Sunday, May 26, 2024

Respect the visa

Daniel Thompson, who has been teaching English around the world for the past 17 years, doesn’t hold a first degree, which is a legal requirement for teaching in China, and so  wasn’t eligible for a Z visa, which all foreign workers must obtain before they arrive.
Unaware of the rules and on the advice of his recruiter, he had been in China on a business visa and then worked under a humanitarian one, which needed to be renewed on a monthly basis. However, after breaking his leg in an e-bike accident, coupled with running out of pages in his passport, he wasn’t able to get to Beijing to apply for a fresh passport. He was then summoned to a local police station to have his documents checked, which is when it was discovered his visa had expired. The punishment? A week in a mountain jail, where facilities were pretty basic. The only thing to sit on was an upturned bucket, says Thompson, and the toilet was a hole in the floor. Inmates weren’t allowed to use the hard beds to lie on except at night.

On release he was deported and now says it was the worst week of his life. However, the teacher was reported as saying, “It hasn’t put me off teaching abroad and I’m confident I’ll be travelling again in no time.” 


Image courtesy of 2211438 from Pixabay
Liz Granirer
Liz Granirer
Liz has been a journalist for many years. She is currently editor of EL Gazette and has previously edited the magazines Young Performer, StepForward and Accounting Technician; been deputy editor on Right Start magazine; chief sub editor on Country Homes & Interiors; and sub editor on easyJet Traveller, Lonely Planet and Family Traveller magazines, along with a number of others.
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