Where to Apply
Unlike many other cities where local public security agencies issue police clearance, foreigners in Shanghai must apply to a local notary office. In 2016, Shanghai Notary Association issued “Notice on Launching the Online Information Look-Up System Connecting Shanghai Notary Association and Shanghai High People’s Court”. This Notice authorizes notary offices to issue police clearance certificates to foreigners. Instead of checking with police, notary offices issue the certificates based on search results of the court database.
Shanghai has a total of 20 notary offices, but most applicants apply to the central notary office–Shanghai Oriental Notary Office. The reason is that most of the other offices are unfamiliar with the application.
You can contact Shanghai Oriental Notary Office at:
#1 Tel.: +86 (021) 6215 4848. #2 Tel.: 4008214848 Address: Jing’an District, Fengyang Lu 598 Hao, Shanghai. (In Chinese: 上海市静安区凤 阳路598号) Website: https://www.sh-notary.org.cn/
( #1 telephone is the number of the front desk employee who is not a notary officer and does not answer questions about applications. If you’d like to talk to a real officer, dial #2 telephone and then dial extension “3” “12” and “0”.)
A foreigner who applies for a police clearance in Shanghai must be a long-term resident in Shanghai.
Shanghai only issues police clearance to long-term foreign residents. To be considered as a long-term resident, you must (1) live in the city for 6 months or more and (2) have acquired resident permit(s) issued in Shanghai.
Police clearance issued in Shanghai only covers periods after 2008.
Each China police clearance specifies the periods during which an applicant has no criminal record. Typically, such periods may extend as long as the duration of time when an applicant lived in China. However, in Shanghai, no certificates can be issued to cover periods earlier than January 1, 2008. If you lived in Shanghai before 2008, you won’t be able to get a police clearance in Shanghai.
General documents applicable for all applicants
All applicants must provide the following documents to Shanghai Oriental Notary Office:
1. Clear whole passport scan copies (All passports used in Shanghai should be provided)
2. Original temporary residence registration forms (TRRF) used for the whole period in Shanghai
3. Authorization letter (if using a 3rd party) - It needs a wet signature. Scan copy can’t work.
Is a passport copy acceptable? Yes. Please make sure that the copy is complete, meaning that it includes all blank pages and the front and back outside covers.
Is a TRRF copy acceptable? No. It must be the original.
My TRRFs are lost. What can I do? You or a third-party representative may request the local police stations to re-print your TRRFs. Make sure that the documents come with the police’s official stamp.
My prior passport is lost and I don’t have a copy. What can I do? There’s nothing you can do, because the notary will not issue you a certificate for any periods when you used the lost passport. If you need the certificate immigration purposes, you should prepare a statement explaining why you cannot get a China police clearance certificate.
The other documents vary by the category of residence permits held by an applicant.
In addition to the general document, Shanghai Oriental Notary Office requires applicants to provide documents specifically applicable to the category of residence permits they held. In particular, the notary divides applicants into 3 categories: (1) applicants with residence permits for study; (2) applicants with residence permits for work; and (3) applicants with residence permits for private affairs or family reunion. I will discuss below the required documents for each category.
Applicants with residence permits for work
An applicant who held residence permits for work must provide the following original documents:
1. All original work permits the employee had in this period
2. All original labour contracts in this period (if the employee uses dispatch letter, Chinese translation version with company chop will be required)
3. Original employment certificate issued by the company (a template is attached)
4. Non-criminal record issued by the company. (a new template is attached)
5. Original individual income tax certificate during the whole period
Are copies of these documents acceptable? No. All of them must be the originals.
My employer refuses to provide a letter confirming no conviction. What can I do. There’s nothing you can do, because the notary will not issue you a certificate if you don’t provide the employer letter. If you need the certificate immigration purposes, you should prepare a statement explaining why you cannot get a China police clearance certificate.
I believe my employer has filed the tax for me, but the employer never gave to me the tax completion certificates. What should I do? If you currently live outside of China, you can send a representative to the local tax bureau to request the certificates on your behalf. (Tap here for address)
I only have a copy of my China work permit, not the original document. What can I do? If you currently live outside of China, you can send a representative to Shanghai Talents Tower (in Chinese 上海人才大厦) to request an official letter stating the information of your work permit. The notary will accept such letter as an alternative to your work permit.
Applicants with residence permits for study
An applicant who held residence permits for study must provide the following original documents:
At least one school documents, such as graduation certificate for a degree program or course completion certificate for a non-degree program.
Applicants with residence permits for private affairs or family reunion
An applicant who held residence permits for private affairs or family reunion must provide the following original documents:
· Non-criminal record issued by the company, dependent’s information must be included. (template is attached)
· Employed family member’s original work permits the employee had in this period
· All employed family member’s original labour contracts in this period (if the employee uses dispatch letter, Chinese translation version with company chop will be required)
· Employed family member’s original employment certificate issued by the company (a template is attached)
· Employed family member’s original individual income tax certificate during the whole period
· Original Marriage/birth/relationship certificate; if issued overseas, it has to be first legalized by the Chinese consulate in the country of issue
Processing Time & Application Fee
The processing time at the notary is about 15 to 25 days, depending on the office’s work load. The application fee is either RMB 400 for U.S. immigration or RMB 200 for other purposes. Following the acceptance of your application, the notary will provide you with an acceptance notice which states the pick-up date and the fees incurred. See a sample acceptance notice below.
FINAL NOTE: the notary officer reserves the right to ask for more documents than listed at their discretion.
Template: Non Criminal Record
Template: Certificate of Employment
This article is for information purposes only. Rules change all the time, do your due diligence to check for the latest version.