Best Options for Long Term China Visa

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  • inwestend
    Member

    This topic is in response to the news about changes to visas: July 1st Visa Rumors

    … but I wanted to ask people’s advice specifically about my own situation – and I didn’t want to take over that discussion with my noise.

    The upheaval in the visa regulations (1st July) have happened at precisely the wrong time for me.  I love this place – and I’ve just made the decision to partially base myself in China.  So I’ve been looking into my visa options.  While the dust hasn’t settled yet around the changes – it looks like my preferred option – F- business visa doesn’t look viable anymore.

    So what should I do?

    I don’t need to work here to support myself.  I don’t particularly want to be a student.  And I don’t particularly want to teach English (although I did lecture Software Engineering a few years ago in Beijing, and I might consider part-time teaching in a more hardcore undergraduate subject).  But let’s consider those loopholes:-

    On a student visa – Do I actually have to attend classes?  Or if I teach English or something – what is the MINIMUM number of hours I have to work to qualify for a visa?  (Is the minimum value inclusive/exclusive of teaching preparation time – or just actual teaching time).

    Do I have any other options for staying in China for long periods of time?  For the residence visa D – how can I justify getting a visa to just live here?

    #33299

    Vincent
    Member

    Didn’t read the full post, but if you’re fast you could get your ass over to HK and pay for a 1 year F visa before July 1st. Should be around 3800HKD. With an agency of course.

    That means you’d have to leave tomorrow though.

    #33300

    Charlie
    Moderator

    I think your options are:

    • Student visa: register for classes, pay tuition, and get the visa. Optionally, attend class.
    • Work visa: find an employer that can provide a visa and work the minimum number of hours. The easiest option would be teaching English, and I imagine the minimum amount of hours per week must be something like 10-15 hours.
    • Use guanxi if you have it to get someone within an organization that can supply visas to provide you with one. You might have to pay.
    #33302
    Brendan
    Brendan
    Moderator

    So apart from GETTING TO HONG KONG IMMEDIATELY, and considering that you can (apparently) no longer ‘switch’ visas as of July 1st…

    What did you end up doing, and how/with whom (agent/self), etc.

    #33320

    inwestend
    Member

    @Brendan – I’m returning to the UK for a while anyway – so I’ll keep an eye on situations while I’m away, and plan to return in the Autumn or next Spring.

    I’ve missed the Hong Kong window of opportunity.  Teaching English is my worst-case contingency.  ( A part-time lecturing job that aligns with my expertise and qualifications, would be ok – if anyone has any university leads. ).

    What are the legitimate uses for an M or F visa?  Although the “loophole” is closing – I expect that people are still granted these for legitimate purposes.

    Under what circumstances would a non-commercial stay (F) be granted now?

    What if I decided to start a REAL business?  Put together a business case, and showed evidence of funds.  (I previously lived in Australia under the auspices of something called an “Independent Executive 457″ visa – which was this kind of deal.)  Could I legitimately obtain an M visa?  (Maybe my question is premature – and we won’t know until the changes have been in effect for a while.)

    I noticed “R1 – highly skilled specialists” on the list.  Intriguing.  What does that entail?  Do I need a job offer?  Who assesses the level of my expertise?

    #33322
    hank
    hank
    Member

    Student visa: register for classes, pay tuition, and get the visa. Optionally, attend class.

    Anyone know of a school where attending classes is optional? Preferably also with a quite low tuition fee.

    I heard that they do check attendance at Sichuan University, but depending on the teachers you might not have to attend so many classes.

    #33338

    inwestend
    Member

    I’d be interested in an answer to that too ->  A school where classes are optional, or nobody is bothered whether you attend or not.

    Alternatively, I might be swayed to do a legitimate course, and attend it, if the attendance hours were low, if it was interesting, and it left me with plenty of free time.  So I’d like to discuss study options in Chengdu, and gain people’s insight, and experience of study here.

    Somebody said if I taught English to get a visa, that might take up 10-15 hours a week.  If I have to sacrifice my time to get a visa, I’d much rather spend the time doing something interesting.  Is anyone doing any courses they’d recommend?, or know any good options like this?

    (Ideally, Summer Programmes, or something I could do remotely in the Winter – because during a Chinese winter I might be inclined to fly to Thailand or Australia).

    I suppose another option is that I do another Masters Degree – something project-based and self-directed that gives me free rein to develop something for my own interest.  I’m not sure I have the dedication now that I had when I was younger.  But does anyone have any leads I can follow to investigate that option?

    . . . . . . . . .

    Finally, non-education related visa option.  I’ve heard a few mentions of the permanent residency Visa.  Or a non-emplotyment based residence certificate.  This has a minimum validity of 180 days.  6 months is a PERFECT duration – if I spend the winter in warmer climates.  But how do I get one of these to live in China during the Summer?  What constitutes a valid reason to be issued this – if I’m not working in China?

    #33659
    Vincent NL
    Vincent NL
    Member

    I’m studying at the Sichuan Uni and once you have paid no one cares if you attend classes or not. I’ve had several class mates who after the first few weeks almost never come, they are mainly American exchange students.

