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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 May. 05, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Overstaying in China & Penalty
Asked by Eddie from USA | May. 21, 2019 23:58Reply
Transfer of visa regulations: Shenyang to Dandong
I have a work permit for an English school in Shenyang which ends on June 3 which is my last day of work. So far, I've signed two documents: a work release document and a resignation document (离职证明). I've been told by Dandong that they need my work release document in order to apply for a new work permit. That document is still being processed by the Shenyang PSB as far as I know. My concern is that I will violate Chinese law during the transition process. Could you advise me on whether or not I have anything to worry about. More questions to follow depending on your answer. Thank you in advance.
Asked by June from CHINA | May. 21, 2019 21:29Reply
Foreigner gave birth in China
I recently gave birth to my child and I can’t leave China till mid July when I graduate. Now my problem is my embassy can only make a temporary passport for the child which is valid for a month than I have to renew it every month till july. What if I have passed on day without going to renew residence at the police station? And how long can a baby stay without a visa in China? Because I am yet to apply for a visa for the child due to the temporary passport??? Assistance please
Asked by Gabriel from ZAMBIA | May. 21, 2019 03:15Reply
I had a problem with my school and I ended up overstaying for 5days
which I paid 2500 and requested to leave as the school couldn’t prove my payments to the accountant so denied to give me the necessary paperwork can I re enter to finish my major, also have a time I got the same problem but it was by hours and was not fined
Answers (1)
Answered by John Doe | May. 21, 2019 13:48

Any residence permit you currently hold should be cancelled by the EEA already, so you must enter with a new X1 visa. Whether you can get one is up to the local embassy or consulate.
Asked by Nayo from ENGLAND | May. 19, 2019 20:49Reply
I’ve overstayed unintentionally by 25 days.
I got on a flight from Beijing to xian and now I’m stuck here- I don’t know what to do. Help me :(
Answers (2)
Answered by Amber from UNITED KINGDOM | May. 21, 2019 01:57

You should go to the exit and entry management department of the local public security bureau to apply for a visa extension and then leave China.
Answered by John Doe | May. 21, 2019 13:44

FYI 25 days is enough for a multi-year ban from China for some nationalities, although given most British citizens got 2-year visas it is uncommon for them to overstay this long.
Asked by Job from VIETANM | May. 19, 2019 09:24Reply
Change of passports
I have a problem with my passport and i started using another passport and now the passport have problem , but now I want to use the old passport to enter china ,
Answers (1)
Answered by John Doe | May. 21, 2019 13:45

China now collects and verifies fingerprints at the border and hence you may be arrested for using falsified travel documents.
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