What if a China police certificate is unobtainable?

China police certificate officially referred to as Certificate of No Criminal Record. Many foreign nationals who have lived in China are unable to get a China police certificate for various reasons, e.g. no longer having the passport used for traveling China. Some other foreign nationals are able to get China police certificates, but the certificates do not cover the entire length of their stay in China. If a police certificate is unobtainable either entirely or partially, you will probably fail to meet the police certificate requirement in connection with immigration, employment, etc. In this article, we briefly explain a possible approach in dealing with this “unobtainable” issue.

What I can do with my immigration application if my China police certificate is unobtainable?

Immigration authorities may grant a waiver of your overseas police certificate requirement. To apply for such waiver, an applicant typically needs to provide a written explanation detailing the attempts made to obtain the certificate. Immigration authorities have rules regarding such waiver:

U.S.: If an immigrant proves to the satisfaction of the consular officer that a police certificate is unobtainable, the consular officer may permit the immigrant to submit other satisfactory evidence in lieu of the police certificate. (See INA 222(b))

Canada: If you are unable to get a police certificate from a country, “you must show proof that you requested a police certificate from the correct authorities and write a letter explaining all the efforts you have taken to get one.” (See Canada government’s instructions)

Document your unsuccessful efforts in obtaining a China police certificate

If you were not able to get a China police certificate, make sure that you document your efforts. Below is some possible documentation that you can gather.

Local authorities’ written refusals

Always ask the local issuing authority to provide a statement explaining their refusal. Such a statement is great evidence of your attempts.

However, most local authorities are unwilling to provide anything in writing upon refusals. There’s no rule in China enforcing them to do so, if your application is not accepted.

Local authorities’ written rules

The second documentary evidence I find most convincing is written rules issued by local authorities. China does not have a central authority that issues police certificates. Instead, local authorities in each city follow their own rules. Some cities don’t have rules at all, while others may have rules unavailable to the public.

Application forms

If an issuing authority refuses to accept your application, try to ask for a blank paper application form. An application can be evidence of your attempts made to apply for a China police certificate.

Some authorities do not have written application forms. Instead, they take applications orally. This is especially true in smaller cities where fewer foreigners have lived in the city. Paper forms are also not available at some notary offices where paper forms have been replaced by electronic forms.

Detailing your efforts

While having no control over whether there’s any written evidence available, you have all the rights in preparing a detailed statement explaining what you have done. Take notes of when you made the application, which officers you spoke to, and what the conversations were. Then, put together the important facts with any available supporting documents into a statement for submission to immigration authorities.

Our Service

We are experts in obtaining China police certificates or preparing statements explaining why a certificate is unobtainable. If you are interested in hiring us, the best way to get started is to fill in a quote request form. Click the below button to be directed to the form.

6 thoughts on “What if a China police certificate is unobtainable?”

  1. Hi I’m from Srilanka and I need to get my no criminal record from Shenyang China for my study period and due to Covid lock down it’s really hard on this.
    Can you kindly provide details that can you help us to obtain it in this environment

    • Hi Achini,
      We can assist you in obtaining a Certificate of No Criminal Record in Shenyang. If you are interested in using our service, please click here to complete a request-a-quote form.

  2. Hi there

    I am a New Zealander who is living in SYD. I am applying for Australian citizenship and I need China No Criminal record. During Sep 2012 to Oct 2016, I was in and out china most of the time, sometimes stay in hotel. I did not register temporary stay in local police.

    I stayed in Wuhan the longest among all the different cities (only visiting other city like holiday). Please advise if I could obtain China No Criminal record from Wuhan without register temporary stay in local police.

    • Hi Lizhao. Thanks for leaving a message. If you do not have a residence permit issued from Wuhan, the local police would not issue you a Certificate of No Criminal Record even if you had Temporary Residence Registration Forms.

  3. Hello. I have documents such as Shanghai Residence Permits, Work permit, but I do not have my temporary resident registration form. Is it still possible to obtain my non criminal record. Your answer and advise is highly appreciated.

    • Hi Consuelo. Currently, Shanghai police require at least one Temporary Residence Registration Form (TRRF) for issuing a Certificate of No Criminal Record. You may want to contact the police station where you registered asking for a copy of your TRRF.


Leave a Comment