Procedures for Approval of Permanent Representative Office Established in Shanghai by Tourism Enterprises

Pre-approval by:

Tourism Market Management Department of Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administrative Commission

Time frame for pre-approval:

Verification of the application shall be completed by Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administrative Commission within 30 working days after acceptance. If approved, it shall be submitted to the National Tourism Administration of P.R.C. for approval.

Qualifications of the Applicant:

The applicant shall be an enterprise engaged in travel business in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao and overseas countries and meet the following conditions:

1. It has been legally registered in its own country (region) and the registered scope of business includes traveling business;
2. It has good credit rating and formal membership in the trade association of travel agencies or similar organization in its own country (region);
3. It has engaged in travel business of sending tourists from its own country (region) to China for more than two years and the number of tourists it sends to China per year is no less than 2,000.


1. Recommendation Letter from the local International Travel Agency in Shanghai, which has established business cooperation with the enterprise for over one year. The recommendation letter must indicate basic information about the recommended enterprise including numbers of tourists to China, whether defaulting in tourist fees, etc.
2. Letter of application issued by the President or Managing Director of the enterprise including its name, scope of business, numbers of representatives, term of residence and address of stay, etc.
3. Business license (photocopy) and certificate of travel agency issued by the relevant authorities of the country (region) where it is based in.
4. Membership card (counterpart) issued by the Travel Agency Trade Association or similar organizations in the country (region) where the enterprise is located.
5. Capital credit certificate issued by the financial institution maintaining business contact with the enterprise.
6. Certificate of authorizing chief representative and representatives of the office issued by President or Managing Director of the enterprise and the resume, photos and identity credentials of all the members.
7. Brief introduction of the enterprise including business history and past achievements, persons in charge, organizational structure and cooperation with China in traveling business, etc.
8. Application documents in quadruplicate with Chinese translations.


1. A qualified international travel agency serves as a recommendation giver who submits application to Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administrative Commission on behalf of the office.
2. Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administrative Commission accepts and verifies the application. After its approval, it is submitted to the National Tourism Administration of P.R.C. for approval.
3. The National Tourism Administration of P.R.C. shall verify the case. If qualified, a letter of ratification will be issued, indicating valid period.
4. After the permanent office of the travel agency is approved for establishment, it is required to go through registration formalities and obtain registration license at Shanghai Municipal Administration of Industry and Commerce holding letter of ratification within 30 days as of the approval day. The people with foreign nationality and their family members shall go through formalities concerning residence and obtain residence certificates at the Shanghai Municipal Public Security Organ.
5. Changes Matters
If the permanent office intends to alter institution name, representatives, stationing period, an application letter signed by its President or Managing Director must be submitted to Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administrative Commission 45 days prior to the day of such changes. And application will be made through the National Tourism Administration according to the original approval procedures. After approval, go through formalities concerning alteration registration and residence permit at the registration authority in Shanghai and public security authority holding the certificate of ratification.
6. Stationed and locally hired staffs
(1) The total number of stationed staffs cannot be over 5.
(2) For hiring people from the recommending unit as its representative, consent from the recommending unit shall be acquired. After being submitted to the National Tourism Administration and getting its approval, registration formalities shall be completed at the foreign affair organizations and the administration of industry and commerce appointed by Shanghai Municipal People’s Government with the letter of ratification.
(3) For hiring public servants in China as its representatives, it must be registered at relevant foreign affair service units and subject to the approval of the National Tourism Administration of P.R.C.
(4) For hiring the employees from the foreign enterprise service company as its representative, a certificate shall be issued by the human resources department of such company and approval and registration formalities shall be handled according to the regulations.
(5) The recruitment of staff shall be handled according to the regulations of the competent department of P.R.C. on recruitment by the representative office of the foreign enterprise.
7. This approval procedure shall apply to the traveling representative office, offices, general affairs offices, liaison offices or permanent traveling offices under other names established by the enterprises from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao and the overseas countries.


Article 17 of the Regulations on the Administration of Travel Agency (promulgated by the State Council of P.R.C. on Oct.15. 1996, Decree No.205);

Items 1, 2, 3 of Article 3, Items 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 of Article 4, Article 5, Items 1, 2, 3 of Article 6, Article 9, Items 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 of Article 11 and Article 15 of the Administrative Rules on Approving the Establishment of Permanent Representative Office of the Travel Agency by Foreign Enterprises in China (promulgated by National Tourism Administration of P.R. China).