Beijing rolls out criminal check for foreigners seeking employment in city

Beijing-based lawyer Gary Chodorow, on his blog Law and Border, has translated an announcement from the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Human Resources and Social Security (or BMBoHRaSS for short) that states that employment license applicants will be required to submit a “certificate of no criminal conviction” from their country of residence as of July 1, 2013.

Criminal Check for Foreigners

The new requirement comes after several recent news reports on foreign teachers sexually abusing their students (see here and here).

The announcement reads:

Per the requirements of the Regulations on the Administration of Employment of Foreigners in China, the Regulations on Foreign Experts’ Applications for Employment Permits, etc., foreigners applying to work in China should submit a certificate of no criminal conviction. In order to strictly enforce the rules and regulations related to examination and approval of employment licenses, effective July 1, 2013, a work unit applying for a foreigner’s employment license should submit with the application materials a certificate of no criminal conviction from the applicant’s place of residence. Specifically:

I. Scope of Persons Covered:
1. Persons applying for a “foreigner’s employment license” or “foreign expert work permit”;
2. Persons applying for a representative office’s “foreigner’s employment permit”; and
3. Persons who hold a “foreigner’s employment permit” or “foreign expert certificate” issued in another city seeking to transfer employment to our city.

II. Requirements for the Certificate:
1. A certificate of no criminal conviction should be issued by the public security or judicial authorities in the applicant’s place of residence (with a translation by an official translation company); and
2. The certificate of no criminal conviction should be authenticated by a Chinese Consulate.

Beijing Municipal Bureau of Human Resources and Social Security
June 4, 2013

Translation from Law and Border

Chodorow goes on to explain that the certificate must show the applicant has no criminal record after the age of 18 in their home country, but adds that the announcement doesn’t state whether the person applying will also need to supply documentation from other countries they’ve resided in.

It appears that the “certificate of no criminal conviction” requirement will apply only to initial applications, not applications for renewal, amendment, or annual inspections of work permits.

Some other cities, such as Suzhou and Nanjing, already have similar requirements in place. In addition, draft State Council regulations allow Chinese consulates to require a certificate of no criminal conviction as part of the visa application process.


  1. I wonder, for the USA, is the “certificate of no criminal conviction” required (a) a letter from the local police, (b) a letter from the state police, and/or (c) an FBI identification record (aka “rap sheet”)?

  2. hi
    i am residing in china and i need non criminal record certificate to provide to the company to apply for employment license for me. can i provide the non criminal certificate issued by Chinese police department or i necesserily need to go back my home country and get the certificate from there?

    • Here you can get a criminal record from many agencies online. The FBI. $18. The state, $8 in Texas.

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