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Entering China with a tourist visa for school


DaniMass

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Hi,

 

Last year I was given a 10 year tourist visa. I will be studying in Xiamen in the fall and I was wondering if there will be any problems with converting this visa into a residency permit. My school sent me a student visa application form, but I am not sure if I should bother since my visa is still valid.

 

 

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Shelley

I don't know anything about visas except that you need different visas for different things. If you are studying you need a student visa not a tourist visa. It is more difficult to change things when you are there.

 

I would wait for more replies to your question to confirm what I have said.

 

But my advice is fill in the student application and take the advice of the school.

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It seems like ability to convert visas and/ residency permits is really patchy. Some places it's possible, some places not. And where it's possible not all institutions can get away with it. Sounds like you have time to at least check with the school about whether a tourist visa->student residence permit is possible for them.

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It is true that like Shelley said if you are studying you need a student visa instead of a tourist visa. As in Dalian tourist visa less than 2018 will be OK to renew into a residence permit. If a 10 year tourist visa, it will not be good. So it will be much safer to apply for your student visa.

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Thanks for the input! I will check with my school to see if it is possible to turn a tourist visa into a student residency permit. I read somewhere that people have gotten away with it. Hopefully, I do not have to apply since it is $140 for a new visa :'(

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It's not really a case of getting away with it - it's a legitimate way in, assuming the local PSB allow the conversion. Not sure why longer-term tourist visa would be a problem. Possibly local PSBs can't cancel the longer-term ones?

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LinZhenPu

Maybe it might cause an issue with accommodation, as they may not be able to lease you a place for longer than 6 months without a residence permit? In which case you could just stay in one accommodation for 6 months and then move. How long will you be studying in Xiamen for and at where?

 

I think of it like this. Are they really going to kick you out of the country for taking classes/a degree at a Chinese language school/university when you're on a tourist visa? I can't see why they would. It's contributing to their economy and learning their language and culture. You will be told you need a student visa/student residence permit to study, but if I had a 10 year tourist visa I wouldn't bother trying to change to a student residence permit unless I was explicitly told by at least two credible sources that I would definitely get in trouble/potentially barred from the country otherwise.

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Xiamen University emailed me back and told me that I need a X visa or else I might encounter problems...

 

Still not sure if I really need to change my visa, but I'm going to call the Chinese consulate tomorrow to ask them if I can enter China with a tourist visa and have that converted into a student residency permit when I am there. I'll keep you guys updated and thanks for the input!

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The problem is that it's not the Chinese consulate that does it, it's the local PSB. Very often in China different localities do things differently, and there's no reason to assume the consulate knows what any particular PSB will do in any particular case. They're entirely different parts of the government.

 

It's a shame the school isn't giving you anything concrete. Given Xiamen's proximity to Hong Kong, I might be happy with going in on the tourist visa and assuming that if it is a problem I can do a quick run to Hong Kong to pick up a student visa. I'd also check more recent info though, as I could be way out of date.

 

"It's contributing to their economy and learning their language and culture. "

Ah, I remember the days when they cared about that...

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LinZhenPu

 

"It's contributing to their economy and learning their language and culture. "

Ah, I remember the days when they cared about that...

What do you mean?

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I decided to get the X visa just in case! It is my first time in China and I do not want to deal with the headache of doing a visa run. Thanks again for everyone's input!

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Shelley

I think that is the wisest course of action.

 

I hope you have a wonderful and memorable time and learn lots of Chinese :)

 

Let us know how you get on.

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