China Police Certificates for Foreigners

Our law firm routinely assists clients in obtaining China police certificates for purposes such as employment background checks or immigration to the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries. We can assist foreign nationals plus persons from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan in these matters.

Background Information

A police certificate is sometimes referred to as a police clearance certificate (PCC), a no criminal record (NCR) certificate, or a certificate of no criminal conviction (CNCC). It is a document confirming you have no conviction (or listing your convictions) within a jurisdiction.

A China police certificate (无犯罪记录证明书) is available to cover periods an individual resides in a particular city. So if you have lived in more than one city, you may need a police certificate from each city.

Some cities will only issue certificates to foreigners holding a residence permit (居留许可), such as for a J-1 journalist, Z worker, or X student. In such cities, a police certificate will not be issued to cover periods of stay with an L tourist visa, F exchange visitor visa, or M business visa. (This is explained by the U.S. State Department here).

Procedures to apply for a China police certificate vary by locality. Typically, to apply the applicant or another person with a power of attorney (委托书) from the applicant must first visit the local police station where the applicant resided to obtain a police letter. Then, that police letter must be brought to the local notarial office to be notarized. The notarial office can issue the notarization in Chinese with an English translation, if requested. Our processing times also vary by locality but are typically 7 to 10 weeks. We can send the police certificate to you via international courier, such as FedEx.

Note on Unobtainable Police Certificates

There are cases where a China police certificate is unobtainable. For example:

  • If you no longer have your passport or temporary residence registration forms showing you resided in the city, the local police station may be unable to confirm your residence, in which case they may not issue a police certificate; or
  • As mentioned above, some cities will not issue a police certificate unless you held a residence permit.

The United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries will in some situations waive the police certificate requirement if the certificate is unobtainable. For instance:

  • United States: “In the event that the immigrant establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer that” a police clearance “is unobtainable, the consular officer may permit the immigrant to submit … other satisfactory evidence of the fact to which such document or record would, if obtainable, pertain.” 9 FAM 504.4-4(F) (emphasis added). Such other satisfactory evidence that a person has no criminal conviction may include, for example, “proof of membership in or affiliation with a reputable religious organization in a religious capacity during periods of foreign residence may be accepted as such evidence.” 9 FAM 504.4-4(B) (emphasis added). In our experience, an individual’s own affidavit or an employer letter may also be satisfactory evidence that a person has no convictions.
  • Canada: Under the rules, an applicant who cannot obtain a police certificate may explain why and provide supporting evidence.

To prove that a police certificate is unobtainable, our law firm will gather the necessary evidence and apply for the certificate on your behalf. If the application is not accepted or is denied, we will request that the agency put this decision in writing. If the agency refuses to put the decision in writing, we will document this refusal. We will provide a declaration explaining that the police certificate has been denied and that the denial cannot be overcome through reasonable efforts. The declaration will be accompanied by supporting evidence, relevant Chinese rules about issuance and notarization of police certificates, and certified English translations.

Legal Fees and Expenses

Our firm’s standard fee is USD 950 to 1300 to provide a police certificate for each city (or to provide proof that a certificate is unobtainable). Discounts are available if you need certificates from multiple cities or if multiple family members are applying at the same time. You can pay in USD or RMB. Payment options are listed in the below client questionnaire.

Getting Started

If you are interested in hiring our firm, please fill the below Client Questionnaire then email us documents requested in our follow-up email. We will treat them confidentially. We need to review your questionnaire and documents to confirm how best to help you. We will then give you a quote.

