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Foreign Nationals Must Register in Local Police within 24 Hours

Views:913 Time:10/12/2018 10:09:17 AM

According to the new China Immigration Law, foreigners need to register within 24 hours of arrival both in urban and rural areas.

Temporary residence registration is also a prerequisite for a residence permit.

Further, if you need to stay at hotel at the connecting city of your flight to China, please do remember to keep the hotel receipt with you.

Documents Needed

  • Valid passport containing current visa
  • Photocopy of passport main page
  • Photocopy of visa page
  • Passport Size Photo (if needed)
  • Hotel receipt of transfer city (if any)


Q1: What does the Exit-Entry Administration Law require?

"Article 39. Where foreigners stay in hotels in China, the hotels shall register their accommodation (住宿登记) in accordance with the regulations on the public security administration of the hotel industry, and submit foreigners’ accommodation registration information to the public security organs in the places where the hotels are located.”

"For foreigners who reside or stay in dwelling places (住所) other than hotels, they or the persons who accommodate them shall, within 24 hours after the foreigners’ arrival (入住) at that dwelling place, go through the registration formalities with the public security organs in the places of residence….”

Q2: What are the penalties for failure to register?

“Article 76. Under any of the following circumstances, a warning shall be given, and a fine of not more than RMB 2,000 yuan may also be imposed: ….”

“Persons concerned fail to go through registration formalities in accordance with the provisions in the second paragraph of Article 39 of this Law.”

Q3: What are the procedures for registering if you’re staying at a hotel?

The hotel will register you. When you check in, the hotel is supposed to copy your passport and then file your registration online with the public security bureau within 24 hours.

Q4: What are the procedures for registering if you’re staying some place other than a hotel?

You or the person whose home you are staying at should register with the local police station (派出所) within 24 hours of the time you arrive at that home.

You’ll need to present your original passport and copies of the ID page, visa (or residence permit or stay certificate), and PRC entry stamp. If your current passport is not the one you used to enter China, then also bring the old passport and copies of the relevant pages.

If you’re staying at another person’s home, present the host’s hukou (户口簿). If the hukou doesn’t list the address where you’re staying, the host may be required to present a lease or deed as well.

Q5: What evidence of registration will be provided to you when you register?

When you register at the local police station, you will be given a Registration Form of Temporary Residence (临时住宿登记表).

If you are staying at a hotel, you should ask for the Registration Form of Temporary Residence at the time you check in and keep the hotel receipt.

Q6: Does a person who has just obtained an extension of his or her visa, 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.


sample of registration form

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