The People's Republic of China passport (Chinese: 中华人民共和国护照; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó hùzhào), commonly referred to as the Chinese passport, is a passport issued to nationals of the People's Republic of China (PRC) who have registered as a resident of Mainland China and hence hold a hukou, for the purpose of international travel, and entitles the bearer to the protection of China's consular officials overseas.
|People's Republic of China passport|
|Issued by||National Immigration Administration|
|First issued||September 1919 (first version, issued by Beiyang Government)|
April 1922 (booklet)
1949 (current version)
|Eligibility||Chinese nationals with Hukou residing in Mainland China, or Chinese nationals residing abroad who do not qualify for travel documents issued by Hong Kong SAR or Macau SAR.|
For those Chinese nationals who are permanent residents of Macau or Permanent residents of Hong Kong will eligible for MSAR passport or HKSAR passport instead of regular Chinese passport
|Expiration||10 years after acquisition for adults aged 16 or over, 5 for children or non-ordinary passport|
3 months for single group travel
|Cost||¥120 for first passport |
¥140 for renewed passport
Politics of the People's Republic of China
China portal |
On 1 July 2011, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China launched a trial issuance of e-passports for individuals conducting public affairs work overseas on behalf of the Chinese government. The face, fingerprints, and other biometric features of the passport holder is digitized and stored in pre-installed contactless smart chip, along with "the passport owner's name, sex and personal photo as well as the passport's term of validity and [the] digital certificate of the chip". Ordinary biometric passports were introduced by the Ministry of Public Security on 15 May 2012. As of January 2015, all new passports issued by China are biometric e-passports, and non-biometric passports are no longer issued.
In 2012, over 38 million Chinese nationals held ordinary passports, comprising only 2.86 percent of the total population at the time. In 2014, China issued 16 million passports, ranking first in the world, surpassing the United States (14 million) and India (10 million). The number of ordinary passports in circulation rose to 120 million by October 2016, which was approximately 8.7 percent of the population. As of April 2017, China had issued over 100 million biometric ordinary passports.
Overview and Contents
- Ordinary passports (普通护照) are issued to nationals who intend to go abroad for non-official purposes, such as taking up residence in other countries, visiting relatives, studying, working, travelling or engaging in business activities. They are issued by the Exit & Entry Administration of the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), the foreign missions of the People's Republic of China, or other missions overseas authorized to do so by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Diplomatic passports (外交护照) are issued to diplomats, consuls and their spouses or children who are minor, as well as to diplomatic couriers. They are issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
- Service passports (公务护照) are issued to employees who are dispatched by the Chinese government to work for Chinese foreign missions, the United Nations or its special commissions, or other international organizations, as well as their spouses or minor children. They are issued by the MFA, foreign missions of the People's Republic of China, other missions overseas authorized by the MFA, or the Foreign Affairs Offices under the governments of provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the Central Government and cities divided into districts authorized by the MFA.
Article 9 of the Law states that the "issuing scope of diplomatic passports and service passports, the measures for issue of such passports, their terms of validity and the specific categories of service passports shall be prescribed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs".
In July 2011 the Chinese government began to issue biometric diplomatic passports, service passports and passports for public affairs. The launch date of biometric ordinary passports was May 15, 2012.
- Diplomatic e-passport
- Service e-passport
- Public Affairs e-passport
- Ordinary e-passport
Passport for public affairs
A different passport for public affairs (Chinese: 因公普通护照; lit. 'ordinary passport for public affairs') was issued until 2006. Unlike the current version, it was classified as a variation of ordinary passport. The abuse of the use of document resulted in its subsequent cancellation. Unlike other passports, it was issued by the provincial or municipal Foreign Affairs Offices, rather than the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Ministry of Public Security. Chinese ordinary passport for public affairs was used in the ends of 1980s and 1990s. The passport information was written by hands, and these ordinary passports were usually valid for 2 or 5 years.
