China Register Travel insurance Destinations

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Latest updates: Natural disasters and climate - removal of text on Typhoon Mangkhut


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Risk level(s)

Risk level(s)

China - Exercise a high degree of caution

Exercise a high degree of caution in China due to the occurrence of isolated acts of violence, including bombings and protests..

Safety and security

Safety and security

Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

It is normal to see armed police in Xinjiang. Security checks are also common. Chinese authorities are increasingly detaining ethnic minorities in the region, without due process. Family members of Canadian citizens with Chinese citizenship have been detained.

Though accurate information remains hard to obtain, violence and unrest in the region has appeared to subside since 2016. The situation remains tense. Extraordinary security measures remain in place. Expect significant travel delays due to these extraordinary security measures. Authorities may impose curfews and restrictions on short notice.

Avoid gatherings and demonstrations, always carry ID and follow the instructions of local authorities.

Terrorism

There is a threat of terrorism. Since early 2014, a number of explosions and knife attacks have occurred in public places, including in busy railway stations, resulting in injuries and fatalities. There is a higher risk of attacks in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Further attacks cannot be ruled out.

Targets could include:

  • government buildings, including schools
  • places of worship
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks
  • public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners

Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.

Crime

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing, purse snatching and theft of mobile phones and laptop computers, is prevalent, even during the day. Criminals target foreigners, especially in major cities and tourist areas.

Be vigilant in all crowded locations.

Don’t carry large sums of money. Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times. While violent crime is relatively rare, foreigners have been attacked and robbed and some have been killed.

Petty crime and sexual harassment can occur on buses and overnight trains. Ensure that the train compartment contains packages belonging only to you and other occupants. Store personal belongings in a safe place and do not leave the compartment unattended. Doors should be securely locked.

There is a risk of armed bandit attacks in remote parts of China.

Police presence may be poor around border areas.

Scams

Exercise caution in popular tourist areas (particularly in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and Shanghai’s the Bund, East Nanjing Road and People’s Square), where scammers target foreigners.

Taxis

Taxi, motorcycle and pedicab drivers have sometimes overcharge clients, especially at airports. They may also attempt to give you counterfeit currency. Most taxi drivers don’t speak English or French, so you should arrange for a Chinese-speaking person to write out your destination in Chinese characters before you go.

To minimize the risk of being overcharged:

  • Use only reputable taxis.
  • Avoid unlicensed “black taxis.”
  • Do not agree to multiple passengers.
  • Negotiate fares prior to entering the taxi, and/or request that the taxi driver use the meter.
  • Request that the driver provide you with a receipt or “fapiao.”
  • Request that the driver remove your luggage from the trunk (if applicable) before you pay the fare.

Extortion

Locals may invite foreigners to a nearby establishment for a drink (usually tea or alcohol), a massage or other services. The targets of the scam then have to pay an exorbitant bill (sometimes thousands of dollars), sometimes under threat of injury. In some cases, the person was harmed.

Be cautious of unsolicited requests from strangers to “practice English” or to accompany them to an art gallery, teahouse or an unknown location.

Should you find yourself the victim in such a scam:

  • Get to a safe location immediately.
  • Take note, as soon as possible and while your memory is still fresh, of the name and address of the facility where you were held. This information is required by police to identify the persons involved and issue a report.
  • Report the incident to the police and obtain a police report.
  • Call your credit card company to report the scam. They will likely request a copy of the police report to cancel the transaction.

Telephone scams

Foreigners have received calls from a caller claiming to be the police. The caller says that local authorities are investigating them for identity theft or money laundering operation, and requests a fund transfer to resolve the issue. Don’t send any money in this type of situation.

More about scams abroad

Cyber security

Learn about cyber security while travelling.

Tensions on Korean Peninsula

Tensions on the neighbouring Korean Peninsula could escalate with little notice, and the security situation could deteriorate suddenly. Tensions may increase before, during and after North Korean nuclear and missile tests, military exercises or as the result of incidents or military activities at or near the inter-Korean border. Monitor developments, remain vigilant and follow the instructions of local authorities. We strongly recommend that you register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to receive latest updates. 

Registration of Canadians Abroad

Demonstrations

Demonstrations are illegal without prior approval from the Chinese government. Participants may be subject to severe legal action.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Road safety

Road conditions vary throughout the country. Drivers often don’t respect the rules of the road and traffic laws are not consistently enforced.

