I have a registered house in Shanghai that I rent with Airbnb.
Law changed in Dec 7th regarding registration.
My guest sent me a message: "The booking confirmation says I have to register my stay with local authorities latest 24 hrs prior to arriving. Do you have any advice on how I proceed with such registration? "
I of course know under which Police (PSB) district my house depends but does I have to do that as a host? on 24 hours prior to arrival?
Any advice would be appreciated!
@Bart I'm a Shanghai host also, and I've been dreading this transition for a number of reasons:
1. All hosts will now have their data lodged with the defacto Airbnb partnering company in China, meaning that the Chinese government can now demand your personal details, reservation details and guest data. I'm not at all comfortable with this.
2. For every Airbnb reservation, you, the host, will need to provide a written contract which the guest will have to submit directly to the local PSB within 24 hours of check-in. Or you can do it on their behalf. Time consuming and a huge hassle, because as you are probably aware, foreign guests staying at a hotel have this service performed automatically via a centralised computer registration service.
What really concerns me is that foreign, Chinese-based hosts may be infringing on their visa requirements simply by the act of hosting. If you, for example, are staying in China using a spousal L visa, you are not permitted to work. Does Airbnb constitiute employment?
I am married to a Shanghainese, and she has nothing to do with my hosting responsibilities. I have a business visa which allows me certain rights, but the whole hosting thing is a grey area.
So, as far as registration is concerned, I've drafted a pro-forma rental agreement (contract) which I give to guests upon check-in, tell them precisesly where the local PSB is, and as far as I'm concerned, it's up to them to register. I'm not going to sweat this until I get a formal police/government notification telling me to cease and desist! :/
Thanks for your valuable input.
As I see you are as unclear as I am on the topic :-)
The idea of drafting a contract is very good. May I ask what information you had in it?
For rental contract I know the monthly fee is normally indicated, does it mean that every time you have a guest you have to change the value of the contact too; do you mention the lengh of the contract? Are you the owner of the property or is it your wife or 2nd owner?
Did you already have guest registering (as they should) and if so did the PSB came to you to enquire?
I have been living in China for many years now, normally as 'Tenants' need to register when we move in - my guest said he should register "prior to arrival" - I am not sure how to understand this point as I thought it was the responsability of the 'tenant' not the owner to go register (of course for hotels it is not the same I guess).
Do you mention the fact that guest should register in your listing?
Thanks again for your help on the topic.
From what I have understood the apartment owner has to help the guest as he/she needs to provide copies of his/her ID/lease details. I was also trying to contact you personally as I wanted to be in China for a month and, to be honest, I'd rather abide by the rules so if you still have rentals in China and if you register your guests, I needed some help because this has been so frustrating so far :(
Thanks a million,
I was just denied a 72 hrs transit visa just because I did not registered with the local police when I flew out of Beijing on my way to Bangkok. On my way to Bangkok, I stop over Beijing for 1 night and was a tenant with a local host in one of the hutongs. It took some 1 -1.5 hrs to process my visa application at the airport via various calls and checks. Upon granting the visa, the immigration officer never mentioned or gave me any instruction that I am to register with the local authorities. Upon arriving at my host place, my host never mentioned this requirement too and I went on with my short sightseeing the following day. I flew out of Beijing with no problem from Chinese immigration after handling over my departure card.
However on my return trip to Canada from Bangkok, I decided to spend 2 nights in Beijing but this time in a hotel. But this time, I was denied the 72 hours transit visa as the immigration told me that when I was in Beijing 2 weeks ago, I did not register with the police. She handed me an information card to inform me of the ruling. The officer asked me to book the next available flight out of Beijing. Not only did it cost me extra to make the flight change but I also lost my hotel confirmation as well as my tour bookings.
As I was new to AirBnb, I felt firstly, the organisation should have been aware of this Chinese immigration ruling and advise anyone planning to be a tenant in China. It should be like a travel advisory warning when booking.
My host can't speak english and I was surprised that non of the positive reviewers I read, even mentioned about the compulsory registration requirement. As totally new to Beijing, how am I to know where the local police station is. Even the taxi drivers don't speak a word of english and to be in station to complete the registration, can be a real challenge. How do you explain to the local police officer why you are here. Goggle translation is not going to help.
It should be the host responsibility to assist the tenant to register with the local police station. The host has all the details and can have the document ready. AirBnb for China should ensure that this is a requirement that all hosts should be responsible.
I hope my experience will not happen to the someone else.
