Before you start to move to Beijing, you definitely need to check pre-relocation checklist. You also need to apply for China entry visa in order to enter, study, tour or transit, work and live in China. If you need to bring your pets to China, you need to examine the latest rules and regulations. Last, don't forget to open local bank account upon arrival.

30-60 days before departure

  •  Have medical, dental and eye check-ups
  •  Obtain medical records and prescriptions
  •  Organize household effects according to accompanying baggage, unaccompanied baggage and storage
  •  Transportation or sale arrangements for cars
  •  Make any necessary arrangements for pets
  •  Rent or sell your house

15-30 days before departure

  •  Clear any outstanding accounts, such as department store, medical bill, utilities, taxes, newspaper delivery, etc.
  •  Lodge documents for ease of access or safekeeping, such as deeds and titles, policies, guarantees and receipts, wills, power of attorney, qualification certificates, marriage, birth certificates, etc.
  •  Collect documents to take personally, such as children’s school reports and workbooks, medical history and prescriptions.

14 days before departure

  •  Organize forwarding of mail
  •  Sort and removed unwanted clothing and household items in preparation for packing
  •  Arrange any property repairs /maintenance
  •  Notify friends/ family / business of the change of your address and telephone

1 day before departure

  •  Empty and defrost refrigerator, clean oven
  •  Pack personal belongings
  •  Secure all doors, windows and gates
  •  Turn off power

China Entry Visas

Every Chinese citizen has to carry a shen-fen-zheng, and every visitor must hold the appropriate visa to enter, study, tour or transit, work and live in China. The following information is a brief outline of requirements for visitors, however check with your nearest Chinese embassy / consulate for up-to-date requirements:

To enter China all passports must be valid for six months from the date you have made the visa application.

Foreigners are required to register residential or living address in China with the police within 24 hours of arriving in Beijing. Hotels and service apartments will register on guests’ behalf. Compound management will also often normally assist with this process. Bear in mind, overseas guests staying in a foreigners’ home are also required register living address with the police.

Anyone entering China must have a visa issued by the Chinese Embassy/Consulate before they arrive in China. Only citizens from Hong Kong do not require a visa.

If you need to stay in China more than you planed, please extend your visa in time; otherwise you may incur a hefty fine. On the Chinese visa, there will be a stay period restriction (30, 60, 90 days) upon each entry, make sure you leave China or extend your visa in advance. For more details, contact Exit and Entry Administration of the Public Security Bureau

Visa Types

The Z visa allows the bearer to work full-time in China with a Chinese or foreign company, school or other entity. The Z visa is also granted to accompanying family members. Applicants need a visa notification issued from the inviting organization and a work permit issued by the Chinese Labor Ministry or a Foreign Expert’s License issued by the Chinese Foreign Expert Bureau. Family members may require proof of kinship such as marriage license or birth certificates.

The F visas are issued to foreigners invited to China for business. F visas are also issued for business related reasons such as business related research, speaking engagements, scientific, technological and culture exchanges, or short-term advanced studies. Internships and student programs of less than 6 months will also be issues an F visa. F visa usually grants 90 days entry to China. F visa renewed in China are valid for only 30 days in most cases. Double or multiple-entry F visas for stays of six or twelve months are available, however require extensive documentation including visa-issuance letter from a Chinese governmental organization or invitation letters from a multinational’s home country office and China office.

The L visa is issued for family visits, sightseeing, or other private purpose. L visas grant a period of 90 days to enter China and are generally valid for 30 days. Longer stays of up to 180 days can be issued if sufficient reasons or documentation is provided. Double or multiple-entry is available.

The X visa is intended for foreigners who come to China to study for more than six months. Students need letters from their university.

The C visas are issued to crew members (and their accompanying family members) on international trains, airliners or water vessels.

J-1 visas are issued to journalists working in China for over one year. J-2 visas are issued to those on temporary assignments in China.

