Register at the police station in China

Register at the police station in China

In accordance with Chinese law, every foreigner must register at the police station for residence in China. In this article I will tell you where, how, and in what cases you need to do the registration in a police station.

The Chinese law says that every foreigner must register at the police station within 24 hours after crossing the border with China or after changing a place of residence.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common situations in which you have to register.

You just arrived in China and stayed at a hotel or hostel.

In this case, the hotel administration will make the registration. They will make a copy of your passport and send the data to the police. After that, they will give you a document confirming that you are registered. Make sure they really do this document for you. Some hotels and hostels do not register guests, so as not to pay taxes for them. When you are booking a hotel make sure they accept foreigners if they do you don’t need the document when staying at a hotel. Itis recommended if possible.

You rent an apartment.

Within 24 hours of signing the rental agreement, you and the owner of the apartment must go to the police station in your area and register. The list of documents that you will need will be below. The landlord doesn’t need to come as long as you have the contract but it recommended he or she  goes with you if you do no have anyone else to take you to the police station. Unless your Chinese level is high this is not something you want to do alone.

You left China or went to another Chinese city and came back.

In these cases, you must renew your registration at the same police station. If you are traveling from China to Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan, you also need to do this.

You have moved to a new place.

In this case, you will need to register in a new place, with documents from a new apartment.

You changed or renewed your visa, or you changed your passport.

In this case, you need to update the registration, because the data in your documents has changed.

You are staying in an apartment of friends.

If you are staying in a friend’s apartment, they should go to the police station with you and register you in their place. You should do the same if friends or family stay in your apartment.

Remember, you have 24 hours to register at a new place, otherwise you may be fined.

Documents you will need.

Your passport. They will take a copy of the photo page, visa page, page with the stamp of the last entry to China.

A photo on a blue background and paper about where the photo was taken.

If you lived somewhere in China before, then you will be asked for an old registration document.

Apartment rental agreement. Your copy of this document and the landlord’s copy.

Proof of ownership of an apartment or house from the landlord.

Paper from the housing community.

Copy of landlord’s ID card.

This does not apply if you are staying at a hotel or hostel. There you only need your passport.

All documents, except your passport, old registration document, your copy of apartment rental agreement and photo, usually have the landlord. So, you do not need to take care of them.

But you better take copies of all these documents, including landlord’s id card. You will need them if you will be leaving the country or city, changing your passport or visa, receive guests in your apartment. To next time go to the police station without a landlord, with all the documents and renew your registration.

The number of documents can vary from city or even from a specific police station. In some departments you just have to come and get a registration, and in some you will require a full set of documents.

Registration process

You will need to go to the police station, which belongs to the area where you rent the apartment. If you go there with the landlord, he or she will show you where it is. But, so you know, on the building of the police station in China in large white letters on a blue background it says “POLICE”, haha.

Opening hours are usually from 8-9 am to 5-6 pm. From 12 am to 2 pm lunch break.

The registration process takes about 15 minutes. They will take your passport and make copies of several pages. They will take the rest of the documents and make copies of them. Then enter your data into the form. They will let you sign this form. Be sure to check if your data is entered correctly and only then sign it. At the end you will be given a copy of the registration document.

Registration is free of charge.

Do not lose or spoil your registration documents, you may need them.

Here are a few cases where you will be asked to attach this document.

When you renew your visa, you will definitely be asked for a registration document.

Some banks require this document to make you a bank card.

The police can even stop you on the street or come to your home and demand to show registration.

Punishment for failure to comply with the registration law.

If you have not registered or updated the registration, you may be punished. The first time you are likely to get a warning. If you repeatedly break the law, they will give you a fine. The minimum fine is 500 yuan for each day you are without registration, but no more than 2,000 yuan for all time. For example, if you did not register within three days, you may be fined 1,500 yuan, but if you did not register within 30 days, you may not be fined more than 2,000 yuan.

Registration is a fairly quick and easy process. It is very easy to forget that you need to update this, for example, after returning from another city. BUT! This is a very important thing. All places where you were registered, for example, in a hotel in another city, are in the database. And if you do not update this document upon return, you may have problems.

So, when you come to another country, please follow the rules and laws of this country and then you will have no problems. When in Rome, do as the Romans do, as the saying goes.

I wish you good luck and a good experience living in China. Take care.







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