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