Visa Headaches

Visa Headaches
JulieM Aug 29, 2013 13:45

I'm sure all expats can relate to the headache that is the Chinese visa. Visa laws in China are ever-changing, and ever-frustrating for those of us who really desire to do thing legally, but still live a normal life.
When I first came to China, the frustration was being a student with no means of supporting myself (you aren't allowed to have even a part-time job while on a student visa, and likewise aren't supposed to study on a work visa).
Now the frustration comes because I am married to a Chinese husband and preparing for parenthood (no, not pregnant yet as far as I know, just preparing some for that part of our future). When I have the baby, I still want to be able to help support our family, but won't have the ability to work the amount that is required to maintain a work visa. I do not intend to do the Chinese "leave the baby with grandma" thing....for obvious reasons, and some perhaps not so obvious reasons. I could get a marriage visa, but you can't legally work at all on a marriage visa, and I heard that with the new law, the visa is only 6 months and you have to do the whole leave the country every two months thing....the same as a typical tourist visa. Soooo....yeah, somehow magically come up with the funds to do that while not being allowed to work? And make that journey (most likely across the border to Mongolia) with an infant? No thank you....

(this doesn't help much)

Sigh. After being married 5 years I have the chance to apply for a green card, but from everything I've heard, the chances of actually being given one are very, very slim.
Does anyone have any information/advice/thoughts?

Tags:Visa & Legalities Expat Rants & Advice


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You write too good

Sep 17, 2013 17:38 Report Abuse



I know a lot of people who work on a spouse visa, nobody really cares...

Sep 16, 2013 22:43 Report Abuse



I dont understand why Chinese laws are so complicated ,its like they are saying in other words" you know what we really dont care about foreigners ,you could have stayed in your respective countries,thank you!" mmmmmmmm

Sep 10, 2013 16:48 Report Abuse



why don't you make working visa? with Z visa, you no need back to your country or go to HK, every year you need renew it only once, you can apply for it here in China, it's only 400 kuai + you can travel, because it has multiple entry。 at the beginning, it's a little bit difficult to apply for it, because you need back to your home, and wait for all documents be ready, but after you made it once, no need do this procedure again, just renew is enough. if you are preparing to be parent, also you can work until 8 or almost 9 months pregnancy, and then take a break for 3 months (by China law) if your employer is nice, u can negotiate about time, and you can back to office when u want.. i just think, working visa can give you more advantages, then family visa

Sep 09, 2013 17:08 Report Abuse



Yes, I am currently on a work visa, but the work conditions are not fabulous, and since I am in a not-so-expat-friendly area, it's hard to find companies/schools that are willing to work with you, but hopefully I can find something more flexible, because a work visa is most certainly a better option than a family visa!

Sep 10, 2013 16:00 Report Abuse



then need change a job. i am sure there are many appropriate opportunities, interesting, challenging jobs in your city. just need do some researching. maybe there are some foreign companies in your area, try to contact them. and i hope soon you will find it!

Sep 11, 2013 10:48 Report Abuse



Sorry dear but your blog is incorrect. Foreigners married to Chinese locals usually can stay for one year without a work visa. Yes, they give you 6 months family visit visa, but while you are in China can apply for long-term one year family or private affairs non-work resident permit. Usually good for one year stay in total. Second, I dont know of anybody on a family visit short stay visa, married to a Chinese person who must go back every 2 months. The laws did change but mostly towards those wishing to pursue the L, F, and new M visa. Those kind they have cut back the they can stay and in most cases yes they do have to return like you wrote. Also, you have another mistake, in some cases poeple on student visas can work if school approves and can help get them approved. Finally, why not just start your own business, if not in China, maybe your own home country and just say screw China.

Sep 05, 2013 18:26 Report Abuse



I certainly hope I am incorrect, I had also not heard of this with any people who had previously gotten a marriage visa. Hopefully the government person I spoke with was uninformed. :) And yes, I definitely hope to start my own business eventually...not to say screw China, but to hopefully make life a lot simpler. :)

Sep 10, 2013 15:58 Report Abuse



I am going to have headaches with my son. He is not Chinese national, so he is here now on L visa, 1year Multi entry. But who have the mood and money to spend every 3 month for traveling to HK or anywhere else for the stamp in passport, right. So, with the new rules, we will see, what we can do better or worse. Going there tomorrow for my visa extension, so will ask them a lot, if I will be allowed to do so :-)

Sep 02, 2013 16:37 Report Abuse



Lot of laowais there today :-)), I did not have enough time to wait there and ask. I shall try next day :-(

Sep 03, 2013 16:51 Report Abuse



thx man. at least you tried

Sep 07, 2013 19:31 Report Abuse



Best of luck to you!

Sep 10, 2013 16:00 Report Abuse



I am about to move my family over to China - which includes an 8 month old baby. I have spent too many nights worrying over visa issues too. Only my partner is also an expat...from a different country to me, so I've being worrying about her and my son's visa's mostly. I have managed to find a place that will sponsor me for a Z visa with not too many hours attached, so I can sponsor my family over. Maybe this is key for you as well, finding a good employer who will be kind with you on the hours (in exchange for potentially, a long term employee which can be really good for the employers reputation, especially if they are in education). I can vouch for them existing, but they are hard to find and may involve you moving several times until you find "the one". Which, then brings up the issue of what will your husband do... I don't have all the answers, sorry, but that is where I have started and I'm progressing in my plans. My family are about to move over, so I'm about 3 steps ahead of you it seems. ;) Good luck!

Aug 31, 2013 22:26 Report Abuse



Nice to know there are others working with this situation, and it's encouraging you were able to find a place with not too many hours! Best of luck to you and your family also!

Sep 10, 2013 16:01 Report Abuse



I love your post. Yeah supporting family is the most difficult thing to do here. Doing it legally is even harder. I feel yeah, I have a Chinese wife and must live one year at a time on my working visa, never knowing if its going to be our last. The new 5 year spousal visa after September might be able to help us. It should be easy to get after 5 years of marriage, house owners, kids and never left china for 5 years.

Aug 31, 2013 22:25 Report Abuse



Yeah, I certainly hope after 5 years it is easier, otherwise we are definitely saying goodbye to China and getting my husband to the U.S. In my personal opinion, the opportunities in China are not as great as China likes to pretend they are...I came for the cultural experience, not because I can make more money here, and if they make it too difficult for foreigners, they are going to shoot themselves in the foot. Of course, it's more complicated for those of us with family and Chinese spouses we love. ;)

Sep 10, 2013 16:04 Report Abuse