An often-overlooked item that may be required when changing jobs is your criminal record covering the time you were living in China. Most of us will have had to deal with obtaining a criminal record check from our own countries when going through the Chinese work visa process, but a lot will forget that the Chinese criminal record check may also be required.
This article quickly explains how you can obtain your Chinese criminal record certificate in China and, for those who have already left, how to obtain it if you aren’t in the China anymore.
Obtaining a Criminal Record Certificate in ChinaPolice will provide a certificate to anyone holding a Work (Z), Student (X) or Journalist (J1) visa. Holders of other visa type can apply, but the process may be slightly different.
The process is relatively simple. First, you need to go to your local Public Notary Office (this is not necessarily at the same location as the Public Security Bureau) with the following necessary documents:
- Passport (containing Chinese visa)
- Passport copy
- Passport photos
- Residence Permit
- Work Permit
- A letter from your school or employer which confirms your employment
- Your employment contract
- The application fee (currently 80RMB, but is subject to change)
With these documents ready, you simply submit an application, along with payment, and your certificate will be produced. Normally it takes about a month to process.
This service is offered to Chinese nationals and foreigners alike, so there’s a strong chance that most of the process will be done in Chinese, rather than having any helpful English guidance at any point. You may want to take a Chinese friend along to help out.
ShanghaiIn Shanghai’s district (including Shanghai Municipality and the provinces of Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang), the local Notary Public is responsible for issuing such a certificate.
Shenzhen and GuangzhouIn Guangzhou and Shenzhen, the local Notary Public is responsible for issuing such a certificate.
ChongqingIn Chongqing’s district (including Chongqing Municipality and provinces Guizhou, Sichuan and Yunnan), the nearest police station (to be visited first) and the local notary public are both responsible for issuing such a certificate.
BeijingIn Beijing you could reach out to a company called Shuang Xiong which offers this service for current or former residents of Beijing; it takes approximately 6 working days, and two copies are issued - one each Mandarin and English.
ChengduIn Chengdu, the Notary Public Office is responsible for issuing such a certificate. In Chinese: 四川省成都市成都公证处 - (5 minutes walk from Line 1 - Luo Ma Shi metro stop).
Once the certificate is ready, you may want to have it translated.
Translating the Certificate into Another Language
You can have the certificate translated at the Public Notary Office. To do this, you need to provide the following:
- Your original Chinese criminal record certificate
- Your passport (containing visa and residence permit)
With these documents, your certificate will be translated.
Obtaining a Criminal Record Certificate from Outside China
You can authorise another person to obtain the certificate on your behalf from within China. They simply need to go to the Public Notary Office with the following:
- Chinese ID Card
- A signed authorisation letter from you.
This can be a printed letter, with your signature in pen, which you then scan and email to the person in China who you have authorised to act on your behalf. With this extra step complete, the rest of the process is the same as normal.
Obtaining a criminal record clearance certificate in China is an easy task which a lot of people forget about. If you do end up needing that certificate, you know what to do!