Multiple Entry Chinese Visas Being Canceled at Border.

Friday, May 2, 2008 3:08
Posted in category The Big Picture

In yet another chapter of the visa saga, it appears that we are now seeing where immigration officers at the border are turning multiple entry visas.

According to the email I received:

But yesterday and today it seems that when they arrived into the Guangzhou station from the HK Train, they were told that their visa would have to be canceled and they would be on their last 30 day stay and they would have to go back home to get an extension or a new visa!!

He said that at least 1 case was someone he personally knew but other 3 were friends of his friends…

Now, this is third hand reporting, so do not take this as fact. Like before, there has yet to be an official document published and the websites I normally check for this make no mention of this.

However, if you are on a multi-entry tourist or F visa, I would say that you can no longer take your visa for granted.

It is clear that the visa policies and immigration procedures have changed/ tightened up, and my suggestion is to keep alert. If you are leaving country, then maybe give a call to your embassy to see if anyone else has recently had problems.

Immigration officers have the right to do what they feel is best, and that includes canceling your visa. So, do your best to be nice and have a fresh shave when going through the border. Yelling at the guy behind the glass and generally throwing a temper tantrum is not going to get you anywhere, but perhaps showing a bit of understanding and courtesy will.

Also, for those who are in country already who are trying to get those invitation letters, here is a report:

Since I am in *&^zhou I went to the local govt. offices here to find out how I could get one for my client in India, and this is a genuine client who wanted to come to place orders last week, and I also had all the legal documents and my Chinese business partner with me with all company license etc…

The only reply I got from them was ‘Sorry, we are not allowed to give visa notification letters to Indian passport holders’ and they wouldn’t reveal which other countries they weren’t allowed to give the letters to. Its really starting to affect the businesses here man, you can actually see the 4/5 star hotels running dry here with no ‘laowai’s’ in sight.

As always, please send me your updates (good and bad). I will continue to follow the situation as best I can.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

55 Responses to “Multiple Entry Chinese Visas Being Canceled at Border.”

  1. dezza says:

    May 2nd, 2008 at 3:52 am

    I just got back from Shenzhen yesterday after an overnight trip using my F visa and had no problems. I only have a week left on my visa before it expires so I’m not sure if the nice immigration lady let me off or what..

  2. Rich says:

    May 2nd, 2008 at 4:38 am


    Thanks for letting us know. perhaps with only a week they figured you were already effectively on your last trip.

    Let us know how the renewal process goes.


  3. Christopher Corkery says:

    May 2nd, 2008 at 7:42 am


    I must be doing something right…

    My 1 year! multiple entry visa, freshly minted in April, has seen me cross the border 9 times and at 4 ports of entry over the last 3 weeks with no issues. I am either luckier than some or perhaps fortunate that mine came from the Consulate in Chicago. Is it possible they are trying to crack down on those who have been effectively living in China on tourist visas for a few years? My visa from Chicago thus may look less suspicious.


  4. Thomas Chow says:

    May 2nd, 2008 at 10:58 am

    I will be heading in this summer (July) to visit family. Should prove interesting to see what happens with my multi entry tourist visa.

  5. China Law Blog says:

    May 2nd, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    I just got back from China on a one year multi-entry visa and I still have it. I too have heard these rumours of visas getting pulled, but have not heard from anyone to whom this actually happened, nor even anyone who could tell me that they knew someone directly to whom this occurred.

  6. Rich says:

    May 2nd, 2008 at 7:16 pm


    Hopefully by July you will be in a position of having more clarity. I am pretty sure that whatever policy may be, it will be in place and well advertised by then.


    Right now, all the persons I know that have been affected are of South Asia/ Mid East origin. I have yet to hear of anyone from US/ EU yet… except the French restaurateur in Beijing, who I suspect was turned away for issues other than being French (although it made a nice quote)


  7. Cleve says:

    May 3rd, 2008 at 7:40 am

    Hi Rich,

    Traveled from Nanjing to Hong Kong for the holiday and arrived back tonight (May 3rd). I have a multiple entry Z visa and actually went through immigration faster here than in my previous 9 years! Very smooth considering they had the torch relay in HK yesterday.

