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Moving to Shenzhen

What to know if you're moving to Shenzhen

Shenzhen's fast-growing economy makes it an appealing place to move to for anyone seeking new opportunities in a thriving and lively city. Get to know more about the city and its climate and learn all you need to know about the visa process for China in our guide.

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All about China

From the requirements for moving to China and applying for the right visa to avoiding cultural misunderstandings, our practical guide walks you through all the steps to move to China and make it home.

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Relocating to Shenzhen

Huge amounts of money have been invested in Shenzhen in the last two decades and the end result is a modern, attractive city that is one of the best to live in throughout the whole of the east, not just China. A largely expat community called Shekou is home to a lot of foreigners who move to Shenzhen.

About the City

Shenzhen is the largest migrant city in China and millions of people travel into the city every day for work. For expats moving to Shenzhen, learning some Mandarin or Cantonese will be necessary as most local people speak one of these two tongues, although some regional Chinese languages can also be heard on the streets of the city.

Around a quarter of the population of Shenzhen identify as Buddhists, making it the second most popular religion in the city, behind Chinese folk religions. It is a mixed bag, with around 18 percent of the city being Taoists and 15 percent claiming to be unaffiliated to any religion, while there are also small Muslim and Christian minorities living in Shenzhen.

The Climate in Shenzhen

Shenzhen has a humid subtropical climate that is warm and monsoon-influenced. Its climate is affected by its position a degree south of the Tropic of Cancer, as well as the Siberian anticyclone. The influence of the nearby South China Sea means that winters tend to be mild and relatively dry and it is rare to see frost on the ground.

The summers in Shenzhen are when the monsoon season reaches its peak intensity. Temperatures can feel hot and humid but it is rare for them to be higher than 35°C in the summer, and they rarely dip below freezing during the winter months.

Shenzhen’s rainy season lasts from late September to early October and typhoons have been known to strike the city from the east during the summer months and early autumn. In the winter and the spring, Shenzhen can also have a high level of fog.

Visas for China

There are a number of types of visas for China, but the work (Z) and resident (D) visas are the ones that are the most important for foreigners moving to Shenzhen. An R visa may also be granted to an individual with high-level talents or if they have skills urgently needed in China.

Any foreign national who wishes to visit China needs to apply for a visa beforehand. Citizens of Singapore, Brunei and Japan are among those who may be exempt from needing a visa for short term visits, as long as they enter China through the border via a port open to foreigners.

Overstaying a visa is a serious crime in China and expats moving to Shenzhen should take care to make sure their official documents are always kept up to date. You can learn more about this topic in our dedicated articles on visas and residence permits for China.

Updated on: June 26, 2015
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