It’s the end of September and you know what that means –30 day visa periods are running out and now it’s time to switch to a residence permit.

It's the period we all dread – Arriving at the visa office after 8am can mean an entire day of waiting in line, including the 2 hour lunch period from 12-2, and then possibly being told that you are missing something, which means a whole day wasted!

a frustrated swimmer

And feeling like this

Fortunately, today we are sharing an awesome secret that will help you skip the lines entirely by making an appointment right through WeChat.

You’ll have to be quick though – there are only limited spots for each day, and once others know about this secret they will be quick to snatch up all the spots they can. Make sure you share this article to keep others out of the dark!

Required Items

1) Phone + WeChat

2)Necessary materials for residence permit (not included in this article)

Making an Appointment for Your Residence Permit / Visa

It’s unbelievably simple to make an appointment, and you can finish the entire process right over WeChat. Let's start.

1. Add the Hangzhou PSB WeChat Account

What you need to do first is search for and follow the Hangzhou Public Safety Bureau’s official WeChat Account: “杭州公安” (minus the quotes). In Pinyin, that’s Hángzhōu gōng ān.

hangzhou public safety bureau account

2. Find the Visa Office Menu

After following the account, enter its main page and look at the menu on the bottom. Tap on “办事大厅”, which should be the on the left-side.

hangzhou police office wechat account menu

Now you will arrive at another menu. Here, we’re going to tap “出入境服务” (Exit-Entry Services), so we can get to the main menu for the visa office.

hangzhou visa office menu

3. Book Your Appointment

Now you will be able to begin booking your visa office appointment. Simply tap on “办证预约”, which should be the first option on top.

After booking your appointment, you can check on it or cancel with the other option translated in red, but we’ll get back to that later.

hangzhou visa office appointments

On this first page it asks you to select your residence status. If you’re an expat / foreigner, just select the last option, “外国人”. Ignore the checkbox below that because it isn’t applicable.

Under the checkbox there is an option to select your age range. It is 16 – 60 by default, so unless you are not in that range, you don’t need to change anything. To move ahead, tap the blue button.

hangzhou visa office appointment booking

Next, you will see a bunch of Chinese characters, which are just explanations about each different type of visa / residence permit, and required items. Because there are many different types of documents, explanations for each are outside of this tutorial’s scope.

If you need help deciding which visa or permit you need, or do not know which materials are required, contact the visa office at 87071973 or 87074431.

Tap the blue button at the bottom to advance onward.

appointment next screen

Now you’re at a page with a single option. Tap on it to select which type of visa or permit you need.

select expat option

We have translated all of the visa and residence permit types for you, so find the type of document you need and select it. Tap the blue button at the bottom to save your selection and move on.

select type of visa document you need

Now you are back to the previous page with only one option, but this time we can tap on the blue button below. Tap on it to advance to the next page.

advance to the next step hangzhou visa

Now you will see more Chinese characters, which are just the terms and requirements for the document type that you selected on the previous page. If you know what you need, just check the box and tap the blue bottom at the bottom.

hangzhou visa and residence permit terms

On this next step, you will enter all of your personal information. It seems that the original translators had given up after the name section, so we went ahead and translated every section for you.

Here are a few things you may need help on in this section

Place of Residence: This will open a list of all of Hangzhou’s districts and counties. From top to bottom, the list is as follows:

-Please select a residence address
-Hangzhou City Level Districts
-Shangcheng District
-Xiacheng District
-Jianggan District
-Gongshu District
-Xihu District
-Binjiang District
-Xiaoshan District
-Yuhang District
-Fuyang District
-Scenic Area

Work Location: This will open a shorter list, which is as follows:

-Please select work address
-Hangzhou city level
-Hangzhou Economic & Technological Development Zone

Appointment Location: This will change depending on your work or residence address. It may have more than one selection. Ask a Chinese friend or search on Google / Baidu maps to find the nearest location to you if necessary.

Date and Time: There are only a certain number of appointment slots open each day. If you can’t find an open spot and are in a hurry, you may have to abandon making an appointment and wait in line at the visa office.

After your form is filled out, tap the blue button at the bottom to confirm your appointment information.

enter your hangzhou visa information

Now you should see an appointment confirmation screen appear with a QR Code, important numbers, your name, passport, and the appointment date.

**Take a screenshot of this!!

After tapping the blue button once more, you have successfully booked an appointment!

*Important: You should arrive at the visa office before the time slot you booked begins to take your photo (you have to take a photo even if you already have some printed out), and fill out the application form. Tell the receptionist that you have made an appointment by saying “我在网上预约了” if you speak Chinese, or just show the worker your appointment confirmation.

hangzhou visa office booking confirmation

4. Checking or Cancelling Your Appointment

If you forgot your appointment time or place, or you have to cancel it, go back to the visa office menu shown at the beginning of this article, and tap “已预约业务查询”, “Check an Appointment”.

hangzhou visa office appointments

Now, you’ll be asked to enter your passport number and phone number before tapping the green search button below.

check your hangzhou visa appointment

The next page will show your appointment information. You can simply double-check everything and go back, or cancel your appointment by tapping the green button on the very bottom.

cancel visa appointment

Now you will have to tap on the appointment you would like to cancel (there should only be one unless you have used the same information more than once).


Finally, to confirm the cancellation of your appointment, fill in your phone number and tap the orange – gold box labeled “发送验证码” to get a verification text message. Enter the verification code in the box and tap the green button to officially cancel your appointment.

confirm cancellation

And now you can smile at the hundreds of people waiting in line next time at the visa office!

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