Things you should take home
In terms of money, China requires a limited amount of money you can carry back home. If you have long-term savings, it might be a problem to take them out of China all at once on the same day you are leaving. Furthermore, you are only allowed to exchange currencies on specific days. So, better plan on transferring your money to your overseas account a few weeks in advance. It all depends on the amount of money you will take home. Luckily though, you can transfer your money from China without a limit following certain procedures.
Read our previous article on The Best Ways to Transfer Money from China
Getting your money back also means refunding whatever you have paid as an employee. Under China’s individual income tax (IIT) law, foreigners are entitled to social insurance claims. Your social insurance refund adds up to your takeaway cash before leaving China.
To find out more details about the refund, check out Social Insurance Refund: A Takeaway Before Leaving China
Finally, if you have a public bike account such as Mobike or Ofo which you topped up some money with, you might want to also get it back before leaving.
Obviously, you will need to prepare and process certain documents before leaving China. You might need these papers on hand in the future, whether for employment, immigration, or any legal purposes that may support your identity or qualification.
Tax resident certificate with an official Chinese stamp
Before leaving China, you must visit the local tax bureau and request a ‘tax certificate’ detailing your salary and taxes paid, whether monthly or annually. Think of it as a tax clearance, making sure that you are free from any debts or tax liabilities. This document will also serve as your evidence of taxes paid in China so that you can avoid double taxation.
Read on: Double Taxation Relief for Foreigners in China
It is impossible to retrieve your non-criminal record from China once you are already out of the country. Local police authorities will require your original passport and house rental agreement before they can issue a non-criminal record certificate. Thus, you must put this on your to-do list and make sure to get it notarized afterward.
Reference letter from the bank
Getting a reference letter or a bank certificate from your bank could be helpful in some countries which require a bank reference before you can open a new bank account. Furthermore, you can also use this document as proof of your financial activities or China-sourced income.
Work permit cancellation certificate
If you ever return to China, your “work permit cancellation certificate” is necessary to process a new work visa. Hence, it is also important to have this before leaving China. The cancellation certificate may also serve as an official proof of your work experience in China other than your work contract or an employment certificate from your company.
You also might want to collect all your tax payment receipts for further proof of tax settlements before leaving China. You will also be needing an employment certificate as evidence of your work experience in China. Furthermore, if you have any Chinese documents such as your work contract, business license, degree certificates, or diplomas, it is recommended that you have them translated, notarized by the local foreign ministry, and authenticated by your embassy.
You might feel guilty about abandoning your pet when you leave China. Hence, if you want to bring your dog or cat back home, you must keep in mind that it takes a few months to complete the necessary procedures before you could get your pet on the plane. Although this depends on every country, the export process in China usually consists of vaccination and medical check.
On the other hand, your pet will be microchipped before it can depart from China. Remember that the vaccination must be administered 30 days prior to your travel flight.
In summary, here are the steps you must go through:
- Find an animal vaccination hospital and get the official “Animal Health and Immunity Certificate”.
- Get your pet microchipped with a 15 digit, ISO 11784/11785-compliant pet microchip.
- You must take your pet for a medical check 10 days before your departure and get a “certificate of good health” after two business days.
Read more on: How to Bring Pets In and Out of China
4. Clothes and everything you want to bring back home!
As for transporting your things from China, you can choose to send them by air or sea transport. While sea transport is less expensive, sending your belongings by air is more advisable if you want to receive them home more quickly. It is also best to hire a company to take care of your packages. Normally, the company will provide you with boxes having a weight limit of 20 kg to 30 kg and an estimated price of RMB 400 to RMB 800 per box.