Raoul's China Saloon (V4.0 Beta)

Da Woiks: Links, Library, News and Other Stuff More Useful Than You Are => Le Laowai Liberation League Labor & Lifestyle Lending Library (ON-TOPIC) => Topic started by: Raoul F. Duke on April 22, 2007, 08:51:00 PM

Title: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: Raoul F. Duke on April 22, 2007, 08:51:00 PM
Always follow one simple rule:
NEVER SURRENDER YOUR PASSPORT OR RESIDENCE PERMIT TO A SCHOOL except to acquire or update your permits.

Don't fall for any "safekeeping" BS...this is done solely to render you helpless. It's not even legal...you are supposed to be able to produce your passport and Residence Permit when requested. You're technically required under Chinese law to carry your Residence Permit at all times (although almost no one actually does this). Without your passport and Residence Permit, you won't even be able to check into a hotel if you travel.

You'll have to surrender your passport to your school and/or the police (probably through someone at your school) in order to get your Residence Permit, Work Permit and Foreign Exchange Certificate (FEC), or to renew these documents and/or your visa. This is necessary and reasonable. But once these things are processed, don't fool around. Don't even teach a class until all of your personal documents are safely back in your kung fu grip, after a reasonable time to get your Residence Permit, etc..(2-4 weeks). Don't sign a contract with anyone who requires this, and firmly and flatly refuse any requests to let them keep your documents. If anyone holds these documents against your will, stop teaching, immediately contact your nearest Consulate for help, and get out of that school ASAP. Make a xerox copy of your documents- do this yourself- and give them to the school to keep. Nothing more.

It's also not a bad idea to keep photocopies of your passport info page and your Residence Permit in your wallet so you can present them if approached by the police, without carrying the real documents around all the time and risking losing them. The police will not necessarily like this, but they will most likely grudgingly accept it.

Again: schools only hold your documents so that they can force you to take whatever swindles and abuse they choose to dish out. Never, ever let yourself be put in that position. Schools who won't swindle and abuse you (if there indeed are any) won't ask to hold your documents, either.

Note that your Work Permit is not issued to you for you to keep, and the FEC isn't always given to you and isn't really that big a deal. Don't sweat not getting those. bjbjbjbjbj
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: skippyteach on December 06, 2011, 01:21:12 AM
Hi--
I am new and I am having difficulty getting my Foreign Expert credential from the school. I need some help on how to bring the rain. The conversation has gone from "safekeeping" to "the law says we have to keep it" to "helping you by being responsible for it" to "Ameson told us to keep it" to, finally, "the school is afraid you will leave if you have it," all in a 30-min. period. Of course, the irony is that this is a really great school with wonderful people and I would be thrilled to work here forever. I just need my papers--this is the only issue between us. I have found a 2002 document from jobsinchina.org but I am looking for something with more umph. Thanks in advance for any assistance. Oh, and nice to meet everyone.
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: Pashley on December 06, 2011, 06:18:57 AM
Hi--
I am new and I am having difficulty getting my Foreign Expert credential from the school. I need some help on how to bring the rain.

I do not know. I'm not sure how much it is worth worrying about. If they tried that with your passport, I would say you should raise Hell, but is it worth a hassle for the FEC?

I can tell you that I have had FECs with five different employers in five cities and four provinces over the years, and I've never had an employer suggest they should keep it, let alone try to insist. This may be because I have always worked at universities or foundation schools.
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: Raoul F. Duke on December 06, 2011, 10:59:28 PM
I'm with Pashley 100%. Under NO circumstances should you ever let an employer (or anyone else) hold your passport and residence permit except when needed to update your documents, but I don't think I'd go to war over the Foreign Expert Certificate. The only real use the FEC is to you (if any) is to change money, and your employer will most likely be happy to help with that if and when needed.

