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Residence Registration: My Experience

I recently went through the process of registering my residence.

In my case (Gangxia area) it was pretty simple.

WARNING: This was the procedure in my area. Yours may differ. Taking along a Chinese-speaking friend is advised. You may also want to be prepared to return home for something not on this list.

1. Ask your building management which police station to go to. It shouldn't be too far beyond walking distance, since it's the station for your area.

2. When you arrive, look for a separate door, or at least a window in the main office, that says something like "Residence Registration." It should be prominent, as ALL residents, Chinese included, have to register their domiciles.

3. Take along:
--Your passport
--a photocopy of your passport's ID page and visa page
--2 2"x2" passport photos
--an "original copy" (not a photocopy--probably a pink carbon copy) of your lease

4. There's a form to fill in. Mine was bilingual (Chinese/English) and I could have done it myself. (But I had a Chinese speaker helping me.)

5. They will give you a typed version of the form you filled in. Check it carefully. Mine had a few typos.

6. When it's finished, you get one copy of the stamped form, with your picture attached. They keep the other. Keep this in a safe place for the day when they knock on your apartment door and ask for it.

There was no fee. I didn't have my lease with me, so I had to return home to get it. If I hadn't, the whole thing would have taken less than 30 minutes (only one person in front of me in line). Look for a number system, and take a number as soon as you enter, even before filling in the form.

It was that easy. One caveat: Whatever visa you show, its expiration date will be the term of your registration. Ironically, I was trying to beat the July 1st deadline, but my visa expires June 30. So I'll have to do this again when I get back with my new visa.

Also, I'm not sure, but I suspect this will only work with a Z visa. Business and Tourist visa holders should be staying in hotels or with relatives, NOT holding leases. if anyone knows otherwise, please post a reply!

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Comment by James Baquet on September 15, 2010 at 4:35pm
I was changing cities (from Yangzhou to Shenzhen), so I was "reset" as far as the PSB was concerned. Even so, I know people who were processed like newcomers when they changed companies (and therefore visa sponsors) within the same city. It seems that living here doesn't gain you any preference in the visa shuffle, only continuing to feed at the same trough.
Comment by James Baquet on September 15, 2010 at 11:06am
Wow, what a pain! This was over two years ago, before the Olympics. Oddly, two days after this post, I had to leave the country and couldn't get back in for EIGHT WEEKS due to the impending Olympics (and the fact that I was getting a "new" visa because I was changing jobs). I now live in the dormitory of the school where I work, and this is all done as part of the visa process, so it's not a problem any more. I also think (guess) that the residence-checkers bypass places like this, as I've lived in this dorm off and on for five of the last six years and never seen a police officer at my door.
Comment by David Bruns on September 15, 2010 at 12:52am
haha wow you're seems lucky.

I live in Luohu near Diwang, and it's changed every time I've gone to register.
I needed
passport and copy
copy of visa AND copy of the most recent entrance
picture
a special lease that I had to coordinate with my landlord issued by the tax authorities ( a true pain)
and this time-
They also wanted my landlord's id (copy)
and another form

I also actually find that it's best to not have everything with you (even if you know you need it). I came in with everything last time and they added the last 2 items. I swear it could be they just think they look bad if (perish the thought) I listened to them and prepared accordingly I've had no problems with tourist or Z, and will register my business visa soon. You just have to re-register after your days are up (ie 30 days per stay have to re-register in a month)
Comment by Thijs on June 29, 2008 at 9:48am
Hi, I wrote about my experience a couple of days ago as well: Temporary Residence Registration Shenzhen Futian. On my website you can also download the registration form. This can save others an extra round-trip to the PSB.

I own an appartment (not rent) so the procedure was a bit different - I needed to bring ownership proof + stamps from the management building. I also needed a stamp from the local police officer (who was not in the PSB but in the street where I live).
Comment by James Baquet on June 28, 2008 at 12:39pm
Thanks Jimi.

Yes, in fact, the form I filled in asked for most recent entry (stamp after a HK visit), NOT when I moved here, rented the apartment, etc. So I can sorta see the logic.

And the typed form given to me shows that date ("date of entry") and the date I applied for the registration ("Date of check in"). So I suppose if and when the "boys in blue" come to the door, they'll ask to see my passport, look for latest stamp, and compare it to the form.

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