Looking to Come Back: Visa Question

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  • #49378
    NWhit20NWhit20
    Participant

    Hey everyone, hopefully somebody can point me in the right direction.

    I studied at Sichuan University from 2014 to August of 2015. That is how I got my Visa last time. I am looking to come back again, first on a tourist visa and then upgrade it later to a different class (according to a Visa guy I talked to). He told me I have to first get back on a tourist visa and he can upgrade it for me when I arrive. I looked up the requirements to come on a tourist visa though, and they need to see round trip itinerary. If I plan on upgrading the Visa while I’m there, would there be a way to get the visa without the round trip information? Seems like a waste of a plane ticket. Or could I perhaps have itinerary which shows me going to Chengdu and then to a different, nearby country for a vacation? Going back to the states is a hell of a plane ticket to waste.

    I know there are some foreigners here who keep renewing their tourist visas over and over by periodically exiting into a nearby country and then returning, how do you guys do it?

    To sum it up, I’m looking to just live in Chengdu again, not working or going to school. I have my own money. I work from home and my company is based in the states, so my location doesn’t matter.

    Any help or advice is appreciated, thank you guys.

    #49379
    RayRay
    Participant

    In which country are you getting your Chinese tourist visa? I’ve never been asked to provide a return ticket but last time in Australia I did have to give my itinerary. Perhaps in your itinerary you could mention something like “overland travel to Vietnam” or another bordering country.

    #49380
    NWhit20NWhit20
    Participant

    I’m American if that clears it up.

    I was just reading the requirements for getting an L visa off the Chinese embassy website, so I’m not sure if those requirements are strict or not. After living in China for one year I’ve learned to always take “rules” with a grain of salt.

    #49381
    CharlieCharlie
    Keymaster

    You can reserve a flight online and print out the itinerary before you pay for it. Print it out, then cancel the return flight if you don’t want to take it, or can’t.

    #49382
    CharlieCharlie
    Keymaster

    There are also a number of sites like this, use at your own risk.

    #49387
    Chris ZiichChris Ziich
    Moderator

    I’ve dealt with this situation before and booked a ticket out of China, but not back to my home country. You can do, for example, Hong Kong or Thailand. They just want to see that you’ll be leaving China.

    This has some advantages such as, if you’re unable to upgrade your visa or the process is delayed, then you already have a ticket out to give you a fresh 30-90 days.

    If you do succeed and want to cancel the ticket or are unable to cancel the ticket, you don’t lose as much money.

    #49389
    NWhit20NWhit20
    Participant

    Sweet… thanks Chris. In your opinion, would you have any advice for me in accomplishing what I want to do? Am I on the right track? I’m taking the advice from a Chinese guy who works on Visas for foreigners. Get a tourist visa, then get it upgraded. Last time I went to Chengdu I got so wrapped up in my work that I basically wasted my tuition.

    So get a ticket to Chengdu, and a ticket from Chengdu to Hong Kong at a later date or something like that.

    Stupid question, but how fast after leaving China can I come back, and what do I have to do? Would I have to talk to somebody or go to an agency or can it be taken care of at the airport? The whole process was streamlined for me and spoonfed before.

    Any words of wisdom are appreciated. Thanks a lot.

    #49406
    Chris ZiichChris Ziich
    Moderator

    I can’t offer any advice on getting whatever visa it is you’re trying to get, because the visa environment in China has changed recently, so I’m not familiar with what is possible now.

    I would say to not blindly trust some Chinese visa guy. In my experience, it’s never as quick and easy as they make it out to be. I’m sure there are services out there that can figure it out, but you need to be diligent and really make sure you have all the required documents and have backup plans.

    After you leave China you can immediately re-enter on the same day. As long as you get that exit stamp, your next entry stamp renews your stay period. You don’t need to talk to anyone for this. Just pass through immigration both ways. Finding same day flights that provide enough time for you to do this can be more problematic, but people do this through HK all the time.

    #49407
    NWhit20NWhit20
    Participant

    OK my backup plan is going to be a quick exit and reentry then.

    I can literally just pass through immigration again? No itinerary or anything like that required? What about when I get back to China, won’t they need to know when I’m leaving? I’m a bit confused as to how it works. I’d assume if they want to know my plans the for the first entry, they’d want to know about it a second time.

    #49408
    Chris ZiichChris Ziich
    Moderator

    They only want your plans when you’re applying for your visa (obviously you want one with multiple entry). After you’ve received your visa, you can go in and out as you please without any other documentation. You literally hand your passport to an immigration officer, he/she checks that you’re not a listed criminal, then you get a stamp and walk through.

    #49417
    CharlieCharlie
    Keymaster

    I’m a bit confused as to how it works. I’d assume if they want to know my plans the for the first entry, they’d want to know about it a second time.

    As Chris said, there is only scrutiny when you apply for the visa. Once you have your visa, customs officials are very unlikely to ask any questions.

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