Q: I've been told that foreigner who intends to work in China shall apply for employment permission, obtain Employment License, and then apply for Employment Permit. How to apply for those two certificates? Can I start working for my employer after receiving my Employment License?

    A: If employment is going to occur between the employer in Shanghai and a foreigner, the employer shall apply to the Labour Bureau of Shanghai for the Employment License before the entry of the foreigner. After the application is approved, Employment License of the foreigner shall be granted to the employer. Then the employer shall visit authorized organizations (Shanghai Municipality Commission of Commerce or Foreign affairs Office of Pudong District) and go through formalities for the Z visa (employment Visa) notification. After the entry of the foreigner with Z visa (employment Visa), the employer shall apply to the Human Resources and Social Security Bureau of Shanghai for the Employment Permit with relevant documents such as the Employment License, then apply to the entry-exit administration department for the residence permit by presenting the Employment Permit. Only on finishing these procedures can the foreigner work and reside in Shanghai legally. Employment between holder of a mere Employment License and employer is illegitimate.