    The only restriction is if you miss more than 30% of the classes you can’t do the final exam. But as you don’t need to do the test for your visa that doesn’t matter.

    Tuition is ¥8250 for 1 semester. You’ll get a visa for the period of semesters you’ve paid for. I pay for 2 semesters as a visa for 51 weeks is ¥200 while a visa for a year or longer is ¥800.

    I just applied for a new visa and for students it’s just as easy as before. They now only need 3 weeks time before you can pickup your visa, something to keep in mind!

    #33675

    inwestend
    Member

    8250RMB is expensive for a Visa.  (Given that I’d have difficulty finding a course I’d want to attend).  I found another option – the R visa.  But I read somewhere that it’s only for the under 40s.  (Can anyone confirm?).  So it’s likely no good for me.

    In all other respects – R Visa looks great.  You just need postgraduate qualifications and expertise and experience (only 5 years) in your field.

    #34089
    Tracy
    Tracy
    Member

    Hello All,

    I have a question. I am coming to teach (English of course) in Chengdu, bringing my family. but 19  year old can’t get a dependent visa too old. My dilmena: if I bring them on a tourist visa it may expire before I get to Chengdu (have to go to training in Shanghai for 3 weeks first).   Is there any other way? I have been trying to enroll them in a university in Chengdu from here in the US but it is way to difficult are there any reputable agencies that can help or anyone have a direct contact at say “Sichuan Univ” (@Vincent) to help with the process. Either way I gotta get over that 3 week hump we have in Shanghai before I get to Chengdu.

     

    Need much help scheduled to fly out of the US in 3 weeks.

    #34133

    Chris Ziich
    Moderator

    See if you can get your 19 year old a 90 day tourist visa which might give you enough time to get to Chengdu and enroll in a school here.

    #34137

    inwestend
    Member

    90 day tourist visa?  I thought that under the new rules, 30 day day tourist visa could only be extended ONCE = 60 days.

    Can someone clarify the situation with tourist visas?  Can they still be extended twice to allow 90 days? – or is there a 90 day version available from consulates?

    How have people got on with back-to-back visas?  Exit China, get a new L-visa and enter China again.   I expect they get pretty suspicious?

    #34176

    Charlie
    Moderator

    90 day tourist visa? I thought that under the new rules, 30 day day tourist visa could only be extended ONCE = 60 days. Can someone clarify the situation with tourist visas? Can they still be extended twice to allow 90 days? – or is there a 90 day version available from consulates? How have people got on with back-to-back visas? Exit China, get a new L-visa and enter China again. I expect they get pretty suspicious?

    I spoke to a friend on a tourist visa this morning, and although the duration is 1-year, she has to exit China every 2 months which is a major restriction. I don’t think you can get tourist visas with anything longer than 60 or 90 day duration per stay. A tourist visa would work fine if you were near a bordering country, but not in Chengdu.

    #34177

    inwestend
    Member

    Thanks for the info Charlie.  Does she have to go to the PSB office mid-way through each 60 day stay?  Or does her multiple entry Visa see her through the entire 60 days on each visit without extending?

    I’m in the UK right now – So I might pick one up when I’m next in London.  If I don’t have to do the Leshan trip, or deal with PSB officials – then that’s better than nothing.

    I know that the one-year L-visas can be difficult to obtain in surrounding Asian countries.  I inquired about getting one in Chiang Mai (Thailand), and they only issue the standard 30-day L-visas.  If you get a tourist Visa in Kuala Lumpur, they make you attend an interview!

    . . . . .

    I mentioned the R-Visa previously.  I’m not sure if the age 40 limit was accurate information.  I think the details of this R-visa are still being thrashed-out, and there’s a lot of speculation – so I’m keeping an eye on things.  If I can get one of these – even just for 6 months – then that will solve all my problems.

    #34189
    Tracy
    Tracy
    Member

    Thank you all for The info. I needed to know my options will be heading to the Chinese consulate here in houston next week. Will let you all know what I find out.

    #34207

    Charlie
    Moderator

    Thanks for the info Charlie. Does she have to go to the PSB office mid-way through each 60 day stay? Or does her multiple entry Visa see her through the entire 60 days on each visit without extending?

    Hi,

    I think each time she re-enters China she might have to register at the local PSB, but I’m not certain. Otherwise there should be no PSB visits required. There’s no need to extend for a year, you just have to leave the country and re-enter according to the maximum stay of each duration.

    You mentioned the Chinese consulate in Thailand… For years that has been a notoriously difficult place to get a Chinese visa, along with the Chinese consulate in Bangkok. If you avoid it, it seems that people have much better luck (and fewer requirements) in other places. I know that about 6 months ago I had a friend apply for a visa in Bangkok and they insisted on knowing exactly how much time he was going to spend in every city in China, what hotels he was staying in, etc. He had already been living in an apartment in Chengdu for over a year…

    #34213
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