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Part I. Procedures for Accreditation in China
2004-11-10

A. Foreign Journalist Card
B. Visas and Residence Permits

C. Reporting the loss of passport or property

A. Foreign Journalist Card

 1. Applying for Accreditation in China

According to the "Regulations Concerning Foreign Journalists and Permanent Offices of Foreign News Agencies" (hereafter referred to as the "Regulations"), resident foreign correspondents refer to career journalists dispatched by foreign news agencies to be stationed in China for a period of over six months for news coverage and reporting. They may be based in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen in China. The Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in charge of the affairs concerning resident foreign correspondents in China. With the authorization of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Foreign Affairs Offices (FAOs) of the Shanghai and Guangzhou Municipal Governments are respectively responsible for foreign resident correspondents in Shanghai and Guangdong.

To station a resident correspondent in China, foreign news agencies must first submit a written application to the Information Department. The application should be sent directly to the Information Department or through a PRC embassy or consulate. The application should be signed by relevant management personnel in the agency's head office and should be accompanied by the following:

1.)A brief description containing basic information about the news agency concerned.
2.)The name, age, gender, nationality, professional title, resume, and intended city of residence of the correspondent to be sent.
3.)Credentials or documents identifying the correspondent as a career journalist.
          
Upon approval of the application, the news agency may send the correspondent to China. If two or more foreign news agencies want to appoint the same journalist as their resident correspondent in China, they should go through the above-mentioned application procedures separately and indicate in their respective applications the posts the correspondent will concurrently hold.

2.Applying for a Foreign Journalist Card

The Foreign Journalist Card is the bearer's ID card in China. Foreign correspondents must carry and present it for verification when conducting interviews and news reporting. When interviewing or traveling, foreign correspondents are required to carry valid documents with them, including the Foreign Journalist Card, passport and Foreigner Residence Permit.

ØNew Arrivals

Approved foreign correspondents should register at the International Press Center (IPC) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs within seven working days of their arrival in China. Each new correspondent should bring his/her passport and a letter of appointment signed by relevant management personnel at the headquarters of the correspondent's news agency, such as a chairman, president, vice president, editor-in-chief, deputy editor-in-chief, etc. Correspondents to be based in Shanghai or Guangzhou should register at the Shanghai FAO and Guandong FAO respectively. They will be asked to fill out two copies of a Foreign Journalist Card registration form, their home and office addresses and submit six passport photos. They will then receive a Foreign Journalist Card issued by the Information Department. The Foreign Journalist Card for resident correspondents in Shanghai and Guangzhou will be issued by the Shanghai FAO and Guangdong FAO respectively.

ØCorrespondents representing two or more news agencies

In accordance with the "Regulations," if a foreign resident correspondent works for more than one news agency, the chief of the news agency's headquarters should submit a written application to the Information Department for approval. The correspondent should then take the registration materials to the IPC (Beijing), Shanghai FAO or Guangdong FAO and obtain the Foreign Journalist Card that specifies the agencies that he/she represents.

ØActing Correspondents

If a resident foreign correspondent has to leave China for a period of between one and six months and the correspondent's news agency intends to send an acting correspondent in the interim, relevant management personnel at the news agency's headquarters should submit a written application in advance to the Information Department, or a Chinese embassy or consulate. The application should include the acting correspondent's name, gender, age, nationality, position and resume, as well as documents identifying him/her as a career journalist. The registration process for an acting correspondent is the same as that for an accredited resident correspondent. He/she can engage in news reporting activities only after obtaining the Temporary Foreign Journalist Card from the Information Department or the Shanghai or Guangdong FAO. Once the accredited resident correspondent returns and resumes his/her duties, the acting correspondent should stop all press work and hand in the Temporary Foreign Journalist Card to the department that issued it.

Once a foreign news agency wishes to replace its resident correspondent in China, relevant management personnel at that news agency's head office should apply to the Information Department for approval at least 30 working days in advance, in accordance with Article 5 of the "Regulations." As soon as the new correspondent receives his/her Foreign Journalist Card, the outgoing resident correspondent should stop news reporting activities and return his/her Foreign Journalist Card to the agency that issued it. Failure by the outgoing correspondent to complete the procedures for leaving his/her post will affect his/her successor's accreditation process.

When they finish their posting in China, Foreign correspondents should notify the Information Department, Shanghai FAO or Guangdong FAO 30 working days in advance, pay all taxes, rents and other due expenses.  They should also return the Foreigner Residence Permit to the border control offices for cancellation.

ØForeign News Agency's Permanent Bureau License

To set up a new permanent bureau, the applicant must simultaneously apply for the Foreign News Agency's Permanent Bureau License and the Foreign Journalist Card. The applicant should go to the Division of Aliens and Exit and Entry Administration (DAEEA) of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau (PSB) with the Foreign News Agency's Permanent Bureau License and an official letter addressed to the DAEEA by the Information Department and go through procedures to make an official seal for the bureau. (Foreign Correspondents in Shanghai and Guangzhou should complete this process at departments designated by the local government.) New chief correspondents are required to bring their Foreign News Agency Permanent Bureau License to the IPC when they register their bureau's change of personnel.

3. Renewing a Foreign Journalist Card

Resident correspondents' Foreign Journalist Cards valid for one year. The IPC handles the renewal of Journalist Cards each year in December. Foreign Journalist Cards are valid until the end of the year in which the correspondent arrived. Correspondents must turn in their Cards to the issuing agencies and apply for extension at least ten working days before the expiration date. In case of late application, the correspondent involved has to provide an explanation for the delay. Any application that is more than 30 days late, and for no justifiable reason, will result in forfeiture of resident correspondent status.

The validity period of the Temporary Foreign Journalist Card is not to exceed six months and is subject to approval of the Information Department. If it needs to be extended due to special circumstances, a written application must be submitted to the IPC at least ten working days in advance.

