Asked by tim from Australia | Nov. 22, 2013 01:38
About:China Embassy in Philippines

Can i work in China if I am HIV Positive however on medication?

I have been offered a position to work in China for 12 months from March 2014, however people are telling i can not work due to being positive for HIV despite being on medication and having undetectable Viral loads.

Answers (64)
Answered by Cary from UK | Nov. 22, 2013 02:42
Hi, health check is required if you apply for work permit and residence permit. So, this may be an obstacle for your application.
Answered by sincere from Indonesia | May. 13, 2015 04:24
dear tim, did you manage to work in china afterall?
Answered by James from Singapore | Jul. 18, 2016 02:41
2015 - I am diagnosed with HIV when I did my medical examination at the designated medical centre in Shanghai. I was assure that my application will not be rejected due to my HIV status. I did get my resident permit.

2016- I submit my extend of resident permit, but my application is rejected without any given reason. So through my contact I manage to find out that my application is rejected due to my medical condition. I believe it is because of my HIV Status, that my application is rejected.
Answered by tim from Australia | Jul. 18, 2016 06:34
Hi Indonesia no I turned down the job due to the uncertainty of being granted the residency after I arrived. Didn't want the risk of travelling there starting a job and then having to leave. James' comments pretty much makes it clear that youre residency will be cancelled at any stage. Thanks for those who replied. Wasn't expecting such challenges from simply being HIV. Even making normal travel plans I've been told to avoid certain countries and even carry medication in different bottle. Such is life.
Answered by John Doore from Zimbabwe | Aug. 03, 2016 18:16
So James in other words you are saying its never certain that ones application may be denied. I am applying to study for two years only and not sure if I will be granted a study visa
Answered by Mike from Singapore | Dec. 27, 2016 06:21
Hi James, I'm from Singapore as well planning to do my masters in Beijing. I'm HIV possitive and I'm not sure if a Doctor's letter will help in the process of getting a visa.
Answered by John from Colombia | Feb. 11, 2017 15:26
Hey this is John, and would like to know whether your application permit has been rejected or not? Thanks for your help!
Answered by hahi from Indonesia | Mar. 17, 2017 11:55
Hi, I was in Shenzhen on May 2016 and applied for resident permit but when the medical centre read my statement that I am HIV positive they told me not to continue the process and offered me to give back my money. I tried to explain that I am positive but undetectable, but it didn't work, it seems that they don't really understand what is undetectable. Finally I take my money back, despite they have taken my blood.
Answered by Shanghai Worker from USA | Feb. 11, 2018 05:16
Hi All. This is an old question but I am posting here for the benefit of others who may be looking for up to date info on this question. Like others, I was offered a position by my (US based) company. I am HIV positive. I tried to find good information about how this would affect my work / residence permit application and everything out there is inconsistent at best. I decided just to go for it - and there wasn't a problem. I applied / work in Shanghai - for a business management related job. Application in early 2018.

Status was disclosed at the medical check in China, and all they did was perform additional blood-work to confirm positive status (in addition to the standard blood test - but it wan't viral load). I was also interviewed by the medical officer about when / how I was infected, present relationships, and precautions in place (so be ready to answer those). Just FYI - he did enter everything into a computer as we spoke. I specifically asked the medical officer if it was grounds for denial, and was told "no restrictions." China lifted the ban on this a while ago but they do still test for it. Post-medical, my status was indicated on my personal medical report (and I am sure in the "system") but the medical certificate was issued by the authorities with no indication of HIV. You get all these documents in a bundle - the certificate is the one needed to proceed. If you are using an "agency" to help with the whole process you may want to consider asking your guide just to help get you checked into the medical, and then you go through the process alone - if you are worried about disclosure.