D visas are issued to foreigners' establishing permanent residency in China.

G visa is required travelers transiting China for over 24 hours. Single and double entry visas are available. This visa grants a period of 90 days to enter China and is valid for 7-10 days.

Requirements bringing pets to china

One pet per passport is allowed into China. Passport holders need to hold a Z visa (employment visa) to import a pet. Owners must prepare the following documents:

  • An official certificate of recent rabies vaccination. Vaccination must be no more than 12 months old and at least 30 days prior to entry.
  • An official certificate from your country of origin for exporting your pet. Each country has a different procedure. To confirm which government agency oversees this process in your country, ask your vet or a relocation company. In Hong Kong, it is the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department; in Singapore, it is the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore.
  • A health certificate (or letter) prepared by a vet, attesting to the health of your pet.

Quarantine in beijing

In China, the Entry/Exit Inspection Quarantine Bureau oversees all animals for import and export in China. The bureau requires a 30-day quarantine for pets arriving in China. Some Chinese cities may be lax about this rule, but the government is stepping up enforcement. Occasionally, diplomatic passport holders are given the courtesy of a 30-day quarantine at home, but there are no guarantees. In cities less strict about the mandatory quarantine, relocation companies have been able to reduce the quarantine period significantly. Officially, owners are not permitted to see their pets during quarantine by CIQ. In preparation for quarantine, owners should consider vaccinating their pet for kennel cough at least two weeks before departure.

Arrival in china

After quarantine, owners should bring their pet to a vet for a routine check-up. Not all of Beijing’s veterinary hospitals are legally registered with the Chinese government to provide rabies vaccinations. Your vet should have a large gold plaque with Chinese characters on it that reads:动物狂犬病免疫注射定点单位. Furthermore, only Chinese veterinarians are licensed to practice and administer shots in China. Relocating within China or leaving the country with your pet requires an official Beijing Animal Health and Immunity Certificate (a red booklet listing your pet’s vaccinations) from an official animal hospital. Choose a hospital wisely and stay with them; it’ll help keep your paperwork in order if you need to relocate again with your pet.

As the only legally registered full-service, fully-owned foreign animal hospital in northern China, International Center for Veterinary Services comes highly recommended. The international staff speaks both English and Mandarin. In addition to veterinary services, ICVS also provides boarding and day care services, as well as grooming, obedience training and a well-stocked pet store. Owners can also take their pets to the legally registered Guan Shang Animal Hospital (Chinese-speaking only).

Pet owners are strongly encouraged to research the latest rules and regulations. For more information or guidance, contact a pet relocation agency.

Opening a Bank Account

Opening a local bank account is straightforward. Take a valid passport to a preferred local bank branch such as Bank of China, and fill out a bank account application form. A local mailing address in Chinese and initial deposit of at least RMB 10 will also be needed. Most banks automatically issue a multi-currency personal bank account. Banking staff in downtown areas often speak proficient English. A bank passbook and an ATM/debit card are issued immediately once the application is processed. Greenpath Services include assistance in opening a bank account in Beijing.

Local banks do not offer joint accounts for families. It is common for one spouse to have a bank account in their name and share the passbook or debit card with the spouse. Alternatively, open two separate accounts and transfer money between the two accounts. Local banks do not offer monthly statements, however Bank of China, ICBC and China Construction Bank offer online services in English. The passbook will be a record of debits and credits. If planning to buy a property in China, old passbooks will serve as proof of monthly bank amounts, so keep them. All Chinese banks allow receipt of wire transfers, and many allow wire transfers of US Dollars to overseas accounts for a fee. Open a personal account and conduct transactions at any branch location, but for problems and special inquiries contact the bank head office.

Personal checks are seldom used in China and cashing checks can take longer than in the West. Bank staffs examine checks carefully for any irregularity. The slightest difference in signatures or any corrections will be questioned and returned for verification. Do not postdate checks. Use a black or blue ballpoint pen.

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