How to extend a visa in Shenzhen (or elsewhere)


I have some questions about extending a visa in Shenzhen.

I have a double entry tourist visa in my passport (it is a Western European passport).

I have already used the first entry of my visa. (I crossed the border to Hong Kong and came back to Shenzhen to activate the second entry of the visa).

Now, I want to extend the second entry of the visa if possible.

  1. Should I do it in Shenzhen or would it be better in a smaller city?

  2. Can I just go to a hostel and ask them to sign me in and hand me a registration form of temporary residence (the pink form)?

  3. I should be staying at the hostel/hotel the same night as I apply for the extension, right? (Not the day before).

  4. How many days will the PSB likely extend the visa? 14, 30 or another number of days?

  5. How many times can I extend the visa?

  6. When is the best time to apply for an extension at the Public Security Bureau (PSB)? 10 days before expiry of the old visa? 5 days before? Or some other number of days?

  7. Will they give me back the extended visa the same day? Someone said that the extension voids the old visa. So then it would make sense to wait for as long as possible before applying for an extension. But if it takes a couple of days to get the extension I would need to know that in advance. E. g. if it takes 7 days to receive the extension (or if it's issued on the same day).


  • Hi Vesa. I resisted the temptation to VTC for being too broad, 'cause I'm sure you can reword this to be a little less...questioning :-D Each question must contain, at max, one question. Or a few of them strictly related so to help people who answer to focus on what exactly need to know. But here you have way too many sub-question, can you please split this post in two or three, and write them so it's not a list of sub-questions?
    – motoDrizzt
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 7:28
  • 1
    @motoDrizzt These questions are very closely related. I don't think the question is too broad; the bulleted list certainly couldn't be asked as seven separate questions. Commented May 31, 2017 at 9:38
  • @DavidRicherby I didn't write the rules :-D the question as it is written now is against them. I've got the feeling it could be separated in two different questions, one covering points 1 to 3, and one points 4 to 7. They are different aspects of the question, and would be two good questions (and answers) useful for other people.
    – motoDrizzt
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 9:45
  • @DavidRicherby I didn't VTC, however.
    – motoDrizzt
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 9:45
  • 2
    @motoDrizzt OK, but that's not how Stack Exchange works. A question that's been "put on hold" (the official term) can always be reopened when it's been improved. Since there's no mechanism for coming back to a question a couple of days later to see if it's been improved, delaying close votes tends to result in bad questions being left open because people forgot to check if they'd been fixed. Commented May 31, 2017 at 10:15

1 Answer 1


The Travel China Guide, the largest tour operator in China, offers instructions which may address your concerns.

China Visa Application in China (Renewals and Extension)

If you have any doubts about your situation you should enquire at a Chinese Consulate or at a Public Security Bureau Entry and Exit Administration office within mainland PRC. Any postal or couriered applications from individuals are not accepted.

Application in China (Renewals and Extensions)

It is not possible to renew, extend a visa or change into another type. However, if you want to spend more time here, want a multiple entry, or need to have a different type, you can - in many circumstances – apply within China. The procedure is very similar to applying outside through Chinese embassy, but you must go to the Public Security Bureau (PSB) Exit and Entry Administration office for the municipality where you will be 'resident' on the night following the submission of the application. Smaller centers might not have good English speakers so it is a good idea to take a Chinese friend with you if you can. Ask at international hotels if you are not sure where the PSB Exit and Entry Administration office is.

The new visa runs from the date of issue (a small difference compared with those issued outside China which do not start until entry) and the old one is cancelled at that time. So, you cannot have two concurrent visas such as a student X and a work Z. It is not a good idea to apply until the old one is about to expire as you want to use every day issued on the old one. According to the new regulation 2013, you have to submit application for extension at least 7 days before its expiration. The PSB officers will issue you with a return receipt once they accepted your application and make the final decision within 7 days. That is to say, there is no gap between visas. Because when you get the new one, the old one becomes invalid. If you are late applying, you have overstayed and are subject to a fine and possible expulsion.

If you run into difficulties when at the PSB, it is a waste of time getting irate or trying to bluster your way through, it simply doesn't work. Stay cool and you will generally find the officials help and explain all they can.

Currently, it seems that one month is the standard period for regular tourist L extension issued in PRC. Longer ones are available in some situations such as for persons married to Chinese nationals.

Complete the application form from the PSB Exit and Entry Administration office for the locality where you are registered as residing the night of the application, (ie AFTER you apply). It is probably easiest to take the application in yourself. If you have a friend submit your application there are additional regulations.

The section what you must submit for application explains what you need to get together before you apply. One point is that you must include 'photocopies of your passport bio-data page, your current visa, and your last entry stamp; financial support with RMB 21,000 for a 30 days extension (USD 100 per day) - a stamped balance inquiry from Bank of China will do the trick; and a residency registration'. The residency registration comes from the regulation that all foreigners must register their accommodation details within 24 hours of arriving (48 hours in remote areas) – as explained below.

If you are staying in a hotel certified to accommodate foreigners - this excludes most budget hotels, but youth hostels affiliated to the Chinese YHA are ok – they can provide you with a hotel accommodation registration slip, (旅馆住宿登记 lü guan zhu su deng ji) for the night of the date you are making the application, not the one before! If you are not staying in a hotel, you must obtain an accommodation registration printout from the police station for the area you are living - and where you should already have registered. So if you are staying in a non accredited hotel or with friends or in an apartment but have not registered, you should either register or stay in an accredited hotel for one night in order to get the slip.

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