Being in China: Foreigners in Shanghai can now complete temporary residence registration online

The Exit-Entry Administration Law of the People’s Republic of China, Article 39, requires foreign nationals and persons from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, who reside or stay in domiciles other than hotels to register with the public security bureau (PSB—the police) within 24 hours of arrival.

Previously, overseas people coming to China long had to carry out registration of their residence in-person at the local public PSB, the exception being those staying in hotels (see below). However, as of 25 October, for those arriving and staying in Shanghai, this process has can now be completed online.

The new online registration process can be carried out via the “Self-Help Declaration System For Overseas Personnel’s Accommodation Registration” by going to or scanning the below code:

To complete the process, you’ll need to sign up with your e-mail address, upload a picture of your passport ID pages and give your address in Shanghai, along with your entry and exit dates. An SMS message will confirm receipt of the digital registration form.

For those staying hotels in Shanghai, the hotel will carry out the process of registering you when you check-in by making a copy of your passport and then filing your registration online with the PSB within 24 hours.

Those failing to register will be at risk for penalty under Exit-Entry Administration Law, Article 76, which may include a warning or a fine of not more than RMB 2,000 yuan.

To date, Shanghai is the first city in China to introduce online residence registration using Chinese and English language forms. It is reported that the system stands to benefit some 500,000 people a year, according to official estimates.

For more information about entering or exiting China or other related matters, send us an email at and we’ll have a Horizons professional contact you.

Horizons Corporate Advisory helps clients solve complex problems, thrive and be inherently responsible in their business activities worldwide. The countries we operate in include Belarus, Belgium, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Ecuador, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Lichtenstein, Luxemburg, Macau, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia, The Netherlands, Nigeria, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland (French and German-speaking cantons), Turkey, United Kingdom (England and Wales) and the United States of America.

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