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1 Year Multiple Entry Tourist (L) Visa for China


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#1 METHOS

Posted 30 June 2009 - 11:41 AM

Do my eyes deceive me? When was this implemented?

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US citizens may apply for a Single Entry (valid for 3-6 months), Double Entry (valid for 6 months), Multiple Entry (valid for 6 months or 12 months) "L" Visa as needed
-http://us.china-emba...zgqz/t84246.htm

#2 MrFantabulous

Posted 01 July 2009 - 02:44 PM

The first two you might get. . but I seriously doubt you will be able to get a one year multiple entry.  That is the equivalent of a spousal visa, if you have a Chinese spouse.

#3 METHOS

Posted 01 July 2009 - 02:53 PM

I'm really excited about this  --  so I'd really like to know if anyone has any first-hand experience with this.

What about the 6 month dbl.? How likely is it that someone could be issued 2 of those a year (thus, allowing you to stay all year)?

#4 METHOS

Posted 02 July 2009 - 04:02 AM

I have some 'noob' visa questions that I'd like to post here.

1. If your visa application gets denied (for example, a 6 month dbl. entry tourist visa or a 1 year multiple entry tourist visa  --  as mentioned above), can you keep applying for it? Is there a limit as to how many times you can try? -Or does it all depend on the country that you're applying for and/or your citizenship etc.?

2. How many times can a visa be applied for and granted in a 1 year period (i.e. if you are approved for a 6 month dbl entry tourist visa, are you able to apply for another 6 month dbl entry tourist visa after that visa has expired, thus staying in China for the entire year?)? -Or can the visa only be granted once in a 1 year period?

3. Would it be easier to get approval for, say, a 1 year multi. tourist visa, if you went through a local (Chinese) visa service (reputable company)? If so, would it be wise to trust a company like that to take care of it before you made the trip overseas?

Thanks.

#5 cheesindave

Posted 02 July 2009 - 09:54 AM

I'm a little confused about some details on the Embassy website.

An 'L' tourist visa has only ever been a maximum of 6 months single or double entry only. For a multiple entry visa for a duration of 6 months to 3 years, they were always 'F' Business Visas. Has this changed?

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1. If your visa application gets denied (for example, a 6 month dbl. entry tourist visa or a 1 year multiple entry tourist visa  --  as mentioned above), can you keep applying for it? Is there a limit as to how many times you can try? -Or does it all depend on the country that you're applying for and/or your citizenship etc.?

It depends on the reason why your visa was denied.

Quote

2. How many times can a visa be applied for and granted in a 1 year period (i.e. if you are approved for a 6 month dbl entry tourist visa, are you able to apply for another 6 month dbl entry tourist visa after that visa has expired, thus staying in China for the entire year?)? -Or can the visa only be granted once in a 1 year period?

I'm not aware of any limitations on how many visas you can be granted in 1 year, so long as you have the supporting documents to prove you are eligible for that type of visa.

Quote

3. Would it be easier to get approval for, say, a 1 year multi. tourist visa, if you went through a local (Chinese) visa service (reputable company)? If so, would it be wise to trust a company like that to take care of it before you made the trip overseas?

There are a number of good visa agents in Hong Kong, who can help obtaining visas for the PRC with slightly less hassle.

#6 METHOS

Posted 02 July 2009 - 09:57 AM

View Postcheesindave, on 02 July 2009 - 09:54 AM, said:

It depends on the reason why your visa was denied.
-Can you give me an example as to what you mean here?

#7 cheesindave

Posted 02 July 2009 - 10:06 AM

View PostMETHOS, on 02 July 2009 - 09:57 AM, said:

Can you give me an example as to what you mean here?

Sure, a friend of mine was deported a couple of years ago, as his employment visa turned out to be in the name of a completely different company, which he was unaware of at the time.

He managed to find another job in China from England, when they applied for his visa it was denied and the sponsoring company had its license to employ foreigners revoked and my friend was informed that he is unable to apply for any visa for the PRC within the next 5 years.

For any other reasons as to why a visa is not granted, I honestly have no idea how that would work.

#8 METHOS

Posted 07 July 2009 - 04:26 AM

I sent emails out to four different visa service agencies here in the United States (serving the Chicago area/Embassy) regarding my visa inquiries. As of now, two agencies have responded.

