China 101: Giving Birth In Zhuhai Part 2 {Birth Registration, Certificate and Visa}

After getting so many responses on Part 1, I decided not to wait and write about a very important part of having a baby in Zhuhai and China in general: obtaining birth certificate, registering the birth with local authorities and obtaining visa.
When our first daughter was born in 2008, I was one of 2 foreign women that year who gave birth in Zhuhai. So at that time we took time to get the birth certificate, we never heard of nor did we register the birth, and we got the passport when we got it and then got the visa. I think it took us nearly 3 months for everything. No one minded. No one said anything.
In 2012 when I was just having my 2nd child, a friend who had given birth 6 months before, was trying to exit the country with her baby and was subjected to a big fine. Reason? No birth registration, no visa obtained at a proper time. As I found out later, this was the second family that had suffered the consequences of that mysterious birth registration.
I was on a mission: I went to the exit-entry bureau and I said I had a baby. They nodded and said OK. I asked whether I needed to register it. They told me when she’d get her passport. So, off I went.  We tried to register the baby at the police station with a birth certificate but were told there was absolutely no need.  And off I went again.
When we came to apply for her visa over a month later, we were told that we … didn’t register the birth! I was so shocked and I started crying because I ran a scenario that my friend just recently went through: big fine and the child HAS to leave the country to get a visa to re-enter China. To be “fair” (but really not because my friends were never told anywhere they HAD to do it within certain time!), my friends applied for everything when their baby was 6 months. So, perhaps just because we were late by a couple of weeks, or may be seeing my “crocodile” size tears, all puffed with one baby in a sling and another one in a stroller, we were sent to a “back door” where a female officer came in, interviewed me, wrote down something in some kind of a form and we were let off with a warning.
This made me gather all possible information on how birth registration is done and the 3rd time around I made sure we had all documents ready (even though it cost me some running around 10 days postpartum after a c-section!).


Note: this process applies when both parents are not Chinese. If at least one parent is Chinese and you wish your child to be a non-Chinese citizen, the process might be somewhat different.
Birth certificate:
 I gave birth at Women and Children’s hospital, so please use this just as a general reference. The process might be longer in other hospitals and/or slightly different. The procedure at MCH is quite simple: 7 days after being discharged from the hospital (or any time later), you need to gather the following documents:
1. Pink paper slip you are given at the hospital when you are getting discharged and after you have cleared all your bills. They WILL tell you that this is needed for applying for the birth certificate.
2. Receipt stating you have paid all the hospital bills.
3. A copy of yours and your spouse’s/partner’s passport page where your name is written and your picture is located.
Once you have gathered it all, you go to a designated at the hospital place on certain days (e.g. at MCH it is Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm ONLY). You take a number and then when you are called you will give your documents, fill the form (if needed – with the 3rd baby I filled it all when I was getting admitted to the hospital and only had to fill in the baby’s name) and wait for about 15-20 minutes. There is no charge for the certificate – it comes as a package with your birth.
Note: I wouldn’t recommend laminating the certificate since sometimes the authenticity may need to be proved (e.g. when we were applying for the passport and had to translate and legalize it at the Notary’s).
And don’t forget to ask all the questions from the staff on birth certificate – often the information is not volunteered!
Birth registration:
Every Embassy takes different amount of time to issue the passport and has different procedures for that. So, first of all, here’s what the law states on foreigners having babies in China: all foreigners must register birth within 1 month from the time the baby was born. They must also obtain a passport and a Chinese visa for their baby within 3 months from the time the baby was born.
Here is how you register the birth:
1. First and foremost, you MUST be registered at the place of your residence despite the type of visa you have (tourist, business, employment or family).
2. Take your police registration, yours and your spouse’s passport, your baby’s birth certificate to your local PSB and ask your baby to be given the same registration at the place of residence as yours.
NOTE: They may have NO clue how to do it. So instruct them: there is no need for a photo, there is no need to fill anything except baby’s name as in the birth certificate, date of birth, birth certificate number and address. THAT’S IT. Expect them to call their bosses – INSIST on them calling their bosses for clarification.
3. Next step is the registration of birth at the exit-entry bureau (also known as the immigration bureau – a place where you apply for your visa).
Address in Chinese: 珠海市公安局出入境管理处珠海市香洲区香洲香华路493号
咨询电话:0756-8640525 0756-8640526
You will need the following documents:
– both parents’ passports + copies of the visa pages and information pages;
– baby’s birth certificate + a copy of it
– baby’s police registration + a copy of it
– both parents’ police registrations + copies of them
Take all these documents to the office Monday through Friday 8.30 am to 12 pm and 2.30 pm to 5pm. Check all the documents on the 1st floor, on your left as you enter at the tables. You will be given a number and you will be directed to the 2nd floor. Once the officer on the 2nd floor accepts all you documents, you will be given a kind of receipt with a bar code on it and your child’s name. THERE IS NO FEE TO BE PAID. You must keep this receipt and once you are back to apply for the visa, you must present this receipt along with other documents.
There. After jumping a few hoops, your child’s birth is now registered and you can go on with the passport and visa application. Once your received the passport, you need to repeat the police registration process. This time only the visa space and the date of entry to China will remain empty. This registration sheet will be needed for visa application.
NOTE: If your Embassy/Consulate is able to issue a passport before your child is 30 days old, it means you can apply for visa right away and you can skip registering birth with the entry exit bureau. You will just need to register at the police station with the passport (not birth certificate).
Visa Application:
The final step after which you can sit back and relax!
You will need the following documents:
1. Both parents passports and baby’s passport + copies of visa pages and photo pages.
2. Both parents and baby’s police registrations + copies
3. Bar code pictures for the baby. What is it? You go to any Photo shop, take a regular passport size photo + ask for the bar code picture – each photographer has an access to a special website where this bar code picture is registered.  This is possible to arrange right at the exit entry bureau on the 1st floor. But it will cost some 10 yuan or so more. As well as you can take copies of all your required documents right there.
4. Filled application form – you will get it when you give your documents for a check on the first floor at the tables.
4. If at least one of the parents is legally employed in Zhuhai and has a valid work permit, you will need the original work permit, copies of all filled in pages. PLUS, you need the following letter to be filled with your information and your baby’s information and stamped by your company of employment. Remove English text before printing this out.
Disclaimer: the original source of the letter sample is located at VisaChina.Com However, it has been modified for a particular city and a particular situation.
姓名(Full Name):
护照号码(Passport Number):

姓名(Full Name):
护照号码(Passport Number):

公司盖章(Company stamp here)
     年  月
In case if you are here on a business or tourist visa, you may be asked what your purposed of stay in China is. But that’s quite rare!
So, here. If I missed anything, please let me know! If you have any questions – please contact me via comments or email me!
Stay tuned for the next post!
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3 thoughts on “China 101: Giving Birth In Zhuhai Part 2 {Birth Registration, Certificate and Visa}

  1. Hi, Varya!
    Thanks for your blog and all the information you’ve shared. I believe I heard a lot about you through our mutual acquaintances for you and your family are really famous amongst the Zhuhai expats. ((((:
    As for myself, I am almost half-way through my first ever pregnancy (a single mom to be) and I am thinking of having my baby here, in China. I am pretty frightened, to be honest, but thanks to your blog I now have a clearer vision of what lies ahead.
    I am happy there are good people like you who are willing to provide help and advice to the clueless folk like myself!

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