1. Why register?
Foreign nationals in China are required by law to register their temporary
residence with the Public Service Bureau (Chinese Police) within 24 hours.
Registration is extremely important as it is a prerequisite for almost
everything such as extending and renewing your Visa. The process is fairly
simple and should take no more than 15-30 minutes to complete.
When do you need to register?
- Hotel: Staff will register on your behalf during
check-in. It’s best to check with the receptionist.
- Serviced Apartments: They will register on your
behalf. It’s best to check with the receptionist.
- Leasing your own apartment or room: Manual
registration within 24 hours is required.
- Change your residence: If your place of residence
changes (e.g. from hotel to an apartment), registration will have to be
completed again. The
existing residence permit slip (住宿登记表) is required together with
other documentation (see step by step guide below).
- Renew or change your Visa: Registration will have
to be completed again.
Note: Business M Visa holders and tourists entering country on a
frequent basis will have to do police registration every time.
3. Step-by-step guide
To apply for the temporary residence permit you
Your passport and visa
Copy of passport page
Copy of visa page
Copy of entrance stamp on your passport
Copy of the property ownership certificate
Copy of the landlord’s ID or passport
Copy of power of attorney for the property (if
Your original lease contract
Copy of your lease contract
Note: Different Police Stations may need
different combinations of these documents and how strictly they abide by these
requirements may also vary.
Only certain police stations allow household
registration. Consult with your landlord or agency if in doubt.
In order to get served at the police station, a
ticket number is typically required. These machines are located beside the
entrance doors. Select Foreigner Household Registration (外国人临时住宿登记 ).
Once your ticket number is called, present all
listed documents to the counter. Processing usually takes between 10-15
minutes, in which successful registrations will result in obtaining a temporary
residence permit - please keep this document safe.
4. Penalty for late registration / no registration
There is no fixed penalty and consequences can
vary. The two most influencing factors will be on how long after those 24 hours
you go register and on the mood of your police officer during registration.
Common penalties include verbal/written caution, fines and even temporary
detention in extreme circumstances.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate
to contact us.