7 tips for Chinese Visa and Study Chinese
Posted by: Saminchina (IP Logged)
Date: May 01, 2012 09:41PM
The visa process can seem daunting, but when you have the right information and a general outline for your trip it is a very simple process. Here are some tips to help you move forward with your trip to China.
1. Plan Ahead
The Chinese Consulates are generally efficient and the actual visa processing wil only take 4 days. The consulate itself recommends applying a month before, but a few weeks should be ample time. You do not want to apply too far in advnace or the visa may expire before you arrive. Chinese visas can be issued in other Asian cities including Hong Kong and Maccau, but these offices may only be able to grant single entry or a visa with 30 day stays. Be sure to bring a 2x2 photo of yourself to attatch to the application. Members of the press, particularly journalists, military personal, government workers, and clergy, may have to present additional doumentation about their work and intentions in China.
2. Choose the Correct Visa
-L Represents the standard tourist visa. Anyone visiting family, friends, or simply touring should apply for this visa. The duration varies and options range depending on a person's home country. Generally a person will be allowed to select single, double, or multiple entry and the visa will be good for six or twelve months.
-F Represents a business visa. If you will be in China for less than six months and will conduct business, study, or intern, this the visa you will need. The organization will provide you with a letter of invitation and any additional forms you need.
-X or Z Visas are for students or employees respectively who will be in China for over six months. In addition to an invitation letter and paperwork provided by the institution, a doctrine of physical health and police check need to be submitted as well.
3. Fill out the Application Carefully:
One of the questions asks how long each of your stays in China will be. This can influence how much time you are granted on your visa. If you have your entire visit planned out, this will not affect you. However, if you are going into China with no definite plans, you may want to say 90 days, the maximum, in the event you decide to stop and volunteer or study Chinese during your visit. In addition, if you work for a media company or were formerly employed as a journalist, prepare to be hassled about your intentions. Even someone saying that they are a teacher may be a red flag and receive a shorter visa as there are many instances of teachers illegally working on tourist visas.
4. Extending your Visa isn't cheating the system
In some cases, you may be able to extend the amount of time allowed in the country by going to one of the entry and exit bureaus. You will probably pay as much as you did for the visa in the first place, your original visa will be canceled, and you will receive a new one giving you an extra month with no entries. This works well if you genuinely only need one more month in China, but if you are trying to stay longer and still have time on a mulitple entry visa you are better off leaving and returning.
5. Do Not Overstay
China has one of the most strict policies towards people who over stay. By law, an individual can be charged 5000 RMB for every day overstayed. If the person cannot pay, a lengthy prison term may be served. It is not worth the risk, leave or visit the Entry and Exit Bureau before your visa runs out.
6. It's Risky Business to Work on an L Visa
It used to be very easy for travelers to avoid the extra effort and paperwork involved with getting a Z visa and find work (mostly teaching) while on a tourist visa. The government has been doing more random checks of schools and other places of business such as bars, restaurants, and hotels to make sure employees have the proper documents. Some schools may be willing to hire a person on a tourist visa and then help them to switch over. Do not expect to stay in one place too long working on a tourist visa though. Those who do must leave the country every 30- 90 days and risk not being allowed back in the country if they have border hopped several times just before the visa runs out.
7. Get Visa Assistance by Studying Chinese
There are many schools that offer short language programs to learn Chinese in China and will offer visa assistance for participants. If you plan to study for just a week, the tourist visa is fine, but if you choose to stay longer the school can help you to extend. Even better, if you know you want to study Chinese for 3 months or more, the school will gladly help you arrive in China on a business visa from the start. This can be a great way to avoid the hasstle of switching visas later.
If you know you want to stay in China for an extended period, do your research and apply for the visa you will ultimately need. This will give you peace of mind and allow you to spend more time doing whatever it is that brought you to China -exploring the landscape, learning the language, or exploring the culture.
Good luck and safe travels!
90 days after entry, even if visa runs out on day 10?
Posted by: Usazchina (IP Logged)
Date: May 03, 2012 07:01PM
I am planning my second entry into China on a one year multiple entry Type L Visa. My Visa expires on Nov. 8, 2012. I hope to enter china the end of October 2012 and then stay 90 days.
From what I understand, I just need to be in China before the end of the visa, then I have 90 days (as stated in my visa, 90 days/visit).
Does the above sound correct?
Oh, USA citizen. I obtained Type L Visa in USA, Houston Texas Chinese Consolate via a service.