As long as it's only the FEC involved, I wouldn't sweat it. bfbfbfbfbf
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: Borkya on December 06, 2011, 11:04:50 PM
I agree it is odd that they are insisting on keeping it, but like the others said, it is only the FEC and not as vital as say, your passport. Actually my school held onto my FEC for one whole semester, no reason really I just didn't ask for it back, and it wasn't an issue at all. (But when I went back to america for a trip I did make sure to get it back and carry it with me, 'just in case' but of ocurse I didn't need it.) 
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: Raoul F. Duke on December 06, 2011, 11:07:38 PM
I think there are cases- certain jobs in certain places- where the FEC isn't normally given to the teacher.

Meanwhile, I've edited and updated the OP to more closely match current realities. bjbjbjbjbj
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: Pashley on December 07, 2011, 01:02:41 AM
The only real use the FEC is to you (if any) is to change money, ...

At least for some offices of some airlines (Quanzhou & Xiamen Airlines is the only one I've tried), it can also get you a teacher's discount on domestic flights.
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: Pashley on December 07, 2011, 01:16:15 AM
Under NO circumstances should you ever let an employer (or anyone else) hold your passport and residence permit except when needed to update your documents, ...

My passport says "This passport is the property of the Canadian government." in several places. It also has this paragraph (page 4 for Canadians):

" If your passport is surrendered to any person or agency outside the Canadian government (e.g. to obtain a visa) and is not promptly returned, report the facts to one of the above offices.

My understanding is that there is an international agreement governing this, and most passports have similar text somewhere. If push really comes to shove over a passport, your embassy or your consulate can talk to someone in Beijing who will lean very hard on whoever is holding the document.

Of course, this is a last resort to be used only if the opponent is being utterly unreasonable. Also, this being China, there might be some cases where it would not work; not many, though.
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: skippyteach on December 07, 2011, 01:28:32 AM
Thanks, I really do appreciate the input and advice. And thanks for being so responsive so quickly!
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: BrandeX on December 09, 2011, 03:37:48 AM
Hi--
I am new and I am having difficulty getting my Foreign Expert credential from the school. I need some help on how to bring the rain. The conversation has gone from "safekeeping" to "the law says we have to keep it" to "helping you by being responsible for it" to "Ameson told us to keep it" to, finally, "the school is afraid you will leave if you have it," all in a 30-min. period. Of course, the irony is that this is a really great school with wonderful people and I would be thrilled to work here forever. I just need my papers--this is the only issue between us. I have found a 2002 document from jobsinchina.org but I am looking for something with more umph. Thanks in advance for any assistance. Oh, and nice to meet everyone.
Have you ever seen your FEC? Maybe you don't have one.
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: Raoul F. Duke on December 09, 2011, 05:28:57 AM
Skippy, one thing you might want to check...have a Chinese friend, NOT from your employer, check your Residence Permit and make sure it was issued by your employer. Just to make sure...

Also, could we ask why you need the FEC?
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: skippyteach on December 09, 2011, 05:35:10 AM
Hi--yes, i've seen it in a big ziplock bag--I was going to have several boxes of books and hard drives sent from the U.S. and I have read that it is necessary in order to get, especially, books through customs.
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: skippyteach on December 09, 2011, 05:37:25 AM
Thanks, will check the Passport residence document. I really appreciate the help.
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: Paul on December 09, 2011, 01:06:59 PM
It's normal for schools to keep the FEC.

You don't need it.  They paid for it and consider it as a safeguard.

Some schools will let you take it home - but after a few years of dealing with disappearing teachers they'll get wise.

Your residence permit is stuck into your passport and should be in your pocket.

Don't worry.
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: Pashley on December 12, 2011, 01:22:10 AM
Hi--yes, i've seen it in a big ziplock bag--I was going to have several boxes of books and hard drives sent from the U.S. and I have read that it is necessary in order to get, especially, books through customs.

I shipped books here from Canada, using the special cheap rate Canada Post has for books ($7/kilo, five years back). It took anywhere from four to seven weeks for different boxes. They had all been opened, but nothing was missing.

For pickup, I needed my passport but they did not ask for the FEC.
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: Stil on December 12, 2011, 01:57:27 AM

It's normal for schools to keep the FEC.


Really?

