In hindsight moving to China during the middle of Chinese New Year wasn’t such a great idea. Trying to shuffle logistics with bureaucracy during the biggest Chinese holiday is problematic at best and very frustrating at its worst. Then a year later you have to renew your work permit and you have to go through it all over again and its a headache.
Chinese New Year is a lunar holiday, so the date shifts from year to year. In 2012 the Spring Festival falls the earliest it can in the calendar : Jan 23rd through Jan 28th. Our work permit and residency permit expires on 2/16, you can start the renewal process 30 days prior to the expiration and you must file at least one day before the expiration. The problem is that we are out of the country until Jan 29th (Sunday) which means the soonest we can start the process is Jan 30th, which is still fine except for the fact I have to be to mandatory meetings in Seattle starting 2/6 and I am not finished until 2/13, which leaves no time to return before the deadline of 2/15. So the plan is to renew first after returning from Chinese New Year and go to Seattle late. Here is how the process should play out :
- Wait to start until we return from our Chinese New Year vacation on Sunday Jan 29th
- Monday Jan 30th renew our temporary residency permit. We have to wait until our return to the country to renew this so that the Chinese computer system shows us “in-country” This renewal is done with the local police station and is usually best handled by your property management company if at all possible. This requires taking the following paper work to the local police station :
- original passport and copy of your passport
- lease contract – stating your residency terms
- certificate of property management company where you are living
- landlord and property management information; their identification numbers etc
- Renewal with a law agency that handles Work Permit and Residency Permit requires the following documents and takes seven days :
- Original Passport of you and your family members
- Original Work Permit
- Three passport sized photos of you and one for family members (White or light blue background)
- Updated Temporary Residence Registration Form (see above) of you and your family members issued by police station
Once again I got confused between the fact that a temporary residency permit is just your registration of where you live with the police station, you can and need one of these even if you are on a visitor’s visa vacationing in China. (Your hotel usually takes care of this for you). But your Residence Permit is the right to live on a permanent basis in China.
We’ll see how it goes, hopefully we can juggle all the steps and bureaucracy goes smoothly.