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Author Topic: Would a DUI prevent me from getting a Z-Visa?  (Read 3793 times)

Santiago

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Would a DUI prevent me from getting a Z-Visa?
« on: March 21, 2016, 01:45:39 PM »
Hi all. I'm an English teacher who's been teaching in Santiago Chile for the better part of a year. In the next couple months I'm planning on moving back to the US and then heading down to China in September, for the start of their school semester. I want to get a Z-Visa so I can teach English there legally.

That's the plan, anyway.

There's only one possible problem: I have DUI conviction on my record from October 2010. It was charged as a misdemeanor, not a felony. Even still though, I hear that when the Chinese demand a "Certificate of No Criminal Activity" they really mean anything you may have ever been *arrested* for. And from what I understand, they don't look too kindly on DUI's, and have been cracking down on that in recent years.

My question is, do you think my DUI will present a significant obstacle to me getting a Z-Visa?

I have heard about 50% of people say yes and 50% say no, according to my own searching online. I've also heard about half say that I should lie on the background check, and half say no. So I am absolutely at a loss as to what I should do.

What do you guys think?

Thanks,

- Santiago

Just Like Mr Benn

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Re: Would a DUI prevent me from getting a Z-Visa?
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2016, 12:13:19 AM »
Things work differently in different parts of China, and change constantly.

I believe this is the current situation.

Some provinces (for example Jiangsu) demand a Police check, but I'm not sure all do. I think all of them will at some point give you a form (probably the health check) with a checkbox about whether you have any criminal convictions, and if that's the extent of their checking up on you, you could and maybe should tick no.

I'd suggest asking employers fairly early on what documentation you will need if you accept a job, which should give you an idea of whether this will be a problem. Of course its possible that the need for a thorough criminal check is now being implemented in all provinces.

I think even where they do a criminal check, they may not care about a DUI misdemeanor. if there is a solid rule in this regard, I've not heard of it. As you're unlikely to be driving in the country, I'd have thought that this would be very low on any list of concerns, but I dare say that some provinces and Police offices do turn people down for any criminal convictions. You wouldn't get that many people coming on to forums like this and sharing the details of why they've been turned down. It's all folk such as yourself asking whether they would be.

I'm afraid you probably won't get any definitive answers for the whole of China. The best you can hope for is a definitive answer for a province or city. i mean, if you were applying to my province i could ask my FAO for the current situation. Things could well change though between now and the point when you apply for jobs (which will need to be about the end of April, though there will be jobs available later than this of course).

They're mostly concerned about sex and drug offences, and over the last few years the need for criminal checks was introduced earlier for those working with children.

Phillis

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Re: Would a DUI prevent me from getting a Z-Visa?
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2016, 07:49:08 AM »
I started my application process for Henan Province last December. My criminal background check was a form sent to me which I signed and sent back. That was it. I started work a few weeks ago.

Santiago

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Re: Would a DUI prevent me from getting a Z-Visa?
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2016, 07:45:01 PM »
Hi Mr Benn, thank you for your response.

Things work differently in different parts of China, and change constantly.

I believe this is the current situation.

Some provinces (for example Jiangsu) demand a Police check, but I'm not sure all do. I think all of them will at some point give you a form (probably the health check) with a checkbox about whether you have any criminal convictions, and if that's the extent of their checking up on you, you could and maybe should tick no.


Is this a common tactic? Do many people who are in my situation check no and then get in, no problems? What's the risk of it backfiring, in your opinion?


Quote
I'm afraid you probably won't get any definitive answers for the whole of China. The best you can hope for is a definitive answer for a province or city. i mean, if you were applying to my province i could ask my FAO for the current situation. Things could well change though between now and the point when you apply for jobs (which will need to be about the end of April, though there will be jobs available later than this of course).
That's another thing I wanted to ask: what is the best time to apply for jobs? I understand that the Chinese school semester begins in September, yet I have had people tell me that they hire year-round. As I want to work in a school, do you think it is best that I apply in September? Or do you think it does not really matter that much? If possible, I would like to hold off and go later, sometime next year, in order to at least get a start on learning Chinese. But not if it means that would significantly impact my chances of getting a job in a school.

And yes, I would definitely appreciate if you'd ask your FAO, if it wouldn't be too much trouble.

Quote
They're mostly concerned about sex and drug offences, and over the last few years the need for criminal checks was introduced earlier for those working with children.

Well, I would probably be working with university students, so that should not be a problem.


Additionally, can you clarify something for me? Who does the criminal background check? The employer? The consulate? Or the province?
« Last Edit: March 22, 2016, 07:50:41 PM by Santiago »

Santiago

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Re: Would a DUI prevent me from getting a Z-Visa?
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2016, 07:52:19 PM »
I started my application process for Henan Province last December. My criminal background check was a form sent to me which I signed and sent back. That was it. I started work a few weeks ago.