Public transportation

China has an extensive passenger train system, including high-speed trains. You must present a passport to purchase a ticket and to board the train.  

Taxis are available in major cities and are easier to obtain at hotels or taxi stands. Local taxis will sometimes avoid picking up foreigners to avoid the inconvenience of clients who don’t speak English. Self-drive (rental) or chauffeur-driven cars are available for rent in major cities. Ride sharing services are also available in China.Marine transportation

Ferry accidents have occurred in China. Exercise caution and common sense when using marine transportation. Always use available safety equipment, such as lifejackets and seatbelts, and do not board ferries that appear overloaded or unseaworthy.

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

General information about foreign domestic airlines

Piracy

Pirate attacks occur in coastal waters and, in some cases, farther out at sea. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.

Live piracy report - International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre

Trekking

If you intend to trek:

  • never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation 
  • ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity 
  • ensure that you are properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary, including when you expect to be back to camp 
  • know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal
  • obtain detailed information on trekking routes before setting out and do not venture off marked trails or slopes
Entry/exit requirements

Entry/exit requirements

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from Chinese authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.

Passport

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave China.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.

Useful links

Visas

Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required 
Student visa: Required 
Working visa: Required

Canadians must have a visa. You may not need a visa if you are:

  • transiting to another international destination,
  • visiting certain areas for short periods of time, or
  • part of an organized tour or travelling in a group.

If you are transiting through China, you must present all the documents you need to enter your onward destination when you arrive in China.

Contact the nearest Chinese diplomatic or consular office for more information on visa exceptions.

If you do not obtain a Chinese visa before you leave Canada, check with the Chinese embassy or consulate at your destination to make sure they issue visas to Canadians at that location.

Visa issuance process

Thoroughly review all information available regarding the visa issuance process, Consult the local visa issuing office and plan accordingly if you are travelling to or residing in China. Pay particular attention to the length of stay permitted after each entry on your Chinese visa. Overstaying can lead to fines and administrative detention for up to 15 days.

Visiting Hong Kong and Macao

If you plan to travel between Hong Kong, Macao and mainland China, obtain a visa allowing multiple entries.

Applying for visas for mainland China in Hong Kong - China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Hong Kong

Fingerprints

Chinese immigration officials will take and retain the fingerprints of Canadians between 14 and 70 years old upon their entry into the country. Some exceptions may apply.

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Canada

Residency registration

All foreigners (tourists, visitors and long-term residents) must register their place of residence with the local public security bureau within 24 hours of arrival. If you are staying in a hotel, registration is normally done as part of the check-in process; those staying with family or friends in a private home must register themselves. Failure to do so can result in fines and/or detention. Carry proof of your registration.

Foreigners holding Z, X or J-1 visas must also apply for a residence permit, within 30 days of entry, from the Exit and Entry Department of the local public security bureau.

Tibet and Tibetan autonomous prefectures

You must obtain a permit and be taking part in an organized tour to travel to Tibet. Contact a reputable travel agency, either within or outside of China, for more information. Chinese authorities occasionally suspend issuing permits to foreigners. Where possible, make full payment for travel conditional upon a travel permit being secured, while noting that changes in the security situation in Tibet can affect travel and related government policies at any time.

Chinese authorities occasionally deny tourist entry to Tibetan autonomous prefectures in Sichuan and Qinghai. Contact a reputable travel agency before travelling to these regions.

Exit bans

Chinese authorities may place an exit ban on an individual to prevent them from leaving the country. An exit ban can relate to investigations into an individual, their family or an employer, and in criminal and civil matters, including business disputes. You may not be aware that authorities have placed an exit ban on you until you try to leave the country. It is difficult to obtain information on bans from Chinese authorities. If you are unable to leave the country because of an exit ban, consult a lawyer and contact the closest office of the Government of Canada.

Children and travel

Learn about travel with children.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Health

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.

Japanese encephalitis

Japanese encephalitis is a viral infection that can cause swelling of the brain. It is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Risk is low for most travellers. Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to mosquito bites (e.g., spending a large amount of time outdoors) while travelling in regions with risk of Japanese encephalitis.

Measles: Awareness

Cases of measles have been reported in this country.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.

Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Polio

There is a risk of polio in this country. 

Recommendations:

  • Be sure that your vaccination against polio is up to date. Polio is part of the routine vaccine schedule for children in Canada.
  • One booster dose of the polio vaccine is recommended as an adult. 
Rabies

Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).

