If you find yourself on a plane to Shanghai, being with us for any amount of time — usually, people do the one year, becomes two years, becomes three years, becomes 20 years thing, but you do you — there are a bunch of QR Codes you're going to have to deal with to get set up right.
These are them. All in one place.
It goes without saying, you've already got WeChat and Alipay on your phone. Those are the apps you're going to be using to scan these. They're a little different but also the same thing. Choose one which is working out for you and use it.
1Upon Arrival at the Airport: The Health Declaration Form
Anyone entering China is required to submit a Health Declaration Form, which records your information, where you're coming from, where you have been in the past two weeks, your address in China, and whether you are experiencing any flu symptoms, among other things. Pro tip: You are not experiencing any flu symptoms.
Either scan the QR code above with WeChat, or apply through this website:
Each application is valid for 24 hours, so you can fill out the form before you arrive at the customs inspection.
Whether you do this via the website or WeChat (just do it on WeChat), you'll be taking a screenshot of it and showing it to whomever in uniform asks. It's a fairly painless process and, even so, people will be on-hand at the airport to help you through it if you can't figure it out.
2When You Move In: Register With The Police
According to the law, residents in China, no matter how temporary, have to register with the police within 24 hours of arriving in-country. If you're staying in a hotel, they take care of this for you. If you are renting an apartment and staying longer you have to do this yourself. You also have to do this every time you move apartments.
Before the online system, new residents had to go down to the police station to do this in person. Now, it's way easier, with this straightforward English-language platform accessible by phone. They're even more lax about the time period, cutting you some leeway if you don't manage to do it right away. But don't leave it too long. It's one of those things that comes back to haunt you.
Here is the link to do it online: https://gaj.sh.gov.cn/crj/24hr
Or scan this code:
and here's a full step-by-step guide on how to do it.
Alternatively, you can also go to the nearest police station.
3When You Get One: Register Your Dog
Dog ownership is no small responsibility in Shanghai, one of the chief ones being that you need to get them licensed. This involves getting them a microchip and a rabies vaccine and then registering them with the local authorities. You also pay a fee depending if they are spayed/neutered or not. (It's cheaper if they are.)
You can read more about this whole process in SmSh's full guide to dog licenses right here.
The registration part of this process, the part that you would have gone to the local authorities to complete, is something you can do online through this WeChat MiniProgram.
4After 20 Years: When You Leave Shanghai
After you've lived a long and rewarding life in Shanghai and made your millions opening a successful chain of localized tapas restaurants, leaving the city requires you to fill out the Health Declaration Form again. It's the same form. Scan the QR code from step one.
Hopefully, you didn't overstay your visa. Here's where to go if you did:
Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau
1500 Minsheng Lu,
near Yingchun Lu
If you're leaving with a family in tow, remember that mixed nationality kids need an Entry-Exit Permit to leave the country. Here's a guide on how to apply for that.
This How-To guide is work in progress, we are constantly updating it as we receive new information. We rely on readers like you (yes YOU). If you find this guide useful please help us improve it by adding comments in each step or by clicking the "Verify" link if you find the information provided to be correct.