How to Move to China I Living in China I Move to China I Relocation Guide for Expat to China
Relocating to China
If you are relocating an executive to China or if you are relocating to or within China yourself, you have found the right relocation and immigration specialists. Helpxpat Relocation provides professional relocation and immigration solutions tailored to the needs of international executives.
For the past 6 years we have consistently relocated corporate executives to live in China and their families to, and within, China. We are responsive and professional, and always operate with care and sensitivity towards our client’s needs.
Moving to China
Accommodation in China, while plentiful, is expensive. It is likely to be an expat’s biggest expense, so those relocating to China should ensure that their employment package is sufficient to cover this.
Relocating services in China
For the past few years we have consistently relocated corporate executives to live in China and their families to, and within, China. We are responsive and professional, and always operate with care and sensitivity towards our client’s needs.
The People’s Republic of China commonly referred to as just China, is the second largest country in Asia and the fourth largest country in the world. It stretches over some 9,706,961 km², extending to the Pacific Ocean and sharing its borders with the Gobi desert and the Himalayas.
Home Search in China
Upon arrival in China, you will need to register your address at the local police station ‘ this may be a hotel or temporary residence. Once you find a permanent residence, you will need to re-register, make sure to bring your rental contract and copy of the ID of the landlord.
Searching for a new property in China can be stressful, time-consuming and very frustrating, often requiring that you view numerous properties that don’t meet your requirements. Helpxpat Relocation will save your time by assuring all properties closely suit your needs and reporting back to you with an itinerary. Our consultants in China have considerable market knowledge and negotiation skills.
A safer option is to use the services of a relocation agent, who will be able to speak the language and understand the local nuances of the China property market.
Types of accommodation in China
As a expat in China, you might face certain difficulties when searching for an apartment due to cultural differences and language barriers. The process is significantly easier in first-tier cities like Shanghai, Guangzhou or Shenzhen while smaller towns may not have the necessary real estate search infrastructure for expatriates.
New residential neighbourhoods have recently been built in most cities in China with a significant international population. These new residences usually have a number of western amenities within walking distance: international supermarkets, gyms, leisure facilities and so on.
Apartment contracts are typically signed for one year with an option to renew. If interested, you can consider signing a lease for a longer term ‘ but make sure to indicate whether you will be paying the same amount in rent. Rent prices in China tend to fluctuate a lot and signing a longer term rent contract makes sense if you will get to lease the apartment at the same price.
Some landlords might also agree to shorter rentals ‘ but this will need to be negotiated.
A one-month deposit is standard though some landlords will insist on a two-month deposit. Rent is normally paid monthly in advance.
Chinese houses and apartments are often spacious and generally fully equipped. However, you may not find some of the facilities you may be used to at home. Most Chinese apartments do not have bathtubs, ovens or dishwashers. Some may come with a squat toilet.
It’s up to you to verify the general state of your housing and to notify of the possible damages left unlisted. Check all the appliances and make sure they are usable. Electricity, water, heating and telephone are to be separately paid by the tenant.
Rental agreements are written in Chinese. To avoid pitfalls and problems linked to your rental agreement, or to track down disputed clauses, try to find a Chinese speaker able to help and assist you with your administrative matters. This could be of great help and save you lots of trouble!
How to find a home in China
If you are planning to relocate to China and need assistance to find a home, helpxpat.com enables you to find the most appropriate home for the employee for their budget and lifestyle and to negotiate the best possible lease terms – saving the client and the employee time, financial liability and stress.
Finding accommodation will be one of your priorities on your arrival in China. The country has a wide variety of housing to choose from: from traditionally Chinese apartments to more westernised options. As it often is, it all depends on your requirements for comfort and your budget.
When renting an apartment through a real estate agent, you will be required to pay a finder’s fee ‘ usually 50% of one month’s rent.
Choosing a right school in China
Expat parents are faced with a difficult decision when choosing a school in China. Language and cultural barriers are two of the biggest considerations they’ll have to deal with.
There is a variety of options when it comes to education in China, and expats can send their children to schools in the public, private or international sectors. Homeschooling is another popular choice for expats, as well as some locals.
Known for its rigid, exam-driven public system and an educational philosophy that emphasises results and discipline, China is serious about schooling.
International schools in China
Most expats in China send their children to an international school. In no short supply, these institutions are often the obvious choice for parents that want a smooth and quick transition for their children.
Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou boast the largest concentrations of international schools, but many medium-sized cities will have at least two or three in close proximity. Most follow the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum or the curriculum from the country they represent. That said, standard coursework often features local culture and many schools teach Mandarin or Cantonese. Classes are usually in English or the primary language of the school’s home country.
International schools in China come in different forms and cater to all kinds of students. Admission to these schools is competitive and the most popular often have long waiting lists. Admission can be a long process involving forms, interviews, placement tests and application fees, and it’s often best for parents to start corresponding from their home country. One thing that connects all of these schools is the high cost of tuition. Costs at some schools rival international university tuition. Expats moving to China should try to negotiate an education allowance into their package if one isn’t already included.
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