China No-Entry Policy and its Impact | TopTutorJob

China No-Entry Policy and its Impact | TopTutorJob

A Quick Review on NO-ENTRY Policy’s Impact on the Foreign Teachers and the Job Market in China | TTJ Insight

This is Zoe, Senior Recruitment Consultant from TopTutorJob. Following the latest announcement on foreign mobility policy, I am writing this article to keep you updated to the trends in the China teacher job market.

Not surprisingly, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China officially announced a temporary suspension of Entry by Foreign Nationals holding a valid Chinese working visa or residence permit as of 26 March 2020. The announcement is extracted as follows(for full announcement, please click here):

“In view of the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the world, China has decided to temporarily suspend the entry into China by foreign nationals holding visas or residence permits still valid to the time of this announcement, effective from 0:00, 28 March 2020.”

First of all, to all foreigners who have spent time and money on preparing yourselves for China, I am sorry to say, we need to see you later. Please understand that this is a must-do action to ensure the great security of all people (foreigners included) in China and live up to the national efforts and huge sacrifice in the resistance of the COVID-19. In the past few months, we’ve seen the lockdown in Wuhan, mask wearing across the country, and doctors and nurses risking their lives to protect us on the frontline. We’ve waited for so long to finally see that there are no more newly confirmed cases in Wuhan and in most other cities. Also, some cities such as Suzhou and Chengdu have sent notices to schools to re-open.

Looking at the current global situation, assuming that the turning point of total confirmed cases may be reached in April or May, the overall control policy can certainly affect the start of the new academic year (2020/2021) in many schools (especially, schools with foreign students). With a high possibility that the NO-ENTRY policy could last until Aug 2020 or even later, in the next few months, the international teacher recruitment market of China will experience significant changes in terms of teacher supply and school demands. I will start with talking about the upcoming situations of different sections in the education field, following with advice to job-seeking foreigner.

Generally speaking, private schools will be more stable during this period of unexpected risks. At least from the current situation, most private schools are back on track. Based on our questionnaire to foreign teachers, we also learned that most of employed foreign teachers have either returned to China and are doing online teaching or are in the process of/finished their quarantine. In our opinion, online courses may still dominate in the next few months, but at least foreign teachers’ employment and salary will not be affected to a large extent.

For international schools, the impact of the epidemic and the temporary suspension of entry can be even greater, not only for teachers but also for students who will not yet be able to return to China, resulting in a huge reliance on online courses in the next few months or even into the new school year. In addition, there is possibility that some positions will become available again for August 2020 since teachers signed the contract may not be  able to come before then.

As per kindergartens and language learning institutions, the impact can be disastrous. The reason is simple, comparing to school education (G1-G12), kindergarten or language learning institutions are not compulsory for parents and students. Hence, along with a high competition existing in this sector and that many of them are already in a poor operating and financial condition, there might be many kindergartens and language learning institutions forced to shut down this year. However, it might create certain windows of opportunity for teachers in kindergartens or language learning institutions to teach in K-12 schools.

Based on above inferences, TopTutorJob will continue to update you through emails and blogs about the risks you may encounter. We will also review the clients that we work with and provide you with more stable jobs.

Here is also some advice from our side to foreigners who are already in China or seeking for jobs in China.

If you are currently in China, you should still pay attention to the safety guidance after school starts. Please make sure that you wear masks in public and avoid gatherings. We also recommend that you can have direct contact with your assigned recruiter at TopTutorJob or reply to this email to update us regarding your current job search status and preferences. We predict that, because of the temporary suspension of entry and the change of supply and demand in the recruitment market, it is possible that schools will raise the salary or lower the entry requirements of existing positions. We also hope you can make a career jump from it and find the most suitable job in time.

If you are foreigners who intend to apply for a job in China, your relocation plan need to be postponed to late 2020, or even 2021(in a worst-case scenario). If you can recall an article about the future recruitment trends written by TopTutorJob, it is not difficult to find that schools will still expect highly-qualified teachers after returning back to normal. You may use this period to get a TESOL / TEFL certification. If possible, you can also consider pursuing a teacher certification. Whether it is a PGCE, QTS or other national teacher certification, it will make you stand out among competition in the future.

COVID-19, its outbreak and its containment in China, which has now become a global pandemic, has undoubtedly had a great impact on international educators in China as well as around the globe. But we still believe that the difficult situation shall pass, and we hope that everyone will have full confidence in China. We also pray that other countries can efficiently control and contain the virus. In the near future, we look forward to more foreigners choosing to work in China, as an exceptional career path, or even as their second home.

If you have time, we invite you to participate in our questionnaire on foreign teachers’ perspectives via this link. Through this questionnaire, we will try our best to build up better job search conditions and benefits for you regarding employment.

Finally, we wish each and every one of you all the best, stay safe and look after each other.


  • International School: Schools that only accept students holding a foreign passport;
  • Private school: Private-funded K-12 schools offering international curriculums or international programs in public schools