Register with PSB During Olympics?

My reader DC sent me a notice with the following information. Is it true? I didn’t get the chance to verify it yet. Just FYI.

**Important Public Security Bureau Information**

Expatriate China Staff PSB Registrations will be enforced as of July 1st. The Chinese Public Security Bureau issued new guidelines today to hotels and apartment management companies concerning the registration of foreigners in China, set to take effect July 1.

The PSB, a part of China’s domestic police force charged with policing public security and immigration residence registration and immigration affairs for foreigners, has insisted that the existing regulations for the registration of foreigners in China must be strictly adhered. Violators and those who fail to report, be they individuals or building management, will be subject to fines the bureau has said.

Expatriate Employees Living In Private Apartments

The apartment management company should be contacting foreign tenants / residents and requiring them to register with the local PSB. If this is not done, both the management company and the foreigner can be fined RMB5,000. It is important to note that this rule applies to any foreign person living in any apartment or private dwelling – even if it is for just for one night. If staying overnight or visiting friends in China, registration must be carried out upon arrival with the local PSB office responsible for the area within 24 hours of arrival.

We strongly recommend all expatriate personnel living in apartments in China register with the local PSB prior to July 1st to avoid problems.

16 Comments

  1. Claudia Frias

    July 2, 2008 at 1:45 am

    Wow… They really want to control foreigners in china! I think its olympics preliminar…

    Let’s see how far they go…

  2. The regime is very, very, very nervous and everyone is a potential trouble-maker, whether you have black, red, brown or grey hair. Sign of emerging giant harmonious society?

    Early this morning, a martial artist stabbed 10 policemen and killed 5 of them in downtown Shanghai.

    http://news.163.com/08/0701/12/4FP3GK7200011229.html

  3. They put sign in english in my flat a few weeks ago.

    They put policemen checking the idea of all foreign looking people at the entrance of my residence during one day to catch all foreigner.

    Many of my friends had the visit of policemen to their flat to check.

    They are checking hard on foreigners…

    Bad foreigner, we organize the Olympic games, but we dream there is only chinese during this event… so it can become the chinese games.

    If you fear foreigners, please next time do not organize international event… as it might attract foreigners.

  4. I believe is true. Countries that use to enter China without visa if stay less than 2 weeks are temporary not valid from 1 July till olympics. The granting of visa is very strict also during this period.

  5. Yea, in Nanjing I am properly registered and everything, and the police just came by to verify and give me a pamphlet about “being safe in China”. Think they want to make sure they know where everyone is at and make their presence felt… just in case

  6. I guess it is just a ensure the safety of a foreigner, nothing more than that. Nothing to be panic about.

    I like the idea, at least I know I am on the save ground. That will be different thoughts for those who has a bad intention.

    Tighten security measures during international events happened everywhere. Take a look at the security measures taken against the football fan in Europe and England :)

  7. The law has always required all foreigners to register within 24 hours of arrival although it wasn’t strictly enforced except for those who are applying for longer visas. Then lately (several weeks ago), they required all foreigners who already have visas/permanent resident to register EVERY TIME they leave the country.

    Now they are “strictly” enforcing ALL foreigners to register regardless. I wonder how they will enforce that if for example visitors are staying with family or friends.

  8. Usually if you are staying with family and friends it is hard for them to enforce for a short visit, though I think that is why they are now threatening the apartment complex with a fine if there is an unregistered foreigner staying there. Not sure how that works when staying with family that lives in State owned properties….. would they fine the State?

    Though, even if getting caught isnt an issue, you would run into an issue when/if you go to extend/renew your Visa, as they run your info through the computer to see if/where you are registered.

  9. Wife and I have made 2 visits to her family – once in Dec-Jan 2004 and once in Dec-Jan 2006. Neither time did we register. I am guessing that hosting the Olympics has resulted in the political leadership to put pressure on the security apparatchiks to keep careful watch. I wonder if the requirements will be relaxed after the Olympics are finished.

  10. rain from china

    July 4, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    All these are to ensure all peoples security,so don’t worry about it,if u come to china,then u will know the exact situation,if u are not here, u ‘d better not become the speaker of the media,because it doesn’t tell u the truth.

  11. When I renewed my “visiting relatives” visa in Shanghai last time, I had forgotten to go to the police station last time I arrived in China in order to register and get that bit of A5 sized yellow(?) paper that is the temporary residence document. The visa people in Shanghai would not renew the visa until I had been back to my local police station and got the bit of paper required. I had to spend 1/2 a day at my local police station and pay a fine of a few hundred RMB in order to get this indispensable paper. Only then could I renew my visa. Members of the public and even the police were pretty sympathetic to me that I had such a lot of trouble over this small irregularity.

    Moral: when entering the country go to the police station within about 24h and get this important bit of paper. Then, make sure you don’t lose it, in case you need it.

  12. this is pretty unfriendly behavior. China seems so paranoid about foreigners – it’s kind of like old times. i live in shanghai and i’m tired of getting stopped by police who demand my passport. Who carries their passport around with them?

