Shanghai Residence Permit: application, alteration and FAQs
Foreigners who plan to stay in China more than 30 days need to apply for the residence permit. How can they apply? Please look at the follows:
Who can apply?
1. Foreigners who work in Shanghai
2. Foreigners journalists who are sent to be based in Shanghai
3. Foreigners who come to Shanghai for commercial performances
1. Completed “Visa and Residence Permit Application Form for Foreigners” along with one recent full-faced 2-inch-size photo;
2. Original registered residence proof (issued by hotel or police station);
3. Valid passport and visa original;
4. “Health Certificate” issued by Shanghai Exit-Entry Inspection and Quarantine Bureau (15 Jinbang Rd, Changning District)
5. Official application letter from the employer of the applicant;
6. The original duplicate of the employer’s business license, the original approval certificates of the employer’s enterprise and the original organization code certificate, and their photocopies;
7. General managers and the personnel below should submit the employment permit and employment registration form; vice-presidents should submit the identification proof issued by Shanghai Foreign Economic and Trade Commission; Foreign experts should submit the Foreign Expert Certificate; Foreign journalists should submit the Journalist Certificate; Foreign performers should submit the performance proofs issued by Ministry of Culture or Shanghai Cultural Affairs Bureau; offshore workers should submit the Offshore Oil Operations Permit.
(Attention: all the proofs must be the original version)
How long to get the residence permit?
Age from 18 to 70-year-old foreigners who apply for the first time must do it personally, otherwise the employers or relatives can do it on behalf of them. With all the documents provided, the approval will be given within five working days.
Shanghai Entry-Exit Administration (1500 Minsheng Rd, Pudong New Area)
Monday to Friday 9am-5pm (except national holidays)
Tel: 021-2895 1900
Obtaining a visa quickly
Some foreigners in China need to apply for visas very quickly. How can they apply? Please look at the follows:
Get a visa quicker in event of an emergency.
Who can apply?
1. A member of a foreign visiting group who needs to break away from the group visa and get an individual visa to return to home country;
2. Foreign sailors who want to apply for transit visas;
3. Foreigners who have lost their passports and need to apply for new visas;
4. Foreigners with other urgent cases who need to apply for visas.
1. Fill out an emergency application form;
2. Documents to prove the situation is urgent;
3. Other documents required for foreigner’s visa;
Note: The quick service is charged the same as the normal price and no extra fee is levied.
When can I get the visa?
1. For urgent applications, with all the documents provided, the visa will be issued in one-and-a-half working days.
2. For very urgent applications, with all the documents provided, the visa will be issued in half a working day.
Shanghai Entry-Exit Administration (1500 Minsheng Rd, Pudong New Area)
Monday to Saturday 9am-5pm (except national holidays)
How does a foreigner get his/her residence permit altered?
Some residence permit holders may move house or have job-hopping during their stay in China. In these cases, they need to alter their residence permits.
Who can apply?
If a residence permit holder’s purpose of residence, passport number or family dependents has changed, the residence permit holder should apply for a new residence permit within 10 days.
If a residence permit holder’s information such as address, school or college, or working unit changes, the holder should apply for an alteration within 10 days.
If the holder of residence permit moves from one city to another, either city’s entry-exit authorities can receive the application.
1. Visa and completed “Visa and Residence Permit Application Form for Foreigners” along with one full-faced 2-inch-size photo;
2. Valid passport and residence permit original;
3. Official application letter from the school, college or employer of the applicant;
4. The original duplicate of the employer’s business license, the original approval certificates of the employer’s enterprise and the original organization code certificate, and their photocopies.
5. Original registered residence proof (issued by hotel or police station).
6. Related documents:
(1) Application for the change of passport number should also submit the previous passport.
(2) Application for the change of address has to submit the proof of the new registered residence (issued by hotel or police station).
(3) An applicant who changes employers has to submit the original duplicate of the employer’s business license, the original approval certificates of the employer’s enterprise and the original organization code certificate, and their photocopies, as well as the originals of employment permit, expert certificate or press card.
(4) An applicant who changes schools should submit form JW201 or JW202 and the original letter of admission from the new school.
