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I just managed to get a friend to scan my Chinese visa in my expired passport at home while I'm on the road on my next trip.

I need this to show when I apply for a multiple entry visa to China in a few weeks as they require evidence that I didn't overstay on two previous visits to qualify for the broader visa.

On the scan I note that there is only one stamp from China immigration, on the page facing the Chinese visa. The date is for the time I exited on my second visit of that double-entry visa.

It's within the realm of possibility that China only stamps a passport at the end of the last visit the visa is good for. But I assume there are probably two entry stamps and one other exit stamp on another page. Is this a correct assumption or do they actually record some of the entries and exits just electronically? (I know Australia doesn't stamp passports any more and does it all electronically, for instance.)

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    I once had a double entry visa for China but never used the second entry. I'm sure I got the exit stamp. They can never be certain you come back after you exited, so I'm pretty sure they always stamp your passport when exiting. – Peter Hahndorf Apr 30 '15 at 10:18
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Speaking from experience (2 double-entry visas for me, and a few multi-entry visas for someone else), there's definitely both an entry and an exit stamp for each entry.

Of course, there can always be exceptions - I don't think passport stamps are ever 100% reliable - some border agents may not know all the rules, etc. Some border crossings can be really strange - e.g. land border between Kyrgyzstan and China - it's really easy to miss a stamp there.

Did the Chinese consulate ask you for a scan of your previous Chinese visas or did they also ask for entry/exit stamps? If it's the former, chances are they're just going to look up your information by the visa number in some database (but I'm just guessing here).

  • Actually I got my knowledge of what the embassy will want by asking questions here, but also from info on the wall at the consulate in Saigon, who only issues single-entry visas in any case. I just want to be sure I have as much stuff ready as possible when I actually apply in Vientiane. One of the answers here said I'd have to provide it rather than them checking their database. – hippietrail Apr 30 '15 at 14:01
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Looking at my passport, I can assure you that the standard is to stamp on each entry and on each exit - on the first empty page of the passport, not (necessarily) on the opposite page of the visa. Since multiple entry visa can last a year, and you might travel to other countries between your first and last visit on the visa, there might be other stamps and stickers beyond the page of the China Visa.

Also, the page opposite of the China visa might be used by other immigration officers. On one of my pages opposite the China visa I can find Phillipine and Taiwan stamps. On the following pages then multiple Chinese stamps.

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