Tick-borne encephalitis

Risk

  • Tick-borne encephalitis is present in some areas of this country. 
  • It is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).
  • It is spread to humans by the bite of infected ticks or when you consume unpasteurized milk products.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to ticks during outdoor activities.
  • A vaccine against TBE does exist but is only available in countries where the disease is present.
  • Learn more on what you can do to prevent tick-borne encephalitis (TBE)?
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

Risk

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
  • There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.

About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in East Asia, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in East Asia. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Schistosomiasis

Schistosomiasis can be spread to humans through freshwater sources contaminated by blood flukes (tiny worms). The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in freshwater sources (lakes, rivers, ponds). There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.

Travellers' diarrhea
  • Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
  • The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among pediatric travellers, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.


Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in Eastern Asia, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, leishmaniasis, Lyme disease, malaria, and tick-borne encephalitis.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Chikungunya

There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever is a viral disease that typically causes fever, bleeding under the skin, and pain. Risk is generally low for most travellers. It is spread to humans though contact with infected animal blood or bodily fluids, or from a tick bite. Protect yourself from tick bites and avoid animals. There is no vaccine available for Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.

Dengue fever
  • Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.  
  • The risk of dengue is higher during the daytime, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Zika virus infection

Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. The mosquito that spreads the virus is found here.  

Travel recommendations:

All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites and other diseases spread by insects.   


Malaria

Malaria

  • There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this country.
  • Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
  • Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.

Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in some areas in Eastern Asia, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.

Avian Influenza

There have been human cases of avian influenza in this country.

Avian influenza is a viral infection that can spread quickly and easily among birds. In rare cases, it can infect people.

Protect yourself: 

  • avoid high risk areas such as poultry farms and live animal markets
  • avoid areas where poultry may be slaughtered
  • avoid contact with birds (alive or dead)
  • avoid surfaces that may have bird droppings or secretions on them
  • ensure all poultry dishes, including eggs, are well cooked

Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

Hand, foot and mouth disease

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a common viral illness that mainly affects infants and children.  Travellers are at increased risk if visiting or living in overcrowded conditions.  There is no vaccine or medication that protects against this disease.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.


Medical services and facilities

Medical care is widely available in urban areas, but not in remote areas. Ask doctors and dentists to use sterilized equipment. Medical care in clinics offering international standard services to foreigners is much more expensive. Payment is expected at time of service. Medical evacuation can be very expensive and you may need it in case of serious illness or injury.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Altitude sickness

Tibet, Qinghai, western Sichuan and parts of Xinjiang are situated at altitudes exceeding 3,000 meters. Acute mountain sickness may occur at high altitudes. Be well informed about the potential health hazards at high altitudes.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

Laws and culture

Laws & culture

You must abide by local laws.

You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and detention page and our Overview of the criminal law system in China for more information.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.

Laws

Detention during the investigative period before charges are laid is common and can be lengthy. Some defence lawyers may be reluctant to accept cases involving foreigners. Consult a Canadian government office in China if you experience such difficulty.

Identification

Carry adequate identification, such as a passport and valid visa or residence permit, at all times. Police carry out random checks and failure to produce proper identification could potentially lead to fines or detention. Keep a photocopy of your passport in case of its loss or seizure.

Endangering national security

Chinese authorities may define certain behaviours and activities as “endangering national security” that would not be considered as such in Canada. If you are suspected of endangering national security, you will be subject to questioning. Chinese authorities may detain you for up to 6 months before you are formally arrested. Note that access to legal representation is frequently denied in the initial stages of a national security case, and trials often take place in closed court. If you are detained, you should immediately request access to a lawyer and request notification of the nearest Canadian diplomatic mission. Canadian diplomatic missions can provide you or your family with a list of lawyers.

If you previously occupied a position that was in any way affiliated with the government of China, and left your position without receiving authorization or without following formal procedures, you may be considered a defector by Chinese authorities. This can be the case regardless of the seniority of the position you occupied, even if you left this position a long time ago and you did not handle sensitive or classified materials. Authorities may detain you even if you have previously travelled to or resided in China without issue. Consult a Chinese criminal lawyer to understand how this may apply to you.

Drugs

Penalties for possession, use, production or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict and include the death penalty. These laws are strictly enforced and apply to persons 14 years and older.

Prohibited items

There are absolute prohibitions against arms, drugs and plant or animal products considered infested with disease or pests. There are also restrictions on the entry of printed matter, film, photos, videotapes and CDs considered detrimental to the interests of China.

