How to Bring Your Pets Home
Once comes the time to head back home, there are two sets of processes to prepare for.
The first is obtaining a China Animal Exit Permit, which will allow your pet to leave the country. The second is entering a new country, requirements which are different for each country.
Steps to obtaining an Animal Exit Permit:
1. Annual rabies vaccination and immunity certificate: You should be vaccinating your pet for rabies every 12 months, since China does not recognize 2-3 year vaccinations. Therefore, make sure your pet has been vaccinated in the past year but no more recently than 30 days before departure.
Make sure to get a “PRC Animal Health and Immunity Certificate” with a stamp from a government approved hospital, a document which will be required to apply for an Animal Exit Permit.
2. 7-10 days before departure date pets must undergo a physical examination at an Entry Exit Inspection & Quarantine Bureau Animal Hospital (government-run).
After the physical exam you should receive:
- Health certificate: Usually issued within 2 days after the examination, the certificate remains valid for 7-days after the issue date. If you do not bring the health certificate to apply for an exit permit within the 7-days, the examination must be repeated.
Tip: It might be helpful to hire an official pet export service if you are not confident in your Chinese speaking skills since all the inspections will most likely be conducted in Chinese. However, it will present additional costs.
3. After the health certificate is obtained, you should now have what you need to apply for an Animal Exit Permit. Bring with you the following:
- Vaccination record from step 1
- Health certificate from step 2
Once the exit permit is received, you have 14 days to take your pet out of the country. Entering a new country will have different requirements based on which countries you will be entering. Click here to find out more about the requirements for your specific country.
If you are moving to China for a few years or much longer, you most likely won’t want to leave behind your cat or dog, and instead may decide to bring them along with you for the journey. With research and preparation, it is definitely feasible, and for most people worth the extra time and cost!
This article pertains to dogs and cats specifically, for other types of pets, refer to the country specific government website.