Registering Your Baby in China

This article first appeared on and is published with permission from the author.

If you just had or plan to have a baby born in China, here is some very useful information you should be aware of.

When you decided to have a nice birthing experience in China, what you may not have known that there is a law according to which all babies born to foreign parents in China must be registered according to the following procedure within 1 month of birth. It is not about getting your baby a birth certificate, a passport or even a China visa, it is about BIRTH REGISTRATION.

The following information should not be dismissed and we hope you carefully study it and follow the procedure precisely.

This is how it is done:

  1. Get the birth certificate as soon as possible after birth. As exciting and busy your life is overseas with a newborn, this should be on the list of your top priorities.
  2. While you are waiting for the baby’s passport, register your baby at the local police station that your residential area belongs to. Take with you the following documents:
    • Original and copy of baby’s birth certificate/passport (latter is for those whose Embassy’s can issue passports before the baby is 1 month old);
    • Original and copy of both parents’ passports. (First page with a picture and information and the visa page should be copied onto the same piece of paper, next to each other);
    • Originals of both parents’ police registrations;
    • 1 passport size picture of the baby;
    • Copy of your housing contract;
    • Note: THE POLICE STATION MIGHT BE NOT AWARE OF THIS LAW. Insist on your rights and quote Chapter 3, article 26 of the law regarding the residence of foreign citizens residing in China.
  3. This step is for those who are not able to get baby’s passport before baby turns 1 month. Dismiss it and read further down if you were able to get it before the baby turned 1 month:
    • After you get the police registration, go to the Immigration Bureau with the following documents to process the visa:
    • Original and copy of baby’s birth certificate;
    • Original and copy of both parents passports. (First page with a picture and information and the visa page should be copied onto the same piece of paper, next to each other);
    • Originals and copies of both parents’ police registrations;
    • 1 passport size picture of the baby (take more than 1 just in case);
    • Bar Code receipt for the pictures. (It’s best if you prepare these ahead of time as the Immigration Bureau overcharges to do it onsite. Instead make in at your local photo salon, it should cost you between 30 and 38 yuan for 8 pictures and 1 bar code receipt. This receipt is valid for 6 months since receiving it, so you don’t need to make a new one for visa application).

When you get the passport, immediately register your baby at the police station (bring the same documents to your local PSB plus baby’s passport and a copy of the information page). Then apply for the visa – the visa application should take place within 3 months from baby’s birth (i.e. if your baby is born on June 12th, the visa should be obtained before September 12th).

If either parent is officially employed in China, the baby is entitled to a family visa (in application form you should tick residence visa part where it says family member of a working alien).

If both parents are on L visa, here you need to double check what visa your child should get depending on what the current regulations for L visa are: you may have to either get an exit visa, take your child to HK and get an entry visa there; or they might just give you a L visa as a visiting family member.

Here is the list of documents you need to apply for the dependent’s visa:

  • Application form (you can get it at the Immigration Bureau, 2nd floor)
  • A LETTER FROM A PARENT’S COMPANY in Chinese stating the following: “This is to verify that So-and-So (full name as in the passport), passport number, is indeed employed in this company and is applying for a dependent’s visa for his child: So-and-So (baby’s name as in the passport), passport number. Signature and official company stamp.”
  • Original and copy of baby’s birth certificate;
  • Original and copy of baby’s passport (information page);
  • Original and copy of both parents passports: first page with a photo and your information, current visa page and the page where your last entry stamp is;
  • Originals and copies of both parents’ police registrations;
  • Original and copy of baby’s police registration;
  • 1 passport size picture of the baby (take more than 1 just in case);
  • Bar Code receipt for the pictures. (It’s best if you prepare these ahead of time as the Immigration Bureau overcharges to do it onsite. Instead make in at your local photo salon, it should cost you between 30 and 38 yuan for 8 pictures and 1 bar code receipt. This receipt is valid for 6 months since receiving it, so you don’t need to make a new one for visa application).

You may not get this information from anywhere else (Google if you wish to prove us wrong.) but you WILL be fined if you fail to follow this procedure. In case of you being fined, your name and your baby’s name and passports information will be “blacklisted” in the system and it is possible you may face some troubles getting and processing Chinese visa next time.

For the exact law quotation please go to this website:

Note: This has been compiled based on a recent experience of few expat parents. We did a lot of running and calling around. We hope that you have a less stressful process after reading and saving this article.

Public or Private?


English service available?


Are foreign doctors available?


Does hospital direct-bill insurance companies?

