China L visa renewal during national holiday week?
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Oct 4, 2012 8:49 AM Last Post By: jiejie
Oct 2, 2012 8:09 AM
China L visa renewal during national holiday week?Hello,
Hopefully someone can help! We are traveling in China at the moment and need to renew our 30 day L visas before they expire on the 6th of October. Despite careful planning, we did not factor in the national holiday this week. The psb office in Beijing is closed until the 8th, and our embassy (New Zealand) is also closed until the 4th.
Our options are to get an expensive last minute flight to Nepal, and continue our trip there, or go down to Thailand or Hong Kong to get another visa, or stay and hope the visa officers extend our slightly-expired visas without hassle.
Does anyone have any advice? Is there known to be an exception for travellers whose visas get messed up because of public holidays? We have not managed to find out anything so far.
Any thoughts much appreciated!
Oct 2, 2012 8:27 AM
1The problem is, the Chinese Embassies and Consulates are also closed in Hong Kong and Bangkok. Maybe the the PSB would extend the Visa on the 8th with just a two day fine (500RMB day)? That may be best option, but maybe others have ideas. I thought you also had to apply for the extension a good week before it expires?
Did you go here?
Exit and Entry Division of Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau is the place that you can extend the visas.
It is near Yonghegong (Lama Temple). 2, Andingmen Dongdajie, Dongcheng. Open Mon-Sat 8.30am - 4.30 pm. Nearest subway is Lama Temple (Yonghegong). Come out of the subway and head East for about 5 mins, it's on your right.
In regards to getting a Visa outside China, Hong Kong is your best bet for securing a new Visa, and you should use an agency to make the process faster and easier due to the recent crackdowns on Chinese Visa's issues outside your own country.
How could you not be aware of this major Holiday?
Cheap and fast options for getting out of China, flight to Shenzhen, then ferry to Macau, or bus/train to HK, but HK is not cheap, so Macau for weekend, then ferry to HK, its all very easy, promise.
Right now a oneway flight to Shenzhen is 2000RMB from Beijing for tomorrow. Then head to Macau via ferry for the weekend, then to HK for Monday via ferry and business as usual. If not, its 3000RMB to HK on Oct 6th, then hang out until Monday, when Embassy is open. The cross back to China via bus or train to border at Shenzhen, then onward via train/flight from there.
I used ELong for checking flights, but check CTrip too.
Oct 2, 2012 8:46 AM
2Hi, thanks for your quick response and advice! This does underscore the usefulness of Hong Kong, which is where we got our first visas.
Unfortunately, while we knew about the holiday, we thought that places such as psb offices would only be closed on the 1st itself!
Does anyone have any insight as regards to what is most likely to happen if we overstay 2 days and ask for an extension after the holiday?
Oct 2, 2012 8:52 AM
Oct 2, 2012 2:41 PM
4I think you'd be wasting your time trying to find anyone in Beijing who could extend your visa. If you do hang around Beijing till the 8th, keep in mind that 1) it'll take several days to process your extension and 2) Beijing PSB is especially difficult when it comes to extensions, wanting to see lots of money in a Chinese bank (usually US$100 per day of extension per person, or US$6000 for a couple). It'll take time as well to arrange this.
On ctrip, I see a flight Beijing>Shenzhen at 1230RMB on October 4 (Thursday).
Myself, I'd probably stay on the Mainland and try to extend on Monday will sincere apologies, but not in Beijing or Shanghai or the like. At worst, you'll pay a 500RMB/day fine for the overstay, but the PSB has authority to waive or reduce this.
Oct 2, 2012 6:46 PM
5Thanks. The airport psb might be a good option!
The bank account issue is something else I have found difficult to clarify. We are a couple and can show evidence of a decent amount of money in our shared New Zealand bank account (and had already printed out!). Why would tourists who only want another 30 days of travel need to open a Chinese account? Does this apply to all tourists, or just certain nationalities ?
Oct 2, 2012 6:58 PM
6There's no sense trying to explain the rationality of the funded Chinese bank account requirement. The fact is it's a requirement of the Beijing PSB and they do enforce it. You'll find the detail on their website: "Documents certifying financial support for living cost in Beijing (e.g.certificate of deposit, at an average of US$100 per day)."
Search back posts on this branch and you'll find some first-hand accounts of precisely what documents they want.
Oct 3, 2012 1:33 PM
Oct 3, 2012 5:50 PM
8I'd get to a smaller city that's more easy going and less formal than Beijing and no matter what you'd rather be doing, make sure you are standing on the PSB's doorstep when they open up after the holiday. Dress nicely and be very polite and plead Dumb Foreigner who thought holiday closure was only for 3 days--it is possible you will get an extension without a fine, as they do have authority to waive it. In any case, have RMB 1000 (500 x 2) per person ready in case they demand--you really don't have a leg to stand on refusal to pay fine, since this should have been dealt with before the holiday. Make it somewhere that you can stomach being without passport for 2-3 days, like Qingdao or Dalian. No guarantee you can get anything done faster than that in the north, so go for less hassle and no bank account proofing hassles. Some jurisdictions won't ask for any financial proof; others will be OK with a credit card (which they may want to copy).
One thing you will need to take with you (one per passport, even if sharing a room): your Certificate of Temporary Residence. This is a slip of paper that your hotel or hostel can fill out, chop, and give to you. Choose your target city and get checked in for a 3-4 day stay, before that visa expires, and ask front desk for your Certificate.
Oct 3, 2012 6:32 PM
9And don't forget photos. Some places can take them on site, but better to be prepared.
You want to check into a new hotel before your visa expires because sometimes -- not always -- the desk clerk goes through your visa and entry stamp computing length of permitted stay when filling out the PSB registration form.
(Usually places with lots of expat workers are difficult because they're inundated with work visa applications and try to discourage tourists; on that basis I'm not sure I'd head to Qingdao or Dalian, pleasant as they are.)
Oct 3, 2012 9:55 PM
Thanks for your help and advice. We are going to fly to Shenzhen on the last day of our visa and make our way to Hong Kong where we'll get new ones. It means missing out on some time in the north, but we'll still be able to get to the west and from there to Nepal as planned.
Great responses, and I'm very impressed by thorn tree!
Very interesting to learn a bit more about the intricacies of the visa renewal process too...
Oct 4, 2012 8:49 AM
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