In 1996, 77% of persons exiting China held a passport for public affairs. The rate had dropped to 39% by 2002. The reason for the high rate of usage was because the passport for public affairs offered more visa-free countries, such as Russia, than the ordinary passport. Chinese regulations require public affairs passports to be kept in the possession of the holder's work unit, and they must be surrendered by the individual within one month of returning to China.
The passport previously had an across-the-board 5-year period of validity. Since 2007, ordinary passports are valid for 10 years for bearers above 16 years of age, and for 5 years for bearers below 16 years of age, and diplomatic or service passports are valid for 4 years. According to the 2006 Passport Law of the People's Republic of China, renewal of previously issued passports ended on January 1, 2007. However, passports renewed before 2007 remained valid until expiry.
The newest version of the regular Chinese passport is the biometric version, which replaced its predecessors "Form 92", "Form 97-1" and "Form 97-2", but Form "97-2" passport is still being issued for single group tourism to Russia in some Sino-Russia broder cities and valid for only 3 months or after returning to China. It was released to the general public in May 2012. The passport contains 48 pages.
The Form "1982" ordinary Chinese passport is a hand-written passport and issued in 1982. Chinese, French and English are used in all pages.
The Form "1992" ordinary Chinese passport is a machine-readable passport, and issued in 1992.
The Form "97-2" ordinary Chinese passport is a machine-readable passport，and issued in February 1997. In "97-2", personal data is on the inside front cover along with a coloured photo printed with inkjet printer, with a protection film covering most of the data page. Details include:
- Passport code (P)
- Country Code (CHN)
- Passport number (G########) - consists of one letter indicating passport type (G = ordinary), followed by eight digits
- Given Names
- Sex (M/F)
- Date of birth (DD.MMM.YYYY)
- Date of issue (DD.MMM.YYYY)
- Place of birth (Province, or city/province/state if born abroad)
- Place of issue (Province, or city/province/state of diplomatic/consular authority if issued abroad)
- Date of expiry (DD.MMM.YYYY)
- Authority ("National Immigration Administration, PRC" for single travel or "Exit & Entry Administration, Ministry of Public Security" or the Chinese diplomatic and consular mission)
- Machine Readable Code
In the biometric Passport, the personal data page was moved to a separate sheet of paper, and the design of personal data page has been amended significantly, adding the full name of PRC in Simplified Chinese and English on top along with an e-passport symbol printed with optically variable ink. New security features include a second ghost image of the holder and additional holographic graphs including the PRC emblem and the laser-printed world map. The details included are as follows:
- Passport code (P)
- Country Code (CHN)
- Passport number (E########) - consists of one letter indicating passport type (E = e-passport), followed by eight digits. As of April 2017, over 100 million ordinary biometric passports had been issued and old E+8 digits type passport numbers had been used up. So the number format has been extended by using the second digit and replacing it with the English letters in order (except I, O) the third digit is still Arabic numerals, and the total number of digits is still 9. New passport numbers started with EA0000001 (two letters with seven digits).
- Name (Chinese characters on top, Pinyin transcription on bottom, a comma separates surname and given names in Pinyin only)
- Sex (M/F)
- Nationality (Chinese)
- Date of birth (DD.MMM.YYYY)
- Place of birth (Province with romanized transcription, or the country code if born abroad, along with Chinese abbreviation of the country)
- Date of issue (DD.MMM.YYYY, month is transcribed into Arabic numerals)
- Place of issue (Province, or city of diplomatic/consular authority if issued abroad)
- Date of expiry (DD.MMM.YYYY, month is transcribed into Arabic numerals)
- Authority ("National Immigration Administration, PRC" or the full name of the Chinese diplomatic/consular authority，if issuing in mainland China before June 2019 it may be "MPS Exit & Entry Administration")
- Bearer's signature
- Machine Readable Code
- In Chinese
- In English
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China requests all civil and military authorities of foreign countries to allow the bearer of this passport to pass freely and afford assistance in case of need.
- In French (On version 82 only)
Le Ministère des Affaires étrangères de la République populaire de Chine prie les autorités civiles et militaires des pays étrangers de laisser passer librement le titulaire de ce passeport et de lui prêter aide et assistance en cas de besoin.