Importing pets

If you intend to reside in China, be advised that only one pet (dog or cat) per person can be imported. A Canadian animal health inspection certificate and vaccination certificate should be stamped by your local Animal Health Office of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Animals without the proper documentation will be held in quarantine at the port of arrival and could be destroyed if the proper documentation is not provided.

Find the Animal Health Office nearest you - Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Religious activities

There are restrictions on certain religious activities, such as preaching, distributing literature and associating with unapproved religious groups, including some Christian, Buddhist and Muslim organizations. Chinese law also prohibits overseas nongovernmental organizations from engaging in or sponsoring religious activities. The Falun Gong movement is banned in China. Participants in Falun Gong activities or Falun Gong-related demonstrations are subject to legal action that may include detention, arrest, imprisonment and deportation.

Political activities

There are restrictions on political activities, including participating in public protests or sending private electronic messages critical of the government. Participants may be detained and future travel to China may be restricted by Chinese authorities.

Military installations

Travel near military installations is restricted. Photography of military installations or government buildings is prohibited and offenders may be detained, arrested and imprisoned. Seek permission from local authorities before taking photographs.

Gambling

Gambling and the promotion of gambling activities is illegal in mainland China.

LGBTQ2 travellers

China does not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. Same sex marriages are not legally recognized in China. Some prejudice still exists against LGBTQ2 communities and authorities sometimes censor social media content on LGBTQ2-related topics.

General safety information and advice for LGBTQ2 travellers abroad

Driving

Canadian and international driving licences are not recognized in China. Foreigners must hold a foreigner residence permit and meet local requirements to obtain a Chinese driver’s licence.

Carefully consider the implications of driving in China. Foreign drivers involved in an accident face harsh penalties. Police officers have the right to detain foreigners suspected of being responsible for road accidents until their case is closed, which can take years.

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in China.

If local authorities consider you a citizen of China, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services. You should always travel using your valid Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk.

If you are a Canadian of Chinese origin travelling to China, you may be asked to provide your Chinese name by border authorities. Ensure that you are well informed about Chinese law and practices relating to determination and loss of Chinese citizenship, including cancelling a household register (hukou) and applying to renounce Chinese citizenship. Contact the nearest Chinese diplomatic or consular office for more details.

Canadian children born to at least one parent who is a Chinese citizen may be deemed Chinese citizens under China’s Nationality Law. The child’s Canadian citizenship may not be recognized by Chinese authorities, and the family may be subject to family planning regulations.

General information for travellers with dual citizenship

Doing business in China

Canadian business travellers have been detained and had their passport confiscated as a result of business disputes with their Chinese counterparts. Seek legal advice from professionals in China, as well as in Canada, before proceeding with business agreements or arrangements. Ensure that all documents are translated so that conditions, terms and limitations are understood. Disputes are often costly and prolonged, and you may be subject to a travel ban restricting you from leaving the country until the matter is resolved.

There have been incidents involving foreigners being held against their will at their work place. These incidents, which can be accompanied by threats of violence, are often the result of other companies or disgruntled employees attempting to resolve business and employment disputes.

Doing Business with China - Canadian Trade Commissioner Service

Teaching

There are many teaching opportunities in China. However, make sure you are well informed before signing a contract. Ensure that the contract specifies the maximum number of classroom hours per day and per week, maximum work days per week, and vacation periods. Canadians teaching in China, particularly at newly established private secondary schools and private English training centres, have often found their employers unable or unwilling to honour contract terms or to assist in obtaining Chinese employment visas and other permits required for foreigners to teach lawfully in China.

If you are travelling to China to work or study, you may be required to possess medical insurance (coverage of 400,000 renminbi). Verify this stipulation with the school or employer prior to arriving in China. It is illegal to work on a tourist (L) visa or on a working (Z) visa linked to a company other than your employer. Canadian citizens have been detained and forced to leave the country for working illegally.

Studying

Learn about studying abroad if you plan to study or conduct research in China.

Money

The currency is the renminbi (RMB). The basic unit of currency is the yuan. Counterfeit renminbi are relatively common, especially in southern China. It is illegal to use foreign currency. Exchange foreign currency at officially approved facilities only. Generally, only international hotels and some larger shops accept international credit cards. Some Chinese banks will provide cash advances using credit card accounts, but they may charge for the service. It is possible to use bank cards to draw on your Canadian bank account at an increasing number of ATMs, especially in urban areas. Credit cards are not always accepted and the availability of ATMs is limited outside major cities.

