Foreign ESL Teachers in Beijing With No Z Visa's being arrested in PSB Sting

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Foreign ESL Teachers in Beijing With No Z Visa's being arrested in PSB Sting

Unread post by Volunteer »

For anyone working in China without a Z Visa you had better avoid job ads that look too good to be true. It seems the China visa police (PSB) are posting these ads all over the place, even on Twitter, and using Facebook recommendations too. I just got my CSP newletter and saw that 29 foreign teachers were arrested th elast week of October in Beijing and another 41 in Shanghai. See below;

"Teachers who fell for the teaching jobs being offered on Twitter and Facebook got a rude "good morning" 2 weeks ago when the Public Security Bureau's Visa squad in Being grabbed them as they went to work and could not produce Z visas in their passports.

They are also using Facebook. 3 of my friends who worked at Gao Si Education group in Haidian District of Beijing were arrested two weeks ago and they were recruited from a Facebook Recruiter "ChinaCathy". And they were offered achoice to either spend 30 days in jail or a $5,000 fine and let the Chinese cops copy their phone contacts. Of course they paid the $5,000 and they are being deported this Friday. One of them was a student at Peking University and now willnot be able to graduate in June. Three years of study and tuition down the toilet! So when you hear recruiters tell someone it is 'no big deal' to get caught working without a Z visa or a real diploma, show them this story.

The others that were busted were nabbed from a Twitter sting operation and now if everyone is offered the same choice of jail or the fine/phone deal, it is only a matter of time before the China cops have a huge database and start doing "random visa checks" that are not "random" at all.

At the CFTU web site they have the statistics year by year showing how many foreigners got deported and the reason. It averages about 3,000 per year and over 80% of those deportation are for working without a z visa and another 10% for using fake diplomas. I wonder how they explain their new felony convictions to future employers when they go back home?"

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Re: Foreign ESL Teachers in Beijing With No Z Visa's being arrested in PSB Sting

Unread post by Skyler »

Gulp! These China visa cops are not stupid. They probably watch a lot of American TV cop programs. I just found this at another teacher forum:

"Two weeks ago my GF went for a job interview after finding a really juicy job ad for a TEFL teacher to help train TOEFL students planning to study abroad. The ad was on website. Strangely the job interview was in a 5 star hotel coffee shop and everything seemed normal until she noticed a guy standing behind a plant with a video camera mounted on a tripod about 10 meters away, point right at her. She asked the “HR lady” why she was being taped, and the lady denied any knowledge of the camera. So my GF sensed something was wrong and said she was no longer interested in the job and got up to leave.

Just then she said two guys came over to the table and showed police badges and demanded to see her passport and asked her what university she graduated from. Luckily my GF had just recently got sponsored for a Z visa by a local university to do part time recruiting work for a special 2+2 overseas program. Only a month before she was working for EF on a F visa that their recruiter arranged for her. The cops photographed every page of her passport, and when they saw the Z visa they turned their attention on to her university studies, asking her what her major was and who was her favorite professor at LSU where she graduated.

After a few minutes they started asking her how she met her agent and how much she paid her to get her invitation letter. She felt something was wrong and said she wanted to call a lawyer. They asked her why she needed a lawyer, and if she did something wrong? Then she tried to call me on her phone and they took her phone from her and told her that if she confessed and gave them names and introductions to other foreign teachers they would let her go. My GF started to freak out and cry. Meanwhile, they plugged her phone into a laptop and copied all of her phone. Then they just gave it back to her and told her she had 24 hours to bring her diploma to the PSB office near Dongzhimen. After almost an hour, she was free to leave. My GF was speechless and couldn’t wait to get out of there.

On her way out of the lobby she saw a white van and it had 3 or 4 foreigners in the back and wire mesh was over the windows. They called out to her and asked her to write down phone numbers and relay messages for them that they had been arrested. As she was looking for paper and pencil to jot down their names and messages, a cop came over to the van and chased her away. She came home in an emotional mess and just told me she wanted to go back to Atlanta. It took me three days to calm her down and convince her to stay until the end of her contract.

She later found out from one of her EF colleagues that one of the TAs was tipping off the cops about all the teachers EF hired at her branch with F and M 90 day visas. I think EF exceeded their limit on how many Z visas they could sponsor in one year and were trying to save money. If she had not taken that university job that pays peanuts, she would be sitting in a jail right now waiting to be deported. By the way, it was that very same TA who showed her the ad in theBeijinger after she heard my wife complaining that she wanted to earn more money. Yesterday, her best friend sent her this link from another web site detailing a rewards program where the Chinese government was paying people 10,000 to turn in foreigners working without z visas,

I’m not sure what to make of all this, but maybe you all should avoid a recruiter whose initials are JZ who recruits for EF, Goldentran, and Aston English. She deliberately misled my GF about what visa she needed to work in China and caused her to have the most scary day of her life in China. Also don’t believe any great job ad in thebeijinger, because it is probably part of this sting operation."
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Re: Foreign ESL Teachers in Beijing With No Z Visa's being arrested in PSB Sting

