All are essentially the same thing: an official document, issued by your home country or country of residence stating you have no prior criminal records.
Why do you need a criminal background check when applying for a China work visa? Because China wants to ensure people with criminal backgrounds do not enter and work in their country. So far, so logical.
The procedure for obtaining your criminal record check differs depending on your country of origin. Yet before we move on to our step-by-step guides, you should know that there are a few prerequisites they all share.
Your criminal record check should be:
- No more than 6 months old (from date of issue until you apply for your visa)
- Signed by the issuing authority
- From your country of current residence. PLUS any other country (countries) you have resided in, for more than 6 months, in the last 5 years
- Authenticated, in the issuing country, at your local Chinese Embassy, consulate or visa centre.
This is a time-consuming process so factor this in when making your visa application.
Which authorities issue criminal record checks for your China work visa?
Criminal record certificates are issued by law enforcement agencies. Usually, you can get yours at police stations, county sheriff’s offices and even the FBI if your employer requests a federal criminal check. In essence, it’s the authorities in your country that keep records of criminal activities.
Please note that Criminal Record Checks application incurs a fee in every country, EXCEPT New Zealand
Whilst getting a criminal background check will be a somewhat easy and swift affair for some, it won’t be for all. If you are trying to get one from the US, you should count on a more complicated procedure. One that can take up to 10 weeks!
There are ways to expedite the process and we’ll detail those on a country-by-country basis.
Here are the short-cuts to our step-by-step guides
How to get a criminal background check from
We’ve also included:
This is something you will need when you decide your time in China is up. Given you will likely have clocked up a year (or more) living in China, you will need a criminal background check. Getting this document after you leave is a headache you want to avoid.