Foreign criminal record checks: Who needs them?
In many Chinese cities (certainly in the larger cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou), foreigners applying for a work permit (the first stage of applying for a Z work visa) are now required to provide a “Certificate of No Criminal Conviction” (CNCC) proving that they have a clean criminal record in their home country. Below you’ll find the information you need to apply for your own check.
Note that some jobs require Chinese criminal record checks as well as or instead of foreign ones; see this article for more information.
Who needs a CNCC?
You must present your CNCC as part of the process of applying for a work permit. Remember, a Chinese work permit and a Chinese Z work visa are two different things: You must apply for a work permit successfully before you can apply for a Chinese Z (work) visa. Therefore, if you do not already have a Z visa, you will need to present a CNCC before you can get one.
If you already have a Z work visa, and are simply in the process of renewing your visa, there’s no need to prove you have a clean criminal record. Your work permit does not need to be renewed each time you renew your work visa, so a criminal record check doesn’t factor in this process.
Those who are applying for tourist, student or any number of “visit”-type visas do not need to prove they have a clean criminal record.
Applying for a criminal record check in your home country
If you do need a CNCC, the process will likely vary in each country, but expect to be put through various bureaucratic hoops (with potential time delays and costs each step of the way). The basic procedure will go something like this:
- In your home country, visit an authority who would have access to your records. This could be a police station, the department of justice, a local courthouse or similar law enforcement department.
- You may be required to present your passport, documents as proof of residence, recent photos and fingerprints, so be prepared.
- Tell the authorities that you need a certificate proving that you have a clean criminal record from the age of 18.
- Complete any relevant application forms.
- Allow a few days before collecting the certificate. Pay any fees required.
- The certificate should be notarized by a public notary. Again, this will likely require a fee to be paid, and may require a day or two.
- The certificate must then be taken to your local Chinese embassy or consulate for authentication.
- When you have collected your CNCC from the Chinese embassy or consulate, you’re ready to submit it to your employer or whoever is handling your work permit application.
Useful Chinese words and phrases
|犯罪记录证明||fànzuì jìlù zhèngmíng||Criminal record check|
|工作许可||gōngzuò xǔkě||Working permit|
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