FAQs on Shanghai's immigration hotline


"What should I do if I my passport fell into the Huangpu River?"

A foreigner once called Shanghai's 12367 immigration hotline service and asked that question. 

Of course the probability for your passport falling into the Huangpu River is low. But have you ever wondered what foreigners in Shanghai have typically asked on the 12367 hotline?

On June 7, the Exit-Entry Administration Bureau of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau answered some of the most frequently-asked questions. 


Officials of the Exit-Entry Administration Bureau of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau answer some of the most frequently-asked questions on the 12367 hotline. [Photo/Shanghai Eye] 

Q: My husband is a university professor, and he wants to apply for permanent residency. What should he do? 

A: If your husband is a university professor, he can apply for permanent residency through a university recommendation, or he can apply by providing documents such as his doctoral degree certificate and proof of meeting certain annual income standards.


Q: What type of visa should my relatives apply for if they want to come to China to visit me while I hold a resident permit in China?

A: If you are studying in China and hold a student resident permit, your family members can apply for a family visit visa (S1 or S2 visa). If your parents, spouse, or children wish to stay longer, they can apply for a visa extension or a residence permit, but the validity period cannot exceed that of your own student resident permit.


Q: What is the Five-Star Card?

A: The Five-Star Card is the new version of the permanent resident card. Compared to the old version, it has some improvements, such as the card number increasing from 15 digits to 18 digits and an upgraded chip to better meet the needs of foreigners living in China. 



The Five-Star Card. [Photo/National Immigration Administration]

Q: What functions does the Five-Star Card have?

A: The Five-Star Card is similar to a Chinese identification card and can be used as a standalone identification document within China. For example, when buying airline or train tickets, it can be used directly without the need to present a foreign passport. 

This card typically has a validity period of 10 years. Cardholders can reside continuously in China during its validity, with permanent resident status. If a cardholder wishes to work in China, they do not need to apply for a work permit.


Q: If I already have a permanent resident card, do I need to apply for the Five-Star Card? What are the differences between the two?

A: Currently, there is no immediate need to replace the old permanent resident card with the new Five-Star Card, as the original permanent resident card is still valid and usable. 


If you have more questions about working, traveling or working in Shanghai, please call 12367. 


Source: WeChat account "Xinwenfang"