilson, you’re such a tease! i’d love the full story, please. 😉

  11. Hi John,
    Just found your website – Taiwan sounds like fun.
    I’m from Australia and am frantically trying to find an english teaching job in Shanghai. I was wondering if you would have any advice or could recommend actual schools that are considered legit and who pay relatively well. I have sent applications to about 27 online ads so far but the quantity of jobs and the diversity in pay and benefits is so huge that I am going slightly batty.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Marisa. Brisbane, Australia.

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