Situations expats concern most during COVID-19 in China

As the world is struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, we noticed that expats in China recently encounter many difficult situations. Below AnyHelper share with you some scenarios that expats concern most and offer you our suggestions.

HINT: As always, AnyHelper real-time Q&A system can always answer your questions every single day from 9 am to 9 pm.


China currently bans foreign nationals from entering China, do you know when the entry ban will be removed?

Unfortunately, so far there's no update on this. We believe the entry ban will last at least 1 month. We'll keep you updated once the information becomes available. For FAQs on the entry ban, click HERE.


I lost my job during the outbreak and am looking for a new job. Any suggestions on job searching during the COVID-19 period?

We did notice some expats lost their job due to the COVID-19 outbreak. That's why we give you FREE access to our online job-hunting workshop courses to hopefully help you get through this difficult period. 

We also recently launched a new job hunting website ( to make your job seeking process more efficient. Access it HERE for more openings.

You can also chat with our job advisor Joey for one-on-one consulting. Scroll to the end of the article for her contact info.


My landlord doesnt allow me to live in my own apartment. I tried booking some hotel rooms but my reservation was denied.

We recently received many complaints about this really. We thus negotiated with many local hotels in Shanghai and finally confirmed a list of affordable and expat-friendly hotels. Check the list HERE. Reserve the hotel yourself or from us with a discount.


When will my school re-open?

No confirmed opening dates for specific universities/colleges in Shanghai now, although schools across the city will begin to reopen on April 27. We'll have the info published on AnyHelper or AnyShanghai once it becomes available.

However, universities/colleges in other cities across China are gradually re-opening:

Zhejiang: Late April (More info)

Jiangsu: Start from April 13 (More info)

For other cities, please extract the code.


My visa/residence permit/work permit is about to expire and I cant enter China due to the entry restriction. What should I do?

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused many visa issues. We've compiled a list of common visa questions HERE.

Any visa questions can be directed to our visa specialist Lisa. She's available Monday to Friday from 10 am to 6 pm.


Will my employer pay me as usual during the COVID-19 outbreak? How about during my time under quarantine?

Please refer to this previous article "Law Says Full Salary Despite Coronavirus". AnyHelper also has a team of legal advisors. Scroll to the end of this article to connect with them.


I dont have a Chinese bank card? How can I get the Shanghai health QR code?

Many of you have difficulties getting the Shanghai health QR code due to failure to pass the real-name verification. Luckily, there's a universal health code that you can use across China. Learn more via the code.


I didnt leave China during the epidemic and was really amazed by how China is coping with the outbreak.

If you think China has done a great job in response to the COVID-19 epidemic, you're not the only one! Some expats shared with us their thoughts on China's efforts to stop the virus.

Scroll down to see their story.

My name is Shah Zaman Chinese name. Im from Pakistan , living in Shanghai, China.

When I heard about the virus for the first time, I thought this is just normal flu but time to time it was getting terrible. My friends suggested me to go back to home country or to any safe country and 90 % of foreigners left China in Early February including my friends but I asked myself I will stay here in Shanghai whatever conditions good or bad. I also knew that China is a very developed country and 2nd rich country by the economy so they will control this epidemic period especially in Wuhan many foreigners were Evacuated by own countries but our country didnt. Because China government gives % trust to my country and asked my country government we will care for all students from Pakistan the same as the Chinese nation. At that time many neighbor countries students argue with my country students and give them panic but they stay strong, and Chinese nations stand hard, committed and worked hard day by day to overcome this issue.

China Pakistan is brother countries and very close friends from last 70 years. Pakistan was the first country to send all available mask medical equipment to Wuhan by medical cargo during the epidemic. Only 2 Pakistan worked in Wuhan during the epidemic period.

My Chinese colleagues friends worried about me and government really care me at epidemic time. I felt so safe, So I proudly say China is my second hometown.

I really appreciate China and Chinese people for everything they did for me.

As a Pakistan nationality, I want to say that all Chinese people are welcomed in Pakistan for traveling, now Pakistan is world number 1 traveling destination and the capital Islamabad is the second most beautiful city in the world. Pakistani are very hospitable people and when they see Chinese people they respect so much and give everything free not take any penny! I insure you this 100 %.

Pakistan China friendship forever our friends the same and our enemies the same.                                               

Love Respect and care to all my Chinese friends!

Best regards,

Dr. Shah

My name is Simo MH. I'm from Morocco, living in Yiwu,  Zhejiang, China. 

When I heard about the virus for the first time, I did not take it seriously. But day by day the situation became worse, especially in Wuhan. My thinking started to change and start to think about should I stay or go back to my country.

What I saw and how Chinese people took action facing the virus made me feel safer than any other place in this world, so I decided to stay in China.

The government and the country really did a great job keeping Chinese and expats safe. I felt like I'm part of the country and not a foreigner. 

It touched me so much that even my Chinese friends were worried about me. Every time I got messages from the Chinese government asking me to stay and be careful during the epidemic period, I felt that the country took responsibility for me and for all other foreigners when even my own country wasn't doing that.

China as a country kept us safe and treated us like their own people. I was proud to have this experience here in China.

I want to thank both the country and the people here in China for keeping us safe. You are the best!

As a Moroccan nationality, I want to say that all Chinese people are welcomed in Morocco. We are very nice people and we always welcome you! 

Thank you again!


Hi Anna. I read you feature on Simo. I am from Vancouver, Canada (Chinese heritage), and my husband and I moved here just before Chinese New Year. We, too, are extremely grateful for how the government took actions to keep their citizens safe. We had been asked several times by a couple agencies if we wanted to return home. We said no every single time. We felt very safe. Just wanted to share that with your readers.

If you want to share with us your story, leave a comment or connect with Anna!


I have more COVID-19 related questions, can you help me?

For Shanghai:

  • Call 962288. It's a 24-hour English service hotline that's also available in French, Japanese, German, Russian, Spanish and Arabic. You can ask epidemic-related details, including quarantine rules. More info HERE.

For other cities:

  • Phone hotline: Click HERE for hotlines in different regions across China.

  • WeChat hotline: Access AnyHelper real-time Q&A system via our menu.

Have you recently experienced any difficult situations in China? Share with us in the comments below!

You might also like 

A smarter way to find jobs in China

How to find an expat-friendly hotel during COVID-19?

Q&As on COVID-19 prevention and control

Chinas latest entry ban: What you need to know

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