I went to the visa office today and they said they can issue another 30-day extension which won't affect a person's existing visa, but we now need to give proof that we can't leave. She said 'certificate' at first but then said that a screengrab from a flight booking website will do. The problem is that there are some flights, for essential travel purposes only, but there are some, so that 'proof' won't be enough. Has anyone else run into this problem and what can we do? Cheers all.
Ah...PSB front desk clerks making up bizarre rules yet again, because they don't know.
BS about not affecting the current visa. What they issued me was a 30 day visa which expires next week, while my original visa with 5 years remaining has a cancelled stamp on it.
ANY new visa results in cancelling the previous visa. I had a ten year visitor's visa, which was cancelled after getting my one year annually renewed work visa. Visa office explained clearly - you can ONLY have one visa in effect and that's the latest issued visa.
Problem for Entry & Exit now is, as OP well described, that there are some fights available. They are not qualified to judge whether some random foreigner qualifies to the "essential to travel" group or not, so they have to leave that burden of proof to the individuals. It was easier when there were simply no flights available at all.
If there are some flights available (to your home country I guess), I would think that you need to confirm with the relevant airline(s) whether your situation equals "essential" need to leave China.
For example my national airline company has chat service on their webpage, and if I was in your situation I would screenshot a statement in their support chat - them saying that sorry, you are not eligible to fly on our flights that are reserved for essential travel.
Or if they say sure you can board us and the ticket is 1 million euros, then show that to Entry & Exit, along with your bank account statement showing lack of such funds.
Simply choose a time and date (and flight class) where there are NO flights. To show your zeal for exiting - look for at least 3 dates before your visa expiration where there are NO flights. The clerk only needs to check a box to show you tried and have proof you couldn't find an exit flight.
CTRIP.com regularly shows (in English) no one-way exit flights with the COVID message. That should also suffice.
Good idea michael.
I'm preparing for tomorrow's meeting with the PSB so I'll get that done today.
So far I've found evidence of a flight to Toronto - In October.
Now I just need a bunch of no flights available before then.
Thanks everyone. I've printed out screenshots from flight booking sites where you select a flight and then a message comes up saying you can't book it. I'll try tomorrow and update what happened.
Most flights to Europe or North America originate from Beijing, Hong Kong, Guangzhou or Shanghai.
This morning those 4 cities appear at the top of the list of active virus cases, with new outbreaks reported in Beijing and Guangzhou.
That development may cause other countries to further restrict flights from China.
I plan to point that out to the PSB this morning.
So they accepted two screenshots from the flying pig flight booking website, one for the 16th and one for the 17th, printed out. She said people getting their first extension don't need to include that in their applications, but you do for your second, third and so on. She said to bring the same screenshots next time with the dates changed. She also gave the Booking.com and Ctrip screenshots back to me and said the flying pig ones were all they needed. Hope this helps someone!