Criminal Background Checks for Teaching in China

Criminal Background Checks


Criminal background checks are the norm now to find employment teaching in China. What Chinese officials want to see is a local background check, i.e. a hometown background check. Generally, this is not too onerous a requirement. Many police departments provide this service within a day or so. You can also use one of the many online services, such as

Do not attempt to obtain or submit an FBI background check, NAC/NACI,  (National Agency Check/National Agency Check Inquiries). These,  or other type of clearances are nether necessary nor appropriate.  In the west, people are fairly mobile so to ask someone to submit a local background check for their current city may seem inadequate. After all, they might have arrests in neighboring cities, or across the country. Nonetheless, it is a local, current police check Chinese officials want.

Once you are hired, you should immediately go ahead and get your background check completed,. Here is why: once you are hired, (provided you are hired legally), your employer must submit a copy of your background check to the local officials. They will begin processing your paperwork to obtain a work permit and ultimately, a Z (work) visa. Thus, your entire hiring/visa process is held up until you submit the criminal background check.When you arrive in China, you will be expected to carry with you the original of the criminal background check for inspection by local officials.

What Are They Looking For: In a word, felonies. In the US, a felony is a more serious criminal offense where the defendant, if convicted, may face more than one year in jail, (thus being sent to prison in lieu of jail). Interestingly, after China imposed the criminal background check requirement, the number of applications to teach in China, dropped. According to friend in the recruiting business, applications  dropped over 40%. Make of that what ye will.

Consider this: Sometimes, if you are in a hurry,  it will be faster to simply order the check yourself online. In some cases, it can really cut days, or even a week or more, (depending upon jurisdiction) off the delivery date. I have known teachers sitting waiting, with a soon approaching flight date. with all their documents done, except the background check that was tied up in bureaucracy somewhere.
















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About Ken Hayes, M.Ed.