On July 17, 2020, regarding the validity of the 60-day visa extension for foreigners in China, the OT-Team consulted with seven local Entry-Exit Administration Bureaus. The locations were Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Chengdu, Hangzhou and Yiwu, and below are their official responses.
Two Major Questions
Q1: As of now, is the policy of the 60-day automatically extension of the residence permit for foreigners without any formalities in China still valid?
A1: Yes, since January 20, 2020, China has been in the stage of prevention and control of COVID-19 epidemic. Therefore, the residence permit of foreigners in China still could be automatically extended for two months without any formalities. However, it is unknown whether there will be any change in August.
To make things clear, per the work staff of Guangzhou Entry-Exit Administration Bureau, foreigners who under the following two circumstances are unable to get their residence permits automatically extended for two months.
- Foreigners entering China after March 28, 2020.
- Foreigners who have applied for a visa certificate in mainland China after February 27, 2020.
Q2: Can a foreigner with a work-residence permit automatically renew his/her visa residence permit for 60 days?
A2: The answer to this question varies from place to place.
According to the staff of the Yiwu Entry-Exit Administration Bureau, as of now, foreigners with a work-residence permit, aren’t able to automatically extend their residence permit for 2 months.
Per the work staff of the Shenzhen Entry-Exit Administration Bureau, the situation will be based on the foreigner’s individual circumstance. However, what is confirmed is that before the expiration date of the work and residence permit, foreigners who fail to buy a suitable passenger ticket to leave China can go to the local entry-exit administration bureau for a 30-day temporary stay. The 30-day stay will only grant foreigners an extra amount of time to find a solution to their situation and leave China.
As per the work staff of the Entry-Exit Administration Bureau in Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Suzhou, and Hangzhou, the policy is indeed applicable, but it will affect the subsequent renewal of the visa. Once the automatic extension is made, the original work residence permit will expire, which may be considered as an illegal stay. Therefore, they strongly suggest that foreigners holding a work visa should prepare the relevant materials in advance for a face-to-face interview at the local entry and exit bureau.