Work Permit, Change of Employer or City (Tianjin)

city 2


Before starting, you may want to read: The Foreigners Guide to Work/Hire Legally in China (Tianjin )

How to work legally in China?

Chinese work permit explained and application process

In this article we will only explore the case of renewing and altering work permit with the same employer, in case you are looking for information on how to change employer please refer to our other article: Work Permit, Resident Permit, Change of Employer or City

Key point is you need your old employer to handle to the new employer both release letter (离职证明) and cancellation letter from SAFEA (外国人来华工作许可注销证明 ) 


It is important to plan very consciously your change of work unit (employer), timing is important and the process are very different than a simple update/amendment of work permit and different from getting a first work permit.

By well planning we means:

1 You need to plan all the process very carefully, and with good timing 

2 You need to have the total approval and cooperation of your actual employer
3 You need to have the total approval and cooperation of your new employer and your new employer shall be allowed to hire foreigners and know how to apply for a work permit
4 Old employer and new employer should be willing to cooperate, communicate and work together.
5 Be ready to start from scratch and increased failure chances in case of change of cities
6 Be ready to start from scratch and increased failure chances in case of change of job or industry


Case 1: Intra scope, intra city transfer

You are still with working with your current employer, found the same position in the same city with approbation of both employers.

Case 2: Extra city transfer

Relocation to another city, with cooperative employers and same work position

Case 3: Extra scope/industry transfer

Changing job for another industry or another position, with cooperative employers in the same city

Case 4: Resident permit & work permit cancelled

Your work permit is cancelled as is your resident permit, but your employer gave you the release letter and cancellation letter.

Case 5: Reluctant employers

Your employers won’t give your cancellation letter and/or release letter.

5. Tianjin administrations address book (direct link)


-The Foreigners Guide to Work/Hire Legally in China (Tianjin )

-Work Permit Explained, Application Process in China (Tianjin)

-Work Permit, Resident Permit Renewal and Change (Tianjin)

-Work Permit, Change of Employer or City (Tianjin)

-Internship In China (Tianjin)

-Foreign Auto-Entrepreneurship and Freelancer in China (Tianjin)

-Beichaka, police registration, residency registration

-How to Calculate and Withhold IIT for Your Employees in China (external link)

-Social Security Law for Foreigners in China (external link)

-How to get your Pension Payments back when leaving China (external link)

——> Knowledge database

Scroll up/down

Case 1: Intra scope, intra city transfer

Old employer shall apply for cancellation of work permit at SAFEA online.

Old employer will receive and shall transmit to the new work-unit (employer) a cancellation of work permit letter (外国人来华工作许可注销证明)  emitted by SAFEA and a release letter stamped by the old employer (离职证明).

After emission of the cancellation of work permit new employer will have 10 days to apply at SAFEA for a new working permit for the employee.

After this delay of 10 days SAFEA can reject the demand. 

In some cases SAFEA mays in fact accept demands after 10 days, but it is safer to keep in mind 10 days as a limit.

After approval the next step will be going to entry-exit administration PSB to update, renew your resident permit.

In some case you may have to go trough an interview.

Case 2: Extra city transfer

All requirements are the same as in Case 1, but local regulations may prevent you to make some inter-cities moves. 

Some cities will refuse all labor transfer from other cities. 

Always enquire with local SAFEA bureau before starting the process

Some cities may ask you to redo the Medical Check, or to provide a new non-criminal record, while other will have you go back home to start from scratch.

Note that transfer demands from parent company to branch are generally more easy to get accepted by SAFEA

In case of doubt we advise you to ask the advice of a human resources agency specialized in foreigners workforce

Case 3: Extra scope/industry transfer

In case you have actually evolve into the company you were working for; it is always better to make the job change before making the work permit transfer.

Ask for your company to make an update to your current work-permit before doing the work permit transfert.

But keep in mind that SAFEA may not accept workers transfert withing a delay of 180 days after their work evolution.

Some SAFEA will refuse work permit transfer with job title change, while other SAFEA will ask you a 2 years of experience letter stamped by a previous employer.

Make sure to you have all the credentials and diploma for your new position, especially if you change not only your job position but your industry too. SAFEA may ask for complementary diplomas or credidentials.

In case of doubt we advise you to ask the advice of a human resources agency specialized in foreigners workforce

Case 4: Both permits cancelled

After cancellation of your resident permit, you can apply for a 30 days (extendable in certain case) humanitarian visa.

Some people, regarding the type of their working permit (A) or living in these cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou) or some special treatments, may not have to leave China in order to start from scratch and apply for a (Z) Work Visa.