I'm sure there are always exceptions to the rule, and it may depend on where you apply, but it is possible folks. (Note - I did have an assessment from my doc in US with me, and told them about it, but they did not look at it).
Answered by CSLOW from Singapore | Feb. 21, 2018 03:35
Hi Tim, just to check! How long did the authority issued your residence permit? Which medical centre did you go for your recent checkup?
Answered by Regina from South Africa | Feb. 22, 2018 23:13
Hi there, I would like if the person who posted the message from USA on the 11 February that went through the medical check can contact me. I have a few questions please.
Answered by Curious from Germany | Feb. 23, 2018 21:47
Hi Tim, that is very good news for you. It is the first time I read that HIV is not issue for work permit / Visa denial in Shanghai. Are there more cases like this and what hospital did you visit? Is this consistent policy or will it depend per officer? Thanks for your help.
Answered by Traveller from Hong Kong | Mar. 09, 2018 04:28
Hi guys
I lived and worked in China from 2011-2014. To get my visa I went through the required check up/exams all arranged by my company (Chinese company) at a local hospital/medical centre.
It was all fine I got my visa. In 2013 totally unrelated I found out I was HIV positive. The doctor told me I was most likely infected way before 2011. I ws puzzled - I looked for my 2011 blood test in China and it said HIV negative.
Looking back and after hearing so many stories regarding what you can get in China if you have money and connections I think my employer was aware of my HIV status years before I was! I'm certain the medical centre contacted my employer, told them about it and they paid them to clear me. I also think if you have a high pay, "respectable" job they might look the other way. And if you are gay better not mention it.
Not sure if this helps with your queries tho, good luck
Answered by Mandy from South Africa | Mar. 16, 2018 07:43
Hi Tim, I was recently denied a teaching job in Chengdu because I disclosed my status to the company. For now, I am convinced that any company use thier discretion to accept or deny work and residence permit to people living with HIV. This can be overlooked if you are really needed to work in China, but for easy to get jobs like teaching, I think one will be denied very easy. I am still talking to people in China and up to so far no one has asked me about my HIV status. Lets see how it goes and will let everyone know that this is totaly a descrimination against humanity but different organisations in China. Its not the rule of law. thank you
Answered by bob from japan | Mar. 16, 2018 18:42
hey ,
sorry about the job status . would you please tell us the city and did you applied at all or the agency actually rejected you for disclosing . thanks
Answered by Fortunate from South africa | Mar. 17, 2018 04:48
Hi...can we talk in private
Answered by China control from Mexico | Mar. 25, 2018 03:24
Hello Tim I am from Mexico I will be traveling to China in a couple of weeks because of my work but i am worried about taking my hiv medications with me, I do not know if at border control they will check my medications and denie my entry to the Contry

Any advice to take my medication to China? I do no want to interrupt my treatment

I mainly worried for the border control and my boss will be with me she does not know about my condition.
Answered by Mandy from South Africa | Apr. 11, 2018 02:20
Hi Tim, I am now not looking at any job in China. I feel my HIV status might bring emotional discrimination. I am looking at other countries which is making me to stay without a job at the moment. Lets face it, China is the country they mostly looking for TEFL and graduate to teach English. It sad I cannot work in China even if I am now 15years undetected with the virus. I disclosed because it doesn't scare me anymore to be HIV+. Its just a virus not a disease.
Answered by Mandy from South Africa | Apr. 11, 2018 02:25
Hi Bob from Japan. I applied at a school in Chengdu and was rejected because I disclosed my HIV status.
Answered by Mandy from South Africa | Apr. 11, 2018 02:27
Hi Fortunate. I have my mobile number to chat private. Please whatsapp
Answered by cleo from South Africa | Apr. 12, 2018 03:44
Hi Mandy. It's Cleo from South Africa.
Are you saying it's impossible to apply for a teaching job in China due to the Hiv status. ?
Answered by Sanser from Hongkong | Apr. 12, 2018 05:14
Is that true?
Answered by Andre from USA | Apr. 13, 2018 11:02
There is no restriction about taking medications, just recently came back from a month in china and i was able to bring my medication, just bring your prescription along with it and there should not be any problem.
Answered by Mandy from South Africa | Apr. 17, 2018 04:49
Hi all, let me explain this HIV issue for Z Visa and work permit. You are allowed to stay in China for not more than 90days if you are HIV positive undetected or detected. However, you cannot be granted a Z Visa and permanent residence while being HIV positive. I applied to teach in China, have a degree and 120hour TEFL but after disclosure of my HIV status, the company told I will not no granted a work permit. Normally China gives a year contract and they cannot give less due to work permit expenses and Z Visas. If you in China for less than 90days, by all means you ok. But over that, China wouldn't. Maybe it was because I am going to teach and they thought I will be poisonous to Chinese learners, I am not sure. But I really felt being described and robbed of the opportunity to do what I love most.
Answered by Concerned Mum from South Africa | Apr. 21, 2018 05:59

