Police Registration in China

March 2, 2018
Angelina Lee
Police Registration

According to the China Immigration Law, every foreigner must do police registration within 24 hours of arrival, better on the same date that you enter China .

If you are staying at a hotel, the staff will take care of this registration for you. In other cases, you have to take care of this registration yourself. In order to do so, head to your nearest police station and don’t worry! this is quite a simple, yet very important process, so let us help you run it smoothly!


Necessary Documents


*Passport ( We recommend you photocopy the page with your personal details and the page with the entry stamp)

*Residence Permit 居住证明 ( The property management office or the services apartment reception will provide yo with this document)

*Leasing Agreement 租赁合同 (Housing contract) signed by both party

*Copy Landlord’s ID and Phone Number (management will provide)


Police Registration Police Registration

Make a copy of the photo page on the passport. Other documents to be photocopied include a valid, or most recently expired visa and the page which has the most recent entry stamp into Chinese territory.

If language is a concern, bringing the landlord or property owner to the police station when registering can be helpful. Some of the Public Safety Bureaus require either a current rental agreement or a copy of the landlord’s ID card. Other PSB’s may need the property owner’s ID and current tax records. It is best to find out what is required before attempting to register.

Be prepared to answer any questions pertaining to the current visit to China.

If the police are satisfied that all the documentation is current and in order, the “Registration Form of Temporary Residence” will be issued. It is important that all information is correct. Any inconsistencies could result in serious problems.


Police Registration


Have a phone number ready to supply to the police

If language is a concern, then the using the landlord’s number will ensure that any phone calls that the police may place will be answered correctly. The Chinese polices sometime do call, and especially during security concerns. For this reason, it is vital that the calls can be properly understood.

Once the registration card is issued, it is best to attach the form to the passport. Chinese law does require that all foreigners carry both documents at all times when in China. It is important to at least carry photocopies of both documents to show that the law is being complied with.


Police Registration


It is always a good idea to make photocopies of all your necessary travel documents in case they are lost or stolen. If the registration form is lost, foreigners must return to the local police station to request a duplicate. It is important to do this before the visa expires or it will not be possible to renew the visa while on the Chinese mainland.

Registering with the Public Safety Bureau in China is an important and necessary step to take when traveling to China. As previously stated, visitors staying in hotels or in college dorms are not required since these businesses automatically process the forms for their guests. Others who do not register within 24 hours face not only fines but also deportation.

For those people who has residence permit now, every time you leave China and re-enter, you have to re-register. If you live in a serviced apartment, the reception will do it for you, but if you live in a  house that belongs to individual landlord, you have to do it on your own.


Police Registration


If you’re travelling around and staying at hotels, the procedure is taken care of by the hotel itself when you register with them. However, stay with a friend and things become more complicated. You will require proof of your host’s own residence, his or her identity card, your passport, perhaps a photograph, perhaps further documentation beyond even these.

To make things still more interesting, it’s rare that the one place you can register, (there usually is only one place in any town you may visit), is anywhere obvious or readily accessible. It is likely to be lost up some back street miles from the center, and finding it is unlikely to be easy.

The best thing to do is to make a reasonable effort to get the job done within 24 hours, particularly if you’re going to be staying in that place for any length of time. That may require some preliminary research on your part. If possible, try to locate the PSB (Public Security Bureau) office where you must register in advance. Bring a Chinese-speaking companion with you. If you can’t register within 24 hours, be prepared to apologise profusely for not having done so and to demonstrate that you have indeed made an effort.


Does a person who has just obtained an extension of his or her visa, stay certificate, or residence permit need to re-register?

The Exit-Entry Administration Law is silent on this, but the best practice is to re-register. Some local governments (e.g., Fujian Province and Fengtai District in Beijing) explicitly require it. Besides, when you’ll go to extend your visa, stay certificate, or residence permit again, you’ll need a current Registration Form of Temporary Residence at that time.

Again, please remember that this is not necessary if you are staying in a hotel. The problem only arises should you spend time in a private residency.

Notice: If you register yourself too late, maybe the police will charge you fine. Please notice as the regulation, the fine is from minimum warning up to maximum 2,000 RMB.


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Tagged in:Expat Tips, General

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