Some things to note:

  • 1 year multiple entry tourist visas are being issued to U.S. citizens (quite regularly/easily).
  • The 1 year multiple entry tourist visa is typically issued for 60 day visits (meaning, a hop to HK or Japan every two months etc. is required).
  • If you require more than 60 days at a time, the Chinese Embassy (in Chicago) will probably request that you apply for a residency visa and demonstrate how you will be supporting yourself while in China.
  • However, I was told that once you have arrived in China, it is relatively easy to:

             1.  Extend your 1 year multiple entry tourist visa (from 60 days to 90, 120 or 180 days).

             2.  Upgrade to a residency visa.

(The two examples above are 'hear-say' only  --  hopefully, someone with first-hand knowledge can confirm whether or not these statements are accurate/valid.)

  • Medical examinations/blood (HIV, AIDS etc.) tests are not required for the tourist visa  --  even if you are issued a 1 year visa (however, it is recommended that the necessary shots/vaccinations be administered prior to making the trip).

Edited by METHOS, 07 July 2009 - 04:28 AM.


#9 METHOS

Posted 07 July 2009 - 10:53 PM

I received another email today:

  • The 1 year multiple entry tourist visas that have been issued in the past, have typically been for 90 day stays  --  as opposed to the aforementioned 60 days (this, according to this particular visa service agency).


#10 Starseeker

Posted 09 July 2009 - 05:17 PM

I think you might have been confused about something.  I am not 100% sure (given your info), but it looks like you are confused by the difference between the time the visa is valid and the time you are allowed to stay.  If the visa is valid for one year, that means you can come into the country during that whole year of time.  But that is different from how long you are allowed to stay.  Most of the time, the typical staying period for a L visa is 60 days, 90 at most.  I used to go by that until I discovered that it's more convenient to run with the multiple entry business visa.  Don't bother going to the Chinese governmental websites for info, it's pointless.  I use to teach those guys English part time because I am interested in how they operated, but most of the translation for legal documents is poor at best.  

I would never apply for a work visa unless I work for a prestigious university, government department, or a multi-national corporation.  It's not worth the risk and you have to pay Chinese tax.

#11 METHOS

Posted 09 July 2009 - 05:47 PM

No, not confused. I realize that the 1 year multi. (L) can be issued for 30, 60, 90, 120 and 180 day visits.

I have been told by one visa agency (here in the States), that 60 days is typical; however, I've also been told (by a different agency), that 90 days is the norm.

I'm wondering what sort of extension options are available in China (i.e. if it would be easier, or even possible, to get the visa changed to a 120 or 180 day visa in China  --  after arrival)?


Starseeker said:

I used to go by that until I discovered that it's more convenient to run with the multiple entry business visa.
-Can you elaborate on this, please? Would it be possible to establish regular correspondence with you? I've spent time reading through your blog, and I think I could learn a lot from you.

Thanks.

Edited by METHOS, 09 July 2009 - 06:04 PM.


#12 Starseeker

Posted 09 July 2009 - 11:44 PM

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHh...., I will never use a fast reply again!!!  

Anyway, it took me 30 mins to write a reply for you and it went poof, gone in 2 seconds.  And since most browsers are too stupid to remember all typed info, I'll come back to this later...

#13 METHOS

Posted 10 July 2009 - 02:49 AM

No problem.

I appreciate it  --  I will be looking out for your response.

Thanks.

#14 MrFantabulous

Posted 10 July 2009 - 04:34 AM

Yeah you confused me too. . because I would not call at 60 day tourist visa a "one year" visa.  Ok you have one year to use it. . but you can only stay in CHina 60 days before you are obligated to apply for a new visa.    Interesting what you said Starseeker about just using F Visas..  you've been in China a long time so I would have assumed you used Z work visa.  I was just granted a new "Z" work visa under the new company I am working for.   So I'm good until July 2010.   What exactly is the risk with this?   Seems to me holding an "F" visa is much riskier. .because you would be working illegally if you got caught.  "F" is only for people travelling to China on business.   Not for people to be employed in China.  But it does seem to be much easier to get F visas and as far as I know you don't need a company name on them.

#15 METHOS

Posted 10 July 2009 - 05:45 AM

View PostMrFantabulous, on 10 July 2009 - 04:34 AM, said:

Ok you have one year to use it. . but you can only stay in CHina 60 days before you are obligated to apply for a new visa.
-I can take a bus/train/taxi/plane etc. to ShenZhen very easily/cheaply (especially if I'm staying in GuangZhou) and just cross the border in to HongKong  -  do some paper work, cross back in to ShenZhen the same day, and stay another 60, 90, 120, 180 days etc. (depending on my visa)  --  and continue doing this for a year, as a tourist.

