You’ve made the decision; you have had your time in China, but all good things must come to an end. And now it’s time, you are leaving China next week. Everything needs to be sorted out.
You may think leaving China is easy as just packing up your things in one night, hopping on a plane and never looking back…while it can be, it may cause some problems for you down the road. And you may find yourself regretting not tying up a few loose ends before leaving China for good.
That is why we made this guide for you to start the new chapter in your life on a good foot!
Leaving China Guide
Obtain a criminal background check
If you decide to leave China or even move to another Chinese city – go to the local police station before you leave, and ask for a non-criminal record (无犯罪记录证明) for the whole time you were in China or that city.
Ask for a report with no gaps in the dates. If you registered at several police stations during your time of stay. You will need to go to each one to get a report. Otherwise you will have to travel the country to claim the old ones.
You may need the report in the future when applying for jobs at home and to get hold of one after you leave China is impossible as they need to see your original passport and tenancy agreement.
After getting your non-criminal record from the Public Security Bureau office, you must bring it to the Notary Public Office to get a notarized translation.
If you have already left China and now need a certificate to prove that you did not get into trouble while you were out here. The only alternative will involve you mailing your passport to your representative (a friend) in China to get the document on your behalf.
Claim social insurance back
**this is strongly advised against unless you never plan on working or living in China again
If you pay social insurance at your company in China, you can get back part of your participation to the pension funds you have been contributing each month you were in employment.
A reminder: This is extremely important and a little complicated. Before doing this, please seek advice from your specialist. Before leaving China you should always consult your specialist – they are there to help you.
Cancel cellphone number
Before you leave China for good, don’t just toss your Chinese SIM card in the trash bin. If the phone number is registered under your passport number, you will have a deduction of your credit rating in China, and next time you register a Chinese cellphone number, you will be asked to pay the bill.
Unlink WeChat from cellphone
If you forget to cancel your phone number and unlink your WeChat ID with your phone, other people may have access to your WeChat.
If your Chinese phone bill is not paid for six months, the number will be cancelled and is considered a brand new number. Another person will use it. That person can log into your WeChat account with your number!
How to unlink your phone # from WeChat:
Go to “Me” – “Settings” – “My Account” – “Phone” to unlink.
In fact, you should do the same before you change your Chinese phone number. Linking Wechat with your QQ number or email does the trick.
Cancel Alipay account
You may keep your Alipay if you can link a new cell phone number to your account when you are back home. Otherwise, you’d better cancel it first.
Go to Alipay.com, log in, and go to Service Hall (服务大厅), self service (自助服务) , then look for cancel account (注销账户).
You should do the same before you change your Chinese phone number.
Cancel bank cards
It’s something you should do before leaving any foreign country if you have the country’s bankcards.
If you would like to keep your Chinese bank account, make sure you can access the bank’s Internet banking service at home.
Cancel Work Permit
When your contract has come to an end, we cancel your work permit(外国人就业证/工作许可证). Remember to get the cancellation certificate (注销证明), at least the scanned copy.
This certificate can be an official proof of your work experience in China. And if you want to come back to China to get a work visa again, the cancellation certificate is also required.
Get a reference letter
Because a reference letter is never a bad thing to have. Refer to your specialist first about getting one.
Get a reference from your bank
If you need to open a bank account at home or register a company in other countries, you may need a reference from your bank in China.
Translate Chinese documents
Because it’s much cheaper to get this done in China. Non-criminal records should be translated by authorized department.
We hope that you have read through these carefully and are ready to take the necessary steps for your departure from China.
We wish you the best of luck in your new adventure!
-The SDE Team