All foreigners in China need to be registered with their local PSB (Public Security Bureau, like Police station). This rule has existed for a long time, but was never enforced strictly. From July the 1st 2008, they will start to enforce the rules more strictly: with fines of up to 5000 RMB! It is strongly recommended that all expatriate personnel living in apartments in
China register with the local PSB prior to July 1st to avoid problems. Read more below for the procedure and who need to do it.
Who is affected?
Guests staying in Hotels and Serviced Apartments
Guests must be registered upon arrival with the PSB by the hotel and/or
serviced apartment management company. Usually this procedure
is automatic with input from the hotel being directly fed into the
local PSB computer at the check-in procedure, with no additional action
being required from the guest. However, daily checks are now in
operation with the PSB physically visiting hotels to request copies of
the hotels in-house guest list to make sure they match the PSB’s own
records. If they do not, the hotel / serviced apartment will be fined
RMB5,000 per missing entry. Hotel guests under these circumstances
would not be fined. However it does mean that foreigners wishing to
stay at an hotel in China must provide full passport and visa
credentials in order to check in.
Expatriate Employees Living In Private Apartments
The apartment management company should be contacting foreign tenants /
residents and requiring them to register with the local PSB. If this is
not done, both the management company and the foreigner can be fined
RMB5,000. It is important to note that this rule applies to any foreign
person living in any apartment or private dwelling - even if it is for
just for one night. If staying overnight or visiting friends in China,
registration must be carried out upon arrival with the local PSB office
responsible for the area within 24 hours of arrival.
source : china-briefing.com
How to register?
Registering is not easy, it's best to bring someone who speaks
Chinese with you and to take at least half a day off (In Futian district in Shenzhen registration of foreigners is only done during working hours on Monday
The basic steps:
- Get two passport photos ready
- Bring passport + your address and lots of other stuff (see 3)
- Get copies of your passport personal information (2x) + visa page (2x) + stamp for last entry (2x) and other documents (see the Chinese note at the bottom). For example I need 2 copies of the house contract.
to the PSB that covers your appartment building. This can already be
quite difficult to find. For example in Nanshan you have to go to a
different PSB than in Futian district.
- When you arrive at
the PSB, you probably need to ask where foreigners need to register.
Don't trust the signs, because you might wait in a queue that is not
being used anymore! In Futian for example, you need to register in a
small computer room next to the main registration room (which has a
seperate queue for foreigners - unused!)
- You first have to get the right registration form (see below)
you have to get some stamps from the local police officer + management
office from the building where you live. Without those stamps /
signatures, you just cannot register. We didn't have the form so we didn't know about these stamps, so we
had to leave the PSB without being able to register...
- (2 days later) I went back to the PSB with the stamps from the local police officer & the management office from our appartments and everything was ok! In fact, it went quite smoothly, glad i'm now registered correctly again!
Not easy at all. Previously in Nanshan we didn't have to get a stamp from the local police officer and management officer. I think the rules have changed and they now check the place of residence more strictly. People who rent need to provide a copy of the renting contract for example.
Registration form of temporary residence for visitors - Shenzhen, China
Chinese requirements - these are the detailed docs you need to bring (in my case at least)