Do I have to register w/ the police in China within 24 hours of arrive?
September 25, 2013 11:11 PM   Subscribe

I am a student in a university in South China, but right now i am visiting friends in another provice (Changsha hunan) and staying in her apartment. I called the local police and they said I need not register.. But I always heard I have 24 hours to register with the local police upon arriving in a new place in China. FYI I just arrived here from USA, I am in pei yuan qiao kaifu-qu changsha hunan province. Do I have to register? Where do I go to register? (I'll be heading to my school in a different province where I am a resident on a 6 month student visa) Thanks. Thanks a lot
posted by crawltopslow to Law & Government (3 answers total)
Best answer: I usually register at my local police station the day after I get back from any trip abroad, but they never seem to make anything of it if I'm a day or two late (it's been weeks sometimes). That may be partly because they see a lot more foreigners in Beijing, where I am, and partly because I'm a regular at that station over the years.
Must confess I've never bothered if staying with a friend out of town for a few days even though, as you know, you technically should. Never had it backfire on me and I would expect the worst that would happen if they did come round was you having to spin a tale and look sheepish before registering remedially. Since you've called and they've said not to bother themselves would think you'll be fine.
If my stay is longer than a few days, say a week plus,I would make the trip though, just because the time spent versus potential hassle seems a reasonable trade-off.
ETA: Where you go to register if you do choose to will be the local police station (paichusuo 派出所) with responsibility for the community your friend lives in - they'll have a department that handles all the local people's ID cards and household registration (户口) issues.
posted by Abiezer at 12:09 AM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

you do have to register within 24 hours of arrival — and that every time you cross the border. you also must never overstay your visa. I strongly suggest you adhere to those rules as my coworker just got new visa application rejected because he was too lax about the second part of the requirements (he left three months too late).
posted by krautland at 6:28 AM on September 26, 2013

If you already have your visa, and do not plan to renew your visa before leaving and re-entering the country, you can probably get by without registering with the police.

When you apply for a new visa or renew your old one from inside the country, they'll want your temporary residence permit (the paper the police give you when you register). If you don't have one, you'll have to go to the police station and register. The police look at your most recent date of entry, and if it's been more than 24 hours since you arrived in the country they can assess a fine. Like Abiezer, I've gone days (sometimes weeks) without registering, and it wasn't a problem, but this is China so you never know when someone will decide to actually enforce a rule.
posted by bradf at 8:27 AM on September 26, 2013

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