I have read your article several times and just realized that you were entering China without a visa and trying to get either a 72 hour or 144 hour transit free visa. I know the law says that "all non Chinese nationals need to register with local PSB within 24 hours". Therefore I have been assuming that even a tourist with a "L" 10 year visa also has to register. So I been preparing myself to register in Shanghai this Oct where I will be staying only 3 nights. It would save me time if I did not have to register. I haven't even gotten to first base on this question even at the Chinese consulate in SF. Since you directly experienced this issue, I thought you might have more insight. Thanks
What information is usually needed for us to register? I have booked a listing in Beijing and informed my host about this requirement, but he does not seem to have any clue about this rule because previous tenants have not registered either. I would really prefer to follow the regulations of the country so we don't get in any trouble. Any advice? Thank you!
What happened eventually? I am in exactly the same situation and not even the Chinese embassy seemed to know about this. Maybe we are panicking for no reason, but then again I don't want to have problems as I will be alone there. Please share your experience.
Because the host wasn’t giving me any information on how to register when we arrive (he insists it wasn’t necessary), my friends and I decided to cancel our booking. Luckily, it was free cancellation.
We didn’t really want to risk not following their laws and if the host wasn’t going to assist us with this, we decided it may be safer to just stay in a hotel. Hotels usually do the registration for you when you check in. Less hassle this way.
We haven’t taken our trip yet
Similarly, I booked an airbnb in Beijing for my upcoming trip a week ago until I read about the strict registration rule in China. First thing first... I don't think Airbnb is being very transparent about this requirement on the listings. There is none that state that this registration is required for legal purposes. All foreigners are required to register your lodging within 24 or 48 hours upon arrival to the country. I was suddenly caught with these sudden worries:
1) What if during immigration at arrival ... the officers question me about my lodging? (Even if you write the Airbnb address you will be checking into...)
- Host: "Don't worry about that, just say you are a friend of _______ (name of owner)"
Question is: Arriving is okay. I can say that. But what about when im leaving the country?
2) Will you (host) be taking me to the police station to register for me?
- Host: When you come just send me photos of your passports. I will do it for you.
3) Oh, but according to the internet, I have to go with you to the police station. Do I have to do that?
- Host: You will see when you come. Normally we don't have to register.
Seriously. Is this even legal? She is just trying to get me over and not cancel my reservation. When I arrive there, its just a game of roulette to see if I will get caught or not. When I'm there, if she doesn't register me and I get lucky, fine, I get to go home safely. Otherwise, if my luck runs out and I meet with a difficult immigration officer in the airport, will she be able to help me in any way? I don't know her government ID, neither do I know even her real name. There are many other co-hosts in her properties and there are many properties these people have. Are they legal? Are they rented out legally?
The person who liased with me wasn't even the person on the "HOST" image in the ad page. The reviews were all made by China Chinese people who apparently do not need to worry about these stuff since they ain't foreigners. But what about us? She also did not reply my question as to if she will be willing to provide me with an invitation letter to "invite" me over to her house to "stay" as a "friend".
I have contacted airbnb about this because I want to cancel with a full refund. The transaction wasn't transparent and safe for foreign travellers. Thank goodness I searched on the internet about it otherwise imagine going there and facing all these problems! I have read that people get stuck at immigration when they are going back, causing them to miss their flights and go through interrogations with the Chinese police. This is my holiday and I have no wish to go through all these.
Airbnb has given me quite a bit of support and understanding. I am still waiting for Airbnb to get back to me because apparently the host did not reply her. She will be given 48 hours to reply before Airbnb will decide if I get my refund or not (the cancellation policy was STRICT for this listing).
I am not hard up for that cancellation fees if I truly wanted to cancel it. I have paid my fair share when I cancelled previous listings due to other reasons but this is right out cheating.
I have booked a hotel and although it's pricier, at least I know I'm covered.
To people out there, my advice is that before you book a China airbnb, always contact the host first and ask for an INVITATION LETTER for you to show during your arrival at immigration. Play safe. Don't trust them to bring you to the police station when you arrive. It might or might not happen. Another way is to read reviews by OTHER foreigners that state that the host was good and gave invitation letters... helped with the registration of residence... etc.
Don't ruin your holiday. Pay a bit extra for a safe trip.
I wish you all the best and I hope I get my money back! :D
I wanted to know if as a guest we still need to register to the police station. I know that the rules are changing quite often. I ask my host who is Chinese and she is telling me no, we don't need. Though, I would like to be sure.
Thanks in advance for your answers.
Does anyone have any updated information about registration in china? We have planned to visit several different cities for only 3-4 days each , using Airbnb. We need to plan to register each time? And go to the PSB with each host? I’m mostly concerned about when we try to enter and exit the country.