Residence Registration

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.

China Residence Permit

Foreigners without residence permit or on a study program in China cannot be employed in China. Foreigners who are employed to work in Nanshan District (including those who invest in a company or factory, standing representatives, scientific or technological experts, engineering, cultural or educational specialists, etc.) shall, within 30 days of their entry, apply to Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Labor and Social Security for an Alien Employment License, which will lead to an Alien Employment Permit upon approval of residence qualification, or apply to Shenzhen Administration Bureau of Foreign Experts Affairs for a Foreign Experts Certificate. Then, together with their Health Examination Certificate (issued by Shenzhen Kou An Hospital) and Registration Form of Temporary Residence for Visitors, they may apply for a Residence Permit to Nanshan Public Security Branch and Shenzhen Municipal Public Security Bureau (as specified in No. 3).

Register Your Residence In Shenzhen

Aliens who fail to register accommodation or report such registration to police may be served a warning or fined 50─500 yuan.

Remember to Annually Register Your Residence Permit In Shenzhen

Holders of residence permits in Nanshan District shall submit their permits for annual examination between 15 May and 15 June each year. Offenders may be served a warning or fined up to 500 yuan and may be ordered to leave China.

Register Changes To Your Residence In Shenzhen Immediately

Aliens who fail to register major changes in their residence permits within 10 days may be served a warning or fined up to 500 yuan and may be ordered to leave China.

China Residence Permit Annual Examination

Between 15 May and 15 June each year, foreigners residing in Nanshan District and holding Residence Permit issued by Shenzhen Municipal Public Security Bureau shall submit their passports and Residence Permits for annual examination to the Entry-Exit Administration Section of Nanshan Public Security Bureau.

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 – Friday).

The basic steps:

  1. Get two passport photos ready
  2. Bring passport + your address and lots of other stuff (see 3)
  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.
  4. Go to the PSB that covers your apartment 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.
  5. 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 separate queue for foreigners – unused!)
  6. You first have to get the right registration form (see below)
  7. Possibly 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…
  8. (2 days later) I went back to the PSB with the stamps from the local police officer & the management office from our apartments 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. for instance, people who rent need to provide a copy of the renting contract.

Registration Form




middle name



1-inch full-faced  picture


given name


Chinese name

男male □    女female □ 出生日期date of birth
肤色skin color 白white□  黄yellow□  棕brown□  黑black□

educational level

博士doctor □ 硕士post-graduate □  本科university □

专科junior college □ 职业学校vocational school □ 高中senior high school □

初中junior high school □ 小学primary school □ 学龄前preschool □


marital status

未婚single □ 已婚married □ 离婚divorced □ 分居separated □

鳏居widowed □

入境所持证件type of entry certificate 号码number
有效期至valid until 签发地place of issue
入境日期date of entry 入境口岸port of entry

object of stay

投资investment □ 就业employment □ 学习/实习/培训 study/practice/training □ 学术或科技交流academic/technical exchange □ 商务business □ 演出performance □ 探亲访友visiting □ 旅游touring □ 购房置业purchase of real estate □ 治病疗养medical treatment □ 其他other □


type of visa

F□ L□ G□ C□ J-2□ Z□

X□ J-1□ 居留许可residence

permit □ 其他other □

可入境次数permitted entries 零次zero□ 一次one□



签证(注)号码visa/permit number 签发地place of issue
有效期至 expires on Y    M    D 在华身份occupation in China
国(境)外常住地址permanent address in home country
迁来前住处 previous address before moving in



区       街道/路         小区        期      座     楼     号      district    street/road     neighborhood  phase  building  floor  number
上述地址固定电话wire phone number of the above address
本人在深手机及电子邮件地址 your mobile

phone number in Shenzhen & email address




date of moving in

年Y  月M  日D 拟居住至何日期to stay until 年Y   月M   日D
住所类别type of place of residence 亲友家中owned by relatives or friends□ 单位内部owned by organization□  租赁房屋rented□ 自购房self-owned□ 宾馆酒店hotel□


是否物业小区Is there a housing management office for the place of residence ? 是yes□ 否no□
同住人数 mode of living (number of roommates) 单独居住 alone □ 家庭居住 with your own family □ 合伙居住sharing with partner(s) □ 集体居住 in group as in dormitory □
屋主/留宿人house owner/host 姓名name 电话Tel.
工作单位或住址address or organization of employment
证件类型type of certificate 号码No.
接待单位、就职或学习单位情况host organization, organization of employment or study
联系人contact person 电话Tel.
填表人签名He who

fills the form sign here

住宿人签名及日期signature & date of lodger/resident
变更情况登记(警务人员录入) Registration of Changes (by police staff only)


1、种类 签发地 2、种类 签发地 3、种类 签发地 4、种类 签发地
变更后有效期至 年  月  日 年  月  日 年  月  日 年  月  日
居留许可/签证注销情况 种类:           号码:             注销时间:

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