Extending current tourist visa

Stefani asked 4 years ago

My partner and I live in a rented apartment in Shanghai. I am on a work visa, but he is here on a 10 year tourist visa requiring him to leave every 60 days. He will need to leave on July 4th. This is including the automatic 60 day extension. However, he currently won’t be allowed back in China. So what can we do?
I know we can get a 30 day stay permit extension, but I have heard that this might void the L visa. Does it? If this is the case, it won’t do. Also, if the 30 day extension doesn’t invalidate the L visa,  it may not be enough considering the current situation may last for a longer time.
So what options do we have? Can we get him a work / student / business visa without leaving China? Will Chinese authorities extend the 60 day grace period? Will we be able to exit somewhere like HK and be able to return? Has anybody in the know heard any information regarding this?
It’s a very stressful situation for us and I appreciate your response. Thank you.

2 Answers
smooth-administrator Staff answered 4 years ago

Hey Stefani,
I think getting him a work permit or study permit are probably best solutions:

  • Work permit – he would need to get hired and start the work permit application preferably by June 4th and submit his residence permit application by last week of June at the latest. (If you run out of time, you can get a “humanitarian visa”, often issued to foreigners in the process of getting their work permit but they don’t have enough time to submit their residence permit before their current visa expires. Humanitarian visas are usually 30 days.) I know, for certain, you can apply for work permit within China.
  • Study permit – Yea, okay. Caveat: he should in a full-time reputable university program(such as fudan, jiaotong, tongji, huadong shifan). Due to too many foreigners trying to cheat the visa system by getting study permits and never showing up to class, they started taking attendance. If he fails to meet their attendance requirement, they can(or the government mandates them to) cancel the study permit. 

As of yet, I haven’t heard of any news about the government extending the grace period. And, at the moment, no foreigners cannot enter China except they are essential personnels(doctors, pilots, covid-19-related researchers, diplomats, etc) or South Koreans with recently granted business visas. So leaving-mainland-China-and-returning is not an option. 
I’m sure the government is earning banks on the hundreds or thousands of stay permit applications every month.
I highly doubt applying for the 30 day stay permit will void the L visa. But I will confirm in a few days regarding this point. Please check back by end of week. 
It’s frustrating to apply for a stay permit every 3-4 weeks. I hope the government introduces a smarter policy… 
Not sure how far in the relationship you guys are in but another option is “get married” -> register the marriage at your consulate -> get the marriage certificate -> apply for spouse visa. He will get a residence permit that expires on the same day as yours. 
Best wishes to you and your partner!

smooth-administrator Staff answered 4 years ago

I just confirmed it with an expert in this field. 
Getting a 30-day stay permit will void the L-visa.
However, after the pandemic period, you can re-apply for the L-visa. My expert friend said it’s easy for Canadian and US nationals to get this 10-year L-visa. 
He said, unfortunately, the 30-day stay permit is the only option… 
Sorry to bring you bad news. Good luck!

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