  8. Len says:

    May 3rd, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Went From HKIA and entered through Shekou port on 3/26,
    entered Shekou from Macau on 3/28, entered Shekou from Hong Kong
    on 3/28. No problems at all. Each was on a ferry, they gonna make
    make you swim back? LOL

  9. Rich says:

    May 4th, 2008 at 1:13 am

    Len/ Cleve,

    glad you were both able to make it in without any problem, and as I said above, the only group I have heard of personally having problems are S. Asia and M East. Perhaps there is something going on with either/ both of those regions that they are specifically canceling visas over..


  10. Len says:

    May 4th, 2008 at 9:55 am

    Didn’t seem to be any shortage of foreigners at Canton Fair. Was a bit strange that my passport was checked by no less than 3 people when registering and they specifically looked through all the China visas to make sure to note the # on the current one. Spoke with a pizza shop owner in Shenzhen who was starting to get scared about his business that caters to expats, thinking he might loose a lot of customers in the months ahead. No shortage of laowai’s
    buying fake stuff at Louwu. Seemed overall business as usual. – this was all in the last week of April

  11. Calvin says:

    May 4th, 2008 at 11:19 am

    Visa problems is real but would like to know if it also affects EU and US people ? I had a few friends from EU whom are worried shit about not getting their Visa renewed.

  12. European says:

    May 4th, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    I have a mulitple entry F and no problems. On a recent trip to Beijing I noted that some people had to show more paper, maybe return tickets? Not me though. However, I was reminded that I can stay only 30 days.

    Other then that I have doubts that long term F visas get cancelled.

  13. Len says:

    May 4th, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    No wonder there seemed a lot of foreigners at Canton fair. I read that they
    would not let in anyone with a Chinese passport unless they had a booth.
    That’s weird.

  14. Rich says:

    May 4th, 2008 at 10:38 pm


    Actually that has been a requirement for a long time. For locals to get in, they either had to be exhibiting, or be brought in by a foreign firm/ person.


  15. Len says:

    May 4th, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    Hi Rich:

    Not sure if locals means all Chinese, but I have got in with Chinese passport holders that lived in the states. Didn’t recall I had to offer any type of sponsorship. That was a couple years ago.

    This is what I read:

    Eventually, the party arrived in Guangzhou to have the Chinese accompanying him denied entry to the Trade Show. “They need to show their passports,” Security said blankly. Orders had come down from the Ministry of Defense. This was no drill, either. So, not just my friend’s Chinese staff and associates were unable to get into the Show, but neither were thousands of other irate Chinese who had traveled to the Show to wheel and deal.

  16. Len says:

    May 4th, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Also noted that the Lihua facility will no longer be used. That’s good news.
    The place was really dated. Compared to HK convention center it looked Mao era.

  17. Nrupesh says:

    May 5th, 2008 at 1:48 am

    I have been going to Canton fair since 2001 and its a restriction since those days that not all local chinese people can visit the fair. They have to visit either as exhibitors or as translators ( They ask questions to test their english ). Every canton fair there are thousands of chinese trying to get into the fair grounds.

  18. jay says:

    May 5th, 2008 at 8:02 am

    I have a friend that was turned back at Shanghai Pudong Airport and sent back to Hong Kong with his multi-entry visa cancelled – but not before he was strip searched and had his computer gone through. He has lived in Shanghai for over a decade.

  19. Rich says:

    May 5th, 2008 at 8:14 am


    That was my understanding as well. My partner has a few theories about those who get in. All about placement, a good sign, and dressing up.


    Arg. A few jokes about expats being in China too long and the reputation preceding them come to mind, but those are just my friends. Sounds like a horrible experience for your friend. Was he given any reason?


