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Author Topic: Apparently the 5-year Rule can be 'bent'  (Read 2286 times)


  • Barfly
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Apparently the 5-year Rule can be 'bent'
« on: September 20, 2016, 10:58:03 AM »
Some of you will remember in late November/early December 2015, I was told by the FAO my current contract (Feb. 1, 2016 - Jan. 31, 2017) would be my last - as it is my 5th consecutive contract and I would not issued a sixth Residence Permit due to the 5-Year Rule.

While it seems there is a 5-year Rule, it seems to be almost universally unenforced. Several people commented the rule is sometimes used as a face-saving way to get 'rid' of people who are less than desirable. I knew (in my case) this was not the case - if it was the case, they could simply have not renewed my contract for a fifth year i.e. I was given more than a year's 'warning'.

I was dreading the prospect of a job search (I could retire, but don't want to; plus, I have no where to go) and moving (I have bought: a 'real' mattress, a huge desk chair, lamps etc.) because my apartment is now 'fixed up' & 'westernized' - it took a year-and-a-half to get it this way. In addition, in July I turned 60 and my job prospects would be limited.

The uni has had trouble attracting (and retaining) foreign teachers. It just didn't make sense they would not try to 'work around' the rule and try to keep me... until...

... last night when I got an email from the FAO -
As for new contract,   i want to know whether you want to go on teaching in our univeristy next year? if you want, we will begin to apply it for you in Bureau of Foreign Expert, maybe you can stay here another year , since you have been here for 5 years, we have good coorperation for a long time, we want to do you a favor and apply the procedure for you, So please tell me your choice, if you want to stay we will begin to deal with procedure.

I said "Yes"... but the way I look at it, I'm doing them a favor!  ababababab  ahahahahah
« Last Edit: September 20, 2016, 11:13:13 PM by cruisemonkey »
The Koreans once gave me five minutes notice - I didn't know what to do with the extra time.


  • Barfly
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Re: Apparently the 5-year Rule can be 'bent'
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2016, 01:37:33 PM »
I just went through this. I survived 12b years in Zhejiang despite the 5 Year Rule. It was a provincial rule and my university was above the provincial level so they could trump that rule.

Now I'm in Beijing and have worked at three unis here. The first one sucked so I left after year. The next one was good, but cancelled my contract when I had a stroke in Sept. 2014. My current uni gave me a chance to stay on. Despite the stroke, I can still teach and amn't ready to retire and return home as the previous uni hoped I would when they cancelled me.

Nonetheless, as I was approaching 60 when I decided to move to Beijing in 2012, I had asked all three universities about their policies. The university in Zhejiang had the same policy. We won't hire anyone over 60 but if we hire you before that, you can stay till you're 65. That's also what my current uni told me when I joined them in Jan.,2015 a year shy of 60.

They had already asked me to renew in Jan. of this year, and I agreed. though the pay is low, not many schools are willing to give a gimp a chance.

A few weeks later, when my department submitted the contract and paperwork to renew me, They got a call from the FAO who told them that Beijing FEB had issued new rules and would not approve an FEC for any FT over 60. I had already won the Excellent Teacher Award from the FAO (prize: a 2GB HD and a nice red certificate), so I knew this wasn't a school issue. The dean, the Director and the head of the English department went to the FAO and said, make this happen. We want him back. Those three, and I, wrote letters to the Beijing FEB that the FAO submitted to them-their's in Chinese, mine in English.

Within 4 days the Beijing FEB contacted our school's FAO and said, Go ahead and submit the renewal request. Two weeks later I got another year on my FEC and two weeks after that, a fresh RP.

@cruisemonkey, this may be what your school is having to anticipate going forward. Sounds like they want you back but realise the hoops they may have to jump thru to do it so want to make sure of your intensions before they (or you) jump.

If you like the place let them work through the process. Again it sounds like they want you back. Don't have a hissy-fit over Chinese procedures. It is what it is.
Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad. - B. O'Driscoll.
TIC is knowing that, in China, your fruit salad WILL come with cherry tomatoes AND all slathered in mayo. - old34.


  • Barfly
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Re: Apparently the 5-year Rule can be 'bent'
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2016, 04:28:55 AM »
Can confirm.

Two teachers at my school are:
a) 60+ years old
b) have been here for 5+ years and been renewed again this year

Sometimes the die rolls in your favor!
The greatest and most important problems of life are all in a certain sense insoluble. They can never be solved, but only outgrown.
- Jung


  • Barfly
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  • 在哈尔滨黑龙江中国
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Re: Apparently the 5-year Rule can be 'bent'
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2016, 02:26:35 PM »
I've been at a language mill in Harbin for almost 10 years.
Never had an issue.


  • Barfly
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Re: Apparently the 5-year Rule can be 'bent'
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2016, 04:30:10 AM »
Today I signed the contract for a sixth year (1 Feb. 2017 to Jan. 31, 2018). Now it's up to the Foreign Expert's Bureau, Public Security Bureau and the Entry/Exit Bureau to do their 'thing(s)'.
The Koreans once gave me five minutes notice - I didn't know what to do with the extra time.