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Below is our English translation of the rules titled Provisions on the Handling of Criminal Record Checks by Public Security Organs (in Chinese, 《公安机关办理犯罪记录查询工作规定》), issued by China’s Ministry of Public Security, effective December 31, 2021, The original Chinese text is available at the official website of China’s Ministry of Public Security at https://www.mps.gov.cn/n6557558/c8290845/content.html.

This English translation is produced by ZhaoZhao Consulting and is protected under copyright laws. You may use, share or publicly display (e.g. on a website) the translation only if you acknowledge our website as the source of the translation.

Notice of the Ministry of Public Security on Printing and Distributing the Provisions on the Handling of Criminal Record Checks by Public Security Organs

To the public security departments and bureaus of all provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government, and the Public Security Bureau of Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps:

In order to standardize the work of public security organs in handling criminal record checks, the Ministry of Public Security has formulated the Provisions on the Handling of Criminal Record Checks by Public Security Organs, which are hereby printed and distributed to you. Please implement them conscientiously and fully.

Ministry of Public Security

December 3, 2021

Provisions on the Handling of Criminal Record Checks by Public Security Organs

Chapter I General Provisions

Article 1 In order to meet the needs of economic and social development, facilitate relevant work units and individuals to carry out and engage in related activities, and standardize the work of public security organs in handling criminal record checks, these Provisions are formulated in accordance with the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, the Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China and other relevant laws.

Article 2 The term “criminal records” as used in these Provisions refers to the objective records of criminal persons by China’s special state organs. All persons shall be deemed innocent of any crime except those whose crimes have been confirmed by effective judgment documents issued by people’s courts.

If the person concerned is suspected of committing a crime, but the people’s court has not yet made an effective judgment or ruling, or the people’s procuratorate has made a decision not to prosecute, or the case handling work unit withdraws the case, withdraws the prosecution, or terminates the investigation, this person belongs to persons with no criminal record.

Article 3 The Ministry of Public Security shall establish an information check platform for criminal persons. The check results only reflect the existing information recorded in the platform at the time of the check.

Chapter II Application and Acceptance

Article 4 An individual may check his criminal records, or appoint another person to check on his behalf, and the appointed person shall have full civil capacity.

A work unit may check the criminal records of its current employees or the persons whom it intends to recruit, but the check shall comply with the law and administrative regulations on the prohibition of employment.

When administrative organs issue administrative permits and grant professional qualifications, and when notary offices handle the notarization of criminal records, the administrative organs and notary offices may check the criminal records of relevant persons in accordance with the law. Refer to the relevant provisions about checking by work units for relevant check procedures.

Article 5 Where a Chinese citizen applies for the check, the application shall be filed with the public security police station in the place of the applicant’s household registration or residence; where a foreign national who has lived in China for 180 days or longer applies for the check, the application shall be filed with the public security exit and entry administration at or above the county level in the place of the applicant’s residence; if another person is appointed to apply for the check, the application shall be filed in the place of the principal’s household registration or residence.

Where a work unit applies for the check, the application shall be filed with the public security police station in the place of domicile. Where the subject of the check is a foreign national, the application shall be filed with the public security exit and entry administration at or above the county level in the place of the work unit’s domicile.

According to local actualities and for the convenience of people, there can be additional work units for receiving the applications, and there can also be online applications, self-service applications, etc for handling criminal record checks.

Article 6 Where a citizen applies for the check in the place of his household registration, he shall submit his valid proof of identity and a check application form; where he applies for the check in the place of his residence, he shall submit his valid identity certificate, residence permit, and a check application form. Where a foreign national applies for the check, he shall submit his valid proof of identity and a check application form. If another person is appointed to apply for the check, a power of attorney and the appointed person’s valid proof of identity shall be submitted.

If an individual applies for the check more than 3 times within one year, he shall submit relevant materials proving that the check will be used for reasonable purposes.

If a work unit applies for the check, the following materials shall be submitted: a letter of introduction issued by the work unit, the handling person’s valid proof of identity, a check application form stamped with the official chop of the work unit, and relevant materials regarding the subject of the check being a current employee of the work unit or a person to be recruited by the work unit. The check application form shall specify the legal provisions on which the application for checking is based.

Article 7 The receiving work unit shall carefully review the relevant materials submitted by the work unit applicant or the individual applicant. If the materials are complete, the application shall be accepted; if the materials are incomplete, the additional materials that need to be supplemented shall be notified on a single occasion; if a work unit’s application for the check does not meet the legal circumstances, the application shall not be accepted, and the reasons shall be explained to work unit applicant.

