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Returning to China, given F visa... Problem.

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Hi guys


Going to try make this Visa question as simple as possible and would be hugely grateful for any info, ideas or advice.


So I'm returning to China (Guangzhou) in October this year for a duration of just under 180 days. The purpose of the trip is an educational/R&D project and I have been informed I will be given an F visa. There are a number of other people undertaking the same project. The party issuing us with the invitational letter is an university/educational institute in Guangzhou.


*F category visa is a non-commercial visit visa– this is the only visa which is appropriate for the R&D project. The F visa is issued to those who intend to go to China for research, lecture, scientific, cultural exchange and study tour.


Now we are told that we can only have a single entry to China, so unable to leave and return to China. There is only one option for a 'Double Entry' visa, but would be split into 90 days each side of the exit/entry. This would only allow a very small window to which temporarily leaving China would be an option. We are also told while this is technically possible, this would be an administration issue with all institutions involved as we are not expected/planned to leave China during the period (basically saying you can't do it).


This is a big inconveinience to a number of people and I am trying to find any alternative ways to have more freedom whilst in Asia, allowing a little more flexibility to the time period in not being totally restricted to China.


The only idea I currently have would be after the first exit of China has been done, (since Hong Kong is a short train ride away from Guangzhou) to continually trip to the Visa centre in Hong Kong to get a new toursit visa every time the previous one expires. But I don't even know if this would be a sustainable solution and guaranteed to be allowed over and over again?


Are there any other creative ways to get around this?


If anybody has any ideas to how I could approach the visa situation I would be hugely appreciative.










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You don't mention who's telling you you can only get a single-entry F visa. Double- and multiple-entry F visas are in fact issued.


If it's simply the school, then when applying for the visa, make clear on the application that you want a multiple-entry visa. Unfortunately the Chinese visa officials themselves now hide behind an outsourced service company in the U.K., so you can't make your case personally to a consular official. I'm not sure it would be a big deal, though, given that travellers from the U.K. are now almost automatically given two-year multiple-entry tourist and business visas permitting a 90-stay per entry, when they apply in the U.K.



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I am not a visa expert and have no knowledge but common sense tells me that if you need an F visa for your visit, going to Hong Kong for tourist visas will mean you will have the wrong type of visa.

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