Unfortunately, in most of the case you will have to go abroad wait, and apply from scratc for a new work visa (Z) in order to come back and apply for a work permit.

In case of doubt we advise you to ask the advice of a human resources agency specialized in foreigners workforce

Case 5: Reluctant employers

Sub-case a: You were working legally in China and didn’t break your labor contract then you should go to local labor bureau to start a mediation with your employer. (we advise you to ask advice from a local lawyer or a serious advisor to be sure you didn’t break the labor contract)

Sub-case b: You were working legally in China and did break your labor contract then you should ask the advice of a local labor lawyer and start a mediation.


Sub-case c: You are not sure that you were working legally in China, in that case putting to much attention on you is not the best choice. You may think about turning the page of your Chinese adventure. If you want to come back to work in China your new employer will have to sort your case with SAFEA. (Some people report on internet that starting again with a new passport is working too)

"You should always prefer a peaceful mediation with your employer to direct conflict.


Call only for lawyer or government help if all mediation has been unsuccessful and all communication channels have been used and closed"


If you are in your good right and plan to call for a lawyer or for governemt help do not threaten to do it, do not give them the time to prepare, just do it, but after using all means of mediation.

This article has been sponsored and written by Tianjin Link. With more than 15 years of experience, Tianjin Link is a Sino-French consultancy joint venture leader in providing business solutions for foreign enterprises.

You can contact them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Or by wechat: ptshilei

Incorporation - Taxes - Payroll - Accounting - Visa - Import/Export


Focus on your CORE BUSINESS you can OUTSOURCE the rest!

User comments

There are no user comments for this listing.
Already have an account?
Anti Spam Check
Don't want to answer that question every time?
Register an account
It's FREE and give you access to advanced features
You will be able to upload media right after you submit your comment.


Our WeChat Newsletter
1 Scan the Qrcode
2 Follow Us
3 Stay tuned
Our WeChat Groups
1 Scan the Qrcode
2 Send #groups
3 Join & Enjoy
Our WeChat App
1 Scan the Qrcode
2 Explore the city

