In this article, we will briefly explain how a foreign national apply for a Certificate of No Criminal Record in Xiamen, Fuzhou, Quanzhou or any other city of Fujian Province, China. The certificate is also known as a police certificate/check/clearance in other countries.
On Jan. 29, 2019, Fujian Provincial Public Department issued the Provisions for Fujian Public Security Police Stations on Issuance of Certificates of No Criminal Record (Trial Implementation) (hereinafter, the Fujian Provisions). In the Fujian Provisions, Fujian authorities for the first time provide written rules governing the issuance of Certificates of No Criminal Record to foreign nationals. Interestingly enough, just a few weeks before Fujian Provisions are issued, its neighbor province, Guangdong Province, also announced new provisions which are very much similar to those of Fujian. (Click here to see the Guangdong provisions about Certificates of No Criminal Record.)
Previously, in the absence of provincial rules, each city in Fujian either had no rules or had its own rules unavailable to the public. And this caused all kinds of difficulties. For an instance, if a foreign national lived in multiple cities or had different addresses in the same city, he would need to get multiple Certificates of No Criminal Record with multiple police stations and each police station would ask for different documents. Now, Fujian has its provincial rules applicable in the entire province. The same requirements are used in all cities of Fujian. And one single certificate can cover all the periods of your residence in the province. If you are currently living in Xiamen but you also lived in Fuzhou and Quanzhou before you moved to Xiamen, you could just apply for one Certificate of No Criminal Record in Xiamen to cover the time you spent in all three cities. This is a significant improvement for foreign nationals.
STEP 1: Apply for a Certificate of No Criminal Record with Your Local Police Station
Where to apply?
Article 7 of the Fujian Provisions provides that a foreign national needs to apply with the “police station having jurisdiction over the place of his residence”. Such a police station is the one where you registered your residence and got your Temporary Residence Registration Forms (TRRF). It is usually the police station near where you live.
For those foreign nationals who have lived at multiple addresses in Fujian Province and the addresses fall into the jurisdictions of different police stations, we recommend that you apply with the police station having jurisdiction over your last address. (It is unclear from the Fujian Provisions whether you can file the application with a previous police station where you registered.)
What are the requriements?
A foreign national is required to provide the following documents
If you used an old passport during the period sought to be covered by your Certificate of No Criminal Record, you need to provide both your old and the current passports.
(b). Temporary Residence Registration Form (TRRF)
Click here to view a sample TRRF. A Certificate of No Criminal Record can only cover the periods of your residence as reflected by your TRRFs. If you had TRRFs but you no longer keep them, the police station may or may not help you find the TRRFs records in their database.
(c). Power of attorney, if applicable.
If you are unable to appear in person, you can appoint another person to file the application on your behalf. The Fujian Provisions require that a power of attorney be signed and fingerprinted by the applicant. It doesn’t specify which fingers of the applicant need to be printed. We usually ask clients to use both index fingers.
(d). Any other documents the police station deems necessary
Documents (a), (b) (c) are specifically required according to the Fujian Provisions. In addition, police stations may ask applicants to provide other documents they deem necessary. An example is an enrolment verification letter issued by a university if the applicant was an international student in China.
How long will it take?
Article 15 of the Fujian Provisions requires that police stations complete the issuance of a Certificate of No Criminal Record within 3 work days, except for some unusual circumstances.
What a Certificate of No Criminal Record looks like?
STEP 2: Apply for Notarial Certificate of No Criminal Record with Local Notary
Where to apply?
If your Certificate of No Criminal Record is to be used in a country outside of China for purposes of immigration, employment or school admission, you will also need to get the certificate notarized by a local notary office in the same city where the certificate is issued. Generally, there are always multiple notary offices in one city. Only the notary offices with the power of foreign-related notarization can notarize a Certificate of No Criminal Record. We recommend that you apply to the major notary office in a city such as Xiamen Notary Public Office in Xiamen and Fuzhou Notary Public Office in Fuzhou. This is because the major notary office usually has more experience in dealing with such an uncommon notary application,
What are the requriements?
Typically, a notary office will require the following documents:
- Power of attorney, if applicable.
- Certificate of No Criminal Record issued by a local police station
How long will it take?
Typically, a notary office takes about 1 week to issue a Notarial Certificate of No Criminal Record.
What a Notarial Certificate of No Criminal Record looks like?
Notary offices across the country issue notarial police certificates in the same format. Please take a look at our article, What a China Police Certificate Looks Like.
It is a big improvement that Fujian authorities issued public written rules about the issuance of Certificates of No Criminal Record. Previously, the lack of written rules caused all kinds of confusion and difficulties. We think the drawback of the Fujian Provisions is that the authorities have not centralized Certificate of No Criminal Record applications. There are hundreds of small police stations in Fujian. You cannot expect every one of them to be well prepared for such uncommon applications, especially when a case is unique and the rules do not cover the unique situation.
At ZhaoZhao, we are committed to providing foreign nationals with high-quality services for obtaining Certificates of No Criminal Record in China or preparing statements explaining why a certificate is unobtainable. If you are interested in using our service, please fill in a quote request form. Click the below button to get started.