If the passport is for single travel, a valid notice will printed in Simplified Chinese and English on this page.
On version "97-1" and "97-2", it is on page 1. On the biometric version, it is moved to page 3.
In the biometric version, selected nature hotspots and famous sights of mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are printed in the inner pages, each page also contains a transparent watermark of another nature hotspots and famous sights in the same area.
|8-9||Map of China|
|10||Beijing City||Forbidden City||Summer Palace|
|11||Tianjin City||Hai River||Binhai New Area|
|12||Hebei Province||Shanhai Pass||Laolongtou Great Wall|
|13||Shanxi Province||Hukou Waterfall||Pingyao Ancient City|
|14||Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region||Prairie of Hulunbuir||Yurt|
|15||Liaoning Province||Xinghai Square||Industrial Base|
|16||Jilin Province||Hard rime||Houses of Jilin|
|17||Heilongjiang Province||Sun Island||Flood Control Monument|
|18||Shanghai City||Lujiazui||The Bund|
|19||Jiangsu Province||Classical Gardens of Suzhou||Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge|
Master of the Nets Garden
|20||Zhejiang Province||Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon of West Lake||Distant view of West Lake|
|21||Anhui Province||Huangshan||Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui|
|22||Fujian Province||Wuyi Mountains||Fujian Tulou|
|23||Jiangxi Province||Jinggang Mountains||Mount Lu|
|24-25||Great Wall of China|
|26||Shandong Province||Shibapan of Mount Tai||Rock inscriptions at Mount Tai|
|27||Henan Province||Longmen Grottoes||Shaolin Monastery|
|28||Hubei Province||Three Gorges Dam||Wudang Mountains|
|29||Hunan Province||Zhangjiajie||Fenghuang Ancient City|
|30||Guangdong Province||Mount Danxia||The Five Rams sculpture|
|31||Guangxi Autonomous Region||Elephant Trunk Hill||Guilin Scenery|
|32||Hainan Province||Coconut Grove||Tianya Haijiao|
|34||Sichuan Province||Dujiangyan irrigation system||Mount Qingcheng|
|35||Guizhou Province||Huangguoshu Waterfall||Miao Village|
|36||Yunnan Province||Stone Forest||Old Town of Lijiang|
|37||Tibet Autonomous Region||Potala Palace||Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon|
|38||Shaanxi Province||Terracotta Army||Pagoda Hill|
|39||Gansu Province||Mogao Caves||Crescent Lake|
|40||Qinghai Province||Qinghai–Tibet Railway||Kumbum Monastery|
|41||Ningxia Autonomous Region||Shahu||Western Xia tombs|
|42||Xinjiang Autonomous Region||Silk Road||Desert and dunes|
|43||Taiwan Province||Sun Moon Lake||Qingshui Cliff|
|44||Hong Kong Special Administrative Region||Victoria Harbour|
|45||Macau Special Administrative Region||Sai Van Bridge||Ruins of St. Paul's|
|46||Beijing City||Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests of Temple of Heaven||Circular Mound Altar of Temple of Heaven|
The last page has the notes for the passport. For e-passport, inside the backcover, a caution for the biometric chip is written in both Chinese and English:
This passport contains sensitive electronics. For best performance, please do not bend, perforate or expose to extreme temperatures or excess moisture.
请勿在此盖印 DO NOT STAMP HERE
Fee and processing time
Normal processing time is 10 business days when applying from Mainland China, and 15 business days from Chinese diplomatic missions outside Mainland China (including Hong Kong and Macau). In some Regions, processing time is 7 business days such as Shanghai City if application was submitted electronically (online or by cell phone APPs such as WeChat). Expedited processing is available for 5 business days, but is only available if the applicants have genuine emergencies, such as they have deceased relatives abroad, their first day of school is near, or they have unused visas in old passports that are expiring soon.