  20. Nrupesh says:

    May 5th, 2008 at 11:49 am


    Can you reveal the origin country of the friend whose visa was canceled? This is the first case I heard of this happening at Pudong… I guess everyone has to be very careful now.


    Yep, it is definitely about dressing up and talking nicely to the immigration guys. I have yet to leave or enter China without wearing a tie, that makes all the difference.


  21. Len says:

    May 5th, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    “Yep, it is definitely about dressing up and talking nicely to the immigration guys. I have yet to leave or enter China without wearing a tie, that makes all the difference.”

    Or you can wear a tshirt, shorts, and tennis shoes..have a big gut with a camera
    and strap hanging on your neck. Then they wil know you are with a US tour group.

  22. Amit says:

    May 5th, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    Now, here it comes from the horses mouth. I came to china in January this year with a 3 months VISA in hand.. and applied for a Work Permit in Guangzhou. Eventually.. it did get rejected.. yes rejected.. then i applied form Shanghai.. and yet another blow… Rejected !! Something is definitely wrong with the two nations.. Probably its about some Bilateral rejection between the two nations.. I and C… my Visa is expiring on 18th of May.. and will apply for a normal Visit Visa again from HK.. lets see.. will keep you guys posted.


  23. Nrupesh says:

    May 5th, 2008 at 11:17 pm


    Did they give any reason for rejecting the Z Visa/Work permit?


  24. Jonas says:

    May 7th, 2008 at 6:46 am


    i have a multiple entry visa issued in hong kong; hoping that this won’t be canceled out of the blue, i still have one question: is it in any way possible NOT to leave the country after 30 days, say by paying an extension fee somewhere inside the country? Any experiences?


  25. Flexible emmigrant says:

    May 7th, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    All Visa news now is likely to be bad news, based on current developments only.

    If you don’t have a visa already then expect a hard time getting one is my comment.

    I work for a translation company in Beijing and my HR department phoned me to ask if I had got a visa through the company (the one I work for), which requires them going to fill in papers for three months.

    Guess what my answers was likely to be? (not hard based on what most non-executive people do in Beijing).

    Before it was so much less trouble …looks like the government iws expecting people to be a bit more honbest now, but surely it’s a double-sided coin, they must make the system more accessible for people with a valid reason to be here, i.e.
    someone wants to employ me over a Chinese person, or that they cannot find a qualified Chinese person to do my job :-/

    Just because I am a foreigner I am not inevitably thirsting to go out of my way to land China with a bad name!

  26. Flexible emmigrant says:

    May 7th, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    It sounded like my HR were asking because another foreigner wanted to start working here, Obviously this visa issue is important to them too. I’d expect maybe things are desperate, given the not too substantial local rate salary I get!

  27. Moebius says:

    May 7th, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    Just a note for fairgoers:

    This year’s Canton Fair (Spring and most likely Fall) requires all PRC and/or local representatives to undergo a criminal records check and additional documentation prior to procurement of passes. For Local Representatives without Canton Fair’s Invitation for Foreign Company’s Representative Office in China, admission fee (RMB300 / person / day) and relevant documents are required.

    Translators not officially working for the Canton Fair Liaisons office are not allowed.
    Contact via :

    They had posted the new regulations and document requirements but have removed the notice; though they are still in effect till further notice.

    Canton Fair is now Three Stages
    Phase I (Oct 15-19); Phase II (Oct 24-28); Phase III (Nov 2-6)
    Check webnotice below for details on exhibition categories affected.

  28. Mar says:

    May 12th, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    Does anyone know if it is possible to transfer from an F visa to an X visa (student) within China and not have to leave the country to get it activated? I know this used to be ok, but with the new rules… just not sure if it’s a gamble.

    I am currently in the States and will return to China mid-June. My multiple entry F visa expires July 20th. It seems going back to language study is my only option right now, which is fine, need to brush up on the ole characters!