Unread post by Andrewhe »

It was common that foreigners worked without work visa in China. And everything went well. But you never what will happen tomorrow. Police can show up at any minute to investigate illegal things. I though that teaching English without work visa in china is quite safe. At least, my American and British friends have been teaching and extend their business visa every two months. And they are the only foreigners in the small cities. My suggestion is always to work with a work visa. otherwise, a foreigner may be blacklisted once busted by PSB. Btw I am a Chinese
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Re: Foreign ESL Teachers in Beijing With No Z Visa's being arrested in PSB Sting

Unread post by Murphy »

2018 UPDATE: From bad news to worse. My Chinese neighbor is dating a girl who is a PSB "visa verification officer" and we met in the stairwell when she decided to practice her English on me. Our quick chat turned into a KTV invitation with my neighbor, his GF and three other friends of theirs. I was the only waiguoren there and we all drank until we were a bit tipsy (it's Chinese New Years over here - give me a break!) Anyway, The PSB girl admitted that she gets big bonus money for every fake teacher she busts. Considering her month;y salary is only 5,000 rmb, the 1,000 rmb bonus is really motivating her and her "team". In 2017 they had 3 teams in Beijing that do the random school visits and stings ops.

She said in 2018 she will make more money in bonus cash than her normal salary because they expanded to 5 teams and they are now arresting unlicensed recruiters just to squeeze information anout their expat clients working without z visas or real diplomas. They give the busted recruiters a choice to spend six months in jail and pay a 100,000, rmb or let the PSB copy their hard drives, email logs, and phone chats/contacts. She told me her team has leads on over 600 fake teachers in Beijing alone, and remember she is just one team leader! The bottom line is that 2018 will be a year of even more arrests and deportations than 2017, which already broke the old record of 2,970 expat teacher busts by more than 60%.

The sting operations are already expanded to two teams in Beijing, and according to Ling, they grab about 30 foreign teachers every week from the fake job interviews. So be very careful about applying for new jobs that say, "no degreeor experience required" or "free furnished apartment" which are frequently used in their sting job ads that they post at these websites:

Yesterday I saw Ling in our parking lot and she casually asked if I had a "real Z visa" and I am not sure what she meant by that but I guess there are also fake Z visas floating around. She says their scanners spot them immediately. Maybe someone elseknows more about the fake z visas? There are some posts at reddit from people already busted in these stings and also at theses three linls;,, and So who has the 411 on the fake z visas?
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Re: Foreign ESL Teachers in Beijing With No Z Visa's being arrested in PSB Sting

Unread post by Cricket »

2020 UPDATE: The good news is that since the Pandemic created a huge shortage of foreign teachers, the PSB has backed off and have not been bothering foreigners except for checking to see if our COVID testing is current. I was here back in 2016 when these stings were going down and I remember how nervous we all were. It was a bad time for sure. So in a way, the Pandemic has given us a break from the anxiety we used to live with with every day back then.

Now I am wondering how long this truce will last since I am not sure how many of my colleagues will be coming back to China because of the trade war tensions. Maybe this teacher shortage will be a permanent thing now and we can all just relax. Time will tell I guess.
Before sending off your resume or passport scan, be sure to check and to vaccinate yourself against foreign teacher job scams.
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Re: Foreign ESL Teachers in Beijing With No Z Visa's being arrested in PSB Sting

Unread post by Atlas »

Yeah, those were scary times. One of my former colleagues who quit his job at Best Learning told of his bust on Reddit a few years ago and I am cutting and pasting it here to show everyone all the excitement they missed. Hopefully those Chinese cops are not offered "bonuses" again once the COVID crap is over!

3 years ago
· edited 3 years ago

Guys do not follow up on ads that ask you to go to coffee shops in 5-star hotels or any office buildings near Dongzhimen. I can't say too much because they made me sign a gag order in order to get my 5 year reentry ban reduced to 1 year. I have to go back and finish my studies at BFSU. To be brief, I was offered to teach VIP TOEFL students for 400 yuan per hour. They spoke perfect English and nothing sounded out of the ordinary. I was already working part time at a large chain for 250 an hour and this new job promised me 6 students a week or 12 hours minimum. They contacted me out of the blue and said I was recommended by a woman recruiter named "Rosie". Then they referred me to their ad in Gumtree so everything looked legit. I had not talked to Rosie in over a year. This all happened back on the last day of May. Anyway they asked me to have coffee with the owner who the girl said insists on meeting every new teacher after I sent my resume into them by email to Amer******* I agreed and was told to bring my diploma and passport to the interview.