Special administrative region passports
Chinese nationals who are also permanent residents of Hong Kong or Macau Special Administrative Regions of China are issued Hong Kong or Macau SAR passports by the respective immigration departments of the two SARs. In Hong Kong, Hong Kong Immigration Department takes charge of issuing passports. In Macau, Identification Services Bureau does the same role. The SAR passports and travel documents are issued solely by the government of the SARs, and the designs differ from that of the regular mainland passport, albeit all three passports bear the same country and nationality code, CHN, meaning that the bearer holds the People's Republic of China nationality, as well as the message from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China.
Some countries classify Chinese nationals with SAR passports as Hong Kong citizens or Macau citizens for visa issuing purpose, other than the ordinary Chinese citizens classifications. Holders of SAR passports enjoy visa-free entry to many more countries than holders of regular PRC passports.
While the SAR passports and travel documents are endorsed by China, mainland ports of entry controlled by the Ministry of Public Security do not accept those documents for entrance into Mainland China as both the Mainland and the two SARs are within the same country. MPS requires SAR residents of Chinese nationality to use a Home Return Permit or Chinese Travel Document for SAR residents residing overseas. Also, SAR passports are not required when travelling between two SARs, but residents should bring their permanent residence IDs.
Chinese nationals who are not permanent residents of Hong Kong AND are without household registration in Mainland China are issued Hong Kong Document of Identity for Visa Purposes, and of Macau Macao Special Administrative Region Travel Permit or Visit Permit for Resident of Macao to HKSAR.
Non-passport travel documents
The following travel documents are also issued by mainland China to Chinese nationals who may or may not qualify for a Chinese passport for various reasons:
Chinese Travel Document
- Chinese nationals (i.e. any person who qualifies for Chinese (People's Republic of China, PRC) nationality under the Chinese Nationality Law which includes most nationals of Taiwan or ROC) abroad who do not qualify for a PRC passport can be issued a Chinese Travel Document from PRC Embassies and Consulates outside Mainland China, including:
- Children born to Chinese parents abroad who derive Chinese nationality from their parents through jus sanguinis;
- ROC nationals residing abroad, including nationals without household registration, wishing to visit Mainland China or Hong Kong and do not have a Taiwan Compatriot Permit;
- Journeys to Hong Kong require a separate application for Hong Kong Entry Permit, affixed on the Chinese Travel Document.
- Residents of Special administrative regions of China wishing to visit Mainland China and do not have a Home Return Permit;
- Chinese nationals who have lost their Chinese passports, HKSAR passports or MSAR passports while abroad.
Exit-Entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macau
The Exit-Entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macau, also known as the Two-way Permit, is issued to Chinese nationals with hukou who only wish to visit Hong Kong and Macau.
Permit for Proceeding to Hong Kong and Macao
The Permit for Proceeding to Hong Kong and Macao, also known as the One-way Permit, is issued to Chinese nationals who are settling in Hong Kong or Macau and have relinquished their Chinese residency (hukou). After their initial entry to Hong Kong or Macau, they are considered as SAR residents and are permanently ineligible for an ordinary Chinese passport, and later they will be eligible for SAR passports if they acquire a permanent resident status in the respective SARs.
Travel Permit to and from Taiwan
The Travel Permit to and from Taiwan, colloquially known as Mainland Compatriot Permit or Mainland Resident Travel Permit, is issued to Chinese nationals with hukou in Mainland China by Ministry of Public Security, to those who wish to travel directly between Mainland China and Taiwan. Holders of the permit are required to obtain exit endorsements issued by MPS and Exit and Entry Permit issued by Taiwanese authorities prior to travelling.
Self-Service Immigration System (e-Channel)
Holders of Chinese biometric Passports are eligible to use the Self-Service Immigration System, or e-Channel. E-Channel are located throughout numerous international airports in Mainland China (including these top 10 busiest international gateways: Beijing Capital International Airport, Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport) as well as land border crossing checkpoints in Shenzhen and Zhuhai. e-Channel was first introduced for self-entry, i.e. for Chinese biometric passport holders return to China from Outside destinations. In order to use the e-Channel, they must hold biometric passports with their fingerprint data pre-recorded on the biometric chip. If their biometric passports do not contain fingerprint data, they must first register with China Immigration Inspection (CII) at land border checkpoints or international airports to be eligible.