Resident correspondents in Beijing should submit the following items when applying for renewal of their Cards:

1.)An application letter for renewal signed by the chief correspondent of the permanent bureau of the news agency he/she works for
2.)Two passport photos
3.)A valid Foreign Journalist Card or photocopy thereof (the old one must be handed in when obtaining the new one). Foreign correspondents stationed in Shanghai and Guangzhou should apply to relevant local departments for renewal of their journalist cards.

4. Reissuing and Voiding a Foreign Journalist Card

In case of loss of a Foreign Journalist Card, resident foreign correspondents in Beijing should report immediately in writing to the Information Department, explaining the circumstances of the loss. The correspondent should take out a paid notice in the Beijing Daily declaring the pass invalid. Once the notice has been submitted to the IPC and the application for reissuing the Card has been approved, a new pass may be issued. Correspondents based in Shanghai and Guangzhou should apply for replacement of lost Foreign Journalist Cards in accordance with relevant local regulations. If a Card is damaged, the correspondent can receive a new one after submitting the damaged journalist card to the IPC. 

B. Visas and Residence Permits

Approved foreign correspondents and their families may apply to Chinese embassies and consulates overseas for J-1 visas, where as other staff of foreign news agencies' permanent bureaus and their families may apply for Z visas. The visa usually only indicates when the bearer may enter China, not the duration of his/her stay. After arrival and receipt of their Foreign Journalist Cards, foreign correspondents based in China should apply without delay to the Division of Aliens and Exit-Entry Administration of the local Municipal PSB and go through the necessary procedures to obtain Residence Permits for themselves and their families.

1. Getting a Health Certificate

Resident foreigners in Beijing should go to the Beijing Health Quarantine Station to get health certificates. Getting the certificate requires a physical examination for all applicants over 16 years of age before the certificate can be issued. The station is open Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 1:00pm. Applicants should not eat breakfast or lunch before the examination, and should bring their passports and one passport photo. The health certificate is valid for six months from the date of issue.

Ø The station's address is as follows:

The Beijing Health Quarantine Station
No. 2, Hepinglie Beijie,
Chaoyang District, Beijing 100013
Tel.: 6421-6273.

2. Getting a Foreigner Residence Permit

J-1 and Z visa holders must go to the Division of Aliens and Exit-Entry Administration of the Beijing Municipal PSB to apply for a Foreigner Residence Permit within 30 days of arrival.

Ø The Division's address is as follows:

No. 2 Andingmen Dong Dajie
Dongcheng District
Beijing, 100007
Tel.: 8401-5292/5293, 6404-7799 ext. 4301/4302

Ø Applicants must provide the following documents:

1.) Valid passport and visa
2.) Resident foreign correspondents must present their Foreign Journalist Cards issued by the Information Department. The application form must have on it the applicant's signature and the official seal of the foreign news agency's permanent bureau
3.) A valid lease or deed for the residence rented or bought by the correspondent
4.) Two recent passport photos
5.) A health certificate issued by the Beijing Health Quarantine Station
6.) Applications for residence permits by staff of foreign news agencies' permanent bureaus should present certificates provided by the Information Department

Ø Correspondents should obtain additional documentation from the Information Department in the following cases:

1.)Correspondents, staff members or their families find a new job
2.)Correspondents, staff members or their families change their visa types
3.)J-2 visa holders apply for an extension of their visas
4.)Staff members or their families apply for re-entry visas

ØImportant points for Foreign Resident Permit holders

1.)The Foreigner Residence Permit should be carried at all times during your stay in China. If your period of residence exceeds one year, you should go to the DAEEA of the local PSB for an annual inspection of your residence permit.
2.)Any change in the information on the Foreigner Residence Permit, such as name, nationality, occupation, status, employer, address, passport number, accompanying children, etc. requires the bearer to take the relevant documentation to the DAEEA of the local PSB, apply to amend the residence permit and notify the Information Department in writing of the changes. Correspondents based in Shanghai and Guangdong should notify the local FAO.
3.)In case of loss of the residence permit, the bearer must report the loss immediately to the DAEEA of the local PSB, explaining the incident. The bearer must then take the certificate provided by the DAEEA and have a notice published in an official local newspaper declaring the lost permit invalid. The bearer should then present the published notice to the DAEEA along with his passport and the relevant documentation and apply for a new residence permit.
4.)When a Foreign Residence Permit holder finishes his/her work in China and leaves the country, he/she should submit the residence permit and passport to border control authorities for inspection and cancellation of the residence permit.

3. Procedures for Entering and Exiting China

If a residence permit holder needs to enter or exit China with a valid residence permit, he/she should go to the DAEEA of the local PSB to apply for a single or multiple-entry visa. Otherwise, border control authorities will confiscate the residence permit. The following documents are needed for the visa application:

1.)A valid passport, Foreigner Residence Permit and Foreign Journalist Card
2.)A visa application form with the official seal of the relevant foreign news agency's permanent bureau.
3.)For staff members and their families, a letter of certification from the Information Department.

 

C. Reporting the loss of passport or property

If you lost your passport in China, you should report it immediately to the DAEEA of the local PSB, specifying the time, place and circumstances of the loss, as well as the lost passport's number and expiration date. You will receive a Lost Passport Certificate, and should then apply for a new passport at your embassy in Beijing. You should then take the new passport to the DAEEA of the local PSB and go through the procedures to obtain a new visa and, if you also have a residence permit, apply to change the passport number listed in the residence permit.

If you lose personal belongings in China, you should report the loss to the DAEEA of the local PSB. You should present your valid ID for inspection, answer any relevant questions and leave your address, telephone number and postal code so that the PSB can contact you when the lost property is found.
 

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