China: Procedures for issuing second-generation Resident Identity Cards (RICs), including whether the procedures vary in different parts of China; application processing times and whether validity periods are assigned when the application is made or when the card is issued
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Publication Date||7 July 2011|
|Citation / Document Symbol||CHN103754.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, China: Procedures for issuing second-generation Resident Identity Cards (RICs), including whether the procedures vary in different parts of China; application processing times and whether validity periods are assigned when the application is made or when the card is issued, 7 July 2011, CHN103754.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4e2fbf462.html [accessed 22 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
An official at the Embassy of China in Ottawa wrote, in correspondence with the Research Directorate, that information on the issuance of second-generation Resident Identity Cards (RICs) can be found in the Law of the People's Republic of China on Resident Identity Cards (China 19 May 2011). Article 2 of the Law states the following:
Any Chinese citizen who has reached the age of 16 and who resides within the territory of the People's Republic of China shall, in accordance with the provisions of the Law, apply for the resident identity card; and any Chinese citizen under the age of 16 may, in accordance with the provisions of this Law, apply for resident identity card. (China 2003)
The Embassy of China official clarified that while RICs are a requirement for those 16 years and over, they are voluntary for those under the age of 16 (China 31 May 2011).
In regard to where the second-generation RICs are issued, Article 8 of the Law indicates that
[a] resident identity card shall be signed and issued by the public security organ under the people's government at the county level at the place where a person's permanent residence is registered. (China 2003)
In reference to the documentation and forms required to obtain a second-generation RIC, Article 10 stipulates the following:
Anyone who applies for the resident identity card shall fill out the Registration Form of Application for Resident Identity Card and present his resident household registration book for examination. (ibid.)
For further information, see the copy of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Resident Identity Cards attached to this Response.
While the Law of the People's Republic of China on Resident Identity Cards applies throughout China, more detailed instructions on the process of obtaining second-generation RICs was found on the government websites of specific localities (Fuzhou 21 Jan. 2011; Haikou 9 Aug. 2010). However, the information applies only to those specific areas. Information about how the issuance procedures vary among different regions of the country could not be found among the source consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.
The Fuzhou government's website provides detailed instructions on the process of applying for a second-generation RIC in Fuzhou, Fujian province (Fuzhou 21 Jan. 2011). Applicants first get their photographs taken at a spot set up by the public security authority in the area in which their household is registratered (ibid.). To get their picture taken, they are required to bring their household registration (hukou) booklet and their first-generation RIC (ibid.). If they are applying for the second-generation RIC for the first time and do not have a first identity card, they must bring their student ID, graduation diploma, marriage certificate, driver's licence,or other photo ID (ibid.).
Once they have had their picture taken, applicants go to the household registration section of the police station located in the area of their official residence and fill out a [translated by the Translation Bureau] "Population Information Verification" form (ibid.). If the information is accurate, the applicant signs a [translated by the Translation Bureau] "Resident Identity Card Application Form," pays the fee, and is issued a receipt and a "Resident Identity Card Pick-Up Voucher" (ibid.). After 30 working days, applicants go to a designated location to pick up their second-generation RIC and hand in their former RIC (ibid.). According to the Fuzhou government website, the fee for processing a second-generation RIC is 20 yuan [2.97 Canadian dollars (CAD) (XE.com 5 July 2011a)] and 40 Chinese yuan [CAD5.95 (XE.com 5 July 2011b)] to replace a lost card (Fuzhou 21 Jan. 2011).
A diagram posted on the Haikou (in Hainan province) Municipal Government Services Portal also shows the procedures for obtaining a second-generation RIC (Haikou 9 Aug. 2010). Similar to the process for residents in Fuzhou, the first step is for applicants to bring their hukou booklet to a [translated by the Translation Bureau] "free photo point," where they are issued a bar-coded receipt (ibid.). Alternatively, applicants can bring a digital photograph to an [translated by the Translation Bureau] "authorized photo authentication point" where they would also be issued a bar-coded receipt (ibid.). Applicants then bring their hukou booklet, personal identification and bar-coded photo receipt to the [translated by the Translation Bureau] "processing centre," where they are issued a "certificate of receipt" (ibid.). After a two-month waiting period, applicants bring their "certificate of receipt" and their old RIC back to the processing centre, where they are issued the new RIC (ibid.).
Application processing times
Article 12 of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Resident Identity Cards addresses application processing times as follows:
The public security organ shall issue the resident identity card within 60 days from the date the citizen submits the Registration Form of Application for Resident Identity Card; for areas where transport facilities are inconvenient, the time limit for handling such matters may be appropriately extended, but the extension may not exceed 30 days. (China 2003)
The official noted that the validity period for the second-generation RIC is assigned on the date it is issued (China 19 May 2011). Second-generation identity cards are valid for 10 years for people aged 16 to 25 years old, 20 years for people aged 26 to 45 and permanently for people who are over 45 years old (ibid.; China 2003, Art. 5). People under the age of 16 who voluntarily apply for an RIC are issued cards that are valid for five years (ibid.).
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
China. 31 May 2011. Embassy of China in Ottawa. Correspondence with a police liaison officer.
_____. 19 May 2011. Embassy of China in Ottawa. Correspondence with a police liaison officer.
_____. 2003. Law of the People's Republic of China on Resident Identity Cards. (China.org.cn)
Fuzhou. 21 January 2011. "Applying for Resident Identity Card II (Converting to the New Card)." Translated by the Translation Bureau, Public Works and Government Services Canada.
Haikou. 9 August 2010. Public Security Bureau. "Second-Generation Resident Identity Card Flowchart." Translated by the Translation Bureau, Public Works and Government Services Canada.
XE.com. 5 July 2011a. "Currency Converter."
XE.com. 5 July 2011b. "Currency Converter."
Additional Sources Consulted
Oral sources: Officials at the Embassy of Canada in Beijing were unable to provide information within the time constraints of this Response.
Internet sites, including: Asia Society, Asia Times Online, Beijing Review, China Internet Information Center, China Perspectives, Current History, The Economist, European Country of Origin Information Network, Factiva, Freedom House, Human Rights in China, Human Rights Watch, IHS Jane's, United Nations Refworld, United States Department of State.
China. 2003. Law of the People's Republic of China on Resident Identity Cards. (China.org.cn)