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China – Advice for expat parents-to-be in Shanghai

Be prepared. and start early – well before before the baby is born !

The whole process of registration can take up to six or seven weeks and the Shanghai authorities insist that the baby needs to obtain her/his visa within two months of birth

  • First step is to get the parents’ marriage certificate translated, notarized and legalized in the home country – preferably before the baby is born or you may well run out of time.
  • Once the baby is born the hospital will issue the birth certificate.
  • The birth certificate must be notarized and legalized in Shanghai at two different offices (12 working days).
  • Apply for a passport with these documents at the home country embassy (and beware some embassies take up to three weeks to issue a new passport) (1 – 3 weeks).
  • And finally apply for the long term visa (8 working days).

This is the process if both the parents are foreign passport holders. If, however, one of the parents has Chinese nationality but would like the baby to take the foreign nationality of the other parent, then the baby’s Chinese nationality must be cancelled in the home city of the Chinese parent where the Chinese Hukou (equivalent to a domestic resident permit) is registered.