Chinese passport

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This article deals with passports issued by the People's Republic of China (PRC). For passports issued by the Republic of China (Taiwan), see Taiwan passport.
People's Republic of China passport
People's Republic of China Biometric passport.jpg
The front cover of an ordinary Chinese biometric passport since 15 May 2012.
Issued by  China
Type of document Passport
Eligibility requirements Chinese citizens except Hong Kong and Macau permanent residents
Expiration 10 years after acquisition for adults aged 16 or over, 5 for children
Cost ¥200

The People's Republic of China passport (Chinese: 中华人民共和国护照 Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó hùzhào), commonly referred to as the Chinese passport, is the passport issued to citizens of the People's Republic of China (PRC) for international travel.

Issued to Chinese citizens as defined by the PRC's Nationality Law, the passport is not for use by nationals travelling to Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan as these regions are considered parts of the PRC and, thus, does not constitute international travel. Two-way Permit are required to travel to the former two regions. Conversely, Chinese citizens residing in these regions cannot use their SAR passports or Republic of China passports to enter mainland China, instead using the Home Return Permit or the Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents as a travel document. Mainland China residents transiting Hong Kong or Macau when travelling to other countries may use their passports to enter Hong Kong for 7 days, or Macau for 5 days.

Chinese citizens who are also permanent residents of Hong Kong or Macau Special Administrative Regions of the PRC are issued Hong Kong or Macau SAR passports by the respective immigration departments of the SARs. The SAR passports are special types of the PRC passport with colours on the cover different from that of the ordinary PRC passport. Holders of SAR passports enjoy visa-free entry to many more countries than holders of regular PRC passports.

Overview and Contents[edit]


According to Articles 3 through 9 of the 2006 Passport Law of the People's Republic of China, there are three types of passports issued by the PRC:

  • Ordinary (formerly known as "private regular/ordinary") passport;
    • Passport for public affairs (According to the law, it is a special type of ordinary passport);
  • Service (a.k.a. official) passport;
  • Diplomatic passport

As of December 2011, the Chinese government has already launched biometric diplomatic passports and biometric public affair passports. The launch date of biometric ordinary passports was on the May 15th, 2012.

In 1996, 77% of persons exiting China held a "public affairs" passport.[1] This had dropped to 39% by 2002.[2] Regulations require a "public affairs" passport to be kept in the possession of the holder's work unit[3] such that they must be surrendered by the individual within one month of returning to China.[4]

The passports for Macau and Hong Kong are issued by the special administrative region authorities for these locales and are not covered in this law.


The passport previously had an across-the-board 5-year period of validity. Since 2007, it is valid for 10 years for bearers above 16 years of age, and for 5 years for bearers below 16 years of age. According to the 2006 Passport Law of the People's Republic of China, renewal of previously issued passports ended on January 1, 2007. However, passports renewed before 2007 remained valid until expiry.


The newest version of the regular Chinese passport is the Biometric Passport, which replaced its predecessors "Form 92", "Form 97-1" and "Form 97-2". It was released to the general public in 2012. The passport consists of 48 pages.

Ordinary Passport - Inside[edit]

Inside page of the Form "97-2" PRC Ordinary Passport.
Inside page of a PRC Ordinary E-Passport.

The "Form 97-2" ordinary Chinese passport is a machine-readable passport.

In "97-2", personal data is on the inside front cover along with a coloured photo printed using digital security technology. In the Biometric version, it is moved to page 2. Details include:

  • Passport code (P)
  • Country Code (CHN)
  • Passport number (X########) - consists of one letter indicating passport type (G = ordinary, E = Biometric), followed by eight digits
  • Surname
  • Given Names
  • Sex (M/F)
  • Date of birth (DD.MMM.YYYY)
  • Date of issue (DD.MMM.YYYY)
  • Place of birth (Province, or city/province/state if born abroad)
  • Place of issue (Province, or place of diplomatic/consular authority if issued abroad)
  • Date of expiry (DD.MMM.YYYY)
  • Authority (Exit & Entry Administration Ministry of Public Security or the Chinese diplomatic and consular mission)
  • Machine Readable Code

The Biometric Passport, along with the informations above, also adds:

  • Nationality (Chinese)
  • Bearer's Signature (In Chinese)
  • Biometric chip, contains facial image and fingerprints of 10 fingers
  • Name (Surname and given names are now combined under the column "Name", unlike previous versions)
  • Authority (Changed to "MPS Exit & Entry Administration")


All information is printed in Simplified Chinese and English.

Passport Note[edit]

  • In Chinese


  • In English

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China requests all civil and military authorities of foreign countries to allow the bearer of this passport to pass freely and afford assistance in case of need.

  • In French (On version 82)

Le Ministère des Affaires Étrangères de la République Populaire de Chine prie les autorites civiles et militaires des pays étrangers de laisser passer librement le titulaire de ce passeport et de lui preter aide et assistance en cas de besoin.

On version "97-1" and "97-2", it is on page 1. On the Biometric version, it is moved to page 3.

Last page[edit]

The note on the last page.

The last page has the notes for the passport. For e-passport, inside the backcover, a caution for the biometric chip is written both in Chinese and English:

This passport contains sensitive electronics. For best performance, please do not bend, perforate or expose to extreme temperatures or excess moisture.
EPassport logo.svg 请勿在此盖印 DO NOT STAMP HERE

Alternative travel documents for Chinese National[edit]


Vietnam and the Philippines have criticized China's decision to include disputed South China Sea islands on maps printed inside new Chinese passports.[5] These maps also include territory currently disputed with India.[6]

The government has been criticized for denying citizen use of their passports, particularly for those of Tibetan and Uyghur descent.[7]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ China Daily, 24 January 1997
  2. ^ 2002 National Economic and Social Development Statistics National Bureau of Statistics of the People's Republic of China 28 February 2003
  3. ^ China Weighs Passport Reform Beijing Youth Daily 2 April 2002
  4. ^ Article 10, Provisional Regulations on the Administration of the Ordinary Passport for Public Affairs
  5. ^ "China maps path to new conflicts in its passports". The Age. November 23, 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Here’s the Chinese passport map that’s infuriating much of Asia". The Washington Post. November 26, 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  7. ^ No Exit: China Uses Passports as Political Cudgel February 22, 2013 NYT

External links[edit]