I've been here eight and a half years and have always held it myself.
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: Raoul F. Duke on December 12, 2011, 02:51:50 AM
Me too. I always got mine, over a comparable period of years.
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: old34 on December 12, 2011, 03:28:57 AM
Me three.
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: xwarrior on December 12, 2011, 01:21:57 PM
x4.  The FEC is issued in my name and as the 'bearer' of the document I am "entitled to conveniences and treatments for experts provided by the government of the People's Republic of China."

I live in the hope that one day I will be able to use my FEC at a toilet reserved for foreign experts. I also hope that the scope of treatments will be extended to cover those provided by massage girls.

In the meantime I look on the FEC as the only proof I have that I actually had the jobs listed on my CV. For that reason (and a couple of others, including making it easier for banks and supermarkets to get my employment details recorded)I always make sure they hand over the FEC as soon as it is available.

 
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on December 17, 2011, 05:25:27 AM
My passport says "This passport is the property of the Canadian government." in several places. It also has this paragraph (page 4 for Canadians):

" If your passport is surrendered to any person or agency outside the Canadian government (e.g. to obtain a visa) and is not promptly returned, report the facts to one of the above offices.

Unfortunately, most of us don't jot down those contacts before some "helpful" FAO decides to "safely" keep a passport. bibibibibi

I live in the hope that one day I will be able to use my FEC at a toilet reserved for foreign experts. I also hope that the scope of treatments will be extended to cover those provided by massage girls.

Someday, I'll find a way to get an FEC.  In the meantime, all I've got is an Alien Employment Permit. ananananan
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: Paul on March 02, 2012, 01:20:42 PM
Most schools keep the FEC.  Some don't.  It's not a problem.  You don't need it.
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: Stil on March 02, 2012, 01:59:25 PM
Why do you say most schools keep it Paul, I don't any that do and if you don't need it, why is it issued?
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: Pashley on March 03, 2012, 02:13:36 AM
Why do you say most schools keep it Paul, I don't any that do ... ?

Over the years, I've worked at five schools that got me FECs, in four provinces. I have yet to have one ask to keep the FEC.
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: KeyserSoze on April 01, 2012, 04:30:09 AM
When I first arrived my uni gave me my passport but kept the FEC for a little over one semester. I'm not sure why.

Possible dumb question alert! So if I now have my passport and FEC and plan to leave this uni at the end of my contract, I can keep them until I get to the next stop in my Chinese adventure?
 ababababab
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: dragonsaver on April 01, 2012, 01:35:16 PM
I kept my FEC from both universities I worked at when I left.   agagagagag agagagagag
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: xwarrior on April 01, 2012, 01:55:35 PM
The regulations say that you have to hand the FEC back to the uni when you leave. There is a statement on the inside of the back cover to that effect.

I always keep mine. If asked to hand it in (as I have been at 2 places) I just say that I have lost it - 'but I will keep looking'. It has not been seen as a problem - we have just moved on to the next item on the agenda. 
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: adamsmith on April 02, 2012, 09:53:04 AM
it can be a problem if your next job is in Shanghai. The PTB there require a chopped doc from the government people responsible saying that you have returned your FEC from your previous employer. I had to courier mine back to the FAO at my old school in Wuhan so she could turn it in and send the docs back to the new school. But that is Shanghai.  bjbjbjbjbj
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: slayer6719 on April 02, 2012, 03:43:55 PM
I,ve never had posession of my FEC either. Seen it in the FAO's office and even held it in my hot little hand. Just something else for me to lose if i have it at home. ahahahahah
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: Ruth on May 02, 2012, 10:54:15 AM
I'm in my 6th contract year at my current place of employment. I asked for my FEC when I was first hired. They told me they keep it in the office. I've seen it and they do, in fact, keep it locked in a cabinet in the FAO. Yes, it's got my name on it, but it is issued to me because of their employment. One less thing for me to worry about, IMHO.
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: Guangzhou Writer on April 01, 2013, 05:30:03 PM
My school keeps the FEC. I asked them and they said the Guangdong bureau told them to keep it at the school and they also said that they have to put a notice in the paper if a teacher loses it or doesn't return it to the school at the end of the contract, and also that a govt. inspection will want to see it with the teacher's contract. They also said it causes them trouble if it's lost and is absolutely no good to the teacher for anything they knew of.

