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China - Apply for Chinese Temporary Residence Permit

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The organization and you are required to commence the application at the local Public Security Bureau (PSB) Exit and Entry Administration office within 30 days of your entry into the China Mainland. You should not go travelling for 29 days before you arrive at the organization and then expect it to get onto your case the next day, go there first and get things started. Apart from anything else, you need to get to know the person who will be handling your application and learn to work together and if you are new to China you need to learn the style of management and administration. Even with the best intentions on both sides, cultural differences can cause difficulties, so try to be patient.

Within 24 hours of arrival on one of these visas you should try to ensure that your organization (usually someone from its Foreign Affairs Office) creates an appointment to take you to the police station for the area you will be living in to register you as a resident in their area - this is a legal requirement. However, don't panic if the organization waits a couple of days. Ensure that you take you passport and be prepared to explain your entries and exits; the interviewing officers are usually very friendly and helpful, but in all situations be polite as the officer has considerable power over your application. The police station (actually the officer given this role) can supply an 'accommodation registration printout' when you are about to apply for the residency permit.

Persons applying for residency are required to attend for a 'physical examination', i.e. a medical, at an authorized medical centre. Again, your organization should assist you with this. The applicant is responsible for paying the examination fee and the application for the residency permit, (expect 600 to 1000 RMB for the two). Employees will often have this paid for by the employer but not always it is simply a negotiable part of the contract. Remember to fast for 12 hours before the 'physical', drink water only. The Chinese eyesight test can confuse: you will find it is based on something like the letter E. You must say or point whether it is like an E, or reversed, or has its back to the base line or its back uppermost.

Education institutions will provide students with documentation showing that the institution is accredited, that the student has been properly enrolled and has paid the fees. Employers will provide a copy of the contract of employment (in Chinese and English), evidence of their right to employ foreigners, a letter of invitation and your certificate as a 'foreign expert'. Ask the organization you are joining to seek an expiry date some weeks after the contract or study ends this saves applying for a another visa immediately and provides more time to organize an extension should you stay on for a further period. Some will agree, but not all. Of course the PSB office might not agree to you having the residency beyond the contract or study period.


Required Documents[edit]

  • Passport
  • Accommodation registration printout from the police
  • Physical examination results
  • Employment or student documentation (from your organization, as explained in the previous paragraph)
  • The fee

Office Locations & Contacts[edit]

People's Republic of China Ministry of Public Security
Address: No. 14 East Chang An Avenue,
Beijing Zip: 100741

Contacts for Municipal Public Security Bureaus of China



Conditions: 16 years of age, in the city proposed temporary period exceeding one month or intends to engage workers in the city, business and other activities in the field of Laijingrenyuan.


Explain the fees structure which is required for obtaining the certificate/document.


Explain the time until which the certificate/document is valid.
e.g. Birth Certificate Valid Forever

Documents to Use[edit]

Temporary Residence Registration Form


Sample Documents[edit]

Please attach sample completed documents that would help other people.

Processing Time[edit]

Processing the residency application itself is likely to take at least 14 days.

Related Videos[edit]

Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites.
Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation.
Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, 
sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube
width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed.
e.g In the following url "" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M". 



Depending on the condition, the matter can be handled at the municipal or county administrative departments.

Required Information[edit]

  • Full names
  • Gender
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality
  • Residence
  • Object of stay
  • Address in china
  • Date of entry
  • Identification numbers
  • Certificate no.


Need for the Document[edit]

The Temporary Residence Permit is in reality a visa by another name. It is pasted into your passport exactly like a visa and looks almost the same and permits you unlimited exit and entry during its validity

Information which might help[edit]

Processing the residency application itself is likely to take at least 14 days. If you have a very efficient organization and PSB office, it is theoretically possible to get the Temporary Residence Permit within 3 weeks or your arrival, but 6 weeks is more typical, and it can take much longer. NOTE: during this time (except when your application is being processed and your passport is with the PSB) you are permitted to exit the China mainland, but you CANNOT re-enter unless you get another visa which automatically cancels the old one. You would need the full paperwork from the employer or college to get another Z or X, essentially, start all over again. So, realistically, do not plan to travel outside the Mainland soon after you arrive. Most of the time you have your passport, so you can stay in hotels if you want to travel on the Mainland. When your permit is being processed you will not have your passport, but if you can use your Foreign Expert Certificate (a small booklet) and carry a photocopy of your passport for hotel registration.

Other uses of the Document/Certificate[edit]

Please explain what are other uses of obtaining this document/certificate.
e.g. Birth Certificate can be used as proof of identity.

External Links[edit]

Temporary residence permits

Chinese Temporary Residence Permit

Ministry of Public Security


You may be rejected for a visa or temporary residency if you have or have had certain illnesses. Serious mental disorder, infectious pulmonary tuberculosis, or other infectious disease of public health hazards are the most obvious ones. China is also less organized with facilities for those who are 'disadvantaged' and you may find that you are 'discriminated' against on that basis. This is realistic in respect of persons applying to teach, as schools and universities rarely have lifts (elevators) between floors.