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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 Sep. 07, 2020 -
Questions & Answers on Overstaying in China & Penalty
Asked by Dawn from USA | Sep. 17, 2020 08:33Reply
Overstayed tourist visa
A family member has been living in China teaching English on a Tourist visa since July 2019. They came home to the US for a visit 2/2020 and then returned as they had pets and an apt to get back to. They were able to make at least 1 border crossing before the borders were closed.
They recently moved apartments and went today to register with the local police precinct. There followed a 7 hour process where eventually they were told they could pay 10000RMB or serve 10 days in jail.
They are working to get an advance from their employer to pay the fine. What do they do next? How do they get things squared away so they are legally in the country again?
Answers (1)
Answered by Helen | Sep. 23, 2020 19:42

Actually, they may need to leave China after they pay the fine as they worked illegally in China on a tourist visa.
Asked by Iri from ALBANIA | Sep. 16, 2020 23:29Reply
I am dealing with overstay which I did not know and had no information from PSB
I am dealing with overstay of 168 days according to PSB of Shenzhen and this I realized when I went to apply for visa extension.
All this started in another city when i terminated the contract with mutual agreement. From my previous employer i did not get cancellation letter of work permit, however I went to SAFEA in person they told me your employer has not cancelled your work permit card through the system. I went to check in person at the PSB of Yangjiang and there was no cancellation of my residence permit. I made a complain at 12345 hotline number still no answer. I left that city as I couldn’t find any solution. After I move to Shenzhen and I got registration of residence On 18th March and after that I went to apply for residence at the PSB of Louhu on 23rd March and after they checked in their system I was told I have still visa and residence was not cancelled in the system and in my passport so I could stay as long as I want before its expiration. In September 4th I went to apply for visa extension and I was told I am overstaying 168days since
How is the legal way or the steps to get information from the PSB for visa overstay? How is it possible that PSB once say your documents are ok when they are not ok? Can be residence permit cancelled without cancelling work permit?
Answers (1)
Answered by Ruth | Sep. 21, 2020 01:38

Well...I would advise you to pay the fines as soon as possible to avoid troubles.
Asked by Philippines | Sep. 16, 2020 11:19Reply
How to report someone working in China with tourist visa?
Answers (1)
Answered by Amanda | Sep. 16, 2020 23:45

You can go to the local exit and entry administration to report this.
Asked by Nigeria | Sep. 16, 2020 07:16Reply
Overstay and punishment
When your visa is expired you can’t get a job to raise any money.what happens if you can’t afford the fine for over stay but you want to go back to your country ?
Answers (1)
Answered by Nancy | Sep. 16, 2020 23:45

You have to pay the fine in order to go back to your country. If you don't have enough money, you can borrow some from your friends and families.
Asked by Ashley, USA | Sep. 16, 2020 01:52Reply
My brother has overstayed his time there by almost 3 years
His wallet was taken 6 years ago so all he has is an expired passport. He wants to do the proper steps so that he can return home to USA. What exactly do we need to do? How can we help from US? Thank you for your time.
Answers (2)
Answered by Jeff | Sep. 16, 2020 23:44

He can pay the fine and then apply for an exit permit. You guys can send some money to him.
Answered by Kay | Sep. 17, 2020 20:18

Hello mate. How sure are you about this please? 3 years is a magnificent period of time.
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