Unless I am missing something?

#16 Starseeker

Posted 15 July 2009 - 03:45 AM

lol, here we go again.  Anyway, Fan. never ceases to amaze me.  You are married to a Chinese girl, so why are you here using Z visa at all?  

Anyway, the only people with long term visas (that isn't Z) in China fall under 3 basic categories as far as I know.  1. Taiwan and HK citizens.  Off the top of my head (might not be 100% accurate), TW holders get 5 years.  HK holders get 1-3 years depending on what's applied.  2.  Former Chinese citizens or people who are married with a Chinese citizen can apply for a special L visa (maybe under some other category, but the point is the same) that lets them stay for 6 months + at one time for visiting living relatives who are Chinese citizens.  I have a few friends in China under this visa.  3.  Foreign experts/invitational only visa.  Personally, I have only known 2 persons with this visa, and they are politically well connected.  As far as I know, it's a 5 years, multiple entry visa that doesn't require custom checks at the border.  I have no idea how to apply for one, and even though I have seen advertisement for visa agencies claiming to able to arrange one, I am doubtful.  

Personally I feel the Z visa is riskier.  Unless you are working for a big firm or well established company/school or what have you, there are some complications involved in it.  You are tracked, stamped, and eventually they will require you to pay Chinese tax.  You are also require by some to report to the local police station to register.  It's dangerous for the Chinese government to know your every move.  And as for the company you work for that applied for you, there is no way for you to know whether or not they have ulterior motives, or even legally allowed to hire foreign workers.  It can be an expensive process to register as an International company, and be legally allowed to hire foreign workers with everything done by the book depending on where you are located.  

Ambiguity is sometimes the best policy.  I don't have to declare what kind of "business" I am conducting in China.  Any jobs I undertake can be considered consultant work or market research.  And given the current market conditions, I just tell them I came here looking for a firm/business to invest and spend some tourist dollars to boot.  

Anyway, Jack might have different advices to offer, since he is in a different situation.

#17 grinc

Posted 05 August 2009 - 02:58 AM

I'm a US citizen and applied for a single entry 30 day Chinese tourist visa back in April.

When I got my passport back in the mail, they had instead given me a 1 year multiple entry tourist visa. I never even asked for it but now it's awesome since I don't have to reapply to go back.

#18 METHOS

Posted 05 August 2009 - 03:59 AM

grinc-

Welcome to OE.

U.S. citizens get charged a premium flat rate for Chinese Tourist visas regardless of the duration of stay and/or life of the visa. In your case, the actual visa price is going to be the same, whether you apply for a 60 day single entry or a 1-year multiple entry Tourist visa with 90 day durations.

-M

#19 Jack Fancy

Posted 05 August 2009 - 08:51 AM

I've been in China for five years and have never had a Z visa, the first two years I just kept renewing my tourist visa (this was allowed through my connections).  My current L visa is valid for one year and I have a choice of buying a single entry or multiple entry.  Since I just traveled outside of China for the first time in five years, I've never needed a multiple entry visa before and I went with the single entry cause it was cheaper.  So, if you're married, it's much easier to get an L visa as you only need to renew it once a year but you're limited to traveling in China for the most part. That's all I know, I'm pretty low maintenance.

#20 grinc

Posted 05 August 2009 - 03:24 PM

View PostMETHOS, on 05 August 2009 - 03:59 AM, said:

grinc-

U.S. citizens get charged a premium flat rate for Chinese Tourist visas regardless of the duration of stay and/or life of the visa. In your case, the actual visa price is going to be the same, whether you apply for a 60 day single entry or a 1-year multiple entry Tourist visa with 90 day durations.

-M

Yeah but still... they gave me something I didn't ask for, which is why I replied to this thread. Also, I'm single. The first message here is about surprise that this exists, so I wanted to tell about this strange occurrence.

#21 METHOS

Posted 07 August 2009 - 07:11 AM

grinc-

How many days-per-stay did they give you?

-M

#22 grinc

Posted 08 August 2009 - 08:37 PM

I just double-checked to make sure but it says 90 days for each stay. When I sent in my papers to the company who handled this for me, I only asked for a single entry and I can't remember for how many days... maybe a couple weeks or so.

I treated it this way when I was filing my papers because when I went to Russia they were very strict on the exact number of days the visa was good for, etc. You really had to know your stuff with those guys. But with China I was shocked at how lax everything was.

