How to Obtain a Chinese Passport

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Passports are required if you want to travel outside of your own country, whether it be for business or to sight see. Applying for a passport can be an overwhelming process for anyone, but the passport restrictions in China are different than in other countries. Chinese law requires additional processes and approvals before a citizen can leave the country. Obtaining a Chinese passport is the first step for Chinese citizens to visit abroad. Completing the process correctly can save a lot of time and frustration.

Things You'll Need

  • Chinese travel guide
  • Chinese birth certificate
  • Identification card
  • Certificate of residence
  • Passport photograph
  • Application

Go to your nearest Chinese embassy or other institution authorized to process Chinese passports. You can find this by seeing the link in our Resources section. You can also go to a bookstore to get a Chinese travel guide for a list of Chinese embassies by country and the contact information for each embassy.

Call your nearest authorized institution--such as a Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Public Security Bureau--to learn what documents you will need to bring upon completing your Chinese passport application. Some examples of required documents are a Chinese birth certificate, identification card and certificate of residence.

Locate your nearest passport photographers in the Yellow Pages. Have your passport photograph taken. Take at least 3 different versions. Passport photographs must be 48 millimeters by 33 millimeters, taken against a light blue or white background. The measurement of your head in the photograph must be 28 to 33 millimeters high and 21 to 24 millimeters wide.

Go to the embassy or authorized institution to interview with consular officers about where you are traveling, for what purpose and how long you will be gone. They will then determine which type of passport you are qualified for, such as Diplomatic, Service (both of which are for government officials) or Ordinary (for all personal matters, such as visiting friends or going to school).

Fill out a Chinese passport application and any other supplementary forms the consular officer requests. The requests for additional documentation and forms vary from case to case, but some examples are application for work permit, proof of university acceptance or any other documents that explain why you are leaving China. These documents can prove that you are likely coming back.

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Tips & Warnings

  • It can take around 30 days to receive a Chinese passport. Begin the passport application as soon as possible.
  • Dual citizenship is not recognized in China. If you already have a passport from another country, you will not be able to obtain a Chinese passport.
  • Many Chinese passports are rejected due to passport photographs that do not meet requirements; take at least 3 different photographs with you to be on the safe side.

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