(5) An applicant who moves out of or moves into the city should submit an application letter either from the previous or the new employer’s.
When can I get the permit?
With all the documents provided, the approval will be given within five working days.
Shanghai Entry-Exit Administration, 1500 Minsheng Rd, Pudong New Area Office
Monday to Saturday, 9am-5pm (except national holidays)
Q&A on foreigners and family members’ application for residence permits
Q: What is required for foreigners coming to work in Shanghai when they apply for one-year residence permit?
A: Foreigners coming to Shanghai to take a position or land a job, to be a long-term journalist or to stage profitable cultural performance can apply for one-year residence permit. Their accompanying spouses, children under 18 and parents can apply for the same length of residence permit. Those applying for residence permits valid for two years or more can seek advice from the Shanghai Municipal Entry-Exit Administration.
Q: What paperwork is required for the main applicant when applying for a one-year residence permit?
A: 1. A completed form of “Application for Foreigners’ Visa and Residence Permit,” and a 2-inch sized photo.
2. A temporary residential certificate (issued by hotel or residence’s police station) and a photocopy.
3. The applicant’s valid passport and visa.
4. The applicants must pass a medical examination and obtain a health certificate from Shanghai Health Quarantine Department (15 Jinbang Rd, Changning District).
5. An official application letter from the applicant’s company or organization.
6. A document showing the approval of the enterprises and a copy of legal person business license issued by the Administration of Industry and Commerce or Resident Representative Office Registration Certificate and Organization Code Certificate as well as their photocopies.
7. Long-term journalists should submit a press card and people coming to Shanghai to stage profitable cultural performance should provide approval from the Ministry of Culture and a performance certificate issued by the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture, Radio, Film and TV.
Q: Who can apply for residence permits as family members of foreigners working in Shanghai?
A: 1. Family members of the foreigner who has taken a position or landed a job in Shanghai.
2. Family members of the foreigner coming to Shanghai to be a long-term journalist.
3. Family members of the foreigner coming to Shanghai to stage profitable cultural performances.
4. Family members of overseas returnees who have obtained Shanghai permanent residence.
5. Family members of Hong Kong, Macau and overseas Chinese coming to work in Shanghai.
(Note: Family members here refer to accompanying spouse, parents and children under 18.)
Q: What kind of paperwork does family members of foreigners working in Shanghai need to apply for residence permits?
A: 1-4. Same as for the main applicant item 1-4 mentioned above.
(Note: Applicants under 18 or over 70 as well as those who come to extend their residence permits within three months after the residence permit expires will be exempt from submitting the health certificate.)
5. Photocopy of a document proving that the applicant is a family member of the main applicant.
6. Same as for the main applicant item 6 mentioned above.
7. The valid passport and residence permit of the main applicant; Hong Kong and Macau permanent residents and overseas Chinese should submit Hong Kong and Macau residents and overseas Chinese temporary residence permits or Shanghai Residence Permit and photocopy.
8. Family members of overseas returnees should also submit a certificate of approval from Shanghai Municipal Human Resources Bureau.
Permanent residence benefits
Shanghai has released its own document detailing the benefits that come with foreigners obtaining Chinese permanent residence permits.
This follows Chinese central government departments issuing a joint document on the subject.
The Shanghai city document states that foreigners’ Chinese permanent residence permits are legitimate identity documents for living legally in Chinese territory and can be used alone.
Apart from some specific rights and obligations according to political rights and laws, holders have the same rights and obligations as Chinese citizens, the document states.
They can stay in China for an unlimited period and enter and exit the country with a valid passport and their permanent residence permit.
No visa is required.
Their spouses, children and parents can apply for relevant visas, residence documents or permanent residence permits.
Children living with a permit holder can receive compulsory education in China, if they meet requirements.
Education authorities will make arrangements for them to attend a nearby school without extra charges, the regulations state.
Foreigners can use their permanent residence permit as an ID to join the local social security program if they work in China.
And those who live in Shanghai but have no employment are entitled to the same social security benefits as local urban residents who join the city’s basic medical and pension insurance schemes.
They can also apply for a driving license and a car license plate, under the same term as Chinese citizens, according to the new rules.