> what is the story with no more visa extensions for tourist visas?
Some foreigners were denied 30 day extensions last week, and were told they didn't show sufficient evidence there weren't flights to their home country.
Since then, other foreigners have been granted 30 day extensions. Not sure exactly what's going on here, but they have apparently not stopped issuing the extensions altogether.
> will 10 year visas still be valid?
If you're currently outside the country with a 10 year visa, it will be valid once the borders fully reopen to tourists, but it won't get you into China right now.
> where can we find the official government policy?
Good question. There have been official announcements about no longer being able to enter China with a visa issued before March 28, and about the blanket 60 day extension granted to most people, but there has been no national policy announcement about visas since.
Note that every province and municipality has the power to grant extensions and interpret the rules, so you'll see different situations around the country.
are visa runs still possible?
No. Most of the borders are effectively closed or greatly restricted, and people on tourist and other short term visas are not being let into China. This is why people with multi-year tourist visas are suddenly needing to apply for 30 day extensions.
European nationals with a valid residence permit (for work and certain other purposes) will now be allowed to apply for a new visa to re-enter China. They will still be subject to COVID testing and quarantine requirements.
Those whose residence permits have recently expired are not covered by this announcement as of yet.
@Mildred: not really adding much to the conversation there...
I haven't found any official notice, but I've been told by a few sources that the government is planning to overhaul the student visa system, and has suspended all new non-degree student visas until the new rules can be finalized.
Hopefully those who wish to continue studies can hold out on the temporary stay extensions until this is resolved.
It's quite likely that a lot of programs and private schools will lose their ability to sponsor visas, though. A lot of schools are holding their breath right now.
It's not the front desk clerks making things up. They have the authentication requirements because the local PSBs can't be trusted to recognize the authenticity of documents from a hundred countries with different bureaucratic systems around the world. The goal is to get a stamp on it that they themselves can check.
The last time I had to go through all this, I had documents authenticated by my home state, with the Secretary of State's signature and seal verified by the Chinese consulate covering that region (they have these on file for the states in their consular district), and the local PSB clerks could easily identify the consulate's seal.
All of this would be much easier if China just signed up for the apostille system, but the clerks at the Kunming PSB have no say in the matter.