  29. Nrupesh says:

    May 13th, 2008 at 12:51 am


    As far as I know and from what I have read on various blogs, student visas are also not being issued anymore till mid-october. Any student whose current student visa expires anytime until october also has to leave China and get a new visa to come back in.


  30. Mike says:

    May 14th, 2008 at 5:12 am

    One of my colleagues (we teach at a university in Suihua), gave me a note that said visas would be renewed for 30 days only. She said that visas had to be renewed every 30 days, and that meant leaving the country to do so. I think she is not looking at the big picture here. This is all based on the security issues surrounding the Olympics. We have multiple-entry Z visas for our positions. Her visa is actually good until next spring. Has anyone heard anything about cancellations of Z visas by the government? I personally think she is a bit extreme in her judgement. Thanks.

  31. Nrupesh says:

    May 14th, 2008 at 11:16 am


    No cancellations of Z Visas, but I have heard from a few of my friends ( First hand ) that since they have a registered representative office their Z visas were only renewed for between 7 to 30 days… they wont resort to canceling Z visas as that would really screw up things for businesses here.


  32. sam says:

    May 15th, 2008 at 3:22 am

    my multi-entry visa F canceled ..not in border .. the polic immigration in the street ask any forigner about his passport .
    i have Jordanien passport .. maybe it’s true just middle east have some problem.
    but i think its just the olympic. and they are worry about it.

  33. ire says:

    May 16th, 2008 at 1:14 am

    Sam…what!?!? Where do u live?
    I have a multiple entry F Visa that expires in July…and i ve been sick worried of even walking around…guess i was right!
    also my new company s tryin to get me a work permit, and we ve applied 1 week ago…bt so far, no response….guess i wont be getting that anytime soon!

  34. eric says:

    May 17th, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    i am from the philippines,is it possible to get my visa in lowu bprder of shenzhen? My visa is gonna expired on june 11..

    I am stress now and confused, i’l just need 10 more days..please help me….


  35. eric says:

    May 17th, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    please give me some suggestions if there is a must for me and other filipinos to go bact of their origin..


  36. Daniel says:

    May 18th, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    I have a multiple entry L visa that I got from SF embassy in Febuary, it expires in Febuary of ’09 and durration of each stay is 60 days. I’m living with my girlfriend in shanghai and plan to go to hong kong every couple months to keep visa legit, does this sound like a case for visa to be rejected at border?

  37. paby says:

    May 22nd, 2008 at 12:11 am

    I dont think so it should be rejected.But frankly rules over here change faster than u can say jack robinson,so you just need yourself to be clued on a little bit more.

  38. paby says:

    May 22nd, 2008 at 12:13 am

    Louhu border has stopped issuing visas and so has the consulate at harbour road in hong kong.You have to go back to Phillipines for your visa renewal.sorry mate.

  39. Harry says:

    May 22nd, 2008 at 2:56 am

    Yeah, Thats right I too had a multiple visa till the end of this September but last week the authority called me up and said that they are changing my student visa to a tourist visa and have asked me to leave the country within 10 days. When I asked what was the problem they simply said it was from the “High Command” but didn’t said the real problem and about the next semester they said I have to get a new visa in my native country. I think these Chinese authority is playing with students future. not good

  40. Nrupesh says:

    May 22nd, 2008 at 3:28 am

    Just heard from a friend in Yiwu, he has a legal Z Visa and when he went for renewal of Z visa he got a 2 day extension and was asked to leave the country ( Yep just TWO days ). Apparently anyone who has just a representative office and has a Z visa based on that is getting only max. 15 days extensions on their Z visas.