This is very insightful as I have a child (born with the virus) who has to go study in China for 8 months and am damn worried as I really don't want to put him through emotional distress. We are still waiting for confirmation on the scholarship and will take it from there. I hope all goes well
Answered by Lihle Q from South Africa | Apr. 28, 2018 05:45
Hi Mandy are there any countries that accept people with HIV? I was browsing through the internet to get more information since i was interested in teaching abroad. So i wanted to know if i have any chance before i register for TEFL course
Answered by Worried from USA | May. 05, 2018 19:01
How long of a permit were you issued. I’m about to move to Beijing for a year of work. I’m hesitant to disclose my status as I’m undetectable.
Answered by Mandy from South Africa | May. 08, 2018 23:53
My reply to Like, Concerned Mom and Worried. As long as you stay more than 90 days whether you detected or none detected with HIV, you will not be granted a permit to stay in China. Whether you are a student or teacher, you are not wanted in China. Yes you can stay less than 90days that is not a problem. I think with Mom, please try other countries. China is descrimating to people living with HIV. The positive thing about this is, China is not the only country where once can live and enjoy life whether HIV positive or not. I got a job at a beautiful country and am so happy going there. Why didn't I do that at first.
Answered by John from Russia | May. 09, 2018 03:35
Mandy please do not disinform people. All denials and rejections come from the companies you’re going to work for, not from authorities or the government. If you want to work in China you don’t have to disclose your HIV status to the company! Before coming to China you even don’t have to pass the medical examination you just write a commitment letter that you are in good health and not dangerous to public. I’m writing it on behalf of my own experience. That’s all.
Answered by Mandy from South Africa | May. 13, 2018 07:35
Thank you John. I did disclose to the company hence you right I shouldn't have. But to me disclosure to HIV didnt scare me as I know we shouldn't be descriminated and I was in this case. Look, I still have time and will give it a go. I will keep it confidential until I go for medical check up. There were forms which I was requested to complete which asked if I have blood diseases and I said No I don't have. Clearly with my HIV it doesn't mean I have blood diseases.

Thank you John. I will pursue my dream to work in China.
Answered by Lolly from Botswana | May. 13, 2018 15:10
Thanks for your valuable insight. Does China have avaible access to treatment or you have to go back to your own country for medical supplies?
Answered by Mandy from South Africa | May. 13, 2018 19:36
That might be a challenge since you only allowed 3 months medical supply. Good question.
Answered by ALEKSN | May. 20, 2018 08:09
John from Russia: So, how does it go, when you're tested in China?
Answered by Trent from USA | Jun. 27, 2018 22:47
In order to get a work permit, you need to do a medical check once you arrive in China which involves a blood test. If you're found to HIV, it's unlikely (read: not possible) that you'll be granted the work permit and residence permit.
Answered by Jorge from Spain | Jul. 08, 2018 00:43
How do you know that?! Did you face with it? So why are you writing this? I got both WP and RP in Shanghai inspite of being HIV positive.
Answered by Sindi from South Africa | Jul. 09, 2018 03:04
Hi Mandy may i find out which country did you go to that doesn't mind if you HIV+. I'm also considering teaching abroad.
Answered by Shanghai Worker from USA | Jul. 16, 2018 19:27
Changing district, you have to do it where your place of work is / will be. It took around a week.
Answered by Shanghai Worker from USA | Jul. 16, 2018 19:29
I went to Changning, as this is the district I work in. The officer indicated only that there were no restrictions. I can't comment as to if another may take a different position - but the policy seems to be clear.
Answered by Lwaxi from South Africa | Jul. 20, 2018 12:21
Can we talk off line concern mom
Answered by Londi from South Africa | Jul. 20, 2018 12:29
My child was born hiv and he is accepted in university not sure if he be granted RP. His degree is four years
Answered by Mzuri from Tanzania | Jul. 22, 2018 01:45
Been studying in China for more than 5 years now. I’ve seen new students sent back home after their diagnosis. What i know is that you cannot get a residency permit if you’re HIV positive. There is a lot of discrimination. It’s hard to believe such a developed country can be so ignorant.
Answered by Nelly from South Africa | Jul. 25, 2018 12:20
Can you get a residence permit
Answered by Londi from South Africa | Jul. 25, 2018 12:24
You can't even talk to officials to secure gor for innocent children
Answered by Secret from Tanzania | Aug. 24, 2018 21:38
Why are they treating us as if we wanted to be this way
Answered by Andrew from Brazil | Aug. 26, 2018 19:29
Hi Mandy. Could we talk on whatsapp? I'm from Brazil. I got some doubts about his medications out of our country
Answered by Henry from Indonesia | Sep. 19, 2018 06:23
Hi Shanghai worker from USA, how did the clinic disclose or inform you on your HIV positive result? Did they give the result report straightly or did they ask you to meet the doctor before giving you the result? Or did they ask you to do additional blood test and told you the result of the 1st test at same time
Answered by Alex from Peru | Oct. 01, 2018 09:49
The helth and care center that runs the testing will ask you to go for a Wester block, assuring that this will not affect your residency or application for work permit. Next thing you know is that your passport is rejected with a big stamp that says contagious or higly contagioous desiease. You will be kicked out.
Do not even try to go..
Answered by Thabo from South Africa | Oct. 04, 2018 20:49
Hi Mandy. Thank you for candid info on this sensitive issue. Which country were you employed in that did not reject you based on your HIV status?
Answered by Chris from South Africa | Oct. 07, 2018 05:06
Hello Mandy,
Would you mind sharing the country/ies one can apply at that has no issues with being HIV +
Answered by Bev from South Africa | Oct. 19, 2018 08:50
Hi Tim,

