If you are abroad for an extended period of time before returning home to work, your next employer is likely to ask for evidence that you committed no crimes whilst away. This is particularly important for anyone looking to get into teaching, the police force, the National Health Service etc. but even if you don’t plan to go into such roles, we advise obtaining a police check as you never know when you might need it! If you need to get your certificate of no criminal convictions in China, you’re probably wondering how. As with most things in China, exact procedures differ depending on which city you’ve been living in, so it’s always best to check with your local Public Security Bureau. But, this guide should help you understand where you need to go, and what you need to do to obtain your police background check in China.

Applying for the Certificate

As in most countries, you have automatic access to your police records in China, so you’ll need to apply for a Certificate of No Criminal Convictions (无(wú)犯(fàn)罪(zuì)记(jì)录(lù)证(zhèng)明(míng)书(shū)) before leaving the country. Different cities have different rules, and many only issue these certificates to foreigners still residing in the city who are in possession of a residence permit. To apply for this certificate, you should follow these steps:


Step 1: You must apply for your Certificate of No Criminal Convictions at your local PSB. You must take:

  • Your passport containing your Work Visa and Residence Permit
  • Your Work Permit document
  • A letter from your employer stating where you worked during your time in China
  • Your employment contract
  • Applicable fees


Step 2: Once you have obtained your Certificate of No Criminal Convictions, you will need to take it to a Notary Public to get a notarised translation. To do this, you must take:

  • Your passport containing your Work Visa and Residence Permit
  • The original copy of your Certificate of No Criminal Convictions


 Frequently Asked Questions

Can I go alone?

Unless your Chinese is at a good enough level, we advise asking your school contact or a Chinese friend to assist you to the PSB and help you obtain this document.

How much does it cost?

Both steps will carry a fee, but as this differs from city to city we are unable to give you an accurate idea of how much this will cost. For the most up to date information, we advise getting in touch with your school contact who will be able to find out if they don’t already know.

Can I get my certificate after I’ve left China?

Applying for a certificate of no criminal convictions once you’ve left China can be difficult and even impossible in certain cities. If for any reason you can’t apply for the certificate before you leave, you can nominate a representative to apply on your behalf. To do this, your representative will need to take:

  • A signed notarised authorisation letter from you
  • His/her national ID card
  • His/her Hukou booklet
  • The documents listed above in step 1
  • A power of attorney signed by you

How long does the application take?

The application processing time differs from city to city. Please check with your waiban to find out how long it will take in your city, and make sure to leave enough time to apply for and receive this before your placement ends.

What if my city doesn’t accept an application after I’ve left?

If the city you worked in won’t accept an application for you once you’ve left the country, you should ask your school if they are able to issue an official notarised letter stating that you didn’t commit any crimes during your placement. You will need to check with your employer if they will accept this in place of a police certificate.

What if I’ve lived in more than one city?

If you’ve lived in more than one city during your time in China, you will need to apply for a letter in each of the cities you’ve resided in. Again, we recommend doing this before you leave the city in case they can’t issue it after you leave.

Why do the procedures differ?

Different cities have different rules in all kinds of areas, from visas to police checks. Policies in different cities change frequently as well, so please check with your waiban for the most recent regulations on this around the time you wish to apply.


This blog post is not updated as quickly as policies in China, so it should be used as a guide only. To ensure you’re up to date with the current policies, please check this website or with your local PSB.