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Convert Tourist Visa to Study Visa


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Steingletscher

Thank you. Any idea how long it takes to process the residence permit application? I'm leaving myself 5 days left on my 30 day tourist visa to allow them to process it. It seems like that should be enough, but I'm still not sure. There are probably a lot of horror stories of schools losing their paperwork and the sort, so how often do things like that happen?

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icebear

Five days is probably cutting it close; I'd guess that the most common number I've seen and been told before is something like 10-20 days for processing in Beijing. It may get done faster than that (depending on guanxi, among many other things), but I guess they cite that high number on the off chance it is delayed and you then become illegal...

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Then, would it be possible to start the visa conversion process a few weeks (10-20 days) before your first university term starts? I don't plan on travelling before starting class, but do plan on settling in the city beforehand for as long as my visa allows, and visa extensions are a pain.

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abcdefg

#2 --

Any idea how long it takes to process the residence permit application? I'm leaving myself 5 days left on my 30 day tourist visa to allow them to process it. It seems like that should be enough, but I'm still not sure.

That's not enough time. Two weeks bare minimum in my experience. Often more like three weeks.

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liuzhou
on the off chance it is delayed and you then become illegal...

I've been told by the local PSB that no one will be deemed "illegal" provided they apply within the 30 days. As always, that may be a local interpretation.

Five days does seem optimistic, though.

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Steingletscher
on the off chance it is delayed and you then become illegal...
I've been told by the local PSB that no one will be deemed "illegal" provided they apply within the 30 days. As always' date=' that may be a local interpretation.

Five days does seem optimistic, though.[/quote']

The website for the Chinese Consulate of San Francisco says:

A bearer of a Work (Z) Visa' date=' Student (X) Visa, Permanent Resident (D) Visa, or Resident Journalist (J-1) Visa must apply for a residence permit at the local public security authorities within 30 days of entry into China. Members of foreign diplomatic or consular missions in China must apply for a residence permit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or local foreign affairs departments within 30 days of entry into China.

But yeah, I'm still going to call my school in Chengdu.

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mikeedward

Based on my experience in Beijing last fall, due to the glut of new students and the October 1 holiday, it takes about 3 weeks for the processing of the residence permit. Keep in mind you can't even apply for that until you get your medical results, which for me took about 10 days for the university to receive following the hospital check-up. Depending on the date you register, you may have to wait 1-2 weeks to get on your scheduled bus to the hospital. So, even though I started doing everything as soon as possible after arriving in Beijing, I was without a valid visa for a few days while waiting for my residence permit to be processed. Some people were waiting 3 weeks without a valid visa (i.e. 30 days + 3 weeks) until they got their residence permit. One guy I know, due to the delay in getting his medical results couldn't even apply for his residence permit until several days after his 30 day visa had expired. But, he had ended up getting his residence permit no problem without any fines. In my opinion, as long as you are able to apply for your residence permit before your 30th day, you'll have no problems. You'll at least have the visa application receipt to show the police (if it comes to that) that you have filed the paperwork and just waiting for your new visa.

What really annoyed me was my residence locked me out of my room on the 30th day because I hadn't given them my new residence permit. I had to explain to them I would have it in a few days.

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amandagmu

In late 2010, the university I was at in Beijing took over two weeks to process my residence permit for/from a student (not tourist) visa. At two weeks I called to complain because I had run out of days on the visa. When they finally returned it to me, however, they had back dated it to the visa expiration date.

But, I would not wait with only five days to go. I don't think that's enough time, and it's really not fair for them.

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Aye never had an issue changing tourist to study visa, even though there was a small gap between the 2 visas (for me it was 2days). One guy on my course had a 4 week gap! which is pretty astonishing, especially as he was a summer student and the uni had his passport from july -.- he got it back with the rest of us in october.

Due to that experience, I'll always try to ensure I have 2-3 weeks left on my visa...perhaps paranoid that one day they'll clamp down on it :P

I also find that if you say on your application form that you need a longer tourist visa and give them a copy of your uni admission letter, they'll give you extra time. However perhaps this is just from UK, where the default tourist visa is 30days, however I've managed to get 3months+ tourist visa to allow me to travel and then sort my health check etc.

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  • 1 month later...
Vinny / 文森

I am in the process of applying to study at Shenzhen University for a year. They asked me to come to China on a tourist visa first and then convert this to a student visa after I arrive.

However, in December 2011, the rules regarding getting a tourist visa changed. You have to show a return air ticket and full travel itinery (including accomodation bookings) when you apply for a tourist visa. This is strictly enforced at the consulate in my city.

This means, I can't apply for a tourist visa and then convert this to a student visa. Now I am in the process of seeing if the university will help me apply for a student visa. However, they say it will take at least a month to prepare the letter of offer.

I'm not sure if this is a common problem, or is this just me? Simply travelling to China on a tourist visa and then converting this to a student visa isn't really that straight forward.

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Do you have any confirmation of your acceptance to the university? anything at all? You'll need your outbound flight booking, some sort of acceptance letter (they can normally get this one done in a day or 2...the jw202 takes ages) and, if you have any friends in or around Shenzhen they could write a letter of invitation as some sort of proof of accomodation (such as "my family has invited Vinny to come stay with us..blahblahblah").

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  • New Members

My wife has been accepted to study at Tongji for a year starting this august and I am taking a leave of absence from my job to join her. Any suggestions on how I can go about getting a VISA that will allow me to stay with her the entire year, preferably without having to leave the country?

Is this possible? Any advice?

Thanks!

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  • 11 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

can any one shed light on this, as i applied for x visa i specified arrival date in china to be august 25 in the application form though my university registration starts on september 9, can i change my trip plan or will i be in trouble ?

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@ice bear

suppose i arrive to china on 9th sept instead of 25th (as specified on my visa application) ,it means i will be remaining with 14 days cause 16 days would be passed already on those 30 days of residential permit processing you mentioned, right ? or am i missing your point?

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  • 6 months later...

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