Visa for China
I'm sure a lot of you already have some experience travelling to China, so I hope you can help me with the following problem: Is it possible to enter China on a tourist visa, and then extend the visa by going to HK? Furthermore, I read somewhere that one can get a multiple-entry visa for a longer period of time (>30 days, to which a L-visa is restricted) in HK - is that true? I will have to stay for about a year in total, but I can't get a work visa. Any ideas? (Obviously, I don't want to do anything illegal...)
bodaweiJuly 08, 2009, 08:35 AM
If you want to stay in China for a year on a tourist visa, you will probably have to leave China for 'extensions'; effectively you are getting a new visa each time. Hong Kong is considered outside China for visa purposes; Korea and Japan are other easy options for China residents. (Going by ferry is an interesting experience.)
I hear that you can get up to a five month visa at present, however the rules are different in different countries and they also change from time to time. This might be a bad time, as 1 October 2009 approaches, and with unrest out west, the Government may want to impose some limits on visas.
Another option for you is a student visa, if you choose to enrol in a course somewhere.. :-) You get a visa for the length of your enrolment. Enrol for a year and Bob's your uncle.
zaraiJuly 08, 2009, 09:17 AM
What kind of courses could I enrol in? Does it have to be at a language school or a university? Or could it be, let's say, a dance academy ;) ?
I don't have to kind of money to enrol full time. Would be great if anyone could suggest courses in Shanghai (something cheap!).
bodaweiJuly 08, 2009, 09:32 AM
I was referring to Chinese courses of course; universities and private language colleges abound. :-) There are many options - try Googling.
I'm sure you could enrol in dance if you like! (Tell us about it if you succeed.) Some courses may ask for Chinese language qualifications, I'm not sure about dance. Drama might be difficult - there is very little of what we know as drama in the West.
BTW - Shanghai is probably the most expensive city in China to study and live. But if you stay away from bars you can live fairly cheaply! :-)
zaraiJuly 08, 2009, 09:58 AM
Well, if the Chinese courses cost about 7000$ for 36 weeks (the cheapest offer I've found so far), I definitely can't afford it. Besides, my Chinese is pretty good, and I'm not sure about those "Advanced Classes"...
Unfortunately, the duration of the courses of the dance school (belly dance) I was referring to is too short, so I certainly won't get a visa for that.
bodaweiJuly 08, 2009, 11:24 AM
Is that 7,000 RMB (A$1,400 or US$1,120) - or do you mean US$7,000? I'm a bit confused. A good university could be 20,000 RMB for the year (A$4,000 or US$3,200), and many are cheaper than this. Your quote does not look like either RMB (too cheap) or US$ (too expensive). University courses generally offer 20 fairly intensive contact hours a week. The courses or private colleges will cater for all levels - at university you could probably find 'heritage' style courses for people raised in a Chinese environment overseas. Or you could study Classical Chinese.. :-)
The alternative is to fly to HK from Shanghai maybe two, three or four times; if you want a change and fly to Japan it becomes quite expensive - say 4,000 or 5,000 RMB return trip? With overnight stays that is beginning to look competitive with the course fees.
zaraiJuly 08, 2009, 12:09 PM
I really meant US$7,000. Okay, perhaps my search wasn't thorough enough ;)
20000RMB sounds pretty good. Just a little explanation - I don't want to go to China "merely" to study Chinese (or at least that's not the reason why I want to go there in the first place). I don't even want an intensive course, but if it takes enrolling at a language school to get a visa, that's what I'll do. I can do so much more within 2 h/d of concentrated effort (on my own) and being able to actually speak Chinese throughout the day, so what I'm looking for is a part time course with very few hours per week, perhaps Business Chinese or something. Can I still get a student visa in that case?
bodaweiJuly 09, 2009, 08:46 AM
Your 'problem' is a common one - the dilemma is that Chinese authorities have a limited number of categories under 'Reasons for living in China': work, study, and 'tourist'. The category a lot of Westerners would like is 'mosey around and learn Chinese on my own for about a year' is not allowed. On a serious note, some native born Chinese face the same problem ...
(I once tried to vary the category to 'traveller', or even better 'sojourner', because I find tourist a bit offensive and was reprimanded at the Consulate office. 'You are a TOURIST!' I was told.
Sorry, I don't know the answer to your visa question - hopefully another poddy will have the answer.
bababardwanJuly 09, 2009, 12:00 PM
"The category a lot of Westerners would like is 'mosey around and learn Chinese on my own for about a year' is not allowed"
。。not only a transliteration ,but also the breakdown has some relevance:
谋...plan/seek/[hopefully avoiding the more sus sounding 3rd possible meaning of scheme but at the same time hopefully pleasing authorities with sounding more purposeful than aimlessly wandering
..a self plan [with the other more soul searching meaning of seeking yourself...one reason many people travel after all...hey is there a category for pilgrimage/religious quest/visits to the shaolin temple ?]
...hehe,yeah,love that word mosey.
bodaweiJuly 09, 2009, 12:52 PM
:-) That really is very clever! You may be putting up your hand for a job at CP soon. Look out for vacancies like 'Foreign expert in Linguistics: special subject English as spoken outside North America'. Or special subject 'amusing and subversive transliterations.' I like it.
BTW ‘mosey' is in the Australian edition of the Concise Oxford - 19th century, origin unknown.