Chapter III Checking and Notification

Article 8 If the receiving work unit is able to handle it on the spot, it shall handle it on the spot; if it is unable to handle it on the spot, it shall issue an Acceptance Notice to the work unit applicant or individual applicant and complete it within 3 working days.

If the situation is complicated, investigation and verification may be carried out with the approval of the responsible person from the public security organ at or above the county level. The time for investigation and verification is not included in the processing time limit. If the investigation and verification require the cooperation of the parties concerned, the parties concerned shall cooperate.

Article 9 For individual checks, if the applicant is not found to have any criminal record, a Certificate of No Criminal Record shall be issued; if the applicant is found to have criminal records, a Notice of Refusal to Issue a Certificate of No Criminal Record shall be issued.

For work unit checks, the check results shall be notified to the work unit in the form of a “Check Notification Letter”.

Article 10 The feedback of check results shall comply with the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China on the sealing of juvenile criminal records.

For individual checks, if the applicant has a criminal record, but was under the age of 18 at the time of committing the crime, and was sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than five years, the receiving work unit shall issue a Certificate of No Criminal Record.

For work unit checks, if the subject of the check has a criminal record, but was under the age of 18 at the time of committing the crime, and was sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than five years, the receiving work unit shall issue a Check Notification Letter stating that the subject of the check has no criminal record. If the law provides otherwise, follow its provisions.

Chapter IV Objections and Complaints

Article 11 If the parties concerned are not satisfied with the check results, they may file a written objection with the original receiving work unit and apply for review. If an objection is raised, the objecting applicant shall cooperate with the public security organ to carry out the review.

Article 12 The original receiving work unit shall conduct a review of the check objection, and the result of the review shall be a written reply to the objecting applicant within 15 working days after acceptance. If the situation is complicated and it is impossible to find out and give a reply within the prescribed time limit, after approval by the responsible person from the public security organ at or above the county level, the processing time may be extended appropriately and the objecting applicant shall be notified, but the extension period shall not exceed 30 working days at most.

Article 13 If there is indeed an error in the issuance of a Certificate of No Criminal Record, Notice of Refusal to Issue a Certificate of No Criminal Record and Check Notification Letter, and if the error is verified to be true, the public security organ that issued the document or its higher-level public security organ shall promptly revoke it and reissue the relevant documents.

Article 14 If the objecting applicant believes that the receiving work unit’s refusal to issue a Certificate of No Criminal Record is based on an incorrect court judgment and the conditions for a legal appeal are met, the receiving work unit may inform the objecting applicant to file an appeal with the relevant court or procuratorate in accordance with the legal procedures.

Chapter V Legal Responsibility

Article 15 No work unit or individual may use fabricated facts, conceal the truth, provide false materials or use false identities to apply for checking criminal records, or forge or alter the Check Notification Letter and Certificate of No Criminal Record. If it is confirmed upon investigation and verification, penalties shall be given in accordance with the law; if it constitutes a criminal offense, criminal responsibility shall be held in accordance with the law.

Article 16 Relevant work units and individuals shall carry out the checks strictly in accordance with the procedures stipulated in these Provisions, and keep confidential the relevant criminal information shown by the checks, and shall not disseminate it or use it for other purposes. Those who violate these Provisions shall be held liable in accordance with the law; if it constitutes a criminal offense, criminal responsibility shall be held in accordance with the law.

Article 17 If relevant work units or individuals carry out the checks in violation of the law, causing serious consequences, the relevant work units and individuals shall be held responsible in accordance with the law; if it constitutes a criminal offense, criminal responsibility shall be held in accordance with the law.

Chapter VI Supplementary Provisions

Article 18 Local authorities may formulate implementation rules based on local actualities and work needs.

Article 19 If relevant state work units have special regulations for checking criminal records concerning specific matters, follow their regulations.

Article 20 These Provisions will take effect on December 31, 2021.

Attachments:

  1. Check Application Form (Work Unit)
  2. Check Application Form (Chinese Citizen)
  3. Check Application Form (Foreign National)
  4. Review Application Form (Chinese Citizen)
  5. Review Application Form (Foreign National)
  6. Certificate of No Criminal Record
  7. Notice of Refusal to Issue a Certificate of No Criminal Record
  8. Notification Letter of Criminal Record Check Result
  9. Review Opinions

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