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Chinese Criminal Record Check Procedure

 
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Spatula City



Joined: 28 Jul 2015
Posts: 71

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:55 am    Post subject: Chinese Criminal Record Check Procedure Reply with quote

I replied to a different thread with this, but thought it might be useful to create a new thread as it's pretty complicated and endlessly irritating to go through this (I'm now about to go through it a third time). This forum is a ghost town but if someone is looking for answers one day they might appreciate this story. I think most cities don't require a Chinese Criminal Check, but I needed one.. and schools are way less helpful when you are leaving than when you're starting, so you'll probably have to do this alone.

This is also possibly the most frustrating part of any visa process I have ever gone through in 7 different countries and 16 years of teaching abroad. Every step of the way the rules are uncertain, even your handlers won't necessarily understand it, and every place you go to takes what they need without giving it back, meaning if you or someone else makes a mistake at any stage in this complicated process, you have to do it all over again (UNLESS YOU TAKE PHOTOS). Also, the immigration people in the city to which you're moving will not provide an example of what they want before you submit your visa transfer application... so try to be as thorough as you possibly can.

Here goes:


0. TAKE PHOTOS OF EVERYTHING. At each stage they will take what they need and you will not get it back. Taking photos means if something goes wrong, you can use the photos to skip steps later on... and if your Chinese isn't great they will help you explain what you need later. They won't actually accept the photos, but you can use the camscanner app to turn them into scans and they'll accept printouts of the scans.

1. AT YOUR SCHOOL: get a reference letter regarding your behavior at school. You also need a copy of the school's business license and school-stamped copies of your passport and residence permits. You also need another reference letter addressed to the notary public you need to see in step 4, and it's best to get it now. Take photos of everything (or get extra copies) just in case... because if you're like me, your visa transfer/residence permit expiry might overlap with their vacation.

2. AT IMMIGRATION: Go to the closest exit-entry/immigration office. Bring your passport. Give them the first reference letter, business license and stamped copies of your passport and residence permits. They should give you a piece of paper authorizing you to obtain a police check from the appropriate police station. They will not return anything you give them, so you're locked in now. DEFINITELY take a photo of the paper they give you... that photo is what saved me a lot of grief after my second failed attempt, because the next step is where I got tripped up both times.

3.AT YOUR LOCAL POLICE STATION WITH A FOREIGN AFFAIRS OFFICE: Now you need to go to a police station, but you can't just go to a random police station. It has to be a special one that can deal with foreigners, will accept the paper from immigration and deals with the area in which you live. There won't be a sign outside or any indication it can do this before you go in, so ask at your school or at another police station (I did this my first time). After you find it, go there and show them the paper from immigration. They will take this and give you a new piece of paper. You MUST insist on the new paper having the same information as the paper from immigration, including the date you arrived in your current city to the present... otherwise, it could be useless (discovered this on my second attempt). On my third attempt, they just added a date by typing it onto the form template on their computer... so it doesn't seem to be a big deal to do it. But all relevant information needs to be on there because the notary public can't put the info on the notarization if it's not on the form from the police station, and immigration in your new city won't accept the notarization without the necessary information on it. Again, the police will also take the paper from immigration and not return it... so if they screw it up (you might not realize this if you can't read basic Chinese or can't get verification from someone) you need to go back to Step 1, unless you took a photo at the end of step 2. The paper from the police also expires after 15 days, so you can't put the next step off and you probably should do it close to the time of your application.

This step is probably where a screwup is most likely to occur because it's not always common for these officers to do this procedure and they might not know how to do it properly or according to the demands of your new city's immigration board, so really check the form before you leave and don't settle for anything that doesn't cover all the info you need. Your new employer might also not know if it's good (mine didn't catch either of the mistakes that were made), so ask to compare the police form with the one from immigration to make sure they're basically identical... even if you're in a hurry like I was. It should have your name, address, passport number, and have the date you arrived in your province up to 今... stamps and also today's date. If you have to go back later because of a mistake, then in my case at least, using the camscanner app to turn the photos of the immigration paper and the useless police station paper from attempt 2 into scans, printing them out, and taking them to the police station was acceptable when I went back a third time. They kept both scans instead of requiring another paper from immigration.

4. AT A NOTARY PUBLIC: Take that piece of paper from the police station and the second letter from your school to a notary public. On my first try neither I nor the administration girl at my new school realized that this step was even necessary, but it is. As far as I know, the notarization will also not expire like the form from the police station. I had to pay 150RMB for the notarization (twice because of the police station's mistake during the second attempt). And again, they will take the letter and paper from the police station and not give it back... so take photos. Like everyone else, the notary public also wont know what immigration officers in your new city require, so won't know if there's a mistake somewhere. Any mistake at this stage or any previous stage means you just lost 150RMB that you'll have to pay again. As an added bonus, maybe you'll learn about the rejection after your current school's administration has left for the vacation, and you also won't be able to get the initial documents anymore. SO TAKE PHOTOS AT EVERY STEP. My final version was a booklet with a red stamp, blue signature and impressed seal with all relevant information on it.

Anyways, after two unsuccessful attempts and one that seems likely to succeed, this is what I have learned... and hopefully you don't also learn the hard way. I really hope that my third attempt will be a success, and that your first one will be. Everyone involved in it, including my new school, was totally in shock about how annoying and complicated it is.

GOOD LUCK


Last edited by Spatula City on Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:10 am; edited 15 times in total
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rioux



Joined: 26 Apr 2012
Posts: 877

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi SC,

If your third attempt is not successful (I hope it will be) how many more times will you attempt doing this? It must be really frustrating.
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Spatula City



Joined: 28 Jul 2015
Posts: 71

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rioux wrote:
Hi SC,

If your third attempt is not successful (I hope it will be) how many more times will you attempt doing this? It must be really frustrating.


Thanks haha... yes, it's insane. Most cities don't ask for a Chinese criminal background check and I think it might even be a new requirement for my new city, so there is uncertainty. And then there's the fact it only lasts 15 days so you can only get it near the end of your whole visa application process and might only learn you made a mistake after it expires.

My new school sent a scan of the new notarization to immigration in my new city and it finally got the thumbs up, so unless there's some other issue with something else, it should be ok this time. But yes, several instances of murderous rage were endured along the way.
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nimadecaomei



Joined: 22 Sep 2016
Posts: 604

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have known people who needed them when going to a new job out of country, but not in country, so it does seem like a new thing. Anytime you ask about it though the first answer is always, "we do not do that for foreigners." Thanks for the breakdown of your process, hopefully it is successful and hopefully I never have to do it Very Happy
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Spatula City



Joined: 28 Jul 2015
Posts: 71

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nimadecaomei wrote:
I have known people who needed them when going to a new job out of country, but not in country, so it does seem like a new thing. Anytime you ask about it though the first answer is always, "we do not do that for foreigners." Thanks for the breakdown of your process, hopefully it is successful and hopefully I never have to do it Very Happy


I would imagine it's because they either didn't know how the process works, or went to a police station that didn't have a foreign affairs department. One big plus about living in a smaller city is that people are actually helpful and will actually take the time to tell you what to do and where to go.

I doubt overseas places really know what a Chinese police check looks like... that might be the difference. Also I'm going to a fairly popular city, so this might be a more common thing in the future.
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