Foreigners living in China are required to register at their local police station within 24 hours arrival at their destination. This registration lasts for one year, after which the process has to be redone. This is in addition to needing to get a yearly re-authorization of the Alien Employment Permit, as well as a visa. The latter two have been handled for me by an agency, and are relatively painless.
The former has sucked. Since I was renting my apartment, I needed to have first my landlord involved in the authorization. Well, collection of property taxes seems tied to the office in which I was supposed to register. I’ll be polite and say that she was doing her best to minimize the amount of taxes that she paid… going so far as to try to register me as living at another apartment in an area in which she had connections with the police department. (Didn’t work for me because of my need to show my real address in other documents.)
This weekend, Sunshine and I registered at the police station serving the community in which are new apartment is located. The real estate agent, who has been wonderful throughout the purchasing process, was along with us. It took about 30 minutes to get the permit… including walking to a local hotel to use their copying machine.
A wonderful experience.