Q&A | Can my visa be extended for 2 months automatically?

Many of you might have heard the news that China visas can now automatically be renewed for 2 months during the epidemic. However, confusion arises over whos eligible for the automatic extension. The following list of Questions and Answers hopefully can clarify the new rule.

REMEMBER: you can always contact AnyHelper visa consultant Lisa (scroll down for her contact) if you have any questions.


What exactly is the visa extension rule about?

Liu Haitao, an official with the National Immigration Administration, this week said at a press conference in Beijing that foreigners in China will have their stay or residence permits extended automatically for 2 months during the epidemic period, with no need of a separate application.

China visa holders can receive the automatic extension if you meet ALL of the following:

  • Youre staying in China now.

  • If China is still in the epidemic prevention and control period.

  • If your visa has expired.

  • If you have a residence permit.

With the new rule, no extension procedure is required. You can legally stay in China or leave the country during the extended period. But youll still NEED to apply for an extension/renewal during the 2-month period.


Does the new rule apply to all expats in China?

Yes, its for all expats currently staying in China and has no region restrictions. If youre not in China now, your visa will NOT be extended automatically.


My visa will expire in July, will it be extended automatically to September?

This new rule is in effect during the epidemic prevention and control period. As long as the period is still ongoing, the extension rule applies. The new rule will be adjusted according to the epidemic prevention and control efforts and the official government announcement.


My Malaysian colleague needs to be quarantined for 14 days after returning to Shanghai, but his work permit and residence permit will expire soon. He cant go to the Exit-Entry Bureau too. What should he do?

During the epidemic prevention and control period, if foreigners visas or residence permits expired, their stay in China is automatically extended for 2 months without extension procedures. Theyre allowed to legally stay in China or leave the country normally within the extended period.

IMPORTANT Shanghai-only rule: According to Shanghai Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, if your work permit is about to expire, you will STILL NEED to go to the Exit-Entry Bureau to extend it. Otherwise, your employment is considered illegal.


My residence permit expires on March 17, and I am still abroad. Can it be extended for 2 months?

The residence permit CANNOT be renewed abroad. During the epidemic, you can apply for an entry visa at the port with your original residence permit.


Does the new visa extension rule applies to Shanghai foreigners only? How about other regions?

This is a policy announced by the National Immigration Administration, so it applies to expats in the whole country.


Do I need a proof document from the neighborhood committee before visiting the Exit-Entry Bureau during the 2-month extension period?

If within the 2-month extension period, theres no need to get a proof document.

Other measures from the National Immigration Administration to make it easier for expats to enter/leave China.

  • Foreigners who need to come to China for urgent reasons such as investment, a business start-up or trade can apply at their port of entry for a visa or temporary entry permit with invitation letters.

  • For people involved in medical aid, drug research and development, academic exchanges or other anti-epidemic work, 24-hour, urgent certification service will be provided

  • The duration of foreign anti-epidemic workers' residence permits will depend on their work. Applications for Chinese permanent residence will be prioritized for those who have made important contributions to anti-epidemic work.

  • Full-time exit and entry services have been provided to speed movement of anti-epidemic materials, international import and export commodities and fresh agricultural products

  • Differentiated services will be offered according to the local epidemic situation. Immigration authorities will immediately resume counter service in low-risk areas, gradually resume counter service in medium-risk areas and offer emergency reservation services to accept and approve applications for urgent cases in highrisk areas.

  • Both Chinese and foreigners can access online applications. Mainland residents can submit applications for entry and exit documents online, while foreigners can submit applications for visas, residence certificates or permanent residence. Those who need online services should consult with local immigration authorities.

Sources: Xinhua, China Daily, NIAVisaOfChina

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