visa (my spouse is working in Shanghai. I’m in Poland. Can I get a family visa?)

Q & A ForumCategory: Work Permitvisa (my spouse is working in Shanghai. I’m in Poland. Can I get a family visa?)
Julie asked 4 months ago

Hello, please let me know what to do in the following situation.
I am in Poland now and my husband is working in Shanghai now. But I can not come because of the closing border. Please let me know what to do in our situation and when will be legislation for family reunion?  And what kind of situation will be suitable to apply for family visa? As I know that visas issued after March 28th are eligible to enter China currently, is that true? When do you think we will see at least some hope in this situation? and do they consider family reunion is not reasonable matter to enter if we were away for 3 month already?
Thank you a lot for any of your advise

1 Answers
ShanghaiExitEntry Staff answered 4 months ago

Hi Julie,

TL;DR: Unfortunately, no good news yet.

Full response and explanation:

As I know that visas issued after March 28th are eligible to enter China currently, is that true?  Yes, true.
Problem: very hard to get. Visas are only issued to the following:

  • Chinese family members (ex. an Canadian citizen with Chinese grandparents living in China)
  • essential person (high-quality expat, so to speak): an executive of a large company in China, or in some way contributes to the Chinese economy(pays salaries of lots of people), scientists, etc..
  • flight crew, doctors, etc..

So my observation and interpretation:

do they consider family reunion is not reasonable matter to enter if we were away for 3 month already? I believe it is unreasonable that they don’t allow families to reunite. My Chinese friends feel it’s unreasonable that I still can’t return to China, despite spending almost 20 years there and my life and belongings are there. But, to the Chinese government, family reunions for regular foreigners are not important matters to them (or at least during the virus period). They would just see it ask increasing risk of allowing more virus carriers entering China. 

Given the coronavirus situation, China is being extremely picky who they let back in. They don’t really care about foreigners’ family. They care about local Chinese citizens, who need income. But if the company these Chinese people work at is a foreign company with executives – who are foreigners, who are crucial to running the business in China, and crucial to contributing to the economy in China, then the Chinese government would welcome such expats back to China.

Diplomatic relations also matter… so people from any country that has upset China, especially during the last few months, will probably have a more difficult time entering China. On the other hand, the “good behaving” countries’ business men and women have been given fast-track business entry deals. Countries like: South Korea, Germany, Singapore,… (and France & UK?).

Not sure if the UK has really been approved yet. But the British Chamber of Commerce and the British embassy/gov organized a flight for their citizens who have their jobs in China to fly from the UK back to China. This was green-lighted but I’m not sure if there is a fast-track entry for the UK yet.
When do you think we will see at least some hope in this situation? Again, just my opinion, things that would influence China opening its borders to a particular country would be: 

  • the country has good diplomatic relation with China;
  • the country has “flattened the curve” for number of infected cases of covid-19;
  • the country has a vaccine for the virus available for the public;

So I’m afraid I don’t have any good news.
Besides waiting, the only option I can see is that a flight is organized from Poland to China, with the help of the Polish government, Polish embassy in China, and Polish chamber of commerce in China, then approved by the Chinese government. And then of course, competing with others to get seats on the plane.

Good luck.
Warm Regards,
Just another expat.

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