Registration with CII not required:
- Holders of biometric passports that contain fingerprint data;
- Holders of the new biometric Two-way Permits with valid entry endorsements that contain fingerprint data.
Registration with CII required:
- Holders of the booklet-style Two-way Permits with multiple-entry endorsements;
- Holders of Travel Permit to and from Taiwan for Mainland Residents booklet with multiple-exit endorsements;
- Holders of Exit and Entry Permits that are valid for one year and multiple entries (only for the specific port of entry that they have registered with);
- Holders of Home Return Permits;
- Holders of Taiwan Compatriot Permits;
- Foreign nationals with their passports and Chinese Permanent Resident cards;
- Foreign nationals with their biometric passports and residence permits with a validity of more than 6 months; and
- Flight crew members serving scheduled flights who are either Chinese or visa-exempt nationals, or non-visa-exempt nationals holding crew or work visas or residence permits that are valid for at least 1 year.
Visa requirements for Chinese citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of the People's Republic of China. According to the 1 January 2018 Henley visa restrictions index, holders of a Chinese passport are granted visa free or visa on arrival access to 70 countries and territories, ranking the Chinese passport 68th in the world Chinese passport is also the highest-ranked passport in Communist state. Before February 2014, Chinese immigration authorities did not generally allow mainland Chinese citizens to board outbound flights without a valid visa for the destination country, even if the destination country granted a visa on arrival to Chinese passport holders, unless the exit was approved by the Ministry of Public Security. Exceptions were possible if the traveller had a third country's visa and a connecting flight from the destination country to the third country.
Travel to and from Hong Kong, Macau, or Taiwan
Issued to Chinese nationals with Hukou or Chinese nationals not qualified for SAR-issued travel documents, Chinese passports cannot normally be used when travelling directly to Hong Kong, Macau, or Taiwan from Mainland China as the Chinese government believes the three regions to be part of China.
In order for such Chinese nationals to travel from Mainland China to Hong Kong and Macau, a Two-way Permit is required. Chinese foreign missions, however, do issue visa-like Hong Kong SAR Entry Permits for up to 14 days to Chinese nationals residing outside Mainland China upon request, so PRC passport holders can travel solely between Hong Kong and Mainland with passports. Chinese passports can be used when transiting through Hong Kong or Macau to other countries and can enter Hong Kong or Macau for 7 days without a visa.
Travelling to Taiwan from Mainland China requires the Travel Permit to and from Taiwan as well as Exit and Entry Permit issued by the Taiwanese government. Although Chinese passports are accepted as valid travel documents by the National Immigration Agency (NIA) and Taiwanese diplomatic missions, the NIA does not allow Chinese nationals with hukou to travel to Taiwan when departing from Mainland China unless holding the Mainland Resident Travel Permit with valid exit endorsement.
Cross border travel statistics
These are the numbers of mainland Chinese visitors to various countries or territories:
|Country / Region||Number of Visitors||Year|
|Destination||Number of visitors||Year|
|Antigua and Barbuda||739||2017|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||31,776||2017|
|Hong Kong Special Administrative Region||44,445,259||2017|
|Macao Special Administrative Region||22,196,203||2017|
|Northern Mariana Islands||229,389||2017|
|Papua New Guinea||12,937||2016|
|United Arab Emirates||764,000||2017|
- Counting only guests in tourist accommodation establishments.
- Data for arrivals by air only.
- Including Hong Kong.
- Tourists only.
- Including Hong Kong and Macau.
- Data for arrivals by air only.
- Total number includes tourists, business people, students, exchange visitors, temporary workers and families, diplomats and other representatives and all other classes of non-immigrant admissions (I-94).