We Can Assist Nationwide

We can assist with applying for police certificates nationwide, including but not limited to the following cities:

Beijing Municipality (北京)
Chongqing Municipality (重庆)
Shanghai Municipality (上海)
Tianjin Municipality (天津)
Anhui (安徽): Hefei (合肥)
Fujian (福建): Fuzhou (福州), Quanzhou (泉州), Fujian (厦门)
Gansu (甘肃): Lanzhou (兰州)
Guangdong (广东): Guangzhou (广州), Shenzhen (深圳), Shantou (汕头), Dongguan (东莞), Foshan (佛山)
Guizhou (贵州): Guiyang (贵阳)
Hainan (海南): Haikou (海口)
Hebei (河北): Shijiazhuang (石家庄)
Heilongjiang (黑龙江): Harbin (哈尔滨)
Henan (河南): Zhengzhou (郑州)
Hubei (湖北): Wuhan (武汉)
Hunan (湖南): Changsha (长沙)
Jiangsu (江苏): Nanjing (南京), Suzhou (苏州), Wuxi (无锡)
Jiangxi (江西): Nanchang (南昌)
Jilin (吉林): Changchun (长春)
Liaoning (辽宁): Shenyang (沈阳), Dalian (大连), Anshan (鞍山), Fushun (抚顺)
Qinghai (青海): Xining (西宁)
Shaanxi (陕西): Xi’an (西安)
Shandong (山东): Jinan (济南), Qingdao (青岛)
Shanxi (山西): Taiyuan (太原)
Sichuan (四川): Chengdu (成都)
Yunnan (云南): Kunming (昆明)
Zhejiang (浙江): Hangzhou (杭州), Wenzhou (温州), Ningbo (宁波)
Guangxi Zhuang (广西壮族): Nanning (南宁)
Inner Mongolia (内蒙古): Hohhot (呼和浩特)
Ningxia Hui (宁夏回族): Yinchuan (银川)
Xinjiang Uighur (新疆维吾尔族): Urumqi (乌鲁木齐)
Tibet (西藏): Lhasa (拉萨)

Further Reading

Clients FAQs (answers to clients’ frequently asked questions about representation by our law firm, including our firm’s guarantee)

AmCham Asks Chinese Government to Streamline Issuance of China Police Certificates to Foreigners

Samples of Selected China Immigration Documents

49 Replies to “China Police Certificates for Foreigners”

  1. I am a New Zealand and Australian citizen who had lived in Beijing for the past few years. Now, I am sponsoring my wife to apply for a partner visa in Australia. The immigration department requires me to supply a China police certificate. However, I did not apply for a residence permit during my days in Beijing. Is it possible for you to help me to obtain the certificate, if not, what other option do I have?

    1. Cheng Han: In Beijing, the exit-entry administration will issue a police certificate even if you did not have a local residence permit, so long as you lived in Beijing for over 90 days and have evidence of residence. The best such evidence is temporary residence registration forms from the police station. In the absence of those, the exit-entry administration may accept other evidence, such as leases, employer letters, a university diploma or certificate.

      1. I came to Beijing only for visiting my family, and I didn’t file temporary residence registration forms with the local police station.

        1. Cheng Han: If you retain our firm, we’ll explore whether you have any other evidence acceptable to the exit-entry administration. If no, then as explained above we’ll help you prove to the satisfaction of the Australian immigration authorities that no police certificate can be issued.

  2. Hi, I have lived and worked in China for 5 years. Now, I have moved away but need a China police certificate to apply for Canadian immigration. My Chinese friend tells me that the public security bureau has stopped issuing police certificates in the city where I lived. What should I do?

    1. Roe: There have been times in certain cities when it has not been possible to obtain a police certificate because no public security bureau (PSB) organ or notary is willing to take responsibility for such cases or because they have paused issuing police certificates while their polices are under review. If this is really the case, then as explained above, the Canadian (or other) immigration authorities will accept proof that the police certificate is unobtainable. Our law firm can gather such evidence. Be careful, however, because sometimes officials mistakenly give inaccurate information about local rules on police certificates for foreigners.

  3. I may have lost one of my old passports that I used when I lived in China–or maybe I lost just the page with the China visa. Can your firm still help me apply for a China police certificate?

