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Useful Advice for Expats Living in China
This page offers general advice for Expats living in China (September 2008)
Normally, Expats who now live in China came on a short stay plan, and either Tourist or Teaching type visa. Then like myself - they decide they love this crazy Country so much, they decide to stay.
Later you find it difficult to find genuine advice regarding simple issues, such as: Marriage, Residency, or even getting a Driving Licence.
Current Listings & Links:

Driving Licence
Rent or Buy a House, Office or Storage
Buy a Car
Chinese Bank Account
Other Information

Driving Licence:

This is currently very simple in Guangdong. Simply pay an Agency some money, and a few weeks later receive your Chine Driving Licence via courier
Full Details Here:


Marry a Chinese National in China

The Marriage formalities were simplified a few years ago, and now all you need to do is go to your Embassy or local Consulate with proof you are single, Passport, Y2000, fill in forms and swear an oath. After The Bans are Read (21 clear days) you are issued with a Certificate of Non-Impedence (CNI) via courier

Once you have the CNI, simply rock-up at your intended's local Register Office and sign on the line (Cost Y40)
Full Details Here:


So you got married, have a home and a driving licence. Now you plan to stay long-term in China and think about residency - how do you do this?

It is not at all easy for ordinary people!

If you are not wealthy, not working for an International Company, nor have friends in 'High Places'; your options are extremely limited to:
1. Residency via a WOFE (Z visa)
2. Residency via marriage to a Chinese National (D visa) - minimum requirements 5-years marriage and 5-years contiguous stay in China, plus minor other criteria
Full Details Here:

Rent or Buy a House, Office or Storage

Foreigners can rent an apartment quite easily. All you really need is your passport and some money. It is best to have a friend help you check the contract, but these are normally a standard as issued by the Estate Agent

Business Premises
Business premises are also fairly easy for Foreigners to rent, and an office or storage facility is very similar to renting a private dwelling. There are some contractual details you should be aware of.

Buying a House
Foreigners can buy a house in China, but there are things you need to be aware of
Full Details Here:

Buy a Car, Motorcycle or Scooter

This is fairly simple given you have the necessary documents and meet the right criteria. Briefly you will need your Passport and valid visa, Chinese Driving Licence, and the money

There are many formalities to complete, so expect this process to take a full day! It can be a lot less complex if buying a second-hand Motorbike or Scooter
Full Details Here:

Chinese Bank Account

It is very easy to get a Chinese Bank Account. You will need your passport and proof of your address. Transferring money directly to this account from abroad can be expensive or impossible, depending upon your personal situation. We also look at using Hong Kong and Offshore Bank Accounts for personal and small business transfers also
Full Details Here:

Other Information

For more general advice regarding things such as Telephones, mobiles, post, ATM's, Using International Credit Cards, and International Money transfers - please see our section About China under Tourist Advice Section
This information is as supplied by the Chinese Embassy in UK, as dated 20th June 2008, and/or other reliable sources. Please check this information yourself as it may alter without notice, and whilst we try our best to ensure it is correct, please do not hold us responsible for any errors - this is intended as a simple guide only
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