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Beijing eases visa requirements
By Li Jing (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-02-03 01:53

Visa requirements for international visitors to Beijing have been loosened.

Iran's Sara Hesabian (right) applies for an extension to her visa at the Division of Entry-Exit Administration of the Beijing Municipal Security Bureau. [China Daily]
They are now able to extend their visa for six to 12 months, for as many times as they wish.

In the past, foreigners were only able to renew their visa twice, each for a period of three months.

Gao Huada, vice-director of the Division of Exit-Entry Administration of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, said people who could enjoy the new measures included the following five groups:

Foreigners who are the spouses of Chinese; spouses, parents and children under 18 years old of foreigners who are working or studying in Beijing;

Foreign nationals of Chinese origin who are older than 60 and have purchased real estate in Beijing;

Those who are older than 60 and have direct relations in Beijing but not abroad;

Foreign children who were adopted in Beijing;

Foreigners who have come to Beijing for a short visit, cultural exchanges and activities, or business.

It will take people five working days to get their applications processed, said Gao.

The division has also increased the time span of foreigners' residency permits to five years, said Gao.

Meanwhile, people with residency permits are no longer required to get re-entry visas, as they were previously.

Foreigners who can enjoy the residency permit measures include:

Top foreign professionals and investors;

Foreign legal representatives;

Returning citizens of foreign nationalities;

Foreign students.

A division official, who only gave his surname as Pang, explained that top professionals referred to senior advisers, high-tech or high-level managerial staff or personnel making great contributions to China.

Investors looking to inject more than US$3 million in Beijing can apply for a two to five-year residency permit.

But investors who only want to stay for two years are not subject to a specific amount of investment, said Pang.

Foreign legal representatives can only apply for residency permits spanning two years, Pang added.

People with queries can phone 86-10-84020101 for further information.

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