Basics of working in Shanghai



It is possible to find a job and then apply for a work permit, provided the foreigner has a valid visa to be in China. However, this is not common, and it is recommended to apply for a job and a work visa before you move. The ideal situation is to land a job in your home country that will send you to Shanghai on an expat package.

However, there is a sizable job market for expats in Shanghai, especially in the areas of finance, journalism, and English teaching. Just be aware that finding a job locally may result in lower wages and fewer benefits.It is a great advantage to speak Mandarin as well as fluent English. More employers are stating this as a minimum requirement.

Job Search

Neither local Chinese nor foreigners use a public bureau for job searching in China. Job searches are best done through personal contacts, human resource companies, or through of the Internet. The Shanghai Daily is an English newspaper with a job classifieds section and the some of the English Language free magazines such as, That’s Shanghai and Enjoy Classifieds also have listings.

Popular websites for job searching include:

Public Holidays and Days-off

There are several public holidays in China, mostly due to their rich culture and heritage. Take a look at the regular holidays they have in a year.

New Year’s   

January 1

Chinese Lunar New Year   

Three days in January/February

(based on Lunar Calendar)

May Day

May 1

Tomb Sweeping Day

April 5

Dragon Boat Festival

A day in mid-June

(based on Lunar Calendar)

Mid-Autumn Festival

A day end-September

(based on Lunar Calendar)

National Day (October Holiday)

October 1-3

Employment regulations and procedures vary in different cities, although the national labor law is applicable nationwide. For specific questions contact the Shanghai Labor Bureau (+86-21-12333) or the Shanghai Foreigner Employment Centre (+86-21-63650095)