Consular protections to Chinese passport holders (including Hong Kong, Macau & Taiwan residents)
In Chinese, passport is huzhao, meaning "protection document". Consular service is provided by the Chinese government to Chinese passport holders (including Hong Kong and Macau SAR passport holders) and Taiwanese (Republic of China passport holders). Recent consular protection activities include:
Due to a volcano eruption on Bali island, Indonesia in Nov 2017, over 17,000 Chinese citizens couldn't return to China on time. When the Bali airport opened temporarily on Nov 29th 2017, the Chinese government organized chartered flights with two state owned airlines: China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines. China Southern Airlines provided two Airbus A320s and China Eastern Airlines provided six Airbus 333 as chartered flights to carry Chinese tourists back. Until Nov 30th, 2017, 18 government chartered flights had been provided and over 3,700 Chinese citizens had been carried back to China. As of 18:00 pm of Dec 2, 2017, 13,514 Chinese nationals had been carried back by Chinese government chartered flights (operating airlines including Chinese state owned airlines: China Eastern airlines, China Southern Airlines and Xiamen airlines as well as some foreign airlines). The evacuation is free and done in this order: mother with child, females, the elderly and men.
Due to Hurricane Maria hitting the Caribbean area in September 2017, over 400 Chinese citizens were stranded. On Sep 28th, 2017, the Chinese embassy in Dominica organized two government chartered flights (operated by China Eastern Airlines) to take back 377 Chinese passport holders (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan residents) who wish to return to China free of charge.
On April 25, 2015, a strong earthquake hit Kathamandu, Nepal. 4 Chinese citizens were killed, 5 were severely injured and many were stranded. The Chinese government organized 18 flights to take Chinese citizens back within 24 hours of the earthquake and more within a week. Any Chinese nationals who wished to return to China could take government charted flights, free of charge. This included Hong Kong, Macau residents and over 12 Taiwan residents.
On Nov 14, 2016, an earthquake hit Hanmer Springs, South Island, New Zealand. 125 Chinese nationals (including Taiwan and Hong Kong residents) were stranded in Kaikoura. The Chinese Consulate in Christchurch rented all available (five) helicopters, and within 18 flights all the Chinese nationals were transported to a safe point within 24 hours.
On March 29, 2015, 3 Navy ships (military ships) were dispatched by the Chinese government to carry 629 Chinese nationals from Yemen to a safe place along with 279 Pakistani citizens. All ships were prepared to engage any enemies and Chinese Navy soldiers landed on the port to set up a secure zone.
In 2011, during the civil war in Libya, 35,860 Chinese nationals including over 20 Taiwan residents had been evacuated by Chinese government chartered civil flights, chartered buses, government rented cruise ships, Chinese Air force planes and Navy battle ships.
Chinese SIM cards can automatically receive a notification text message from the Consular Protection Center in Beijing when first connecting to a foreign provider abroad (roaming). A typical message contains emergency phone numbers of the local Chinese embassies and consulates as well as the phone number of the Consular Protection Center in Beijing. It also contains information of local taboos, traditions and potential risks.
- A Republic of China passport booklet issued during the Beiyang-era in the 1920s.
- A Republic of China passport issued in 1946.
- 1955 (left) and 1951 (right) versions of the PRC passport.
- Type "55" diplomatic passport
- Type "82" diplomatic passport
- A Type "82" passport issued from early 80s to 1992
- 1992 version of diplomatic passport
- Cover of Type "92" passport, issued until early 2000s
- Type "97-1" passport, issued from 2000 to early 2007
- 1997 version of diplomatic passport
- 1997 version of public affairs passport
- 1997 version of service passport
- Type "97-2" passport, issued from early 2007 to May 2012
- The old passport for public affairs, issued before 2007
- Current version of biometric passport
- Current version of Macau SAR biometric passport
- Chinese Travel Document
- Hong Kong SAR passport
- List of passports
- Macau SAR passport
- Nationality law of the People's Republic of China
- Taiwan passport
- Resident Identity Card, the national identification card for Chinese citizens.
- Visa requirements for Chinese citizens
- Article 13 of the Chinese passport law
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