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A Guideline For The Automatic 2 Month Visa Extention

Hot discussion has been going on in many expats communities and blogs by the news “China visas will be extended automatically for two months without application during epidemic period”.

On March 1,Mr. Liu Haitao, an officer of the National Immigration Administration (NIA) announced at a press conference that foreigners will have their stay or residence permits extended automatically for two months without any special procedures during the epidemic period. Actually it’s the sencond measures among the ten new measures issued by NIA on February 27, 2020.

Many expats are still confused about “automatical 60-day visa extension” policy.

Today we will give explanations for relevant convenient measures issued by the National Immigration Administration (NIA) and State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) during epidemic period together.

Part one.

Convenient Measures Issued by National Immigration Administration

The National Immigration Administration (NIA) of China issued ten measures regarding exit-entry management to support the resumption of work and production in relevant industries in the context of epidemic response, effectively prevent the epidemic from spreading through the immigration channels, guarantee stable employment, foreign investment and foreign trade, and ensure smooth exit-entry services to facilitate economic and social development on February 27.

The ten measures are as below:

1) Restoration of Exit-Entry Window Services

Starting from February 27, the entry-exit window service will be restored in low-risk areas, and gradually restored in medium-risk areas, while in high-risk areas, the service will be open for emergency cases via reservation.

2) Two-month Extension of Stay or Residence Permit
For expats who are engaged in innovation, entrepreneurship and scientific research in China during the epidemic prevention and control, if their visa /residence permit expires, they will enjoy a two-month extension without any special procedures.

(Acutally it’s applicable to all expats not only for the above expats which we confirmed with Shenzhen Exit-Entry Adminstration.)

3) Advance Application for Re-Entry Visa
During the epidemic, if the number of entry time is used up, and the visa holders need to leave China temporarily for a short time to participate in commerce trade, researching and academic exchange activities, they can apply for re-entry visas in advance before returning; while returning if their residence permits expire, they can apply for port visas with the original residence permits.

4) Port Visa and Temporary Entry Permit
Foreigners who come to China for urgent reasons including investment, entrepreneurship, commerce and trade can apply for a port visa with the invitation letter of relevant enterprises and institutions. If there is no port visa authority at the port of entry, the exit-entry frontier inspection authority shall handle the temporary entry permit for them. After expats enter China, the entry-exit administration department shall, in accordance with the law, apply for visas / residence permits for them in a timely manner.

5) 24-Hour Service of Certificates Handling
For Chinese and expats participating in the work of medical assistance, drug R &D, academic exchanges and other anti-epidemic work, 24-hour service of certificates handling will be provided. For those who come to China to take part in the work of epidemic prevention and control shall be issued residence permits for the corresponding period of time. Those who make contributions to the anti-epidemic work and apply for a permanent residence permit shall be given priority for review and approval.

6) Online Service
Foreigners can submit application of visa / residence permit / permanent residence by email or mail. International flights can declare the carrier information online, no paper documentation is needed.

7) Priority to Personnel Resuming Work
For Chinese and foreign personnel who need to enter or leave the country for the resumption of work and production, priority shall be given for entry-exit certificates to review and approval, and the frontier inspection authorities shall provide customs clearance service in a timely manner.

8) Fast Customs Clearance Service for Commodities
Provide “zero-waiting” service for the inspection and release for conveyance of anti-epidemic materials, international import and export commodities and fresh agricultural products.

9) Query Service for Exit-Entry Policies

During the epidemic prevention and control, a query system has been introduced to provide information about policy adjustment, port opening information and temporary control measures of multiple countries and regions, as well as the passing conditions of China’s ports via the program “push-to-talk of entry-exit information” (below-tap and hold to copy the link):

https://www.nia.gov.cn/n794014/n1050176/n1077211/n1215569/index.html

10) Strict on-site management and Free Masks
Implement strict on-site anti-epidemic management at all entry-exit places including service window and customs; which includes free masks to entry-exit personnel who don’t have one.

official link:

https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/WTp9NioFu8PEKXxGycnkPg

Part two.

    Convenient Measures of Shenzhen

Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs

1. Application of notification letter of work permit (NLWP)

Validity of NLWP approved during the epidemic is extended to five months.

2. Cancel 30-day in advance for work permit extension.

No need to extend work permit 30 days in advance during the epidemic period. This is applicable to all cities.

3. Extension, transference, changing and cancellation.

No need to submit original documents to SAFEA for the above applications by uploading extra Commitment Letter(不见面审批承诺书) with company seal in system.

