Apparently, landing visas for non-Chinese nationals who can’t get their papers in order are available, albeit under certain special circumstances. Shanghai Daily provides a useful listing of the conditions whereby a visitor might qualify for a special Shanghai-specific landing visa.
The previously unbeknownst to us double-secret loophole visa was provided for two Venezuelan athletes in town for the FINA World Aquatics Championships. Though their visas were deemed invalid upon their arrival in Shanghai, the pair were allowed entry into China after their identities were confirmed by event organizers. Li Feng, an official with the Shanghai Exit-Entrance Administration Bureau, said that other athletes have also encountered similar visa issues.
“The services have been available for some time, but few people know about it,” Li reports. “And we welcome foreigners who fit the above requirements to apply for visa on arrival.”
Here are the conditions in question, and it would appear that they seem to favor the completion of business transactions, rather than problems of the ‘Oh darn, this visa expired three months ago’ variety.
Shanghai Landing Visa Qualifying Conditions
- Invited by local organizers’ last-minute decisions to participate in trade fairs.
- Invited to participate in bidding or to sign business cooperation contracts.
- To supervise export shipment and import commodity inspection or to check on the completion of a contract.
- Invited to work on equipment installation or to make rush repairs.
- Invited by the local party to solve compensation-related problems.
- Invited to provide science and technology consultations.
- Foreign groups invited to the country are able to increase or change group members with the agreement from its Chinese host.
- To visit patients in critical condition or to conduct a funeral.
- Foreigners in transit who, because of forces outside their control (such as weather delays) are unable to leave China by their original aircraft within 24 hours or have to leave China by other means of transport.
- Invited foreign guests having no time to get visas from Chinese embassies with authority letters which allow them to apply for landing visa.