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.