    1. Yes, we can help you apply. Some cities require the original passport with China visas; other cities require only copies; still other cities don’t even require copies; yet other cities will accept a letter from your government that you used to have a passport with a certain number. In any case, our firm can help you apply for a police certificate. If the police certificate can’t be issued because you do not have and cannot obtain a required document, then we can prepare evidence to prove to the government where you are now applying for a visa that the police certificate cannot be obtained.

  4. I am currently in the process of applying for a Visa to the United States of America. I have turned in all of my formal documents and just recently received a letter stated my notarized Police Certificate was not accurate. My notarized Police Certificate covered only Beijing, yet it is needed for all of China.

    I am messaging because I am in need of help to find see if your office could be of any help. I have gone to the police station where I am registered, to another office that was able to do the notarized Police Certificate for Beijing, and I have also been to the PSB (Public Security Bureau) here in Beijing, but to no avail.

    Thank you in advance for your help!

  5. Hi: I previously lived in China. I overstayed 6 months and was required to pay a fine in order to obtain a visa to exit the country. Now, I would like to apply for a China police certificate in connection with a U.S. visa application. Can you help me?

    1. Wangi: Persons who have overstayed their visas in China may well be ineligible for police certificates covering the period of the violation, depending on the city and the circumstances. However, our firm can still assist. For example, we previously assisted a refugee who entered China illegally, lived in the country for several years, and then left the country without going through inspection. We were unable to obtain a police certificate for her, but as explained above, we can gather persuasive evidence explaining to U.S. or other countries’ immigration authorities that the China police certificate is unobtainable, and on that basis the requirement to submit a police certificate can be waived.

  6. Good day, I never registered my temporary residence in China with the police during my 4 years’ study in China. Can you still help?

    1. DemiFaks: Yes, we can still help. In some cities, temporary residence registration forms (TRRFs) are not required to obtain a CNCC. In other cities, TRRFs are required, in which case we’ll need to prepare evidence for foreign immigration authorities proving that the CNCC is unobtainable.

  7. My brother went to China to study. Now he is back in Vietnam. He needs a China police certificate for purposes of U.S. immigration. Can you help?

  8. My husband and I lived in Ningbo, China from 2002 to 2015. My friend tried to obtain a non criminal certificate and they said that since we haven’t lived there since 2015 they cannot give us one. In 2016 we were issued one but now they say they can only give us a copy of it. We reside in New Zealand and need it for visa purposes. Can you help us?

  9. Hello,

    I lived in China from Jan 2010 to July 2010 on 4 F visas teaching english. My passport contains the entry/exit stamps.

    I lived in Henan – Xuchang (Jan – Feb)
    I lived in Hebei – WuYi (March – Jun)

    I am just wondering if you can help me and I have no proof of residence?


    1. James: We’re happy to help. Please complete the above-referenced questionnaire. If a CNCC is unobtainable because the applicant cannot provide the required documents, we can ask that foreign immigration authorities waive the CNCC requirement on the basis it is unobtainable.

  10. Can you help us obtain a Chinese Police Clearance? My husband worked in Guangzhou from 1994 to 2004 and his proof is the alien employment permit and passports with entry/exit stamps (but with some missing pages).

    1. Beth: We’re happy to help. Please complete the above-referenced questionnaire. If a CNCC is unobtainable because the applicant cannot provide the required documents, we can provide evidence to foreign immigration authorities that the CNCC is unobtainable and ask that the CNCC requirement be waived on that basis.

  11. My fiance is Filipina K-1 visa applicant. She was a domestic helper in Ningbo China about 5 years ago. She overstayed her visa by about six months, and then was in jail 14 days after she surrendered. She has her old passport but no other immigration records. She cannot remember the exact address where she lived. She contacted her former employer about a letter, but that person is deathly afraid of giving out any information.

