Huang Guang Chen wrote:Let's try and keep this factual. That revised rule came in last Tuesday and refers to passport holders from a list of 33 countries who are not HK residents or permanent residents.
Here is that list, with some surprises highlighted:
Afghanistan / Algeria / Bangladesh / Congo / Egypt / Gambia / Ghana / Guinea / India Indonesia / Iran / Iraq / Kazakhstan / Kirghizia / Libya / Malaysia / Mali / Mauritania / Monaco / Nepal / Nigeria / Pakistan /Philippines / Saudi Arabia / Sierra Leone / South Africa / Sri Lanka / Sudan / Syrian / Tajikistan / Tunisia / Turkey / Uzbekistan.
You can still get an L, or tourist visa good for x2 thirty day entries in HK - same day - if you are not on that list.
It is a lottery. I know of an American (I know the company admin person in China who supplied the paperwork) who was only given a 7-day L visa in the NY consulate for a factory inspection trip intended to last ten days. The new regulations do not appear to affect HK ID card holders. However, the British Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong report British citizens and chamber members being given anything from 7 days to one single L visa of 30 days' duration. F visas are not being issued and as of yesterday no members have reported any staff being issued with F visas. The American Chamber of Commerce reports greater problems. I know three people personally who have had F visas issued recently in HK but one of them is a permanent ID card holder and the other two had three-month F visas issued before the 15 April change of policy. The previous change of policy was around the middle of February and was to restrict F visas to three months for the same fee. I also know of one Canadian who went from Hainan to Macau and came back with a 7-day L visa.
I am interested to hear the nationality of the person you know who got a 60-day double entry visa and their connection to HK or China. By pm if you like. My understanding is that the 30-day L visa, double entry, is good for two trips to China, with a total limit on time spent in China of 30 days, not 30 days per trip. I have alternatively been told that these visas are only valid for thirty days from first entry to China, so 15 days in China, 4 in HK, and then another 15 days in China is not allowed. The double-entry visa was originally intended to facilitate side trips during a visit to China lasting no longer than 30 days from first setting foot in China to leaving China at the end of the trip, including any side trip. For example, 1 day in China, 28 days in HK, then 1 final day in China.
Another point is that F visas issued outside China previously allowed a per-trip stay of only 30 days during the six-month validity of the visa. Those issued inside China (Zhuhai, Shekou, Shenzhen) and normally arranged by travel agents - not CTS - had no such restriction, and permitted a six-month trip to China, extendable inside China for a further six-months for a total sentence, I mean "trip", of one year's porridge, I mean "stay".
Yet another point is that there are many classes of worker who do not qualify for Z visas. The "you are working illegally" cry of the smug-but-badly-paid Z visa holder is based on ignorance of the way business is done in China. Two groups who cannot get Z visas but are essential to the economy are those who are setting up companies here (no Chinese entity to apply for the Z visa) and those who are doing QC on factories owned by their Chinese suppliers. The latter, too, are not employed by any Chinese entity, but are employed by the foreign customer of the Chinese entity. Usually these people are quite well paid and they pay tax on at least some of their income.
"Why does the foreign company not set up a Chinese entity to employ them?", I hear the Rmb8,000 a month Z-visa-holding foreign bum (who has difficulty setting up anything more complicated than a row of happy-hour Tigers at 7:59) cry. Because they are in an industry that, for example, requires any foreign entity with that business scope to be a joint venture where they are in fact merely a customer. Because they are in an industry the government has decided requires a huge amount of paid-up capital to register a WFOE, way beyond the amount necessary or sensible to commit to their China imports. The solution? Either allow the factory to go to pot until Oct 17 or buy elsewhere. It is not unusual, as well, to hear of factories beneficially owned by foreigners here but run through a local. The foreigner brings in the customers and the Chinese 23rd landlord deals with the poo. "Ah, but why does not the factory employ the foreigner then?" cries Mr I-live-in-a-dump-in-Shanghai-on-thruppence-ha'penny-a-month-and-post-knowledgeably-on-Shanghai-Expat. Because, for example, the land-use right certificate on which the whole house of cards is based is for a PLA army barracks, or an orphanage for sick Tibetans, and shouldn't be a factory at all, let alone one with foreign exchange approvals and no paid-up capital employing a foreigner with an HND in The Dewey Decimal Library Catalogue System as a "foreign expert" on gearbox parts for the aerospace industry whose dad is Head of Purchasing for er um I'll stop there.
Had the government let us all know in advance we'd all have traipsed down to Honkers to get new 6-monthers. Which is precisely why they didn't let us know.
And to finish my little rant, the reason the chambers of commerce are furious is because the gubment knows all this and is fucking things up royally for everyone out of sheer spite. If it was just a matter of now the visas have "L" on them instead of "F" no-one would give a damn. It's also fear of D-Day in the Chinese planned economy model where foreign businesses are kick-outable and small businesses are the enemy. People are asking "is this the beginning of the end?"
People's failure to ask that question in Shanghai in about 1928 led to a proliferation of big mortgages on fantastic buildings on the Bund which were promptly handed over (sans mortgage obligation) to the Japanese in the 30s and the PLA in the 40s. Oops. Of course history never repeats itself.....