All you need to know about Chinese visa extension and how to do it in Lijiang step by step
We all know China is a huge land rich in culture and history, and it’s one of the top 5 countries in the world with the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. So, let’s be honest, 30 days on your Chinese visa is clearly not going to be enough!
There is a way to extend your visa while in the country and it should be simple if you follow these steps.
Chinese visa extension tips:
– You can apply for the extension within one week before the expiry of your visa.
– Choose a relatively small town which is easy to navigate in, as you will probably need to jump around town a lot. We did our in Lijiang (Yunnan province).
– Devote an entire day to the process and you will also need to wait around 3-5 days for the application to be processed.
Chinese visa extension step by step:
1) Register in a hotel
The night before you apply, you should stay in a registered hotel, hostel or guest-house (one night is enough). In Lonely Planet and some other internet sources you might find information if the place you are staying at will register you with the police. That’s true, but this process usually takes 10 days, so it’s way too long for anybody to sit around, especially if your visa is coming to an end. In this case you will have to register yourself at a local police station and get a registration voucher which you will then show in a local PSB (Public Security Bureau) office.
Make sure you pick up your hostel’s business card so you have their address written in Chinese characters.
2) First visit in a PSB office
Go to a local PSB office, show them where you are staying and they will tell you which local police station you need to go to in order to get registered.
This is the address of the PSB office in Lijiang (show it to a taxi driver or a passer-by to find the place without the map).
Address: 110 Taihe Street
Telephone number: (0888) 5188437
Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 8.30-11.30 am & 3.00-5.30 pm.
3) Visit a local police station to get the registration voucher
The location of the local police station you can get registered at depends on where in town you are staying (there might be a few different stations, the bigger the city is).
If you do your Chinese visa extension in Lijiang, there are two police stations you can use depending on where in town your hostel is located. If you are staying south of Changshui road you need to go to the southern police station (check the map). If you are staying north of that road, you need to go to Xian police station located near the Xiangshan market.
This is the address of the northern police station which is the one you will probably be using if you will stay around the old town.
4) Get your photos taken
This is a pain as you cannot use any photos you have brought with you (even those you used to get your Chinese visa in the first place), as you need to go to an accredited photo shop which will take your photos as well as put your data in a computer system and print a special receipt.
In order to find out which photo shop you can use, ask at your local PSB office.
In the case of Lijiang, we had to use ‘Liz Show Photo Gallery’. Here is the address:
To apply for the Chinese visa extension you will need one photo and a special receipt that proves that your data is in their computer system.
Cost: 40 Yuan.
5) Second visit at the PSB office – applying for the extension
Now you finally have all the documents you need and you can go and apply for your visa extension. Take with you:
- You passport
- Registration voucher from the police station
- New photos
- Receipt of China Visa Photography
- The address of your hostel
The officer will not keep your passport and your visa extension will be ready in 2-3 working days. You can visit Tiger Leaping Gorge while you are waiting.
6) Collect your visa extension
When your visa extension is ready, go and collect it at the PSB office. Check if everything is ok and pay with the exact change. It costs 160 Yuan.
written by: Ania