- Via Danwei: For the first time, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has acknowledged that visa procedures have been tightened. Said Qin Gang, according to the AP:
“We have made some arrangements according to usual international practice. That is, in the approval process we are more strict and more serious with the procedure,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.
He did not directly link the changes to the Aug. 8-24 Beijing Olympics, but said the policies would “be maintained for a period of time.”
We wonder if that means the policies would be maintained even after the Olympics comes to an end?
- Danwei suggests though that the Olympic period is “apparently between July 1 to October 17 this year”. No idea where they got that from.
- Amcham Shanghai recently had a China visa briefing for its members. The powerpoint presentation can be downloaded here. And here’s what one person who attended took away from it all.
- Kyle of BizCult talks about receiving calls from a policeman who knows all about his comings-in and goings-out, and has this to say to all his readers:
1. When in doubt, register with the local station. And then register again. When anything in your status changes, from visa to phone number to address to just-back-from-holiday, it is always a good idea to let the authorities know (as creepy as that seems).
2. Do not attempt to fight back (too hard). The sentiment of the authorities seems to be tilting in the direction of contempt of foreigners who think they can do whatever they want. When I suggested to Mr. Officer I was never told that I should re-register upon re-entering the country, I was shown the “Arrival Card” that everyone fills out at customs that states in fine print something to the effect of “failure to register with the police department within 24 hours of arrival can lead to you being deported.” Point taken.
- All Roads Leads to China reports of rumours of multiple-entry visas being cancelled at the border. Also, some enterprising businessmen are now offering visas on Alibaba (unlikely to be legal).
- Australia’s Foreign Minister, Stephen Smith, has warned of the problems that the new visa restrictions could mean for businesses:
“It is important that the Chinese authorities understand the potential practical, on-the-ground difficulties that this is causing… Australia has had recently an Olympics as well with the Sydney Olympics, so we understand the general public policy motivation… We do want to make sure that there are no long-term adverse repercussions for trade and business and industry exchange between Hong Kong and China, and between other nation states and China,” he added.
- Meanwhile, mainland Chinese residents seem to be having it easier, as those with special permits can now apply for 90-day stays to watch Olympic events in Hong Kong and Macau.
Previously on Shanghaiist
Good news for UK F visa applicants?
More updates on the Chinese visa situation
No more Hong Kong and Macau visa runs?
Getting your F visa: Even magic won’t work now!
The multiple-entry F visa goes on holiday for the Olympics
China tightening F visa applications?
Danwei: China visa confusion
WSJ: Beijing Fesses Up on Its New Visa Policy
Xinhua: China says recent visa policy in line with Olympics practice
AP: China says it tightens visa procedures ahead of Olympics
AP: China acknowledges tightening of visas
AFP: Australia warns China over visa restrictions
Shanghai Daily: Permits required for longer stays in Hong Kong and Macau