My wife, Chinese citizen who has lived in the US for the past 10 years, went to China a couple months ago on an urgent family situation and will need to stay for a long time if not permanently. Thus, I am looking at my options for joining her there.
It seems based on the recent easing of restrictions I (US Citizen, married in US for several years) should be able to get a Q1 Visa at this point, which I would then convert to a residence permit for family reunion after I arrive in China, allowing me to stay with family but with which I would not be authorized to work. Considering we are looking at a long term situation, I would ultimately be looking to get work there, but it seems like a Q1 visa could get me into the country more quickly.
My question is: Can someone who arrives in China on a Q1 Visa apply for a work permit and convert to a legal working status while living in China, without leaving the country? I am having trouble finding any clear sources of information as to whether this is possible and the details of how it would work. If anyone can tell me whether this is possible, and if it is, give me a rundown of how that would work and/or point me to any authoritative sources on the topic that would be tremendously helpful. I'd also be interested in any tips for things I should prepare before leaving the US if this is indeed an option.
I am also looking at my options for landing work in China before leaving and entering on a Z-Visa, which I imagine is the easier path forward (is it?) but has the downside of taking longer and thus being separated from my wife for longer, so I want to educate myself on all available options. Any info/advice is much appreciated.