  13. What I find positive about these measures is that they have finally made foreigners in China realize that they do need to comply with the jurisdiction they live and operate in. Until now, some foreigners (certainly not the majority, but a significant amount of them) believed that having a foreign passport effectively shields them from Chinese police officers and Chinese law, which is silly and wrong.

    If Chinese in foreign countries may be (even arbitrarily, not rightfully) stopped, detained, interrogated and bullied by local police officers, Chinese police officers must at least have the right to do the same to foreigners in China if it’s in line with the law.

    The enactment of the new rules is just a tool, what matters is the psychological effect.

  14. To jay: you are unlucky, I live in Shanghai for years, and I have been ask only once my passport on the street.

    To DB: Western countries are at least countries rules by law… China is rules by the will of people who have power.

    When you need police they are here to protect you and help you. I have been beaten by Chinese people in a club, I call myself the police to ask for protection and Justice. They came, bring me to police station, did not even check video camera, and keep me for hours in police station putting a lot of pressure on me, trying to force me to sign a paper in Chinese that I do not understand… and did not care about what I was saying… Yes it happen in Shanghai, two km away from people square.

    One of my friend told me, Police came and to receive every month a percentage of the Turn over from the company she work for, and they even took away lot of goods.

    I have learn my lesson, if I have problem, deal myself.

    Thanks you the Chinese police!

    By the way: Soliders in China are officially above the traffic law… http://olympics.scmp.com/Article.aspx?id=892

  15. yeah,…

    This isn’t about “obeying existing laws.” They’ve changed visa regulations in a way that makes it very difficult for foreigners to come here… at the time of an event that was supposed to be all about China “opening up.”

    For every story I’ve heard of someone caught working illegally on a tourist visa (only one story, second hand, of an English teacher), I’ve heard dozens of first hand stories of honest people being sent home do to inability to secure a visa that before the olympics would have been no problem. For example, I know people studying Chinese here this semester, people planning on continuing to study next semester, who have to go all the way back to their home countries, just for the month of August, because they can’t get permission to stay. This would have been no issue in the past. Some of these people will not be able to study next semester, because they can’t afford to fly home and back, and still have money left to live and study here next semester.

    The Olympics aren’t bringing foreigners to China, The Olympics are removing foreigners from China.

    and, … for people traveling, it’s not feasible to register with the police at every little hotel you stay at. When I had an apartment in China, I (and everyone I knew) had to register with the police. It seemed excessive (some might say ridiculous), but I could deal with it. It did mean that my landlord had to come with me to the police station, which meant I was severely restricted in terms of what apartments were available to me (sort of a tax on foreigners in a sense).

    If the police are feeling lazy on the day you go to the police station, they say “oh, the person that has to sign stuff isn’t here today, come back tomorrow.” When you come back the next day, the same person you talked to the day before is feeling a bit more motivated and signs your paperwork. Both times require sitting around the police station waiting for at least a few hours (if not all day).

    When actually traveling around, this isn’t feasible. If I’m only staying in a hotel for a couple of nights, I can’t honestly be expected to spend one of my two days in a city sitting around a police station, nor can the owner of a tiny little guest house with 1-2 rooms be expected to come hang out with me at the police station all day. … and I’m certainly not about to spend hundreds of dollars per day to stay in some place that *might* help a bit with paperwork.

    So the laws are ignored. That’s just how life is in China. That’s how things are anywhere. Ridiculous impossible rules aren’t obeyed. I assume that if I’m only staying in a place for a short period of time, no one will notice. If they do, then I don’t know what happens. Maybe they’ll be understanding. Sometimes they are. Chinese laws, often because of their absurdity, tend to be flexible.

    I knew someone who wanted to visit Tibet. I know it’s restricted, but lots of foreigners visit Tibet. The official policy is that you just need to apply for a permit. I know people who’ve gone. There are foreigners in Tibet right now. A foreign reporter even went to Tibet. The officials have been through the permit process a thousand times, right? Should be a no-brainer, right?

    This guy I met goes to apply for the permit. “no, you need a plane ticket first.” This seems bad. What if he buys a plane ticket, and then doesn’t get the permit?? I mean, sure, an *application* is a chance you take. Losing an application fee is no big deal. but buying a plane ticket that’s dependent on a permit you might not get, a bit sketchy. OK.. it’s China… grin and bear it, right? just go ahead, close your eyes, cross your fingers, buy the ticket. That’s just how it works here, right? OK, so he goes to the airport. “one ticket to lhasa, tibet.” “can I see your permit?” “umm….. I don’t have a permit. They told me I need the plane ticket first.” “sorry, we can’t sell you a ticket unless you have a permit.”

    So he goes back and forth about a dozen times between the two offices before someone finally budges. This takes about 5 days. If both the airline, and the permit office actually followed the rules laid down to them, … it would not be possible for anyone to ever go to Tibet. You need a ticket to get a permit, and you need a permit to get a ticket. Someone in one of these two offices had to be “flexible.”

    If Chinese laws obeyed the basic rules of logic, then maybe individual people would adhere to them.

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