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Warden Message from the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou: Chinese Visa Policy Tightens


Courtesy of the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou


Date:  August 6, 2007

Warden Message: Chinese Visa Policy Tightens


The Entry and Exit Administration Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security has tightened its regulations pertaining to the issuance, renewal and alteration of visas.  The changes took effect July 2007.  For the foreseeable future, it will no longer be possible to change tourist (L) and exchange (F) -type visas to other types.  Many applications that formerly could be handled by a representative now must be completed in person by the applicant.  Additionally, express visa service is no longer available.  Enforcement has tightened of entry and exit violations, with recent reports of police, school administrators and hotel staff checking to ensure that foreigners have not overstayed their visas.


Please be advised that current regulations state that the penalty for overstaying a visa is 500 RMB per day of overstay, not to exceed 5000 RMB and/or detention.  The period of detention can range from 5-30 days depending on the severity of the violation.  Detention may be longer than 30 days in the case that the authorities believe that the foreigner was involved in criminal activity. The Embassy is aware of several recent detentions of American citizens relating to visa overstays and violating the terms of their visas (i.e. working while on a visitor’s visa).


For more information, please consult with you local Public Security Bureau’s Entry and Exit office or logon to Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau’s English language website at


U.S. citizens residing or traveling in China are reminded to register with the U.S. Embassy or closest U.S. Consulate by entering your travel itinerary and contact information at In case of difficulties registering online, please contact the closest U.S, Embassy or Consulate.

U.S. Embassy Beijing:   No. 2 Xiu Shui Dong Jie, Chaoyang District.  tel: 86-10-6532-3431 Email: Embassy’s website:

U.S. Consulate General Chengdu:  Number 4, Lingshiguan Road, Section 4, Renmin Nanlu, Chengdu 610041, tel. 86-28-8558-3992 Email:

U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou:   The Consular Section is located at 5th Floor, Tianyu Garden (II phase), 136-146 Lin He Zhong Lu, Tianhe District,  tel. (86-20) 8518-7605; Email:

U.S. Consulate General Shanghai:  The Consular Section is located in the Westgate Mall, 8th Floor, 1038 Nanjing Xi Lu, Shanghai 200031; tel. (86-21) 3217-4650, Email:


U.S. Consulate General Shenyang:  No. 52, 14th Wei Road, Heping District, Shenyang 110003; tel. (86-24) 2322-2374, Email



American Citizen Services

U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou

Tel: (86-20) 8518-7605

        (86-20) 8121-6077 (after-hours duty officer for emergencies only)

Fax: (86-20) 3884-4410


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