Upgrades make visa applications easier for expats

(chinadaily.com.cn)Updated : 2023-09-14

Foreigners will be able to make appointments and inquiries related to their visas and other documents starting from Oct 9 on the government service platform of the National Immigration Administration.

The NIA announced eight new functions and services of the platform on Sept 13, saying it aims to improve the standardization, regulation, digitization and intelligence of immigration management government services.

Through the platform, foreign nationals can schedule appointments for services such as visa extensions, renewals, reissues, as well as apply for stay and residence permits. They can choose the time and location for in-person processing.

Foreign applicants will also be able to inquire about the status and details of their applications for visa extensions, renewals, reissues and the issuance of stay and residence permits. This will benefit them in managing their personal affairs effectively, it said.

Foreigners with permanent residence status in China can access the details of their Foreign Permanent Resident ID Cards online. They can also check the information of their passport, and the inquiry results can generate electronic documents endorsed by the NIA, enabling the linking of their passports and Foreign Permanent Residence ID Cards. This will allow them to better handle affairs such as finance, tax, social security and telecommunications.

The platform will provide comprehensive information about exit-entry administration service centers that can handle visa and residence permit applications across the country, including addresses, operating hours and contact telephone numbers.

Foreigners will also be able to access detailed guidelines online for visa extensions, renewals, replacements, residence permits and other related matters. These guidelines provide specific information about application materials, requirements, processing procedures, methods and fee standards.

To assist elderly individuals, children and other foreign nationals who may have difficulty operating the NIA's mobile platform, the platform will allow their friends and family members to assist them in making relevant applications. Both Chinese and foreign users can aid foreigners who need assistance as applicants and help them with matters such as making appointments and inquiries.

He Feng, director of the visa and travel management division of the NIA, said that the NIA launched online appointment and inquiry functions for Chinese citizens' exit and entry documents in 2019, which were well received.

The introduction of the new online services for foreign nationals and market entities is part of the NIA's efforts to deepen reforms, advance immigration and entry-exit government services and create a favorable environment for international interactions, he said.