    1. James: We have handled analogous cases for visa overstayers. In such cases, depending on the city, there are various reasons that the individual may not be eligible to obtain a CNCC. For example, some cities will only provide CNCCs for persons who hold residence permits stamped into their passports, and some cities will only provide CNCCs for persons who have temporary residence registration forms showing registration with the local police station. In cases where our firm is unable to get the CNCC, we will gather evidence to show the U.S. State Dep’t that it is unobtainable, and we will ask that the CNCC requirement be waived.

      1. My fiancee is a Ukrainian K-1 visa applicant. She was a tourist in Guangzhou about 10 years ago, where she got drunk and was arrested in a hotel room with a Chinese guy. She was detained for 14 days then released. Was she arrested for or convicted of a crime? What records does she need for U.S. immigration purposes?

        1. Jack: a K-1 or immigrant visa applicant must submit a police record for any country where arrested. (22 C.F.R. § 42.65). Once your fiancée has the police record, she’ll understand whether she was arrested for a crime or for an administrative violation (which is more likely). In any case, consult with our firm or another qualified immigration lawyer whether the incident may impact her eligibility to immigrate.

  12. Hi, I was born in Beijing, China. I lost my PRC citizenship when I naturalized in another country. I no longer have a hukou, as I was very young when I left with my family. Can I get a Beijing police certificate?

    1. M.C.C.: In such cases, you’ll need some evidence of identity that matches your old hukou. Maybe your cancelled PRC passport or old national ID, for example. You (or a third party such as our law firm with a power of attorney) will need to ask the notary what evidence of identity will be considered acceptable. With that, the PSB should be able to pull your old hukou cancellation record and issue a police certificate stating that you had no criminal record through that cancellation date.

  13. Hi I’m a Filipino right now I’m processing k1 visa to United State , and I need to get police clearance from china . I in Guangzhou since 2005 to 2012 with L visa is it possible to get a police clearance?

    1. Rina: Depending on the on the complete facts of your situation, we may be able to get you the police certificate, or we may be able to prove that it is unobtainable for part or all of your period of residence.

  14. Hi, my son in applying for a Canadian visa. He was in Beijing with a visitor visa for a total of not more than 6 months between 2009 and now. He no longer has his temporary residence registration forms. The public security bureau is saying that they cannot issue him a police certificate. Can You help?

    1. Lola: If your son doesn’t have and can’t get the required documents to qualify for a Beijing police certificate, we can help him apply for the certificate, get denied, and submit evidence to the Canadian authorities that the police certificate requirement should be waived on the basis that it is unobtainable.

  15. Hello, my brother got administrative warning penalty and he paid a fine before 1 year can he get a no criminal certificate now. Illegal act, So they give him a warning.

  16. Hi, Gary. My query pertains to the following response to Cheng Han on 26/11/17:

    “In the absence of (temporary residence registration forms from the police station) , the exit-entry administration may accept other evidence, such as…. employer letters.”

    Is there any official form for an employer letter, or is it just a matter of my former employer stating something like ‘Xx worked at YY for Zz years” with their stamp and/or signature?

    My former employer is happy to assist with a letter, but I worry it won’t meet whatever the requirements of the police/PSB are.

    Kind regards.

    1. Joel: The format of the required employer letter varies from city to city, but typically must be in Chinese, chopped by the employer. and state the employee’s name, passport number, dates of employment, and that to the best of the employer’s knowledge the employee has not been convicted of a crime.

  17. Hi Gary, I would like to thank you for helping with my husband’s Chinese Police Clearance. Because of you the impossible became possible: The US Embassy in Manila accepted his Police Clearance and, for his first year in China, accepted the evidence your team prepared showing that the Police Certificate was unobtainable. Thank you also to Susie Guo and all those in Chodorow Law Offices.

  18. Hello sir,
    I was working as illegal housemaid in Fujian China for almost 5 years, now I needed a police clearance for my spouse visa in USA. Can you be able to help to get one?

  19. I was born a Chinese citizen but I became a Korean citizen later so I do not hold Chinese citizenship anymore and I’m currently living in the US, can I still get background check from China? thanks.

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