English Teacher Deported over 'Drug Use' in Shenzhen

By Sky Gidge, August 7, 2017

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A Serbian English teacher was "seized and deported" in June in Shenzhen, according to Xinhua, which reported the incident Friday.

The foreign teacher was deported for "taking drugs" and on "suspicion of working illegally," according to the Xinhua article, which also says the the Nanshan-based kindergarten staff reported their own teacher to the authorities. The drug involved was not named. 

The unnamed Nanshan kindergarten is said to have about 80 students and only one foreign teacher after two other foreign employees resigned, including the 'headmaster' and 'teaching supervisor,' though it's not clear from the Xinhua report if that is as of June or currently.

The deportation may be symptomatic of a bigger issue, according to one industry insider.

Asking not to be named, the owner of a teaching agency said qualified foreign teachers have become hard to come by after China introduced stricter visa rules.  

"This means that many schools – out of desperation for employees – are willing now to hire people they wouldn't have considered two years ago," said the insider. "He must have really pissed someone off to have his own school report him."

READ MORE: New 'Green Cards' for Foreigners Coming This Month

A 2015 Shenzhen Daily article, which was also written by the author of this article, cited sources estimating 80 percent of foreign teachers in the city weren't working on the correct visa.

Legally employed teachers work on a residence permit, but, with the encouragement of training centers, many work on business visas, which are valid for up to 10 years. 

Business visas require regular trips outside of mainland China, but at Shenzhen's Futian Checkpoint it takes about 30 minutes to pass into Hong Kong and back into the mainland, technically 'entering and exiting.'

Updates to China visa policy sometimes go unannounced online, with new work-visa policies implemented in mid-2017, according to consulting agency INS.

READ MORE: China Launching a 5-Year Work Permit for Foreigners

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