Varya is a contributor to She is originally from Russia and has been living in China for over a decade. She is a Mom of 3 , an educator (Montessori, Positive Discipline), postpartum doula, baby massage and perinatal fitness trainer, breastfeeding and lactation specialist. She blogs at about multiculturalism and life in China.

40 comments on “Registering Your Baby in China
  1. Niles says:


    My wife and I are both foreigners living in Chongqing, and our son is 4 months old. Since the consulate in Chengdu was closed, we have to go to Beijing in order to apply for his passport. The trouble is, we cannot board an airplane without ID for our son (which we cannot get without going to Beijing…). Does anyone know what we can do? Has anyone else had to go through this and found a way to travel with a foreign infant? The embassy is near useless and just told us to keep calling more different airlines (they’ve all said baby can’t travel so far).

    Would a train be any different? Our CRBA appointment is little more than a month away so we can’t book tickets yet.

    Clearly we are not the first couple in this situation, but the embassy is clueless as to how anyone else has done this. Any help is appreciated!

  2. Mer says:

    I registered my son as son as he was born and did apply for his passport but unfortunately,the passport has not arrived yet and he is 4.5 months old. Will I be fined for not having is Visa earlier than now?

  3. Anoop says:

    Dear Admin;
    I would like your advice on my current situation.
    Back Ground:
    I am an Indian Passport holder (National), as well as a Hong Kong Permanent ID card holder. My side of the family has been in Hong Kong and still are residing in Hong Kong. I am currently working and living in China.
    My wife is a Chinese National ( Chinese passport holder) , Living here with me in the Mainland.

    We are expecting our new addition to the family in 5 months time. and with our situation decided to give birth in Mainland china instead of Hong kong.

    We have our own house in one city, But my wife has decided to give birth in her hometown in another province.

    I know the child will get a Chinese passport and we need to get the registration done within a month from reading all previous postings in this form. I would like to know what would be the latest regulations on what documents we need to prepare and submit for all processes from Birth Certificate to Registration and getting a Chinese passport.

    Your advice and a point to the correct direction would be greatly appreciated. Even websites links would be great… local hospital where we have done check up is unclear on what to do… especially since birth is to be in another province.

    Thank you
    Best Regards

  4. Ayeah says:

    Hi.I work in China and will be giving birth soon.However,my boyfriend is no longer in China and he wants his name on the birth certificate. You mentioned both parents passports are needed. Will he have to send his over to China or will a printed out copy suffice?

  5. Shaurya Jauhari says:

    The guys at the Entry-Exit bureau levied on me a 2000 RMB penalty for not registering my baby’s birth before 2 months from the day.

  6. Jeremy says:

    I am a little confused about what the barcode receipt is for? Is it a receipt that allows you to print the photos again in the event that you need more?

    Also, do you have some reference in Chinese in regard to the law about registering with the police station first?

    When I went, the called someone and then told me that I needed to go to immigration first. They were adamant.

    Then, my HR told me that I need to the PSB first. Although, they admitted, the weren’t sure. They told me that it would be more “efficient” if I called myself, because the PSB spoke English.

    Also, are you saying that the PSB is the police station where I registered? Because the PSB location supplied by my HR is not the police station where I registered.

    Is it possible that local laws could be different? Because I’ve gotten three different answers and an HR that could care less.

    • Varya says:

      Hello, Jeremy.
      I suggest going straight to your PBS. If they choose to skip that step themselves, it is fine. However, over the years pretty much everyone I know has been sent back to the local police station for get the registration based just on the birth certificate.
      I am not sure about the source in Chinese. I was given a booklet in English which just had a law staying – birth registration is required. No steps described , and steps given by local immigration. After interviewing few parents from different cities I wrote the article.

      I can’t tell you what the barcode is for. There was no explanation, it is just a requirement. Perhaps for a proof that you did take the photos recently?

      We have a wechat group where we discuss these things. So perhaps you would like to be added there.

  7. Colin Thompson says:

    Hello, I have a question. My wife was born in China and became a HK permanent resident a few years ago – so she is now a HK citizen. We had a baby in China a few months ago and I am a little confused as to which is the best visa to apply for. I am Canadian and own a company here and have my visa through the company. My wife has a home permit (Exit/Entry permit) so needs no visa. I am unclear as to what visa I would need for the baby for China. We should have the Canadian passport in a few months and I am now planning to obtain the visa in the next few weeks. Thanks

  8. Iya says:

    My baby will turn two months this 2nd of July, is there penalty fine since we haven’t gone to PSB for registration?

  9. Iya says:

    Do you have any idea how much is the cost for the penalty fine?