I need a bit of clarity. Are you saying a person is not forced to disclosed their status to the company? If yes, does that mean I only disclose at the medical check up. Please help if you have more information. I'm from South Africa.
Answered by Lelethu from South Africa | Nov. 01, 2018 06:58
Hi Mandy and anyone else who can assist, please contact me privately I have some questions and would like to find out which country you applied to and didn't get rejected? thank you
Answered by Khwezi from South Africa | Nov. 27, 2018 01:53
Hi Mandy, which countries can one apply???
Answered by Kenny from USA | Nov. 27, 2018 21:58
I am positive and really freaking out about my HIV status. I asked the recruitment guy about the medical evaluation in China and this is what he wrote to me:

No, if hired, part of the paperwork for a work visa is a full medical check up which includes the blood test, you can do this in your home country. If your work visa is ready before your travel to China, you won?t need to do any medical check ups when you arrive in China.
Answered by cj from trinidad | Dec. 16, 2018 10:25
check out Japan....
Answered by Malaysian Chinese from Malaysia | Dec. 18, 2018 08:37
I did not disclose at the first place.

Should I tell them when I go for 2nd check?
Answered by Thabo from South Africa | Jan. 16, 2019 18:42
Japan is a great city. They dont seem discriminate or even ask about that part of your personal life. I guess the responsibility is on the individual to make sure you have your meds, compliant with inportation laws of your meds and to stay safe.
Il be living in Japan in a couple of days and my status never came up as a point of discussion. I'll keep everyone updated once i arrive. Praying and hoping for the best!
Answered by Thabo from South Africa | Jan. 16, 2019 18:44
Lol i mean country, Japan is a wonderful COUNTRY!
Answered by Marius from Germany | Jan. 21, 2019 11:43
Chinese work visa as of 2019 has following two steps:
1) Obtaining work permit from Chiese Embassy at your home country
2) Obtaining residence permit and registration when you are China
As soon as you arrive in China, you will be requested to go to one of the dedicated/recognized hospitals for a further blood test. This blood test includes HIV too. It is independent of treatment (undetectable HIV), this blood test will be positive as it looks at your HIV antibodies even if you are undetectable with a molecular test.
If your test results turn out to be positive, you will be deported from the country and never will be able to enter again.
This is the situation as of 2019 in China, so if you are HIV+ do not go there and expect to get a residency permit. I strongly suggest staying away to avoid a situation that you see a team of the policeman standing at the door to deport you.
Go to countries where they have no restrictions for HIV positives and many of them are on the list to choose from...
Answered by Kay from South Africa | Jan. 24, 2019 03:35
Hi Thabo. I am so happy for you! I was meant to travel to South Korea in Feb but i found out i was HIV + and therefore cannot work there. May i ask how it went with your position in Japan?. Also, would it be possible to talk privately to find out more information about the agency you used and so forth. Thank you!
Answered by Michael from Germany | Jan. 24, 2019 09:41
As I know South Korea has no travel or work permit restrictions.
Did they request an HIV test and rejected your visa? Please check the website HIV Travel
Answered by Kay from South Africa | Jan. 25, 2019 05:37
Hi Michael. No, i was informed by my agency that i will be required to do a health check when i arrive in South Korea, and although it is declared against human rights to do HIV screening, many schools will still require it.
Answered by Kay from South Africa | Jan. 25, 2019 05:47
I have read HIV travel as well. But I have also read that the issue isn't that they aren't letting people with HIV work in the country (so the law is in place to prevent that kind of discrimiation), its foreign teachers that are given a hard time and still being tested. I will try get some more information from my agency. Or maybe just talk to someone from the korean embassay in my country. Theres a lot of information floating around on the internet.
Answered by Thabo from South Africa | Jan. 31, 2019 13:47
Not sure how we can talk privately from here without me giving away my personal details.
I can advice you to go to Teach English Aboard and apply from there. Thats where my journey to Japan started.
They were great in terms of applying for a position in Japan as I did nor was I made to feel the need to disclose my HIV status.

With regard as to how much medication you can bring into the country, I can confirm once I have arrive which will be the end of April.
Answered by Ally from China | Apr. 01, 2019 23:05
Hi Everyone!
As for Shanghai and for the government, there is no restrictions for work for people who have HIV.
Everyone get tested, but if you test positive they will still grant you the Health Certificate saying you are ok for work.
I can confirm this because my friend got his Visa this October 2018. And another friend did the same on 2017.
Your employer does not need to know your status. All they need is the blue certificate from the Health Bureau that says weather you have passed the medical test or not. This certificate does not disclose the details of all your medical tests. The immigration office does not need to know your HIV status either. They just need this blue certificate.
If your employer find out about your status, then they can choose not to sponsor you. But they really do not need to know. Your lab results are private. (Ask for the results to be sent to your house instead of directly to HR)
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