How ironic! The country that brought us fake eggs, fake milk, and even fake Apple stores is now angry with a report from the Ministry of Education that says one-third of all the foreign English teachers working in China never taught anything before they came to China and are using fake diplomas and TEFL certificates to get visas. The government of President Xi Jin Ping has now directed the PSB to sweep the country and marching orders were issued to the PSB to scrutinize every new visa applicant who has an ESL/TEFL related invitation letter and examine "at least 50% of those expat ESL & TEFL teachers already working in China - by the end of 2016"
The complete story comes from the China Scam Patrol people (a reliable source in China for more than 5 years already) who carried the two page article in their February/2016 newsletter. Read here China PSB Vows To Arrest 3,000 Fake ESL & TEFL Foreign Teachers In 2016 For Fake Diploma & No Z Visa (1/1) - ESLwatch Forum - ESLwatch - Information, News, Forum and School Reviews
According to a Captain with the PSB that gave an "unofficial 90 minute interview" with the CSP, they have been given a 15,000,000 yuan budget to create a 500 member PSB task force that will initially focus on the first tier cities of Beijing, Shenyang, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Xian, Zhenhzhou, Jinan, Changhsa, Chengdu. So what happened at Disney English in recent months may soon be a common site. Captain Wang said their task objective is to round-up and deport 3,000 expate ESL, TEFL, and AP foreign teachers who do not have the following:
A) A Valid Work Visa (Z visa)
B) A Verifiable Diploma From An Accredited University
They also said they will boot out any foreigner caught using fake TEFL or TESOL certificates even though these documents are not a mandated requirement. It seems they are definitely on a mission that according to Wang, will start on March 1st, 2016. According to the CFTU's 2014 annual report, 2,167 expat teachers were deported for various offenses that year, and about 80% were visa violations.
Jason at CSP also got Wang to admit the many sting operations they have been using in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou that uses fake job ads to set up illegal teachers at phony job interviews held in upscale hotels and coffee shops. Wang thought these stings which caught over 1,500 expats last year working with z visas were quite funny and said they were so effective they would expand the sting operations. (Beware of great-paying jobs ads in the Beijinger, Echinacities, Sinocities, and ESLCafe)
Wang also confirmed that the PSB does pay 10,000 yuan rewards to anyone who turns in fake teachers but said this program "is already six years old" and said it only got popular since the reward amount was raised from 5,000 to 10,000 yuan. At present, roughly 29,000 foreigners now teach ESL and TEFL in China according to SAFEA (Foreign Experts Bureau) but this number has been dropping about 3% a year due to a horrible pollution problems and other job markets like Korea and Singapore that offer salaries that are almost 80% more.
Although this is all a bit humorous to me, a lot of China job recruiters are probably sweating bullets because Wang says that for the first time they will arrest and prosecute unlicensed agents and give a mandatory 2 year jail term to any agent offering to sell any fake documents to foreigners. Foreigners that do get deported because of fake paperwork will not be allowed to return to China for five years and go home with a felony conviction, that will pretty much kill there chances of teaching in any foreign country that would require a visa.
Jason further says that Wang hinted that his undercover cops would even be setting up booths at ESL & TEFL job fairs and copy the cell phone data of every black China job recruiter they question or catch peddling fake documents. He said they already arrested 12 agents last year from emails they monitored, and now that they have the extra budget, that division will get extra funding in 2016. So I guess the message is get real or get deported!