Commitment letter format is as below:

Please also write address and contact details on the above letter if any document is needed to send back.

Extension, transference and changing applications are not needed to courier work permit card to SAFEA.

Need to mail work permit card to SAFEA for cancellation application. SAFEA’s address is: 深圳市福田区福中三路市民中心B区行政服务大厅东厅31号窗口, Telphone: 88121678.

4. Cancellation without foreigner’s original signature on termination certificate of labor relation is acceptable.

Can provide email or WeChat chat records between employer and employee, or provide an electronic signature of foreigner on termination certificate together with stamped explanation letter if the foreigner is unable to sign the certificate during the epidemic period.

5. The employer shall ensure that the relevant materials submitted in system are true and valid. SAFEA have rights to check all originals and company will be put into blacklist if can’t provide original documents or provide false or fake materials by deception. The appoved application will be cancelled meanwhile.

Part three:

Q&A about Visa and Work Permit

Before giving answers, need to know following “date”s:

For visa issued by Chinese consulate, there are two dates are important on visa:

1. “Enter Before”: valid until this date, you can stay another 30/60/90 days after entering before this date. This date is not actual expiration date. It must be related with the following duration of each stay.

2. “Duration of Each Stay”: How many days can you stay in China after entering before the above date showed on”Enter Before”.

For residence permit ( employment /study / private affairs/ family reunion) issued by China Exit-Entry Administraion, there is only expiration date and no stay duration:  

“Valid for Residence until”: it’s the expiration date.

Here are some common quesitons:

Which types of visas exactly does “automatical 60-day visa extension” policy apply to?

This policy is applicable to almost all types, including common types: M, L, F, Q2, X2, residence permit and even stay visa (Humanitarian Visa).

Does the above “automatical 60-day visa extension” policy apply to all foreigners in China?

Yes. For all foreigners currently in China,

there are no specific region restrictions.

Can I apply another type visa to enter if my residence permit is expired bacause of the COVID-19 outbreak?

Yes, you can apply other type visa in a Chinese consulate or S2 visa in China port and  extend your residence permit after entering in stead of new application of residence permit( no need physical and interview).

Can I extend my employment residence permit or private affairs residence permit without going to the Exit-Entry Administration?

In Shenzhen, yes. You can prepare all documents and call 84465490 to register information. EEA will arrange China Post to collect all documents and will mail your passport and other doucments back to same address after 7 working days.

Extend 60 days after my stay duration or expiration date?

For visa, will extend another 60 days afer your stay duration.

E.g., I have a China M visa, “Enter Before” is Mar 20, 2020, “Duration of Each Stay” is 30 days. My latest entry date is Feb 4, 2020. I should exit before Mar 3, 2020 normally. But now the stay durationi will extend another 60 days to May 2, 2020 based on the new policy.

For residence permit, will extend 60 days after the expiration date.

E.g., I have a residence permit, expiration date is Mar 30, 2020. Your residence permit will be extended to May 29, 2020 based on the new policy. You must notice your work permit won’t be extended automatically if you hold an employment residence permit.

Will my work permit card be extended another two months automatically?      

No, work permit is another thing. You must apply extension in online system before expiration.

Need I apply new work permit and residcen permit if i changed job in China?

For work permit, you must submit application in system before your current residence expired, otherwise need to apply new one(different prodedure and documents).

For residence permit, can be extended another 60 days if you are in mainland China.

How to apply extension for working visa if I can’t come to  China because of COVID-19?

For work permit, can complete extension online without your original passport.

For residence permit, only can extend after you come.

How to do if my residence permit expired during epidemic period?

You can apply a visa(M/F/Z) in Chinese consulate or apply a S2 visa in China port to enter and extend your reisence permit.

How to do if my notification letter of work permit expired?

 Currently notification letter’s validity is changed from three   months to five months. We suggest that you apply Z visa in Chinese consulate before expiration of notification letter because usaually Z visa’s validity is half year.      

Will it affect my current long-term visa?

Won’t influence your current visa if you exit before the expiration of the “60-day”.

Please note that work permit extension is needed before expiration. It will be frustrating to apply new work permit, procedure and documents are so different. Non-criminal records authentication, diploma authentication and physical examination are all needed.

The above is details in Shenzhen. There will be subtle differences in implementation in different cities. Better to confirm with local Exit-Entry Administration and Foreign Expert’s Administration.

The above measures are all temporarily effective during the epidemic period.

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