If you’ve landed a job in China, you’ll need a China work visa and for that you will need to undergo a medical checkup at a Chinese hospital.
Such checks are a requirement of the Chinese entry-exit bureau and must be carried out in a government-recognized hospital. As with all visa-related issue, there are conflicting stories about how and where you can have your examination carried out.
What Do They Test In A Work Visa Medical Checkup?
The examinations will be straightforward and not involve anything particularly too intimate.
- Eye test
- Weight, height, BMI
- Blood pressure
- Breathing – stethoscope
- Chest X-ray
- Abdominal ultrasound
Why Do I Need A Medical Report For A China Work Visa?
The medical checkups and examinations serve two main purposes. One is the China exit and entry bureau do not want people with serious infectious diseases, such as HIV or hepatitis, to obtain long-term visa to stay in China. They view this as a danger to public health. Secondly some employers will also require the medical report and they may use this to ensure you are healthy enough to fulfill your duties and responsibilities before hiring you.
Where Can I Get A Medical Checkup Done?
Often your employer will arrange this for you. However if not, you can get it done at any international style clinic, however if your medical insurance doesn’t cover this you can consider Shanghai Renai Hospital which charges around CNY ~300 for the check-up or Bejing Physical Examination Center.
In our experience, it is best to have the procedure done in China by a Chinese hospital. In the major cities, such as Shanghai and Beijing, there are entire hospitals specifically dedicated to carrying examinations out for foreigners applying for a work permit.
At such facilities, you’ll probably be expected to make your way there yourself and deal with the procedure on your own. However staff at these centers all speak reasonable English and the entire process isn’t difficult to handle.
If you are in a smaller city or area away from the main urban centers, there will likely be no specialized facility and the whole experience may be something of an adventure. In smaller cities it is quite common that the average person has not had a close encounter with a foreigner, that includes medical staff.
If you are not of East Asian ethnicity, be prepared for laughs or giggles from hospital staff at your appearance – especially if you have hairy arms or legs, as this is often considered a key distinguishing feature by Chinese people when it comes to comparing their physical appearance with those of different racial backgrounds.
Whilst to some people, such reactions may understandably seem a little inappropriate or even rude, they are not meant to be disrespectful and are simply a reflection of the fact that most Chinese people are simply not used to foreigners and their appearance. In fact many Chinese feel a little shy around foreigners and such reactions are often made out of sheer nervousness.
Similarly, if you can speak Chinese, prepare to hear some very direct remarks from hospital staff about your appearance. You may or may not find these amusing, but they can be used as an icebreaker and staff will most likely express surprise that you can speak their language when you respond to their comments!
The procedure must be paid for and, your employer may send someone to accompany you to the hospital and they will most likely take care of that. In Shanghai and Beijing you may be on your own and have to cover the initial expense. Make sure you collect your receipt or fapiao when you make your payment so you can get reimbursement from your employer later.
In China, the term “work visa” is often used by expats to describe the paperwork needed to remain in China longer term to enable you to have a job and live. But the actual document you end up with is a residence permit which is a sticker in your passport and enables you to freely leave and enter China for up to a year before it is renewed.
The good news is that renewal does not require another medical exam – but make sure that you start the renewal process in good time, as such matters can take longer than anticipated in China and overstaying one’s visa expiration date does not go down well with customs and can affect access to the country in the future.
So make sure you have adequate health insurance during your time in China by calling us here at China Expat Health or filling out the form today for a free personalized medical insurance comparison.
Medical Insurance in China for Visa Purposes
Many cities and provinces in China actually require expats and foreigners to have medical insurance before they can apply for a work permit / work visa. Generally the requirements are that the insurance covers mortal remains repatriation and has high limits for inpatient and hospitalization.