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I am a U.S. citizen who will be traveling with my girlfriend (Russian) to Thailand. Before we go, I will be staying at her apartment (which she rents) in Beijing where I am meeting her for two nights under the 72-hour transit visa program. I know that one of the requirements for the 72-hour transit visa is that I register with the local authorities within 24 hours of landing.

My question: what do I and/or my girlfriend need to give to the local authorities? I think for me it is pretty obvious, in that I will have to give them my passport and such, and I know they will make me fill out the Temporary Resident Registration Form. The part I can't seem to figure out is what she will need to bring with her. She is of course already registered, as she is working in Beijing.

She told me that when her friend who is also a Russian working in China had her parents come, her friend had to bring people from the sponsoring work agency along with her to register them. Is that needed?

Can my girlfriend and I simply go to the police station ourselves and do the registration? Do we need her lease, her landlord, someone from her sponsoring agency, etc.?

  • 1
    Side note: can't believe there is no tag for registration. It's a pretty common thing in many countries. – Matthew Herbst Oct 15 '14 at 1:54
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    There is now. :) – Greg Hewgill Oct 15 '14 at 2:33
  • An alternative is to book a hotel room for two nights and stay with her there! – Greg Hewgill Oct 15 '14 at 2:41
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Your girlfriend probably doesn't need to appear herself at the police station when you register (although it might make things go more smoothly). You should be prepared with:

  • Your identification (passport)
  • Her identification
  • Her household lease details

When I did this, there was no requirement to bring any other people such as from a sponsoring work agency. However, I understand that this can vary widely between individual police stations, even within the same city.

It would probably be helpful to bring along somebody who is fluent in Mandarin, if you or your girlfriend is not proficient.

  • She is, mostly, thankfully. When you say "Her household lease details," what does that entail? A copy of her lease/contract? – Matthew Herbst Oct 15 '14 at 2:39
  • Yes, I believe so. The people I stayed with filled out that part of the registration form before I took it to the police station, which worked out fine for me. It did take multiple trips to the station, plus a photocopying place next door. – Greg Hewgill Oct 15 '14 at 2:40
  • Is there a reason it took multiple trips? I'm hoping to do it quickly since I'm only in town for 60 hours. I am thinking about booking a hostel for the registration if it takes too long – Matthew Herbst Oct 15 '14 at 2:44
  • I don't recall exactly why. It might have been one trip to get the form and find out what we needed, and another to return the completed form. Almost everything official I tried to do in China took multiple trips! – Greg Hewgill Oct 15 '14 at 2:48
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The answer to this can vary form one location to another in China. One officer in one district might ask for this or that document, another officer might wave you away as he doesn't want the paperwork.

One district I registered in told me to go to the community office behind my house and get a little credit card sized pass-book form there before doing the temporary registration of residency. The community officer asked my assistant some questions regarding the location of my house, which floor, were there bars and locks on the windows, etc.

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