Natural disasters and climate

Natural disasters & climate

Typhoons and monsoons

The typhoon and monsoon (rainy) season extends from April to October. Typhoons usually occur along the southern and eastern coasts. During this period, even small storms can quickly develop into major typhoons. Seasonal flooding can hamper overland travel and reduce provision of essential services. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged.

Flooding is common in central, western and southern China, particularly areas bordering the Yangtze River. The Karakoram and Khunjerab Pass routes can be hazardous due to landslides. 

If you decide to travel to China during the typhoon and monsoon season:

  • know that you expose yourself to serious safety risks
  • be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
  • stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
  • carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
  • follow the advice and instructions of local authorities

Useful links

Air pollution

Air pollution can be severe across much of China. Monitor air pollution levels, which change quickly.

Some cities maintain air pollution alert systems. During periods of severe air pollution, expect school closures, outdoor event cancellations and car usage limitations and disruptions to transportation. During periods of high pollution, limit your activities outdoors, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.

  • Air pollution in China - World Air Quality Index
  • Pollution alert level for Beijing - Municipality of Beijing
  • Pollution alert level for Shanghai - Municipality of Shanghai

Seismic activity

China is located in an active seismic zone and is prone to earthquakes. Familiarize yourself with the security measures in place at your accommodations while in China. In the event of an earthquake, pay careful attention to all official warnings and follow evacuation orders issued by the Government of China. Aftershocks could occur for hours, days or even weeks after the initial earthquake.

What to do during an earthquake - Government of Canada

Assistance

Assistance

Local services

Emergency services

In case of emergency, dial:

  • police: 110
  • medical assistance: 120
  • firefighters: 119
  • roadside assistance: 112

Consular assistance

Beijing - Embassy of Canada
Street AddressConsular Section, 19 Dongzhimenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100600, ChinaTelephone86 (10) 5139-4000Fax86 (10) 5139-4448Emailbeijing.consular@international.gc.caInternetwww.china.gc.caServicesPassport Services AvailableTwitter@CanadaChinaConsular districtBeijing, Tianjin, Gansu, Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Shandong, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Qinghai, Xinjiang, Xizang (Tibet), Henan and Hebei.Other social mediaWeibo - Canada to China
@JiaZhong
Chongqing - Consulate General of Canada
Street AddressRoom 1705, Metropolitan Tower, Wu Yi Lu, Yu Zhong District, Chongqing 400010, ChinaTelephone86 (23) 6373-8007Fax86 (23) 6373-8026Emailchonq@international.gc.caInternetwww.chongqing.gc.caTwitter@CanadaChinaConsular districtChongqing, Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou.Other social mediaWeibo - Canada to China
@JiaZhong
Guangzhou - Consulate General of Canada
Street Address26/F, TaiKoo Hui Tower 1, 385 Tianhe Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou, China, 510620Telephone86 (20) 8611-6100Fax86 (20) 8611-6196Emailguangzhou.consular@international.gc.caInternetwww.guangzhou.gc.caServicesPassport Services AvailableTwitter@CanadaChinaConsular districtGuangdong, Guangxi, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan and Hainan.Other social mediaWeibo - Canada to China
@JiaZhong
Hong Kong - Consulate General of Canada
Street Address9th Floor, 25 Westlands Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong SAR, ChinaPostal Address8th Floor, 25 Westlands Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong SAR, ChinaTelephone85 (2) 3719 4700Fax85 (2) 2847 7561Emailhkong-cs@international.gc.caInternetwww.hongkong.gc.caServicesPassport Services AvailableFacebookConsulate General of Canada in Hong Kong & MacaoTwitter@CanCGHongKong
Shanghai - Consulate General of Canada
Street AddressECO City Building, 8th floor, 1788 Nanjing Xi Lu - Jing An District, Shanghai, 200040, ChinaTelephone86 (21) 3279-2800Fax86 (21) 3279-2801Emailshanghai.consular@international.gc.caInternetwww.shanghai.gc.caServicesPassport Services AvailableTwitter@CanadaChinaConsular districtJiangsu, Anhui, Zhejiang, Hubei and the city of Shanghai.Other social mediaWeibo - Canada to China
@JiaZhong

For emergency consular assistance, call the nearest Canadian government office and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.


The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services.

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