I asked if I could take it home to make a high quality scan and they said no problem, so that way I have a record of my employment in addition to the other paper work.
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: eggcluck on April 02, 2013, 12:47:47 AM
I have never seen or touched my FEC. I asked my school for photocopies for the records amongst other things but they refused to provide them.

Now my request just gets ignored. I told them I wanted to send money they just said " find a chinese person to do it for you"...so helpfull  bibibibibi
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on April 02, 2013, 04:57:43 AM
If they won't let you see it or even get a copy of it, maybe you don't really have one.  My one any only FT job gave me a bogus title so that they could hire me in some other capacity (senior floor sweeping supervisor or something to that effect) that didn't require a proper teaching FE cert.

If you feel brave, tell them your consulate requested a copy of your FE certificate for their records and see what they say. uuuuuuuuuu

Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: Day Dreamer on April 02, 2013, 05:45:24 AM
Everywhere that has signed me has provided an FEC. At the end of the contract, I've had to return it. I also scanned every page beforehand
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: bobrage on April 02, 2013, 07:13:03 AM
I have found the FEC to be necessary for the following activities.  As with all things in China, your experience may vary:

1: Changing money
2: Transferring money by T/T
3: Opening a bank account
4: Registering my residencey

It is also damn handy for lots of things because it has all of your details under categories written in Chinese. 

The local SAFEA office can give you permission to keep it at the end of the contract as a souvenir, it is at their discretion though.  Not that anyone ever cares.  Sometimes they fine the employer thirty what what kuai for not giving it back.
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on April 04, 2013, 07:02:24 AM
All these years and I still don't have a certificate saying I'm an expert. ananananan

Happily, my Commitment Papers to the Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane seems to be enough to keep my res permit going.  Guess that envelope I gave to the pretty girl doing the certified translation into Chinese was big enough. agagagagag
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: CaseyOrourke on May 17, 2013, 12:56:36 AM
This letter was sent out by my company regarding our FEC's.  Since I felt it was not necessary to hold on to it, I asked for and got a scanned copy of mine with the entry on Mrs. Casey.
Quote
As some of you may know, there have recently been enquiries about why teachers are not in possession of their Foreign Expert Certificates.  To give you some background, there have been cases in the past where teachers held their own certificates, and they expired without XXXXXXX knowing.  This cost the teacher in question an additional 5000RMB to re-initiate the certificate.  There have also been cases where a teacher left and took their certificate, or lost it, and when the Foreign Expert Bureau did their annual inspection, XXXXXXX was not able to produce all the certificates.  This causes embarrassment and lack of trust with the Foreign Expert Bureau.  We could also be penalized financially.  Another concern is that each certificate is issued by a provincial bureau, and must be returned to that bureau for cancellation.  When teachers change locations, one certificate is cancelled and another must be issued.  The coordination of this is very delicate and should be done with caution and care, to avoid difficulty for teachers or schools.
 
We are, however, happy to provide each of you with your certificate, under the following conditions:
* You agree to return the certificate at the end of your time with XXXXXX.
* You agree that if you do not return the certificate, XXXX will not reimburse you for the medical check and certificate application fee.
* You take responsibility for ensuring your certificate remains valid, and contact XXXXXX at least one month prior to the expiration date.
 
If you would like us to send you the certificate, please email me your confirmation to abide by the above listed conditions, and we will ensure you get your certificate right away.  If we don't hear from you, we will assume that you would rather XXXXXXX hold your certificate, and will continue to do so.
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: MK on May 17, 2013, 02:23:20 AM
I think that is the clearest, most informative and reasonable missive issued from a school in China that I have ever seen.
Title: Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
Post by: CaseyOrourke on May 17, 2013, 03:04:25 AM
I think that is the clearest, most informative and reasonable missive issued from a school in China that I have ever seen.

The person who wrote it was Korean-Canadian.