Registration is required within 24 hours for all travelers entering Beijing. If you initially stay in a hotel, they will automatically register you when you check in. If you are living with friends, they are technically supposed to take you to the nearest PSB to register your residency. You are supposed to register every time you enter and re-enter Beijing, even if you have been on a short vacation outside of the country while living in Beijing. However, this rule, as with many other “red tape” rules in China, are rarely enforced. Often times, visitors staying with friends for a short visit will not encounter any hassle if they do not register. It only becomes necessary when you need documentation for visa extensions, or traveling in and out of the country, etc.
The Z and X Visas, which require registering for a Temporary Residence Permit within 30 days of entry, is another registration matter. The Temporary Residence Permit acts like a visa, allowing for unlimited entries and exits. It is pasted into your passport like a visa. If you are arrive on one of the Z or X Visas, it means you are working for an accredited employer or attending an academic institution accredited for running courses for foreigners. Your employer or school will know the system and help organize the application for Temporary Residency although they will need your cooperation for documents.
Registering for the Temporary Residence Permit starts at the local PSB Exit and Entry Administration office*. You should start the process immediately upon arrival. Persons applying for residency are required to attend a health examination at the Exit & Entry Inspection & Quarantine Bureau which your sponsoring organization/employer will direct you to. A health exam result report is then generated, which you will need for registration purposes. In order to register for the Temporary Residence Permit, gather these documents together and visit your nearest PSB, no appointment required. You can also call the PSB hotline to ask for the nearest location: 86 – 10 – 8402 0101. It would be best to bring a Chinese speaker along, in case there are any questions about your documents:
- Your company’s or education institution’s accreditation/license
- A letter of invitation and your certificate as a foreigner issued by the sponsoring organization
- The health exam result report
- The accommodation registration printout from the PSB or hotel
- Your passport
- The application fee
Processing of the Temporary Residence Permit application will take about 2 weeks or less.
*Exit & Entry Administration of the Public Security Bureau: 2 Andingmen Dangdajie (by Xiaojie Qiao), Dongcheng District (8402 0101 8401 5294). Mon-Sat 8.30am-4:30pm.
Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau: http://www.bjgaj.gov.cn/eng/