China’s New Law on Foreign Teachers

China’s New Law on Foreign Teachers
China’s New Law on Foreign Teachers

New law on foreign teachers – China has formulated the draft measures for the Employment and Management of Foreign Teachers on July 21, 2020.

The new law improves the legal system and strengthen the management of foreign teachers. 

I made some comments on some key or new measures in this draft:


第十五条(教师备案)教育机构应当在外籍教师收到来华工作许可及居留许可后五个工作日内,将合同文本首页、注明聘期页和双方签字页、外籍教师来华工作许可、居留许可等材料的副本或者电子文本上传至全国外籍教师综合信息服务平台,由服务平台生成外籍教师备案号码。 

Article 15 (Filing of Record) Within five working days after the foreign teachers receive the working permit and residence permit in China, the education institution shall upload the first page of the contract text, the page indicating the employment period and the signature page of both parties, the copy or electronic text of the materials such as the foreign teacher’s work permit and residence permit to the national comprehensive information service platform for foreign teachers, and the service platform will generate the record number of foreign teachers.


Comments: The Education Ministry may set up a website as mentioned, the national comprehensive information service platform. It may be easy to check the qualification of the foreign teacher for Chinese parents. 

第二十条(岗位培训)教育机构应当根据外籍教师的文化背景和岗位特点,制定外籍教师职前和职后培训计划,对初次聘任的外籍教师,应当自行组织开展或者委托具备条件的专业教育机构开展不少于二十个学时的岗位培训,内容应当包括中国宪法、法律、国情、师德、教育方针政策和业务知识、教学能力等。

Article 20 (Post training) Educational institutions shall formulate pre & post training plans for foreign teachers based on their cultural background and post of foreign teachers. Educational institutions shall organize or entrust qualified professional education institutions to carry out post training for foreign teachers hired for the first time for no less than 20 class hours.

The contents shall include Chinese Constitution, laws, current state of the country, teachers’ ethics, education policies and teaching ability, etc.

Comments: Schools or agencies will have new excuse to charge. But since it allows schools to undertake the training, it seems it’s not a big deal. Maybe some law firms can involve in the training regarding Chinese laws. 

第二十二条(兼职管理)同一聘期内,外籍教师只能与一个教育机构签订合同,取得一个备案号码。经聘任机构同意,外籍教师可以在其他教育机构合理兼职。外籍教师兼职的,聘任机构、外籍教师与兼职教育机构应当签订三方协议,明确各方权责。

聘任机构不得向兼职教育机构收取任何费用。兼职聘任合同应当报主管教育部门备案,主管教育部门应当将名单通报公安机关出入境管理部门备案。外籍教师累计兼职授课时间不得多于在聘任机构的授课时间。

Article 22 (Management on Part-time Job) Within a specific term of employment, foreign teachers can only sign a contract with one educational institution and obtain one record number.

With the permission of the employer, foreign teachers may take part-time jobs in other educational institutions.

If a foreign teacher works part-time, the employer, the foreign teacher and the part-time educational institution shall sign a tripartite agreement to clarify the rights and responsibilities of each party.

The employer shall not charge any fees from the part-time educational institution. A part-time employment contract shall be reported to the competent education department for the record, and the competent education department shall file the name list in the Exit & Entry Administration Department of the public security organ for the record.

The accumulative part-time teaching time shall not exceed the teaching time in the employer.


Comments: Getting paid under the table for part-time work makes hiring (and finding work) hassle-free, thereby becoming a popular way of accumulating extra cash in China, and has been so for years.

The government aims to encourage part-time teachers to make their side hustles legal. However, how many employers will like their foreign teachers to take part-time jobs?

Anyway, it at least provides more opportunities for those schools that could not afford high salary but are badly in need of foreign teachers.

I guess the part-time employment clause or non-compete clause will be included in all employment contract in the future. 


第三十条(失信记录)外籍教师违反合同约定,有下列情形之一的,教育机构予以处理后,应当报告主管教育行政部门。

教育行政部门经核实,计入信用记录:

(一)有严重学术不端行为的;

(二)在受聘任的教育机构以外违规从事有偿工作的;

(三)违反聘任机构规章制度,被解聘的;

(四)聘任期未满,擅自离职的。 

Article 30 (Dishonest Record) If a foreign teacher is in breach of the contract, under the following circumstances, the educational institution shall, after handling the case, report it to the competent education department.

After verification, the education department shall record it into the credit record:

(1) Involving serious academic misconduct;

(2) Engaging in paid work in violation of regulations beyond the control of the employed educational institution ;

(3) Being dismissed in violation of the rules and codes of the employer;

(4) Suspending work without permission before the expiration of the term of contract.


Comments: First item: How to define the academic misconduct? How to prove?

Second item, which is design for those perform illegal part time job.

Third item, can all the rules and codes in a school justify the dismissing? It may leave a hole to be interpreted by the court.

Fourth item,  a resignation letter would be a must. Besides, Article 31 lists several circumstances under which foreign teachers will be subject to termination of employment. 

The circumstances include: words and deeds that damage China’s national sovereignty, security, honor, or public interests; be held criminally responsible; obstructing the implementation of the education policy; violating public security management such as taking drugs.

Sexual assault or abuse of minors, sexual harassment of students or other serious crimes and violations of China’s public moral and teachers’ professional ethics and codes of conduct, engaging in illegal religious education or preaching illegally and engaging in cult activities are also cause for termination of contract.


For the full text of this draft, please visit the website of the Education Ministry on http://www.moe.gov.cn/jyb_xxgk/s5743/s5744/202007/t20200721_474014.html, and you can make comments by writing emails to fzb@moe.edu.cn

If you have more questions about China’s new law on foreign teachers, welcome to contact me.


Jenny Zhang
Jenny Zhang

Experienced Chinese Lawyer, provide trusted legal services for foreign individuals, expats, foreigners, foreign corporate clients and businesses, help clients carry out business better in China, work and live better in China.