Expats who want to stay in China beyond the duration of their visa need to apply for an extension. For submitting the visa extension application you will need the “Registration Form of Temporary Residence”, that you get in your neighborhood’s Local Public Security Bureau (police station). You will find more information about this in the “Registration” section.
Visitors traveling with a group on a group visa and who want to stay longer than the group should apply for an individual visa.
Visitors who want their visa to be extended should provide the following evidential materials:
- Registration Form of Temporary Residence (original and copies)
- Valid passport and visa (original and copies)
- A completed application form for visa extension with a passport photo
- Reason for the extension
You must go to the Entry and Exit Bureau. An appointment is not necessary. If the application is accepted you will have to come back for your passport in three days or they can send it by mail. One piece of advice: if the policeman denies your request, asking for his superior is not a good idea, usually they are less kind. If your petition is denied, you only can do one thing: leave the country and re-enter.
The length of the extension depends on the type of visa and multiple entry visas cannot be extended. The situation changes frequently, but currently you can only get extensions for the one month tourist visa (L): two extensions of one month each. Of course, work permits can also be extended. You must also apply for your extension at 1500 Minsheng Lu with the same papers that you used in you first application (consult the “You have a job and need to relocate” section).
Expats are advised not to overstay the duration of their visa or fail to apply for an extension before their visa expires as you risk being heavily fined and have your travel plans disrupted.
If you change your residence, or get a new visa or go out of the country and enter again, you will have to get a new “Registration Form of Temporary Residence” in your police station.
If you’ve recently married a Chinese citizen, you now have another option available to you for extending your stay in China:
Normally you can apply for a one-year, visiting-relative L visa in your Chinese spouse’s Hukou city (the Hukou city is the spouse’s official city of residence, according to the Chinese government) by providing the following documents:
- Marriage certificate
- Registration form of temporary residence
- 1 passport photo
- Your spouse’s Hukou book and ID card, and
- 1 completed visa/residence permit application form
Exit & Entry Administration Offices
1500 Minsheng Lu, Pudong New Area
39-2, Zhangjiang Road (Crossroad of Zhangjiang &Guoshoujing Road, near Zhangjiang Administrative Service Center)