I went to the Sheraton Landmark Hotel and there were two of them in the coffee shop and they were talking to another foreign teacher and asked me to wait. About 10 minutes later they finished and the girl stood up smiling, they shook hands and she walked out. They called me to come sit down and offered me a cup of coffee. They were friendly Chinese in their 40s. The woman spoke perfect English but the man with her just kept silent and smiled as he shook my hand. I did not know at the time but the phone on the table was recording our conversation.

After about 15 minutes they asked to see my passport and diploma and did not seem to notice I had both a student visa and the Z visa Rosie had sold me in the passport. They did not mention visas at all. But they took photos of both my passport and diploma and asked me if I could give a demo class in the morning at their school because they wanted me to start "right away". I agreed and was excited since I figured I was being hired.

The whole interview took about 30 minutes and they gave me a piece of paper in Chinese that had an address of their school written on it. We shook hands and I left, as I saw another applicant sitting there waiting their turn as well.

As soon as I left the building I saw a van with mesh over the windows and as I walked by it, there were maybe 5 or 6 foreigners inside with the girl that went before me also inside sobbing. One of the guys asked me to come to the window because they said they needed help to contact a lawyer. So just as I walked up to the van, three police officers in blue uniforms, and one PSB officer in plain clothes came up to me and showed me their badges and ID. They took my backback and asked me to empty my pockets as one of the cops videotaped all of this. I was told I was under arrest for violating immigration and document laws of China.

Ten minutes later I was also in the back of the van, and we were all taken to the PSB office where we were photographed and told we would be released if we cooperated and agreed to return to our homelands. All of us believed them and so we all gave statements that were videotaped and then we were asked to write letters of apology to the people of China in our own handwriting for disrespecting their laws. Nobody treated us badly and after two hours they even brought us some food. We all thought we were going home to pack our stuff and figured we'd be going home in a day or two.

That did not happen. After we did everything they asked we were driven to a jail facility in Fengtai and we were told we needed to plead guilty in order to be processed and released. So in two days we were taken to a court and we all pleaded guilty and expected to be released. That didn't happen either.

The judge accepted our pleas and then gave us a 20-minute lecture in Chinese that was translated to us. We were told that we had to serve a mandatory punishment of 30 days in jail and pay a $2,00 fine. Then we would be escorted home to pack our things and would have to leave within 24 hours of release. Only when we got back to the jail were we allowed to make a telephone call and given a 15-minute time limit. I used it to call my family back in Portland so they could arrange to pay my fine because the cops would not accept credit cards.

The jail was not as bad as I thought but the food sucked and was the same every day. 2 hard boiled eggs with porridge and a piece of bread for breakfast, sausage on sticks for lunch with an apple, and dinner was a hot meal served from some cafeteria. Time does not pass very quickly in jail and they kept 4 of us in each cell that was designed for 2 people. Anyway, I just got home and I can tell you it feels so damn good to be here with my family after getting the biggest shock of my life. It took my sister a month to get $2,000 to send to China without telling our parents. All the others were given 5-year re-entry bans but mine is only 1 year so I can go back only on a student visa to finish my last year at BFSU and graduate. Then I must leave.

Even if you have a Z visa, they are still arresting teachers if they have ANY fake documents including diplomas, TEFL certificates, police certificates, or even reference letters that do not check out. They have something called a "FALSE DOCUMENTS LAWS" and locals who are found guilty of this law must serve 3 years in prison.

They have many different ads and emails. After I get my things back (they promised to ship them this week) I will give all the details. (I deliberately delayed posting this for a reason I will explain when two of my friends get released in China next month)

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3 years ago

IMPORTANT: If you got your Z Visa or any fake documents from "Rosie Tang" (Sorry I do not know her real Chinese name) or any of the other 7 recruiters that were busted - DO NOT RETURN TO CHINA! The PSB have a database they put together from the email and phone logs of the 8 recruiters they busted 3 months ago and they will grab you at the airport. Two of my friends did not get my email warnings and were busted at Beijing International Airport 3 days ago.
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3 years ago
· edited 3 years ago

At least you were sent home fairly quickly. In America illegal migrant workers sit in detention camps for 6 -12 months before they are "processed" and sent back to Mexcico or wherever they came from. Those that "volunteer" to work in a factory or a farm get to stay 12-18 months in hopes someone will sponsor them to stay in the U.S. - especially in an election year when they even get to vote! Anyway, I am not in favor of your warning as I want to see all the fake teachers caught and expelled. The expat drunks and pedophiles that made headlines in China over the last 5 years were all fae teachers and gave all of us expats a big black eye that still has left a stigma against us.

Its not even safe to flirt with a Chinese girl today because of these assholes, because most of the Chinese now think we are all perverts or losers because of those jerks. So yeah, the sooner they go, the better for the real teachers remaining.
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Re: Foreign ESL Teachers in Beijing With No Z Visa's being arrested in PSB Sting

Unread post by Tiger »

From what I can see, they stopped doing this sneaky shit since COVID closed the borders. I guess they cannot afford to lose any more expat teachers right now. I hope they don't start this crap again after the borders reopen.
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