Foreign students intending on studying in China should enter the country with a Student Visa (X Visa) and subsequently and apply for a residence permit at the Division of Exit-Entry Administration of China Public Security Bureau within 30 days of entry. The residence permit shall be valid for no more than 1 year within the validity period of the passport.
If you wish to either extend or change the status of your visa, you must do so at your local Exit and Entry Administrative Bureau or with a formal and professional agency, but beware of potential scammers who will gladly use such student visa processes as a way to fraud you. Recently, a female student reported being scammed after a man claimed he had cooperated with her university and could help students extend their visas for a fee of RMB 6600.
Once the money had been transferred to this alleged university coordinator, the student never heard from him again. He just disappeared.
If you ever receive a message from someone or an organization that is proclaiming to help facilitate your visa process in an informal way with money transfers over WeChat such as the above-mentioned case, 90% of the time those individuals are scammers. And you should definitely not trust them.
Should you ever encounter such scams, make sure that whoever you are interacting with asks you for the following documents which would help verify the legitimacy of their claim:
Two Ways for International Students to Extend Their Stay in China
1. X Visa Extension
Extending an X visa is usually easy. Normally, international students will have their X visa extended by the China universities they study at, and they can also get help from visa service agencies.
1. Current Students
Current students who need their X visa extended must submit the following materials: tuition bills, current study certificate, transcripts and valid passport. Usually the international student office of the university will inform students to prepare for the procedure in advance.
2. Graduated Students
Graduated students cannot apply for an X visa extension unless they are enrolled at another university in China. By providing their admission offer and other related documents, they may receive their X visa extension.
3. Transfer Students
Besides tuition bills, current study certificate, transcripts and a valid passport, a transfer certificate is also needed for transfer students.
4. Expired X Visa
International students who hold expired X visas are not allowed to apply for an extension, but they can apply for an alteration (e.g. L visa) to extend their stay in China. Some visa service companies are able to handle a service like this. The detailed procedure is as follows:
a. Pay the fine. It is required by law that applicants must pay RMB 500 for every expired day when their visa has been expired for 10 days or more;
b. The visa service companies will help applicants eliminate the “bad record” and get a 15-day valid L visa, which needs to be handled in Hong Kong;
c. Once they have their L visa, applicants may apply for an extension or alteration.
Note: Handling an expired visa is very costly.
2. X Visa Conversion
International students who want to alter their X visa have to go back to their home country for once and then return unless the visa service companies are able to take them to Hong Kong to handle the service.
1. Changing from X Visa to F visa
a. Valid Invitation Letter. Many visa service agencies are able to handle this. Sometimes, students are asked to provide a scanned copy of the business license of a Chinese company;
b. Valid passport and two 2-inch passport-sized photos;
c. Students from certain countries are required to provide a Letter of Agreement, which can also be handled by visa service agencies.
The F visa is classified into several types such as 3 months and 1 entry F visa, 6 months and 1 entry F visa and 6 months and 2 entries F visa, etc. Each type has different requirements for applicants:
a. For 1 year and multi-entries F visa: Applicants must at least have 8 leaving and entering records;
b. For 6 months and multi-entry F visa: Applicants must at least have 3 leaving and entering records;
c. For 3 months and 1 entry F visa: Applicants must at least have 1 leaving and entering record.
Since not many visa companies can handle this alteration service directly, applicants can first alter their Residence Permit into an L visa and then F visa.
In addition to all the materials previously listed that are needed to transfer a visa status from X Visa to F visa, applicants are required to provide a valid residence permit.
2. Changing from X Visa to L Visa
The disadvantage of transferring an X visa into an L visa is that applicants are only granted another 1 month stay once, after which no more extension can be obtained.
Graduation certificate, proof of financial stability (need at least RMB 21,000 in a Chinese bank account), accommodation letter, two 2-inch photos.
Source: AT0086.com, 中国网