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  • New Foreigner Visa Policy: Nightmare? Or Still a Beacon of Hope?

    Post by : expatree

It has been nearly 3 months since the new foreigner visa policy was released on September 1, 2013. As we know, the new policy has become a nightmare, regardless of whether you are currently living in China or are planning to visit. It gets everyone confused or into trouble which only makes it harder for foreigners to visit or remain in China. We have noticed that China is closing its doors to the potential new expats, especially individuals. However often enough you hear about the common “exception.” A common phrase in China says “Nothing is Impossible”, and thanks to this practical saying, we managed to find some "opportunities" in acquiring and resolving visa related issues. Therefore, sit back and enjoy these tips.
Case 1.  How to renew “F” visa or other types of visa?
We believe most expats acquired the “F” visa before the new policy was enforced on the 1st of September. According to the old policy, these “F” visa holders have a 90 days limitation to stay in China after which they have to re-enter mainland China in order to re-extend the duration of their VISA. Unfortunately, as soon as the new policy was born, “F” visa stepped down from the stage of history, and was suddenly replaced by “M” visa. Due to this reason, these particular “F” visa holders are feeling exposed when the visa agency or administrative bureau says “no” to the renewal request. With no visible or clear solution, most expats becomes frustrated.
BUT remember that nothing is ever absolute. In the case of being an internship or are on your business trip with “F” visa, it’s a priority to go to the official bureau at Pudong with a local colleague, from the company who invited you, and ask him/her to negotiate with the head of the bureau. Often times, officials are lenient due to the “exception”. Here we used the word “often”, as this solution is merely a gamble, it completely depends on how the negotiation is approached and progresses. It’s worth a try to pursue this cost-efficient way, although it’s not 100% guaranteed. Lastly, using the excuse that you only need a “one month visa extension” request takes is often a more successfully manner of getting official approval compared with others.
If negotiations do fail, do not exasperate! We have to go for an alternative option. In this case, you could reapply for an X-student visa. This option is a good fit for individuals who plan to stay in China for more than 1 month. It requests the applicant to take a minimum amount of hours of a course study in a Chinese school, for example mandarin lessons etc. The highlight of this option is that you are able to acquire a valid visa of 6 months duration at least. In fact, the money you pay for the course of your choosing is worthwhile in the long-run.
Case 2.  Is there any way to relief the pain of “M” visa?   
Public opinions denounce the new “M” visa policy. It states that “Foreigners outside of China could get 6-12 months M-visa, but they have 30 days limitation of stay in China for every entry”. Simply put, if you would like to stay in China for 6 months with the “M” visa, you must leave and re-enter mainland China at least 6 times. Some expat comments include:
“Are you kidding? We are just led by the nose with this joking policy.”
“I have no idea if China really welcomes us or not because it’s not reasonable.”
Although expats’ concerns have gone up again and again, it seems like not much information or help is given by the visa agencies when applicants apply from their home countries. However, no one is expecting the “exception” even on this issue. The ‘successful’ way of dealing with this situation is applying through some particular local agency that can have access to grant you a 6 months M-visa with only 2 time re-entry. Obviously it’s not a perfect solution to this problem but it is a preferable choice than being forced to leave the main-land throughout the year and causing much inconvenience.
For a complete walkthrough of M and X2 visa solution, we would like to invite you to read our new tips, "A Complete Solution for China M and X2 Visa". We hope these tips have provided you with some answers and a beacon of hope to those who are still struggling with this visa issue in China. We have extensive experience with these issues, therefore, wherever you are, be free to contact us at if you need help. It would be our pleasure to listen to your voice and help you find a solution.                             
Date:2013-11-22 02:37:10
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