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Where to Take Your Passport with you in China

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 10:48

When it comes to knowing where you need carry your passport in China there are days and places where you are caught by surprised and have to go all the way home, just to pick your passport up and travel all the way back. It is required by Chinese law that you keep a copy of your passport with you at all times but who has the time to think about the first thing in the morning .Hopefully this will help you keep track of when or where you have to take your passport with you around the middle country, the following times and places your Passport are a must:

1. The Bank
From the moment you walk through the door the reception and information desk will ask you if you have brought your passport. Without it they will kindly tell you to walk back out the door. Therefore to conduct your monetary transactions from money transfer to deposits, please don't forget to bring your “Huzhao” (Passport). For more, a step by step instruction on how to set up a bank account is located here.
2. Virtual Wallets (Alipay & Wechat)
You will have to ask you bank to help you with this one; a Chinese bank account is required to use these platforms. Here is an easy guide on how to set wechat and alipay. Virtual wallets have taken China by storm and this one is essential and useful for almost all payments within the country. Honestly one of the best innovations of the modern era. These virtual wallets can be used almost anywhere inside China.
3. Post office 
Ok, this maybe a bit silly but post offices require you to bring your passport to send and receive letters or packages. They require proper identification just incase your sending that secret love letter to your neighbor across your residential compound. Jokes aside this process may actually prevent your packages from getting stolen or taken by another “waiguoren” (foreigner) who looks just like you.
4. Travelling (Planes & trains)
It is a requirement that you have to have proper travel documents with you when traveling domestically by train or planes. The reasons being are that certain visas are assigned or designated to certain cities depending on whether you work or school. Also with new visa free travel in certain cities, there are travel restrictions implemented.
5. Hotel, Motels & Resorts
From the little cheap motel down the road to the 5 star luxury hotel on the bund in Shanghai, this is a must. Everyone who is checking in to a nights stay at a hotel in China must submit their passport to the front desk for processing. The reason maybe in reference to the “Hukou” system in China which restricts its citizens based on residency.
6. Hospitals
As of early 2017 you must bring along your passport when registering for a new medical identification card. Also don't forget to bring your insurance cards and details with you. Here are a few hospitals in shanghai we consider to be the most expat friendly. 
7. Gyms 
Gyms and all kinds of fitness studios around the city are popping up for those days when you need to sweat off those extra snacks and guilty meals, or maybe that hangover of the previous Friday or Saturday night. These gyms require that you bring along your passport to register for a new gym membership.
Living in China can have its difficulties but your experiences in this country can be made a lot much easier and smoother with helping apps that covers everything from housing, visas, health care and education.

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