As you may know if you have already been living in China, foreigners as well as residents from Hong-Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, need to register to the police station within 24 hours after their arrival on the territory. For people staying at the hotel, the latter will take care of the process on their behalf. Registering might also be required when one re-enters the country, changes address or passport number (depending if one is under a visa or a resident permit).
The Usual Process
This mandatory registration step would require you to go in person to the police station and provide your passport, copies of the ID page, of your visa or resident permit, and of your latest entry stamp. If you are staying at your own home, you would also have to provide a lease or deed proving that you are actually staying at the mentioned address. In the case of living in someone else’s place, you would have to present the latter’s hukou (户口簿)or his/her lease or deed.
If not registered within the regulatory 24h, one might have to pay a fine which ranges from RMB 0 (as a warning) up to RMB 2,000. -
For many foreigners, this process appeared not very convenient, especially after hours of traveling.
The New Online Application Process
Starting October 25th 2019, a new process has come into effect which spares Shanghai foreign residents having to go in person to the Police Station to register.
How To Apply Online?
- You can either go to the dedicated website or scan the following QR Code:
The form is available in both English and Mandarin and is rather convenient to fill up with a user-friendly interface.
- The documents and information you will need to provide are:
Your email address;
Your address in Shanghai;
Photo of the ID page of your passport;
Your arrival and departure dates.
Unlike when you are registering in person at the police station, you do not need to provide your lease or deed to prove your address.
- The system will process your application and you will receive a confirmation email within a few minutes.
Once you have received it, you can go back on the website, and choose between downloading the pdf file of your Registration Form of Temporary Residence, receiving it by email, or sharing the pdf.
Conveniently enough, the application stores the history of your previous registrations.
A Bit Of Background: Why Has This System Been Implemented In Shanghai?
Shanghai is the first city in China to benefit from such a system, but why is it so?
It was actually intended to make the life of foreigners attending the CIIE easier. Many of the latter, because of the massive affluence the city experiences during this period, did not reside in a hotel (which would have taken care of the registration on their behalf), and many did not have enough time to go to the police station as they were in Shanghai only for a small amount of time.
In addition of the Entry Exit Bureau having a venue at the Expo where foreigners could register, the app has thus been developed to solve this issue.