Good news for people whose visas are expiring soon: what was once a one-month visa extension for foreigners living in China has itself been extended to a two-month visa extension for foreigners residing in China, according to an announcement by the National Immigration Administration on March 1. The move is meant to alleviate any special circumstances that may arise during the outbreak.
This two-month extension applies to residence permits, business visas, tourist visas and student visas, according to the Entry Exit Bureau. The two-month buffer gives foreigners time to renew permits and visas, or leave the country without overstaying. The rule only applies for the extent of the coronavirus epidemic period, as determined by the government. If you are out of China and your visa expires, the leniency period does not apply: you will need to reapply for a new travel visa to enter China, according to the Entry Exit Bureau.
We previously wrote an article with some more info about renewing residence permits and work visas during the epidemic. The residence permit renewal process remains the same: your passport must be physically submitted to the Entry Exit Bureau to receive the new passport sticker. A trip to Pudong is still in order. However, your company can now just renew your work permit online. No trip needed.
The economic impact of the coronavirus has already seen some places in Shanghai shuttering their doors. Unfortunately, the odds are that there will be more closings announced in the weeks and months to come. If you lose your job during the outbreak, the visa procedure remains the same. After your work visa is cancelled, you need to go to the Entry Exit Bureau, submit the 离职证明 form provided by your former employer to cancel the residence permit that was tied to the work visa, and then apply for a one-month stay visa (also extended by two months if it expires during the epidemic), during which time you can see about getting a new work permit.