Here are the reasons.
A lot of schools cooperate with agents for their recruitment. Agents know better about schools in China. Agents know the process of getting an ESL job and getting a visa to China and most of other things. It will be easier and faster to find an ESL job through agents.
Chinese schools usually don’t prepay for your flight ticket to their schools. If you need them to do so, you should let the agents know when you begin talking with them, if they have such schools, that would be perfect for you, but if not, then no need to move forward.
Let the agents know if you come with families, and the basic condition of your families. Since that’s related to visa. If your families are from abroad, they might need family visa to stay in China. Your children will attend schools or not, if they need schooling help from the employer and etc. Some schools prefer a single person for different reasons. It’s better to let the agents know in advance. That saves time.
Agents will usually think you are looking for a full-time job and can do 40h per week. If you have other arrangements, and just need a part-time job, please let the agents know. This is very important to know. Tell them when you are free to take a part-timejob and etc.
Most contracts are for one or two years. If you are looking to teach for only six months or shorter time, you should let the agents know. They will see if they have such offers and then discuss other things.
If you are eager to start asap, and could accept coming on a tourist visa, you should let the agents know. Sometimes agents might think you mind coming on a tourist visa, and don’t know you are really eager to come. This misunderstand should be avoided, since a lot of schools prefer teachers to come asap.
If you are looking for a teaching job with your partner together, you had better tell the agents. Otherwise if one found a job in a city, and the other found a nice job in another city, this will cause troubles. If you tell the agents from the beginning, you two might find two jobs in the same city through one agent. That’s easier and better.
Here are the steps.
First, you sign a contract with a school, then start collecting documents for z visa. The documents required are usually a bachelor’s degree and transcripts, a TEFL certificate, a cv, a passport copy, a reference letter, a recent photo, medical check, police background check, these are the most basic documents, you will also need to get your degree, police check and TEFL authenticated at a Chinese Embassy. Almost all schools need them. This will take around one month to get, some could spend more time.
Secondly, the school or employer applies for a work permit notice online first, then submit all your documents, and will need to wait for 2-5 weeks to get the work permit notice. Since the z visa policy changed, invitation letter is not used any more, and the school doesn’t have to mail you the work permit. You only need the digital copy. That’s easier and more convenient.
Thirdly, you will go to the local Chinese Embassy to apply for your work visa, this usually takes one week to get.
Finally, you will fly to China with the documents and visa.
After your arrival, the school or employer will go to apply for a Foreign Expert Certificate and a one-year resident permit for you. I also heard from some foreign teachers and schools that FEC is not used any longer. This is new to me. Finally you can stay in China for a year.
So you need to know what you need and how long it will take , so you know how to arrange something in your country.
In conclusion, there should be more things you need to take care of or take into consideration. All these will affect your decision. If you notice these points, you will not waste a lot of time and can get a good job as soon as you can. We wish you have a god experience with finding a good position!