The Biggest Mistakes Made every day by China job applicants wanting to teach TEFL in China...

Subject: The Biggest Mistakes Made every day by China job applicants wanting to teach TEFL in China...
From: China Foreign Teachers Union (CFTU)
Date: 11 Oct 2017

Every single day, an estimated 300 people around the world, who never taught a thing in their lives to a single student, are persuaded to "come teach English in China" and because they may be struggling economically in their lives, recovering from a broken relationship, or simply want a little adventure, say "Okay!" and then blindly follow the instructions of some unscrupulous China job recruiter who exists only on the internet or in China beyond the arm's reach of law enforcement. They are then fed plenty of hype and a pack of lies that usually includes one about making a small fortune. Here are the ten yop lies told be these dishonest job agents, most of whom have no business license and may have sold used cars in Cleveland before they stumbled into China themselves...

These recruiters will make about $5,000 from everyone they recruit (they take a slice of your monthly pay that is usually 30% or more). If you do not have a university diploma (required by China labor laws), they will sell you a fake one for $1,000 and for an extra $500, they'll throw in a phony TEFL Certificate as well and Presto - you are now a TEFL teacher!

Once they place you with some school in China dumb enough to hire a fake teacher with no experience, these recruiters fade off into the sunset and even forget your name. They know that you will eventually get caught by the PSB (Public Security Bureau) of China when they do random checks at your school or when SAFEA contacts the university to verify your degree, or some TA or Chinese neighbor decides to turn you in for the 15,000 reward.

Only a few years ago, you probably would not be discovered, but since every single foreign teacher is now being vetted by the Chinese government following a string of rapes, assaults, and even three pedophiles found teaching in their public schools, it is not a question of "if" but "when" there will be a late night or early morning knock on your door or visit to your school. The arrest will be polite but you will need at least a day or two for the shock to wear off as you find yourself sitting in a Chinese jail cell for 30 days eating cold noodles, rice, and bread with an occasional piece of unidentifiable meat that has a peculiar smell. You will not be released until the 31st day and only then if you pay a $2,000 fine and sign a letter of apology. You are then escorted to your home to collect two bags of your things and taken to the airport to be officially deported - with a criminal record and an official reentry ban from the Chinese government forbidding your return to China for at least 3-5 years. It matters not if you married a local Chinese girl or have only 3 months left before you were supposed to graduate from Peking University. You broke the law, your recruiter probably didn't tell you about. Too bad.

Or maybe you fell for one of the many fake sting job ads like this guy here:
Or then again, maybe your own recruiter got arrested for selling black visas and fake diplomas and the cops copied his hard drive, email logs, or phone records which led them to all of his foreign buyers like this.

But how you got yourself busted all starts with a dishonest and unethical China job recruiter. Yes, there are indeed a few honest job agents still left, but they are not easy to find. Just remember the 90% rule if you want to work in China...


If you are too busy or uncomfortable to go the DIY route as is explained here:
and you still want to use a China job recruiter, at the very least follow these tips to minimize your risks...

And remember that a third of all the China job ads you see posted on the internet were put there by identity thieves posing as school principals, FAOs, and job recruiters.

Calm down - China can indeed give you the dream job you are searching for but you must be qualified according to Chinese law which requires that you..,

* Are at least 22 years of age

* Are a native English speaker (Required in many Provinces)

* Have a real and verifiable bachelor degree (in any major)

* Have 2 years of prior teaching experience (any subject)

* Provide a certified police certificate proving you have no criminal record.

* Arrive in China with a real Z visa in your passport (your invitation letter must be issued from your direct employer, not a third party)

Contrary to what you may have been told, a TEFL certificate is helpful, but not a mandatory legal requirement. If you have doubts about these requirements just visit your local Chinese embassy or consulate or visit and click on the "English" tab or visit our website at

But looking at the big picture, please know that there are over 6,000 legitimate and licensed schools that hire foreign teachers in China. Less than 2% of them are blacklisted for cheating and exploiting foreign teachers. All of the public schools and universities are safe and honorable. It is the private "training centers" that cause the most grief for expat teachers, along with the 389 China job agents you will find on our blacklist at

Last but not least, please consider the impact of fake foreign teachers on thousands of Chinese students. If you were/are a parent, how angry would you be if you discovered your little Johnny or Mary was being taught by a fake teacher for the last two or three years? Every child in our world deserves a real teacher with real experience and a real diploma. This is our position and why we will do our very best to make this a reality in China.

Please use the above links and your own common sense to navigate your way to a safe and secure job in China. The people here are friendly, the crime is less than a tenth of what you have in your own country, and the historic sites are amazing. Best of all is the wide variety of delicious and healthy foods that are cheap and plentiful. Many expat teachers also find their life partners here in the Middle Kingdom. China truly is a great adventure. Just don't allow some greedy and unethical recruiter put you at risk.