The final say: L Visa extensions in China

Here is a current (as of now) take on Visa extensions in China (specifically, Shanghai PSD) – what the other websites and the phone help doesn’t tell you (maybe they don’t know)…  This cost me 3 hours of my life to learn so maybe do me a favour and download my iPhone App: GPS Log if you find this useful information ;-)

  • I was trying to extend a Tourist ‘L” visa.  These extensions are for 30 days (I think you can get up to 2)
  • A visa extension is actually a NEW visa. It replaces your old visa, and you need to fill in a new visa form.  I believe this would be a zero entry visa (i.e. exit only).  I read many websites about extensions – and none mentioned this, I have no idea why.
  • So it’s not really an “extension”.  Sucks if you have a good visa (like my Multi-Entry) which you don’t want to lose (bottom line from the PSD man: leave and re-enter the country to refresh).
  • You need 2 passport photos, and a copy of your temporary residency registration.  This is the registration form that your hotel filled out when you signed-in, so get a copy.  If they can’t provide one you can register at any police station, and get a copy from them.
  • I had to wait over an hour at the PSB – then after waiting for this time with my queue-ticket – all of a sudden everyone rushed and formed lines at the individual counters.  There was no announcement in English.  It seems after a certain time (maybe at the end of the day) this happens – I think it was about 4pm, so if you see everyone get up and run, do the same!  Your queue ticket is worthless at this point, you could have rocked up that minute (if you know when it happens – I would recommend it, hang around the counter and jump the queue!).

To save all this hassle – extensions, re-entry or whatever, I suggest if you apply for a Multi-entry VISA, go for the 90 day limit – I wish I had.  If you’re just getting a single-entry visa this might be harder because of the proof you have to show – but then with a single entry visa you can renew it OK (you just have to waste an afternoon).

I wish I could have read this blog post this morning!  Hopefully I’ve helped someone out.

3 comments on “The final say: L Visa extensions in China

  1. Hi you,

    I am, together with 2 friends in China. At the time we were in Holland we applied for a double entree visa, but now we are in Shenzhen, we would like to stay for another half a year. Our first entree will finish in 2 days, so we have to go HK for a day. Then, when we are back, we would like to get a multiple entree because we’d like to make some trips to Japan and Viet Nam. Do we need to do that once we are back in China, or next month when we have to go back to HK? What do you suggest?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. I think you can only apply for a multi-entry visa when you are outside China, but I’m not entirely sure. With your documentation, I’d give them an itinerary detailing the trips you plan to make, and use trains as your method of transport (for Vietnam), that way you don’t need to show bookings (because you can’t book trains in advance). If your plans change later to whatever mode of transport – it’s no problem.

  3. Oh and for a multi-entry you just have to show 3 entries to qualify. Any extra you do after the fact are up to you! Makes the docs easier.