Tuesday, June 24, 2008

How to... extend my visa in Beijing

(For a good post on How to extend your visa in Shanghai, visit China Travel Net!)

Your safe haven for extensions of L and F visa is the PSB or Exit and Entry Management Section of the Public Security Bureau.*

Concerning the extension of L (tourist) visa, make sure you check the newest regulations mentioned in the PSB leaflet (page 1 and page 2). Please be aware that restrictions have been tightened and most applicants will need to prove they have sufficient funds on their own Chinese bank account (sufficient funds being defined as 100$/day of stay in China or 25.000 RMB for a one month extension). According to current information, tourist visa can be extended twice in Beijing for 30 days, up to a total duration of stay of 90 days. However, stricter rules apply to nationals of other Asian countries, who may only be able to extend theuir visa once for ten days.

When it comes to finding the perfect timing strategy, be advised that as long as your passport lands on a PSB desk the day your visa expires, you're completely fine. Your new visa will automatically be issued from the day you hand your documents in. If you want to be 120% sure, go the day before its expiry so that you can come back in case you forgot a document.

The Exit&Entry Section is located at
2 Andingmen Dongdajie, Dongcheng District
(southeast of Beixiaojie Bridge)

If you take public transportation, you can take

Bus number 44, 13, 116, 117, 807 to Beixiaojie Huokou or

Subway Line Number 2 to Lama Temple (Yonghegong) station.

If you're going by taxi, you might want to print out their Chinese address:



(If your computer cannot display Chinese characters, you can download a jpeg with the address here and print it out)

Click here for a map in Chinese!

A normal extension should take about five working days, but do not forget to consider potential public holidays.

If you need to travel within China while your passport is at the PSB, you can do so with the receipt slip (or "domestic travel authorization") they give you when you hand in your documents. However, be advised that especially in smaller Chinese cities this may lead to confusion at the airport, resulting in longer processing times. I therefore advice you to be at the airport a bit earlier and bring your alien employment permit if you have one.

Travelling outside of China, including to Hong Kong, is not possible without your passport.

The PSB's phone numbers are
(0086 10) 84020101 for the information desk;
(0086 10) 84015316 for the general customer service line.

* Small linguistic remark: there is actually no such thing as a visa extension in the strict sense of the word. When you apply for a longer stay in China and get it granted, you will always have your old visa cancelled and a new visa put into your passport.


Myron said...

Is it possible to get an extension in Beijing of a different kind of visa than I currently have? Specifically, my Z visa is expiring July 15th now that my teaching contract is complete. I have tickets to the Olympics and a flight back to the US scheduled August 13th, so I just want a 30-day L visa extension. Is it possible to get this in Beijing or do I have to go to Hong Kong to get a new tourist visa?

Thanks for all the information you've put together here!

Coeurdelion said...


as you probably have already assumed, you won't be able to get a new L visa without leaving China.

Anonymous said...

You mention that you can go the PSB on the day your visa expires to get an extension. But what happens if your request for an extension if refused? Does that mean you will only have one day to get out of the country then?

Coeurdelion said...

Yep, that's the risk you're running! But what you can do is go to the PSB a couple of days before and ask them if you will be able to extend your visa on that date, and they will most probably be competent to give you a reliable answer.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if 30 days of my L visa start from the day I actually get into mainland China (from HK), or from the day I arrive to the passport control in mainland China - which is, as Im going back from HK to mainland by train, one day after. It's of a great importance for me.. :)

Coeurdelion said...

The 30 days start from the second you get the entry stamp in your passport. As long as you don't have the chop, you're technically still outside of China!

Anonymous said...

I have a 30 day tourist visa and I entered on the 9th of June. Does the 9th of june count as a day on the 30 day visa? I'm asking since if it counts i have to either go to the psb tomorrow or catch a flight home.


Coeurdelion said...

Even if you arrive in China at eleven in the evening, that day still counts as full China day. So in your case, yes, the 9th of June is the first of your 30 days!

Same thing if your plane out of China is scheduled at 0:05 in the morning!

Anonymous said...

Does that $100 a day apply to those of us on the 12 month L (spouse) visas? Eeeek!


Coeurdelion said...

No, this rule does not apply for those married to Chinese nationals! Imagine you'd have to have 480.000 RMB on your current account :-)

Anonymous said...

My sister back home (MN) just applied for a Visa and was told she would get a year-long L. Can I take this as a sign that normalcy is returning?

And If I want to also get a year-long L, and am currently in Beijing, what would be the best route to take? PSB or Hong Kong?

Matthew said...

myth alchemist--do you know which embassy your sister's visa application is going to? I hear the New York one is the most generous. I only got 30 days from the Chicago Embassy last month.

Anonymous said...

