I have recently transferred to Chongqing Daxue from Yunnan Daxue. As a result I had to cancel my old residence permit and arrive here on a temporary L visa which Kunming PSB issued me. I went to apply for my residence permit today but ran into some problems which I guess others may also find. Because i have only initally registered for one term and there is now the new X2 visa I was told I can only apply to renew my visa to X2. I can't apply for a residence permit as it is too short a time. But here is the worst bit. As it is the 5th today they will only allow issue me with a visa until 5th January even though my course doesn't even end until 10th January as they will only issue exact months for X2 visas. And, as they now limit renewals to one time instead of two I will need to leave the country before 5th January and apply for a new visa for the last week of the course! I guess this will only be an issue for the small number of people entering on L visas and applying to switch but it is worth noting as the universities don't seem to know about this and it was previously common practice for people to arrive on L visa and switch into residence permit direct. If you are studying over 6 months this should be ok but for those doing short term course of 1 semester this could spell trouble. It could also be that Kunming continues to be more relaxed than those provinces closer to the claws of Beijing but it does seem that the new rules are being enforced differently to expected.
That makes it difficult to apply for any kind of visa if you enter the country on a tourist L visa. I faced another problem, having extended my L visa one time I couldn't extend it anymore (before you could extend it twice), and I didn't have enough time to proceed with my working visa. The only solution is to change visa type, or leave abroad.
The rules are being interpreted will nilly. No joined up thinking.
At end of course you may be able to change your x2 for L and do your last few days. Maybe someone from univeristy can go with you. You may need to offer to pay them as it is not there job, if they desk monkey still says no, ask to speak to the director, that is what they are there for. If they say he is not in, ask when he is in. Don't go anytime around lunchtime 11-2. Worst case, you finish the course a few days early.
Limiting the renewals to one is a big change. Not sure everyone is going to realize this till they suffer it like Carts13 and viajante did.
In 2011 I wasn't able to convert my student residence permit to an L visa in either Shangri-la or Kunming and was told the visa that I seek to extend must be of the same type. So in order to get an L visa I would have had to leave the country. However, the whole purpose of the L conversion at the time was to give me some time to re-convert it to a residence permit for study purposes as my then residence permit was close to expiring and I didn't have any documents with me to extend it as I was on holiday in Shangri-la. In the end I was able to extend it for 2 months with the paperwork from my old school on the date of expiration. Following this 2 month "bridging visa" if you will, I was able to get an extension for 10 months from my new school, Yunnan daxue the same school as the OP used to study.
What do you mean a visa can only be renewed once? I thought student visas, at least long term ones, can be renewed almost indefinitely provided you are actually studying? My friend has been in China for 3 years, he left for a short holiday to Thailand and Vietnam for a total of 6 days last month for the first time leaving China in exactly 3 years. He has been on student visas the whole time and is currently getting his latest extension.
viajante renewed his tourist visa once, which is different to renewing a student visa - I think I misread that because the previous poster before me made a warning about only being able to renew a visa once, but this appears to be only for tourist visas. My understanding is that it was always either renewable only once, or twice for no more than a total of 90 days stay in China, depending on the validity of your original visa (if it is valid for 60 days then definitely only one extension has been allowed). However, the good news that I have heard is that tourist visas and other visas will be extended from the END of their validity, not from the date the application is made. This brings China in line with most other countries. So for example, if you entered China on 22 July and the last day you can stay is 21 August, you can extend your stay until 20 September by applying for an extension anytime before the 21st of August. Previously if you applied on say, 14 August your period of stay would expire on 13 September, rather than 20 September. However, China has also always treated the date of arrival as day 0 and then you have xx number of days (for example 30 days) after that.
Other countries such as Laos and Thailand treat your date of arrival as day 1 and thus you only really have another 29 days not 30 days, even if you arrive only a few minutes before midnight.
Yes, the renewals for L are down to 1 now. Previously, 2 was pretty standard. The reason this could matter for student visas is sometimes the student visa is converted to or a student opts for an L as a temporary visa for some reason caused by the school or transfer or whatever else China can throw at you.
Also, I am pretty sure China counts the day you enter as day 1.
The day you enter does count as Day 1.
I have an F visa. In the past every visa I have had counted the day of entry as Day 0 - I am very sure about this. Go Fish says now the day of entry counts as Day 1. Does anybody know for sure?
I'm almost certain the date of arrival is day 0. There was a concern that if you arrived under the 72-hour airport visa waiver usable in 4 cities (and soon Kunming as well) at say 11.55pm, you'd only get 2 more days to leave the country but as with every other visa type, the date of arrival is considered to be day 0, so if you arrived on Oct 23, you will be allowed to stay until 11.59pm on Oct 26 (Oct 24, 25 and 26 rounding up the 72 hours plus the amount of time you have left on your date of arrival).