Did you have anything you needed to disclose that could have reflected unfavorably on you? DUI, any arrests, etc?

Just Like Mr Benn

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Re: Would a DUI prevent me from getting a Z-Visa?
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2016, 10:46:12 PM »
The level of checks depends on the province. I'm far from an expert on what the different provinces do, or on the American system, but it can involve getting confirmation at various different levels from your home nation (plus from China if you're already here). So basically, your criminal check will be done by the FBI and state level police, or something like that. I'd probably just tell the truth about your misdemeanour, but i don't think there's any danger (or frankly immorality) about forgetting to mention it. It's not relevant, and we all know that something like 50% of Americans have a criminal record.

There'd be no point asking my FAO unless you're planning to come to Liaoning. Believe me, the process for each city / province is very different, not just on criminal checks, but health checks and probably everything else.

For Uni jobs you need to apply in about April / May. perhaps the recruitment season lasts from early April to the panicked last-minute recruitment of August, but April / May is the time when most recruiting goes on. After that, there will be far fewer jobs. Unis certainly do not recruit all year round as a rule.

There's no point asking whether we're criminals who have lied to the Chinese police and not been caught.

Santiago

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Re: Would a DUI prevent me from getting a Z-Visa?
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2016, 11:30:50 PM »
I was asking whether you knew of others who did this, not you yourself or people in this forum. But thank you for the responses, they have been quite helpful.


Santiago

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Re: Would a DUI prevent me from getting a Z-Visa?
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2016, 11:32:58 PM »
Quote
There'd be no point asking my FAO unless you're planning to come to Liaoning. Believe me, the process for each city / province is very different, not just on criminal checks, but health checks and probably everything else.

Shenyang is actually one of the top cities I am considering living in, as it happens, so I may well end up in Liaoning. Having the input of your FAO would useful. Certainly couldn't hurt. If you could ask him, I would definitely appreciate it.

Phillis

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Re: Would a DUI prevent me from getting a Z-Visa?
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2016, 11:59:33 PM »
I started my application process for Henan Province last December. My criminal background check was a form sent to me which I signed and sent back. That was it. I started work a few weeks ago.

Did you have anything you needed to disclose that could have reflected unfavorably on you? DUI, any arrests, etc?

I had a CRC done by the RCMP in Canada around the start of my application process here as a safety measure and it came back clean  bfbfbfbfbf

Authur Radley

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Re: Would a DUI prevent me from getting a Z-Visa?
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2016, 01:35:29 PM »
They are looking for felonies. Now, remember, this is a LOCAL background check. So, maybe you grew up in a different locality, use that local background check if that is your hometown.

Disclaimer: This Is China - everything is subject to change.

Just Like Mr Benn

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Re: Would a DUI prevent me from getting a Z-Visa?
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2016, 09:07:16 AM »
santiago - i sent you a pm a couple of days ago saying chiefly that Liaoning doesn't seem to have a criminal check requirement (to the best of our This is China knowledge) but i know that sometimes new members can't receive pms, so let me know if you didn't receive it. The site seems to allow me to send you a pm.

mods - once someone appears as a 'member' rather than 'hasn't said much yet', is that the trigger for them to be able to receive pms, or is it not that simple?

got to echo Arthur R about the TIC thing. i was writing a book about teaching in China. Frankly it was the section on criminal checks that made me realise that a guidebook is not that great if you can't give any definitive answers and that particular section would have had the size of 'war and peace',the lifespan of a mayfly and the reliability one would expect when you're pulling the majority of your information from internet chat baords.

AMonk

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Re: Would a DUI prevent me from getting a Z-Visa?
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2016, 08:32:33 AM »
mods - once someone appears as a 'member' rather than 'hasn't said much yet', is that the trigger for them to be able to receive pms, or is it not that simple?

It is supposed to be mmmmmmmmmm
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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: Would a DUI prevent me from getting a Z-Visa?
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2016, 03:26:23 AM »
got to echo Arthur R about the TIC thing. i was writing a book about teaching in China. Frankly it was the section on criminal checks that made me realise that a guidebook is not that great if you can't give any definitive answers and that particular section would have had the size of 'war and peace',the lifespan of a mayfly and the reliability one would expect when you're pulling the majority of your information from internet chat baords.

Give the easiest case (Put your right hand over your heart and quote Nixon -  "I am not a crook."), most complicated case (Federal background check, verified by fed gov't, stamped by Chinese embassy, officially translated and notarized by local Chinese gov't - and you'll need it from every country you've ever spent more than a few months in), and let people know they MUST check with the employer to find out where they'll fall on the scale.  Also let them know that the employer could change the requirement a week later.
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