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flibblesan

Living in Beijing with my Chinese girlfriend

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flibblesan

Hello.

In just under 2 months time I will be leaving England to stay with my Chinese girlfriend in Beijing. I am not planning on working in China at this moment but maybe I would consider in the future. I want to stay for at least 6 months in China. Is this possible at all? I believe I can only visit China on a tourist visa which is valid for 30 days and they can extend it for 90 days if you are visiting family - but would a girlfriend be classed as family?

I am very very confused what to do. Can I travel on a 30 day visa and extend this in Beijing?

Please help, it's really driving me crazy.

Thank you

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roddy

You can normally get 2 thirty day extensions to your tourist visa, so that will give you 90 days. There is also the possibility of changing to an F (business) visa, which will allow you longer stays - you can do that via agencies in Beijing or with a quick trip to HK.

Roddy

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onebir

Elsewhere in this forum someone mentioned that if you're visiting relatives, you can get a longer tourist visa, I think. Not sure if girlfriends count though...

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gougou

Not sure whether this differs according to the country where you apply for your visa, but this is how it works in Germany (as of yesterday): I asked for a double-entry, 90-day tourist visa, which they gave me within half an hour - no questions about relatives or whatsoever asked.

BTW, each of the stays is 90 days, so if I go to HK once after three months, this allows for a stay of half a year.

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PeterMUC

Hi gougou,

at which german location did you get the 90 day tourist visa? On their web pages they are saying that tourists can receive only 30 days visa.

When booking my flights I did not know that visa are so restricted, now I have a stay of about 3.5 months. Does anyone know, if the 90 day visa is also extandable another 30 days? Do the 90 days start with issuing the visa are after entering china?

Peter

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gougou

Hi! I got the visum in Frankfurt, which is where there Bonn branch was relocated to recently.

I have never extended a visa, so I can't tell you anything about this. However, I have seen 90 as maximum several times already, so I'm not too confident that it'll be possible.

If it's not, what you probably can do (not sure of how much of a hastle that would be) is to change your visa to a two-entry one (in China), which will give you more time than you need (and the chance to go to Hong Kong, if you haven't been there yet! If you have been there already, and were not intending to go again, I'm afraid it'll also give you the obligation to go to HK, though)

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flibblesan

Ok, so if I get a 90day double-entry VISA from the Chinese Consulate in Manchester England, I can stay for 3 months in China then I leave and go back and I can stay for another 3 months?

Doesn't sound too bad. But during the 3 months I can try and get a longer extension? How easy is it to change a L tourist visa to an F business VISA, in Beijing? I don't really want to have to go to HK or Shanghai to do it.

Thanks for the information so far!

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PeterMUC

gougou, thanks for the information. Hope I´ll be able to get a 90 days visa in Munich. I´ve been to Hongkong before and at the time I will need to renew my visa I´ll be in the northeast, maybe in Beijing. I am thinking about going to South Korea to obtain a new visa. Never been there before. Hongkong seems to be the fastest and least expensive way, though.

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gougou

I think it is fairly easy to change your visa in Beijing if you have the necessary documents (like an invitation or a contract), but I've never done it in person.

Why would you want an F-visa, anyway? Only for not having to go to HK in between?

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flibblesan

Well I won't be working in Beijing at first but if I stay maybe 2 months then I would probably look for work if I need to. But going to HK so I can stay in China longer seems a silly expensive way to do things. Surely obtaining a longer visa in Beijing is easier? Can I get a longer visa without a job invitation letter?

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gougou

I just arrived back to Beijing today to write my graduation assignment. When I applied for my visa yesterday, I didn't have an employer yet (and still don't, for that matter, so if anybody's interested...). The person dealing with visas told me that it would not be possible to get a business visa, but that the difference to a tourist visa anyway would be very small (not sure whether that was meant to be an invitation to go working on a tourist visa...)

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onebir

According to some of the ads in That's Beijing that Roddy mentioned above, you can get the F visa in Beijing no questions asked via a 'visa consultant', ie:

Ad No. 53669: L visa easily renewed to F visa, Expertising in it Gloria International , the only documents you provide is your passport and a photograph。

See also: beijing solution, where they say this about the documents required to get an F visa through them:

"Required Documents

1. One's valid passport and visa.

2. Two recent photos (2 inch visa style).

3. Host units' official letters (provide originals and copies of duplicate of "Business License")

4. The original Residence Registration Certificate.

NOTE: If you are converting to an F Visa from a L Visa You do NOT need items 3 (Official Letters) and 4 (Residence Registration).

Emoo seems to offer a similar service in shanghai.

This doesn't seem entirely kosher, and if anyone has experience of using beijing based visa services i'd love to hear about it, because at 1800-2500 yuan it seems like a bit of a bargain...

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guest1234

You can ask for a multi entry visa for one, two or five years this gives you 90 days at a time and you can come and go as many times as you like. I have just got a replacement for my last two year visa . They are about 90 pounds per year. Manchester do the same service a friend has also just got a two year one.

This would give you some options while you found your feet in Beijing.

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onebir

It seems like some F visas with no 90 day stay limits are available inside china too:

"I have a double/multi-entry f visa, but have 30 days limit for each stay. How can I remove it?

Double and multiple entry F visas issued by overseas Chinese consulates or Hong Kong visa office usually have a limit of 30 days on the duration of each stay in China. The limit CAN NOT be simply removed in China since December 2004. If you want to stay longer than 30 days, you have to apply for a new F visa, and your current visa will be revoked at the same time. EMOO offers 6 month 0/1/2/M entry or 1 year no stay limit."

There's a table in the beijing solution 'choosing the right visa' section that mentions staying for " 3 6 or 12 months" on an F visa, also implying no need to leave the country every 90 days...

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JackP

I had a 90 L visa (obtained in The Netherlands) and am now on my second extension (still L - tourist). The first extension in Kunming was no problem, the second a bit more questions but also not really a problem.

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flibblesan

Thanks for all the advice everyone. I'm off to China in 2 weeks time and I'll try and get a 90day L visa from the Manchester Consulate. If not then I'll extend it in China.

I'm looking forward to going now!

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parasite

Please tell me if you have any personal experience with the services that claim they can convert an L visa to F visa like emoo.net for example. What about the ones in HK ? I read something that seems to imply F visa has 30 day limit per visit though it lasts 6mos-1yr!!! I can't afford to run back and forth every month... what do you guys do ?

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