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Overstaying in China & Penalty

Overstaying, also called illegal residence, means that one remains in a country after his/her visa or residence permit has expired. If an alien’s total length of stay in China exceeds the appointed time on the visa, it will be deemed to have overstayed the visa. For instance, if a foreigner enters China on June 19 with a 30-day visa, he is supposed to leave on July 19. Since the stay length in China is counted from 00:00 the next morning following the entry date, if the foreigner leaves on July 22, he will have overstayed his visa by three days.

Note that if the scheduled time on your departure ticket is later than your visa’s expiration time, you will be regarded as having overstayed even if you go through the immigration inspection before the visa expiration time. However, if your scheduled departure time precedes the visa expiration time, but the carrier changes the schedule, you won’t have overstayed your visa.

Do I Have A Grace Period?

According to the current policy, there is no grace period for illegal aliens overstaying in China, so overstaying your visa is not recommended. However, if you have overstayed your China visa for only one or two days, go to the exit and entry administration of the local PSB (Public Security Bureau) to apologize and explain the reasons. In this case, you might not need to pay the fine.

What Are the Penalties for Overstaying in China & How Much Does It Cost?

Based on the current immigration regulations, there are different punishments to foreigners according to the length of the overstay. 
1. Aliens overstaying the visa or residence permit for a short period will be given a warning and be required to pay a fine. Usually, the penalty is CNY500 per day not to exceed CNY10,000. 
2. If one overstays the visa for a significant period, usually over one month, he might be put into a detention camp for 5 to 15 days and repatriated to his home country. It's possible he will be blacklisted, which will affect his re-entry to China, and he may be prohibited from entering the country for ten years. In addition to this, it might also influence one's visa application for other countries.

What Can I Do after Overstaying?

If you have overstayed your visa in mainland China, you should report your situation to the local police station as soon as possible, pay the fine, and then apply for an exit permit to leave the country.

How Do I Prevent Unintentional Overstaying in China?

In order to prevent unintentional overstaying, ​you should remember your date of entering the country and length of your visa. Moreover, you should learn how to calculate the stay length. Understanding that the stay length is counted from the next day is critical to prevent overstaying in China unintentionally. In addition, if you want to stay longer, you can apply for an extension 7 days before your visa expires.
- Last modified on Jan. 21, 2021 -
Questions & Answers on Overstaying in China & Penalty
Asked by Alex from NETHERLANDS | Jan. 24, 2021 23:47Reply
Denied boarding before arriving at the airport and saying 3 days over,
my original flight is jan 29 altough i can not fligh back due the transit errors in that country.
My visa experice 31. and the first flight that goes diractly to my country is Feb 3 is it able to make an exuse?
Asked by Pauline from KENYA | Jan. 21, 2021 01:28Reply
Pu letter
Who qualifies for a PU letter? Can a kindergarten teacher qualify?
Asked by Ana | Jan. 18, 2021 19:18Reply
Does an overstay show on the non-criminal check?
I accidentally overstayed my visa by two days and was given a warning. Will it show on my non-criminal check if I get one?
Answers (1)
Answered by Lesley | Jan. 24, 2021 19:58

Don't worry, it won't show on your non-criminal check.
Asked by Robert from GERMANY | Jan. 12, 2021 21:26Reply
Question regarding the penalty payment.
My Beijing family reunion residence permit is valid until 17 January.

On 11 January, I was at the Beijing PSB. However my Chinese wife's Residence Permit of Beijing had expired.

So I have to wait and resubmit with my wife's valid Residence Permit of Beijing. Expected date 19.1

My question regarding the penalty payment.
Will the penalty be calculated from 17.1 to the day of the new application (e.g. 19 January)?

or 17.1 until the date on which the new residence permit will be is issued, e.g. 30.1?
Answers (2)
Answered by Karen | Jan. 18, 2021 01:20

Robert, it will be calculated from the day that your residence permit expires to the day you submit the new application.
Answered by Robert | Jan. 18, 2021 02:41

Asked by Nick from UNITED KINGDOM | Jan. 10, 2021 07:25Reply
At what point in the airport do you leave China and until when does the visa protect you?
I’m looking at a flight from Zhengzhou to London via Shanghai and then Vienna. The flight leaves Zhengzhou at 3:30pm on Jan 31st. That flight will arrive in Shanghai at 5:25pm and the departing flight from Shanghai to Vienna leaves at 00:10am the next day. My visa expires on Jan 31st. Am I protected?
Answers (2)
Answered by Howard | Jan. 18, 2021 01:15

Nick, it is okay to leave from Zhengzhou before the last minute on Jan 31st.
Answered by Nick | Jan. 18, 2021 04:19

Thank you for your reply, Howard.
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