Certificate of Health Examination for
International Traveller (August 2010)
|Many foreigners are unsure
of all the requirements and regulations surrounding
this mandatory health check.
We will define the main reasons for needing one, describe
what is entailed, and clear up some area's of confusion
China Expats Director Jonno has now taken this examination
(August 2011) and you can read his personal account
1. You will generally need to undergo a Chinese medical
examination to work in China, or for any visa that runs
for 12 months or more. Common types of inclusions and
a. 1 or 2 year
business (F) visa
i. This visa typically has a maximum single entry
stay of 30 days only, so does not require a health check.
b. 6-month student visa or 'X'
i. This exception does require a health check.
c. All applications for a work visa or
'Z' visa require a health check.
d. Residence visa's or 'D' visa's require a health check.
i. The new
6-month Family Visit visa does not require a health
check, as this is a Tourist or 'L' visa
ii. Family Visit visa's
for 1 or 2 years do require a health check. This is
because they are a 'D' visa.
There are many other criteria, so please regard the
above as highlighting the most common that ordinary
people will encounter in China.
of the medical examination are as follows:
of Health Examination for International Traveller
Updated 15th August 2010
||You can only be examined at
a specified County Level, government hospital.
Therefore even though you may live in a
large modern city, there may not be an approved
hospital that can be used.
|What you need
||1. Your passport (With current
visa; and Certificate of Temporary Residency
if applicable to yourself?)
2. One copy of each material page of above
(Personal information page, page(s) showing
last visa and entry stamp (Not always on
the same page).
3. Five photographs of the specified standard.
Any registered photography shop will know
which type you need. There will also be
a suitable shop very near the hospital.
Often only two photographs are required.
4. The fee (Expect change from 500 RMB).
||1. Do not have breakfast on
the day of the examination.
2. If taking medication, continue to take
this and inform the Doctors or staff upon
registration for the exam. Perhaps best
to take it with you?
|What is checked?
||The Ministry of Public Health
and the Ministry of Public Security, check
for the following: The medical examination
1. Height, Weight, Blood pressure, Body
temperature, Internal medicine, EENT; B-ultrasound
(liver, gallbladder, spleen and kidneys),
EKG, Chest X-Ray, Laboratory tests: Blood
Routine, Blood type, Urinalysis, HIV, TPPA,
Hepatitis B surface antigen, Anti-HCV, ALT
Persons to be employed in the catering industry
will have a stool culture test.
2. Infectious diseases under surveillance;
Including: Influenza, Poliomyelitis, Malaria,
Dengue fever, Relapsing fever, Epidemic
typhus and AIDS (including HIV infection).
This also includes Hepatitis B, Plague,
Cholera, Yellow fever and other infectious
disease which are as announced and confirmed
by the State Council.
3. Entry is also forbidden in cases of the
following diseases; including: Severe Psychosis
Infectious Tuberculosis disease, Any other
infectious diseases which can endanger public
health or security severely.
4. If you show symptoms of any of the above
mentioned, you will not be issued with a
This is perhaps the one time when you should
carry your Home Country vaccination certificate
with you. For Example:
You do not need the Cholera vaccination
to enter China, although most western health
practitioners recommend it (It is not required
generally). Teachers coming to work in China
will need a health check as part of their
'Z' visa application, which is done within
30 days of entry. The Cholera vaccination
will still be active in your system during
this time ... which could lead to serious
||The examination nominally
takes about 30 minutes, and many people
are processed at the same time. If there
are a lot of people, then expect this to
take about one hour. The order may vary,
but here is what happens:
1. Bloodwork. They should always use new
4. Eye tests.
5. Weight, height, etc.
6. Internal Medicine:
a. Blood pressure and Chinese
pulse checks (Traditional method using fingers
b. Breathing - stethoscope and all
7. X-ray of torso.
You should be done now, but there are another
30 tests that could be performed.
|How long does the Certificate
take to process?
||The stated period
of processing is 3 working days (May exclude
people are required to submit to a further
examination. This may be because something
unusual was found, or because records got
For re-examination, take with you all the
documents from last time + your receipt
of initial examination.
1. If something unexpected was found then
you will be subject to a further investigation
of that specific area or problem.
2. If you simply take the whole examination
again, then it is likely your original test
was muddled in some way.
3. There should not be any extra charge
for re-examination, although you will be
liable to pay in advance for any resulting
are concerned with Bloodwork. This is because
more than 99.9% of Chinese people have rhesus
positive blood. A large number of Foreigners
may have rhesus negative blood. During examination
you will be told what your blood group is,
and if it is negative then please check
this is marked accordingly on your sample.
Chinese do take a lot of blood from you
during this phase, as many tests are conducted
using it. If you feel unwell after blood
is taken, then ask to rest for a few minutes
- this will not adversely affect your test
Having the Examination Abroad
Health examinations can be performed abroad. For physicals
performed abroad, you must go to Exit-Entry Health and
Quarantine Bureau with the following:
a) a doctors letter stating you are healthy.
b) original copies of all blood tests, X-rays, EKG/ECG
readouts, and other required tests.
individual test result should be clearly identified
as belonging to you.
c) Completed Health Certificate Application Form (available
at the Health & Quarantine)
Many foreigners have problems with this, basically because
the results are not indexed and presented according
to how the Chinese want them. Most westerners simply
present a home country certificate and expect this to
be enough. It is not enough! You need to be presenting
a thick file with every single result of each required
Chinese test, and each is identified officially as belonging
to you. It is far easier (And cheaper) to just go for
the Chinese one in China.
The second problem is that foreigners do not submit
this to the right place. Often this may be due to a
'helpful' Chinese friend placing your correct file with
the wrong people. You best do this yourself and go to
the main regional branch of the Exit/Entry PSB dealing.
The Bottom Line
If you expect China to accept your medical examination
from Home Country, then you need to be very specific
and focus on minute details. Better just get it done
in China for a fraction of the cost.
for 'Z' visa in home country
The Chinese system does not work this way in practice,
as you are expected to arrive in China Mainland on a
Tourist ('L') visa, and then have 30-days grace period
for your authorised employer to action your 'Z' visa
(At no charge to yourself - including the Medical Exam).
We have read in some forum's about horror stories concerning
'Z' visa applications in USA and UK. As an individual,
please know you should never be in a situation where
you have to apply for a Chinese 'Z' visa in your home
If you do apply for a Z visa in Home Country, then know
you have opened a 'can of worms'! Basically the rules
for issuance of a Z visa only apply internally to China;
and there is no separate external application. Therefore
all these poor people applying in USA are doing so with
rules that only apply inside China.
Get a Tourist ('L') visa and apply for your Z visa once
you are physically in China - that's how the system
information is as supplied by China Expats and the
Chinese Ministry of Public Security (PSB) as dated 15th
August 2011; and/or other reliable sources. Please check
this information yourself as it may alter without notice,
and whilst we try our best to ensure it is correct,
please do not hold us responsible for any errors - this
is intended as a simple guide only
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