So now I'm planning to go back soon, especially since I won't have to mess with visas again :angry:

#23 kevin

Posted 13 October 2009 - 06:25 PM

View PostMrFantabulous, on 01 July 2009 - 02:44 PM, said:

The first two you might get. . but I seriously doubt you will be able to get a one year multiple entry.  That is the equivalent of a spousal visa, if you have a Chinese spouse.

I got the 12 multiple entry tourist visa in September.  I got it at the consulate in Houston.  My first trip to China was during National Day and had no problems.

#24 TheCVT

Posted 28 October 2009 - 01:46 PM

Okay - you all are scaring me to death here.  I am currently in Shanghai, having arrived 3 weeks ago on a 12-month, 60-day (duration) multiple-entry "L" visa.  I was planning on staying here for about 9 months or so (just hopping to Hong Kong every 60 days, turning around and coming straight back without having to go to a visa office to renew anything at all), but suddenly you're all making it sound like I'm going to have to RENEW my entire visa in 60 days . . . (only 40 or so now).  

PLEASE - somebody clarify and tell me if I have to get a BRAND-NEW visa after 60 days, or if I just need to leave the country and re-enter to re-up my visa . . .

#25 METHOS

Posted 28 October 2009 - 02:51 PM

You do not have to get a new visa before your 12 month period unless you decide to file for an extension or something - which would void your current 12 month visa.

I don't know what gave you that impression.

Don't worry about it. As you said, a hop to HK every 2 months is all you need. More specifically, a trip to ShenZhen - then, a hop to HK (as this route is going to be cheaper).

-M

#26 TheCVT

Posted 30 October 2009 - 01:08 AM

METHOS - Thanks.  I don't know exactly how I misconstrued all that, but everything is so vague and confusing (the wording and everything) that I got worried for a second.  So it is as I thought . . . Whoo!!!  Thanks again for the confirmation.

But are you saying that if I try to extend my "60 day" durations to more (like 90 or so), they could void my current visa?  Or would that only happen if they then updated it to a 12-month with 90-day (or more) durations?

#27 METHOS

Posted 30 October 2009 - 02:52 PM

Technically, if you apply for an extension on a multiple entry visa, your current multiple entry visa is canceled.
However, anything is possible in China, I guess.

If you are on a 12 month/multi, do not apply for an extension unless you think you can get a new 6/12 month visa with a longer duration of stay.

I'm not completely sure, but at this time, you may be able to get a 6 month or 1 year (F) visa in Hong Kong with no limited duration of stay.

-M

#28 stefc

Posted 28 January 2013 - 06:28 PM

Hello,

I was googling for 1 year visa for China and bumped in to this forum.
the situation is as follows: in a few months I will be going to China for my work for 1,5-2 years. My company will provide me with a z visa, but my girlfriend wants to come with me.
What would be the best way to duo this?
Im reading about those 1 year visas, but would my girlfriend be able to get one?
she has a Canadian passport and we're not married.

Cheers

#29 METHOS

Posted 28 January 2013 - 07:27 PM

Visa policy is always changing. It is best to contact an authority to confirm. Have your girlfriend call around; even a visa agency (that offers a Chinese visa service) should be able to confirm, as they stay current with ever-changing policy.
She will most likely have to obtain a tourist (L) visa.

Edit: It's probably important to note, that, even if she cannot obtain a 1-year visa, she should still be able to make a trip to Hong Kong (or other) every three months or so (depending on duration of visa) to get her visa renewed. In any event, it is still wise to contact an authority on the matter - just to be sure.

Edited by METHOS, 28 January 2013 - 07:33 PM.


#30 Starseeker

Posted 29 January 2013 - 06:50 AM

As far as I can recall, China doesn't recognize common law unions under the law unless it's applied to the marriage of their own nationals.  (which requires you to be legally single from your own country)

Anyway, just get a tourist visa from a Chinese visa service, and explain what you like to do.  If they have the connections, maybe they can set you up some long term stay single entry visa, say 90 days +.  The embassy thing seems to work in mysterious ways, since I have not meet anyone personally gotten any long term visas without having some kind of influence going through the official consular offices.  They are expensive and sometimes requires a interview to boot.

So I would recommend to just go ahead with the tourist visa that usually gives 60 days and requires you to step out to HK to get another one, it's not that much of a hassle.  I am not sure if your gf will WANT to stay in China for that long without a break. You can use the break to go home or have a nice vacation in HK.  If you are going to Shanghai, it's not so bad.  Beijing is really Chinese though, despite its "claim" to be some kind of "international metropolis".


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