    Just when we thought that Z visas were safe…


  41. Iqbal says:

    May 22nd, 2008 at 7:04 am

    I am CEO of one of top printing company in Pakistan, would like to draw your attention towards the bad behaviour of Chinese immigration department at Shenzhen Huanggang Custom at 20:45 on 20th of May, 2008.
    I applied my Chinese Visa along with all necessary required documents and got Visa as per procedure of Chinese embassy in Islamabad-Pakistan on 31th of March, 2008.
    I also got Hong Kong Visa (Double entry) and Thai Visa (double entry) to cover-up my whole journey. The purpose to got Hong Kong Visa was to open my company Bank account with HSBC as I had already formed a Limited company on July 2007. After completion of Bank formalities I planned to go to China for the negotiation of different Raw Materials and for some Machines. All appointments with the suppliers were scheduled.
    But when I showed my passport to the immigration officer, she asks me to go with another officer for further checking and interrogation. I followed and they ask me to sit down at a stool that was outside of immigration office. I sit there about more than one hour without any reply from them. They appointed two Police officers to watch me.
    After more than one hour they take me to interrogation room and check my body with a scanner and after that they instruct me to put down all things from my pockets and minutely checked step by step. Latterly they checked my entire luggage including my Laptop computer and asked me to run this computer. I did all that they required. I was very much surprised what is going to be happened with me. After that one Police officer came with camera and took my photographs with different angles. He also takes many photos of all my documents and luggage. Finally after more than one hour they asked me to sign a document in Chinese. I refused because I can’t understand any Chinese so he forced me to sign. I told them that I would not sign unless I knew what document I would be signed. After that one person came and point to the each sentence and speaks in English and he assures me that what he said is same as mentioned in that Document in Chinese. He asked me to sign document again with a note written by me that”I already got all thing in my luggage after checking”. I wrote same and signed.
    This all procedure took more than three hours, in the meantime I requested them to go to wash room, but they refused me. I’m patient of high blood pressure and was feeling much uncomfortable at that moment. I thought I would be falling down in soon, I felt my eyes was in pain and my heart beat was abnormal. At 23:45, a person told me that “On the behalf of Chinese law, you are not welcome to China”. I asked them that did they find some problem with my visa or passport. They said “No”, so I asked them that why they cancelled my visa. They replied “on the behalf of Chinese Law, I have right not to answering your question”. They didn’t give me any refusal document, just asked a bus driver to send me to Hong Kong Custom. I arrived at my hotel in Hong Kong about 3:00 am.
    I always trip to all over the world for my business and still have valid visas of UK and USA. I frequently visit China for my business and last year 2007, I visited 3-times.
    This is my first time to get so bad experience with Chinese immigration.

  42. Morten says:

    May 22nd, 2008 at 10:07 am

    WARNING! If you haven’t registred at the local police station – do it now. The police knocked at our door today (we are here for thre months only for holiday, on tourist-visas – me, my wife and our daughter), They asked for our registration, took our passports – and asked us to go to the police station. At the police station they wrote a report and told us we will be fined 500 yuan each, our visas will be cancelled and we have to leave the country within 10 days from when we get our passports back (probably next week). Why? Because we didn’t register at the local police station… This happened in Beijing today (22 March), we are from North Europe.

  43. Will says:

    May 22nd, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    I had a multi entry L Visa valid until December 08. However my passport was full with no space left for more stamps.
    I have just received my new passport, but the Chinese embassy in Singapore will not transfer my Chinese Visa to my new passport.
    I now have to apply for a new visa, and multi entry is not available. Double entry 30 days is the max.
    I travel to China so often that I will now have to get a new visa every other week!
    I will waste 10% of my time doing applications, and waiting in the embassy, before i even consider the cost of all those visas.
    This and the increasing costs in China means the end of my business with Chinese factories.

  44. sean says:

    May 23rd, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Has anybody been issued a multiple entry China visa in HK recently. It seems that it is impossible to get multiple entry visa now and but the Chinese govenment saiid that they still issued multiple entry visa. Any experience to share?

