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China Visa Extension, Renewal and Reissue

Navigating the complexities of extending or renewing your visa in China can be daunting. This comprehensive guide is designed to demystify the process, providing you with a step-by-step approach to ensure a successful application.

The distinctions between Chinese visa extension, renewal, and reissue

Let’s delve into the distinctions between Chinese visa extension, renewal, and reissue before we start preparing the application:

1. Visa Extension:

Purpose: Suitable for travelers are already in China to prolong their stay in China beyond the duration permitted by their current visa.

Important Note: Chinese embassies and consulates generally do not extend the validity of an already issued visa. Instead, they grant an extension of the duration of stay. 

2. Visa Renewal:

Purpose: When travelers want to switch from one type of visa to another within China (e.g., from a tourist visa to a work visa). 

Important Note: It is not possible to renew or change an existing China visa into another type once it is issued.

3. Visa Reissue:

Purpose: When your visa is lost, damaged, or contains errors.

Important Note: Reissuing a visa rectifies issues with the existing one without changing its type or validity.

Note: This guideline applicable to foreigners who entered China with ordinary visas and need to stay for non-diplomatic or unofficial purposes.

When and Where to Extend or Renewal Chinese Visa

After entering China, if you want to extend or renewal your Chinese visa, you should apply for a visa extension at least 7 days before your current visa expires. This ensures you have sufficient time for processing and avoids overstaying, which could result in fines or deportation.

Application Location: Visit the Exit & Entry Administration Office of the Public Security Bureau in the city where you are residing. Here are some locations in Beijing where you can apply:

Exit-Entry Administration Reception Hall of Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau:

  • Address: No. 2, Dong Avenue, An Ding Men, Dongcheng District (southeast corner of Bei Xiao Jie Bridge, Second Ring Road).

Exit-Entry Administration & Foreigner Service Center of Zhongguancun Science Park:

  • Address: No. Jia 22, Shuang Yu Shu Bei Li, Haidian District.

Exit-Entry Administration & Foreigner Service Center of Chaoyang Sub-bureau:

  • Address: 1st & 2nd Floor, Building 304, BEZ IT PARK, No. Jia 10, Jiu Xian Qiao Bei Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing (available for specific categories of foreign applicants).

What Materials Need to be Prepared

Gathering the necessary documentation is a crucial step in the visa extension or renewal process. While the exact requirements may vary depending on your visa type and individual circumstances, the following are commonly requested documents:

Basic materials:

1. Valid passport or other international travel document

2. Fill in the application form for foreigners' visa documents: 外国人签证证件申请表VISA/ STAY PERMIT / RESIDENCE PERMIT APPLICATION FORM

3. a passport sized photo

Supporting materials:

Supporting materials related to the application purposes. For example, tourists with L visas should submit travel plan arrangements when applying for visa extension, and group Tours should also submit travel agency certification letters. 

Travelers applying for visa renewing, such as L (Tourism) visa for M (Business) visa, should submit a letter of certification issued by the inviting unit, and can be renewed for zero, one, two or multiple visas with entry validity no more than 1 year and stay no more than 180 days.

If the visa is lost or stolen, the applicant shall submit a certificate of reporting the loss of his passport or a note from the diplomatic and consular missions of his home country in China, as well as a new valid passport or other international travel documents.

If the visa is damaged, the applicant shall present the damaged passport or a note from the embassy or consulate of the country to which he belongs, as well as a new valid passport or other international travel documents.

Other procedures to be performed and supporting materials to be submitted.

Basic application steps

1. Gathering all required documents: Ensure all your paperwork is complete and accurate.

2. Visiting the local PSB office: Submit your application in person unless otherwise stated.

3. Paying the application fee: Fees vary based on nationality and visa type.

4. Awaiting processing: The standard processing time can range from a few days to a week.

5. Collecting your passport: Once approved, you will receive your passport with the new visa.


Visa extension, renewal or reissue fees are contingent on your nationality and the type of visa you hold. Fees typically range from CNY 160 to CNY 960. It's advisable to verify the exact amount with the local PSB office or through official channels.