My mother is applying for a China Visa for entering China on Sep 13 until Nov 4. The embassy where she's located will only grant her a 30-day visa still and single entry only. To apply for a double entry visa she needs to show proof of an entry-exit roundtrip air ticket, and this is also not guranteed will be granted. My question is, if she gets a 30-day visa, by the end of the 30-day period it would be already Oct 12 which is after the paralympics, and presumably the rules would be relaxed, so in this case would she be able to go to the PSB and extend her 30-day for another 30 days? Based on what you know, do you think that she'll be able to do that by then? Thanks much.

Tom James said...

Hmm this is a tricky one, isn't it?

We have 60 day visas from Manchester, UK. We entered the country on 13th July. If I include the 13th in the counting, that means the 60 days are up on the 10th September. However, a Chinese colleague of mine phoned the PSB, and they told her that the 14th of July is the 1st day (meaning the visa is valid until the 11th September). And in our residency permits, the PSB people wrote the 12th September!

HELP. We're very confused, and don't quite know what we're going to do about getting 2100 RMB together in time. Can you use a bank statement in GBP sterling, or US dollars, instead?

Thanks for any advice on this.

Coeurdelion said...

Hi Tom,

sometimes the information on the police registration is different than the one on your visa. What counts at the end will always be yuor visa though, and according to official information, every day that you spend (even partially) in China accounts as full China day. If you overstay by one day you probably won't get in much trouble; if you want to extend your visa though you'll have to provide a bank statement from a Chinese bank account.

Tom James said...

Hi Coeurdelion

Many thanks for all of your advice. I'd better get my arse in gear.



Anonymous said...

Thank you for all your advice.

I am about to extend my L visa for the first time. I am in the process of transferring the 21,000RMB into my Chinese bank account. My friend, however, told me that the money needs to be 'frozen' in my bank account in order for the bank to produce a statement. My friend froze the money for a month but other people have frozen the cash for a week. The bank says they need to freeze the money for AT LEAST a day in order to produce the statement.

How long should I freeze this money in my account for? I would like to be able to use it during my time in China (surely that's the point of this 21,000RMB rule, right?). Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks again.

Coeurdelion said...

It seems the common consensus is that your money needs to be frozen for a week at least, but you're right that people have also reported getting their visas extended without any freezing at all.

It seems it's mostly the banks that are reluctant to issue the statement if they can't freeze the funds. In the PSB leaflet about extending your visa, it does actually not say anywhere that funds need to be blocked.

If you want to play it safe, freeze it for a week; if you have time to go twice (in the worst case), just try to get the statement without freezing anything.

Alex in China said...

I extended my L visa today with a Certificate of Deposit from China Merchant Bank frozen for Zero days.

I deposited the money, printed a CD, then immediately withdrew the money.

This is my experience, although it seems there are conflicting reports from other applicants.

I applied for the visa in Beijing.

Shooting the Airplane said...

Just put my application in at PSB Beijing. I've been here on a 2 month tourist visa and wanted to extend it for another month.

I provided them with a photocopy my bank passbook that was up-to-date as of yesterday. Did not need to freeze my account at all.

Pick-up next Saturday.

PS - This site is fantastic. I've recommended it to many people. Hope you keep it up.

Anonymous said...

I posted earlier regarding freezing funds in the account. I froze the funds for one week and had absolutely no problems getting a full 30 day extension. Thanks again for your advice. This site is fantastic. It is the closest thing to a rule book out there!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your posting. Very useful.

I won't be able to get the necessary 21,000 RMB, and was wondering if you knew if perhaps the PSB would let someone extend for say, 10 days with a China bank statement showing 1000 USD worth of money.

I'm from the U.S., but can't come up with the 3k.


Lauren said...

Hi Coeurdelion,

Just wondering if you know how much it costs to extend a visa in Beijing. I know you have to show your bank account with 21,000RMB, but how much do you have to pay for the renewal?


Coeurdelion said...

You can try with the 1000USD you have - the worst thing which can happen is actually a ten day "leave-China-now" visa! This is what everybody gets who does not fulfill the requirements - the only risk being that you might have a harder time applying for your next Chinese visa.

Coeurdelion said...


the cost depends on where you come from. For Europeans, it's usually 160RMB but there's a policy of reciprocity: if visa for Chinese travelling to your country are expensive, this will be reflected on the price the PSB charges you.

Anonymous said...

I'm due to extend my L visa in Beijing in the next couple of days. I saw that you posted that your bank account now needs to have 25000RMB and NOT just 21000RMB. This is a real pain in the ass after arranging the 21k only to find out that they want to see another 4k in the account. Still, I appreciate you posting the information as it would be worse finding out after a rejected visa application! Where did you get the info from?