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How much do you know about visas?

Dwight (5 posts) • 0

What am I missing? Do you know?

Are there any Chinese visa options/facts that I am not weighing appropriately or that I am not aware of?

Any (timely) feedback would be MUCH appreciated! Here’s the focused breakdown of what I think I currently know and what I am concluding:

As an American citizen, I’ve lived in China for almost 20 years, nine years in Shanghai, and almost eleven years in Kunming. My home is China…no where else.

I’ve got a 10-year M-visa about five years ago. It was pretty good. For over five years, I just jumped over to Bangkok (or other country outside China) and returned to Kunming, getting another 60-day extension each time.

With the onset of COVID-19 things got sticky. At first, I got the automatic 60-day extension. Then I was able to get a sponsoring company and got another 60-day extension. Then, by the skin of my teeth, I was able to get a third extension, which expires on October 20th.

Two days ago I visited the Kunming visa office. After a 45-minute conversation with three different visa officers, I got clear that they’re not going to give me another M-visa extension, no matter what I do.

At this time, subject to change at anytime due to the COVID-19 situation, I could get a 30-day S2 visa. But I would be giving up my M-visa (and its benefits in case it still might be valid after I can easily leave China and come back). And, if the 30-day S2 visa remains available, I would have to leave China every 30 days to keep it active (once I am able to leave China and come back). Not good options because of the uncertainly of its availability and because of having to leave China every 30 days.

I have researched all visa types. The only other ones that might have previously been available to me (student visas and business visas) are not available to me because of my age (I am 76).

The only good visa option I see that could work involves getting married (very quickly) and getting a marriage visa. Because my girlfriend’s parents object to her marrying me (on pain of disownment), the only marriage option available seems to be a marriage of convenience.

Do you think know of any option/knowledge (that results in me still being able to live in Kunming) that you think I might not be considering or might not know about?

Thank you. Thank you.

With much appreciation, Dwight

JanJal (1243 posts) • +1

M-visa is for business visits, right? I assume that they deny you this because of your age.

However, US citizens are also eligible for 10-year tourist visas, that would allow you to stay 3 months at a time.

I'm not sure if there is an annual limit to those visits as well (information is probably available elsewhere on this site). But I'm sure that tourists do not get discriminated for their age.

You may need to return to USA to apply for one though, and given CoVid-19 restrictions you may be unable to return conveniently even if granted the visa.

Dwight (5 posts) • 0

Good to hear from you, JanJal.

All information I have is that China (because of COVID) has not yet resumed issuing tourist visas, at least not for USA citizens. Consequently this does not help me with my current October 20th deadline.

Any other thoughts or suggestions?

Xiefei (539 posts) • +1

You are correct that no new tourist visas are being issued at this time.

Your only option right now is to give up the M visa, and get as many extensions to the S2 visa as they are willing to give you. The only way to hold onto your M visa right now would be to return to your home country and wait things out (and it could be a while).

Once things cool down and China resumes normal travel, you can go back to your home country and apply for a new tourist visa, or try for the M visa again.

gbtexdoc (218 posts) • 0

Have you explored whether a student visa might be available from a private language school regardless of your age?

I understand that it might not be your first choice because it would involve attending some classes and paying tuition fees. But it might allow you to remain in Kunming until something more suitable becomes available.

duke is me (64 posts) • 0

A fairly bold statement, that Dwight lives here 20 years, and his only visa option is a marriage of convenience !

You still have 6 days, Dwight, so good luck..

Dwight (5 posts) • 0

gbtexdoc, yes I have explored...and the cutoff age is 60. Thank you.

duke is me, I got a 30-day T-visa...so now I'm good until Nov 11th. Thank you.

Haali (1178 posts) • +1

yeh, China is not really set up to make it easy for foreigners to stay long term/permanently

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