This was received from the CFTU and is being published verbatim…
Happy Chinese New Year to you and yours. We want your China adventure to be a positive one – perhaps a dream come true for you. But if you are not alert to the facts, your dream can quickly become a nightmare. We urge you all to read this article and then remember that most agents trying to recruit teachers for China are shady at best and criminal at worst. No matter what they tell you, it is 100% illegal to work in China on an L (tourist) or F (Business) visa, and if you are caught, you will be fined $150 per day, deported, and banned from reentry for five years. Agents will tell you that you can fix this problem when you get to China. This is a lie and they do not care about the legal problems nor huge expense they create for you so long as they get your signature on a contract so they can collect their fee.
Also, do not even buy a plane ticket until you have a signed and sealed contract in your hand that specifically states your working location, days, hours, and work description. And avoid any all agents that:
1. Ask for any upfront money/fee of any kind no matter what explanation they give
2. Refuse to send you a copy of their SAIC or Ministry of Education license
3. Ask you to send them a copy of your passport or visa (This is only given to actual employers when you receive a written job offer directly from the employer and you confirm it to be true) 20% of all “agents” are really identity thieves.
Avoid using agents altogether as they will take anywhere from 25% – 65% of your salary. Don’t believe it? Read the story of what just happened to American teacher KTC at http://www.thebeijinger.com/forum/2013/01/31/beware-chinaesl-scam-alert-rebecca-tang-will-rip-you Recruiters will bait you with verbal promises and even a Z Visa, which if they were legitimate, they would provide to you with a signed contract, before you left your homeland.
To find your own job with direct employers go to http://www.ChinaScamBusters.com and scroll down for the links. It is much easier than you could ever imagine to find your own job in China. By doing this your paychecks will be 60%-80% fatter with zero chance of identity theft.
Lastly, before you sign anything or buy your airplane ticket, please check our blacklist of schools and agents posted at http://www.ChinaForeignTeachersUnion.org (just scroll down). If you take 30 minutes to read all of the above, you will reduce your China fraud risk by 95%. Also be very weary if anyone contacts you from the below web sites as ChinaScamBusters.com will explain:
chinatefljobs.com (not a scam – just greedy agents)
Finally if you really want the “convenience” of an agent, and are willing to take your chances, at least use the below form letter which will provide you full disclosure and some recourse if things go South. But please remember, more than 80% of all employment agents and recruiters in China are not licensed nor registered to do business in China.