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Author Topic: Hold Your Own ID Documents!  (Read 8122 times)

Raoul F. Duke

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Hold Your Own ID Documents!
« 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
« Last Edit: December 06, 2011, 11:12:08 PM by Raoul F. Duke »
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

skippyteach

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Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
« Reply #1 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.

Pashley

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Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
« Reply #2 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.
Who put a stop payment on my reality check?

Raoul F. Duke

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Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
« Reply #3 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
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

Borkya

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Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
« Reply #4 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.) 

Raoul F. Duke

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Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
« Reply #5 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
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

Pashley

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Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
« Reply #6 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.
Who put a stop payment on my reality check?

Pashley

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Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
« Reply #7 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.
Who put a stop payment on my reality check?

skippyteach

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Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
« Reply #8 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!

BrandeX

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Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
« Reply #9 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.

Raoul F. Duke

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Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
« Reply #10 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?
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

skippyteach

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Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
« Reply #11 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.

skippyteach

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Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2011, 05:37:25 AM »
Thanks, will check the Passport residence document. I really appreciate the help.

Paul

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Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
« Reply #13 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.

Pashley

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Re: Hold Your Own ID Documents!
« Reply #14 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.
Who put a stop payment on my reality check?