Latest articles

Category: Lifestyle
The Tianjin German Concession in history and photography. Tianjin German Concession ...
Closed streets in TEDA for Marathon
Category: What's Up
Drivers in TEDA please remember that streets will be close on Saturday 4th for annual TEDA marathon More info on the marathon click here Closed roads map
Category: Lifestyle
"Hanfu" Refers to the historical dress of the Han people. Learn about the iconic Qipao, Zhongshan, & Tang Suit. Traditional Chinese Clothing Hanfu ...
hao chi longtaitou
Category: Lifestyle
This year, the Longtaitou Festival falls on 7th March, 2019. Let's learn about the origins, traditions, customs, and the legend of the blue dragon! The Longtaitou Festival ...
Category: Lifestyle
Panoramic shots of Tianjin and the surrounding areas with history and commentary Tianjin | A light snow of 2019. The morning sun illuminating the sky. ...
How Do I Find An Ayi (Maid/Household Help)
      How Do I Find An Ayi (Maid/Household Help)   If you live on your own, there are tons of advantages to hiring someone to help you clean and cook. What I've done is hired someone to work two hours a day around lunch hour to help me clean (sweep & squeegee-or-whatever-you-call-that-thing the floor, pick up random clutter, handle laundry, heat a thermos of water, dishes) and to make the day's food for us. ...
How Do I Connect To The Internet?
  How Do I Connect To The Internet?   Depending on which part of Tianjin or the complex/building you live in, Tianjin offers you varieties of internet service providers. Internet Connection installation is usually handled by your landlord. Suggest you talk to your landlord and see what options you have there for your building/area. Chinese people don’t care too much for internet speed so whenever you move in a house/apartment, makes sure to tell your landlord to apply for the fastest connection package available. ...
How Do I Pay For My Electricity?
  How does the electricity generally work?   Most electricity in Tianjin is purchased in advance by the unit, to be consumed only after purchase. However, some people must pay a bill collector who personally comes to their door every month to collect. When you first move into your apartment, your landlord should give you a cardboard card with the apartment’s electricity purchase record and a two-inch long plastic charger piece or the electric purchasing card. After removing the plastic cover, the head of this...
How Do I Rent An Apartment
    Tianjin Housing Guide   When it comes to renting an apartment, best you have some local friends with you as you will be ripped off regardless of what once the landlord/agent knows you are a laowai/foreigner. Here in Tianjin, real agents get their commission directly from the landlord if you are renting the apartment for a year which is usually one-month worth of value of the rent itself. For this, don’t ever give in the agents or the landlords. Commission is...
How Do I Seek Medical Care In Tianjin?
      Hospitals in general:   There are little clinics every few blocks in Tianjin, and if you've got something minor, go there. I'd recommend getting a medical translation dictionary. The doctors are usually competent IF they know what you're talking about, and they'll listen, again, if you know what you're saying to them, but they can be super pushy if they don't. Also, they've got a pretty wide array of basic Western antibiotics and such, but you've got to know the translation....
How Do I Use The Post Office?
      Insight on China Post   In experience, using the postal service is one of the more frustrating experiences one can have in China. A lot of times it seems like their jobs are more to hinder people from using the postal service rather than to provide a service; although some times are much better than others. If you have a complicated task, and your Chinese is not up for it, it might be necessary to find someone to help you. ...
How To Watch Tv Shows and Movies in China
A quick overview of different way for you to watch your preferred movies and TV shows while in China 1 Buy dvd in the Streets Cheap way, be sure to ask the vendor to watch it before buying, to be sure that the subtitles are actually to good one, and that you don't get a movie in Cantonese with Japanese and Korean subtitles only. You won't be able to bring these DVDs back home, EMS won't allow you to send then out of the country, and...
How to Bring My Pet in China
1 Two ways to proceed : DIY , use an agent DIY Go to your local consulate and ask for necessary documents. They are the most up to date source of information. It is not so hard Contact an agent : look on google “bring my pet in China” . This is a very expensive solution but they will take care of everything. Pay a lot just for something you can do by yourself   DIY 2 Vet certificate that proof your pet received...
How to Buy Electronic Stuffs Online for Your Apartment and Pay While They Arrived at Your Place (by using
Are you still looking for electronic stuffs to fill your apartment? However, of course it will take more time to go shop around the outside will the limitation of products to be compared. I have asked some Chinese friends about buying electronic stuffs to fill my living place. Most of them suggest me to do the online shopping in JingDong. Some of the advantages are: 1. The price is quite cheaper rather than doing the offline shopping. ...
How to register on Alipay, to buy on taobao (without chinese id) Updated 30/06/16
  Why you should have an alipay account? Shop on most of Chinese website, including Taobao and Tmall Transfer money to your friends Pay credit card bills Pay phone bills Go Dutch Get a taxi       Add us on Wechat : tianjinexpats or by scanning the QrCode   ...
Exchange your Yuan and send Money out of China(Union Pay, Wire, Western Union, Alipay, Paypal) updated 09/08/2017
Whether it is for your student loans and credit card debt or you're just looking to buy some gift going back home for Christmas, every expat will have a day the need to transfer money abroad. It seems like a hassle but team hope this memo will help you a lot. 28/07/2017 Update: New S.A.F.E. regulations about international UnionPay payment: Starting the 22 of September Chinese banks may report to taxes bureau any transaction over 1000元, (including cash withdrawal abroad and shop payment abroad). If you regularly use your UnionPay card abroad for payment and withdrawal of more than 1000元, you may...
How and why should you get an verified Alipay account (without Chinese ID card) Updated 30/06/2016
How and why should you get a verified Alipay account? 30/06/2016 Update. That article is to get a passport verified account, later alipay may ask you to get a second bank card verified account. You can check our second article for that purpose by Clicking here Alipay and Wechat account after 1st July 2016. What should I know and do? or scan qrcode   Let's start with the why? To override...
Exhibition Jacques Bartz in Le Loft
Category: Lifestyle
关于我 作为波兰裔的法国人 我一年半前到天津 一直对周围的环境充满好奇 随着时间推移 我的洞察力越来越敏锐 所以很自然的 我开始从事摄影 作为完美的现代浪漫主义艺术 摄影对我而言首先是展现世界的视窗 也是我对现实的模糊印象 通过这18张照片 这就是今天我希望向大家展示的 希望大家好好观看、欣赏、感受 « 照片所呈现的是不可见的 它不仅是我们所看见的样子 » Roland BARTHES.  About me, French of Polish origin, I settled in Tianjin a year and a half ago. Since the early days, I have been curious about the surrounding environment. I have become very observant over the years. Therefore, quite naturally, I turned to photography. Modern romantic art par excellence, photography is to me, first of all, a point of view over the world,...
Alipay and Wechat account after 1st July 2016. What should I know and do?
New Chinese regulations have been released and people have been ask to prove their identity on the on-line payment platform : Wechat and AliPay. New regulations are not here against foreigners, they apply to everybody. But verification is more complicated for foreigners, cause of the way banks input our name into the system.   Basically new regulation split user in 3 categories depending on the amount you spend, transfer monthly, or annualy on your account.   Wechat Category 1 : Wechat need bank linking //everybody...

Copyright © 2017.津ICP备18008001号-1 .