Departure to Shanghai

Passport, Visa & Permits to Shanghai

Home > Expat Guides > Asia > China > Shanghai

Visa Types

Health Certificate

Before applying for visas or work permits, you are required to undergo a health check to confirm that you are not affected by any serious or infectious diseases, including HIV / AIDS. In Shanghai, the examination can be carried out at the Shanghai International Travel Health Care Centre, located at 1701 Hami Lu, Tel: 6268-6408 ext 56/57. You will need to take your passport, two passport photographs and evidence of your employment with you.

You can alternatively have the necessary tests performed by your own doctor / medical centre before leaving your home country. If you choose to do this, you should take the following documentation to the International Travel Healthcare Centre, where they can issue you with a Healthcare Certificate:

  • A letter from your doctor stating that you are in good health
  • Original copies of chest x-ray, HIV test and tests for sexually transmitted diseases
  • A complete application form for a Health Certificate (available from the International Travel Health Care Centre)
  • Evidence of your employment, including Employment License
  • Your passport
  • Two passport photographs

Entry Visa

Foreigners who wish to work in China must apply for a Working Visa (Z). This visa type is issued to foreigners who will be employed in China , and their accompanying family members. It is an entry visa and as such must be exchanged for a Residence Permit within 30 days of entry into the country.

When applying for a visa, you will be asked to provide:

  • A completed Visa Application form. The form can be downloaded from the official website of the Chinese Embassy in your home country, or obtained from the local embassy or consulate.
  • Two 2" X 2" passport photos showing the applicant's full face
  • Your Health Certificate
  • Current passport, which must be valid for a minimum of six months from the date of travel and must have more than two blank visa pages remaining
  • Employment Licence from either your proposed employer in China or from the provincial or municipal labour authority, accompanied by a letter from your employer confirming your employment in China

The fee for application for your first visa varies depending upon your country of origin. Some examples are shown below (all fees shown in RMB):

Japan UK Canada Australia Korea Russia France US
First Entry Visa 250 320 310 200 170 415 320 250
Second Entry Visa 500 640 620 400 340 830 640 330
Visa Extension 125 160 165 100 85 210 160 125
Visa Extension and Change 250 320 310 200 170 210 320 250

Employment Visas

All foreign nationals working in China require a work permit. The application should be made on your behalf by your employer. In Shanghai, applications for work permits are processed at the Labour Bureau Foreign Employment Administration Office, located at 215 Jiangxi Road, Tel: 6323-3078. With your application for a work permit, you should provide:

  • Your application letter and a copy of your resume
  • The contract of employment that you have signed with your company
  • Health Certificate
  • Passport and a photocopy of the photo page
  • 3 passport size photos

Residence Visa

Applicants for Shanghai Residence Permits are required to provide the following documentation:

  • Completed Shanghai Residence Permit (Overseas People) Application Form
  • A valid passport and a copy of the entry permit
  • If you are married and also applying for a residence permit for your spouse, a copy of your marriage certificate is required
  • If you are also applying for residence permits for your children, copies of their birth certificates are required
  • Copy of overseas degree or diploma certificate. If this is not in Chinese or English, you must obtain an official translation from the Ministry of Education
  • Evidence of your address in Shanghai, such as a tenancy agreement
  • A six month valid health certificate - these are issued by the International Travelling Healthcare Centre of Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine of People's Republic of China (No.15 on Jinbin Road, or No.1701 on Hami Road)
  • Two recent passport photographs
  • A letter from your employer confirming your employment

Your residence permit is tied to your employer. If you change employers whilst in China, you will have to apply for a new residence permit.

You can obtain further advice on visa requirements from your consulate.

Do not mix consulate and embassy. The embassy is the representation of the State in a foreign country and is in charge of all the relations with the government of the country where located. The consulate protects and administrates the community coming from his country. However, you must usually live in the country for 6 months before you can register. You will learn all the information by asking the Consulate.

Update 11/09/2006


Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Pinterest Addthis

Recommended Service Partners

International Movers

When you move internationally you are taking a big step. Lots of things are changing and you have a million things to think about and take care of. If you are able to select a top of the line moving company that moves for a modest price, it can take a big weight of your shoulders in busy times.

Our network of international removal companies can move your furniture & possessions to China and anywhere overseas.

Filling in the form at the bottom will allow you to request up to 5 quotes from various moving companies. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

Do you have comments or personal information to communicate about this article? Add your comment.

Go to the Forum to talk more about passport, visa & permits to Shanghai, departure.

Find more definitions and general answers on expatriation issues in the Expat FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).

Stay connected

- My Life Abroad -
A selection of expat stories

"A fun compulsive read!"
J. Matcham, Amazon

"I strongly advise people ready to live abroad to read this book!"
Patrice, Amazon