  45. till says:

    May 26th, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    I work as English language teacher for a school in Inner Mongolia, My residence permit/Z visa expires July 3 this year and my school just tried renewing my foreign experts License in vain. They were told by the foreign Experts Bureau to hold on for a while.I am obliged to leave china before the visa actually expires come July 3.We are told no more visa renewals until well after the Olympic games,

  46. John says:

    May 28th, 2008 at 8:20 am

    I guess the olympics will be plenty secure if they keep everyone out.

  47. Vincent says:

    May 29th, 2008 at 3:07 am

    whats the point of trying to keep people out? most countries would welcome the chance to earn some revenue that would be generated by the hordes of tourists going to Beijing or other parts of the country, and the worst part is that the government did not give warnings prior to the implementation of these new rules. i am currently a student in Malaysia and i went to the Chinese embassy to apply for a visa to visit my gf in china but after being informed that i had to provide a plethora of documentation coupled with the fact that there was a great possibility that i might not get the visa to goto china i decided to try other ways. i guess my best bet would be to wait for the Olympics to finish and then goto china and from research i found out that i would have to wait till the 18th of October!!! Does anyone know whether i could ask my gf who is in china to visit the ministry of foreign affairs to apply for a single entry visa for me? is there a chance i could get the visa that way?

  48. David says:

    May 29th, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    Vincent: Just apply for a tourist visa and don’t tell them you are seeing your gf. Say you are sightseeing. good luck

  49. tammy Hughes says:

    May 31st, 2008 at 1:36 am

    I have a multiple entry “F” visa that was issued on JUly 24,2007.It says enter before July 24,2008. I entered China for the first time on this one year visa in S3ptember 20.2007. When will my visa expire. I am concerned as renewing before the olympics would be difficult. Tammy

  50. J- says:

    May 31st, 2008 at 1:46 am


    I’ve been traveling back and forth between HK and China on a double entry visa (since I can’t get a multiple from HK). Turns out that I’ll be able head home to the U.S. next week. I’m considering going to the consulate there and applying for a multiple.

    1) Have they been giving out multiple entries in the US consulates lately?
    2) If I still have an entry on my passport will I get in trouble for applying for a new one?
    3) Can I use my Australian passport to apply for a multiple entry (will I get in trouble for having 2 valid China visas at one time)?


  51. Jerome Cole says:

    June 6th, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Most of this is hogwash.

    If you have a proper residence permit that allows you to work then you will most likely have no problems renewing it. The PSB is being more strict. They are requiring more documents. But if you are doing everything on the level you will most likely have no trouble.

    Ditto for student visas. I have been in China for five years with a residence permit that allows me to work. In the fall I will begin a degree program at Jinan University. The university’s foreign affairs office has reported absolutely no problems with students getting their residence permits renewed. I went in person to the Entry/Exit Office of the PSB here in Guangzhou and they took my passport, did a quick computer check, and said no problem. They are giving me a tourist visa to bridge the gap between the time my present residence permit expires and when I can get my new one in August.

    Just keep your paperwork in order, follow the law, be polite, and you will be okay.

    If you are one of those fools who has been here ten years on L and F visas then you are just reaping what you have sown. You won’t get any sympathy from me..

    One last piece of advice. Go to the PSB. Ask them what they need. Don’t get yourself worked up over rumors.

  52. john says:

    July 4th, 2008 at 3:11 am

    can i extend my 10 day tourist visa

  53. jack says:

    July 27th, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    This will make your butthole pucker working here got issued another one year visa for new company that i was working at valid july 2008 -july 2009 was called back to visa office cancelled new visa given l visa and have to leave in 10 days will have to do new visa for new employer in the usa sucks

  54. Doug Elmhurst says:

    September 12th, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Hi,I’am Canadian can I get a China visa at the airport in Hong Kong as I did last year in Oct.2007 or do I have to get one in Canada before I go ? I’m going to see family and what type of visa do I need . thanks..Doug

  55. ali says:

    October 12th, 2009 at 4:29 am

    I was arrest in guanzu china for 6month my visa was cancelled they give me exit visa can i applay for reinter to china agin