  10. Iya says:

    Me and my husband are both employed in Foshan China, our baby now is more than one month but we still did not get her passport and nor even register her to PSB, what should we do? Do you have any idea how much will be the cost for fine?

    • Varya says:

      I am not sure what would happen, I would go ahead and register birth and see what they say. The earlier you do it, the better. And apply for that passport ASAP!

  11. Jane says:

    It’s kind of confusing to me. How many times can a baby visa who’s born be extended? My baby just turned 2years and she’s refused visa extension even though the both parents have their residence permits. They said it can only be extended twice that she needs to exit.

    • Varya says:

      It should be extended along with parents residency and given the same visa. But in some cities they want you to exit and get a visa from Chinese Embassy. Hong Kong or anything nearby would do

  12. Ani says:

    Hello, my husband is a student and my baby was born December last year. Is it necessary to obtain the letter from his campus first bedor go to PSB? Or can we just go straight to PSB without letter from his campus?

  13. Lisa says:

    My baby is already 2 years , only what he has is birth certificate , I am on refugee asylum document from UN , though his dad is on student visa what should I do? and should I be worried?

    • Jeremy & Jacquelyn Carman says:

      Lisa, that sounds like a complex situation. Are you married to the dad? Can you go through his embassy to register the birth?

    • Varya says:

      Hello, Lisa! I would contact UN office ASAP to find out about your unique situation. If both you and your husband are on refugee travel papers, they baby should have one issued for him , or signed into the father’s paper. That goes whether you are married or not. If your husband has a citizenship, you can choose whether to put him in your refugees paper or under his citizenship. But that has to be done ASAP. Do not delay so you don’t have issues in the future.

  14. Jennifer says:

    Can anyone tell me if the baby is born with two foreign parents do they need a marriage certificate to register the birth?

    • Jeremy & Jacquelyn Carman says:

      It’s easiest if you have your marriage certificate. However, it can be done without. You just have to go through some residency proofs instead. We did this for our first child because we didn’t bring the marriage certificate to China. We registered as if we were unmarried and my wife had to prove residency. I think I also had to sign some paperwork that I would support the child. Please check your embassy’s website on Consular Reports of Birth Abroad. For the US, it is here:

    • Varya says:

      It is not necessary as long as you have the birth certificate issued. Only upon issuance of the birth certificate or passport the DNA test might be required.

  15. Vivinia says:

    My boyfriend and I are currently students under the Chinese government scholarship and currently I am pregnant. I dint want to involve my university to say I am pregnant I decided to keep it private. Would I be fined or something if the Chinese Scholarship Council found out? Can it be possible that they don’t give my child a exit visa due to the fact that I am a student and not working?

    • Varya says:

      Hello, you must inquire first what the regulations are. It is unlikely you’d be fined if you don’t plan on quitting your studies and losing your scholarship.
      As per visa, I think you should be able to get your child an exit visa regardless of your own visa.
      I would consult your supervisor and also the immigration in your city.

  16. Ewang mbome says:

    Hello ma’am
    I and my wife has been granted fully funded scholarships by Chinese gov’t to study in the university of wuhan, China. The problem I have is my wife is 5 months pregnant and we are to travel and start school in December by then she would be 6 months. I really need ur help and advice if its good she still comes to China and will she be allowed?

    • Varya says:

      I don’t see an issue with her being pregnant and coming to China. She just needs a visa for an extensive time so she could give birth here – if that’s what you plan – and you would need to complete all procedures for baby’s passport and visa within 3 months from birth.

  17. Guchi says:

    Now my baby is already 1 year old , although he has birth registration certificate but didn’t go through the other police /PSB process , what should I do I’m a student ?

    • Varya says:

      Hi, if your baby has a visa then it should be fine. However, if you just registered birth and didn’t get a visa, you will, unfortunately receive a fine and would have to leave the country to re-enter the baby on a visa from abroad.

  18. Thomas Powell says:

    What are the locations for the “Immigration Bureau?”

  19. suman ghosh says:

    You have to apply Baby’s Permit within 2 months of baby’s birth. Please confirm this at your local PSB Exit entry office.

    • Varya says:

      Not sure what you mean by permit. Once you registered birth, you have 2-3 months – depending on a city – to complete your passport and visa process.

  20. Mary says:

    How does one apply for a baby’s permit that has to be before the baby is two week?

    • Varya says:

      You need to get a birth certificate from your hospital, go to your local PSB where you registered yourself, bring your documents there and ask for a registration for the baby without a passport. Then take all of that to the Exit-Entry bureau (the Immigration office) and submit to receive a special paper with a bar code that you would give back when applying for a visa with a passport.

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