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Overstaying in China & Penalty

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

Note that if the scheduled leaving time on your departure ticket is later than your visa’s expiration time, you will be regarded as overstaying in mainland China even though you go through the immigration inspection before the visa expiration time. While if your scheduled departure time precedes the visa expiration time, but the schedule is changed by the carrier, you won’t overstay then.

Do I Have A Grace Period?

According to the current policy, there is no grace period for illegal aliens overstaying in China, so you are not advised to overstay your visa. However, if you have overstayed China visa for one day or two days, you can go to the exit and entry administration of the local PSB to apologize, and explain the reasons genuinely, so that 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 different overstaying lengths. 
1. Aliens overstaying the visa or residence permit for a short period will be given a warning, and the stayer is required to pay money for exceeding the specified stay length. Usually, the China visa penalty is CNY500 per day after overstaying, but the capped amount is not more than 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 then. It's even possible for him to get blacklisted because of that. Worst of all, the record on blacklist will affect one's 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?

After overstaying the visa in mainland China, you should report your situation to the local police station as soon as possible, and handle the fine, and then you can apply for an exit permit to leave the country.

How to Prevent Unintentional Overstaying in China?

In order to prevent unintentional overstaying, you ought to remember your date of entering the country and the stay length on your visa clearly. 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 than the duration of stay, you can apply for an extension 7 days before your visa expires in China.