Expats welcome new visa policy

Updated: 2013-07-22 20:46


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Editor's note: Under a regulation released on Monday, China will grant a new type of visa, the S visa, for the family members of foreign professionals.

Parents and parents-in-law will be qualified to apply for the S visa, which stands for “relative” in Chinese, once the regulation goes into effect in September. The visa will permit a stay of more than six months. An S2 visa will grant short-term residency to family members.

Here are some expats' views on the new policy.

Robert Barsby is a British national who has been living in China for most of the last 20 years and now works as a hotelier in Chengdu, Sichuan province. He has three children from a previous marriage, all of whom live in Europe. They take turns visiting him in Chengdu and usually stay for one or two weeks each year.

“I am very enthusiastic about the proposed new visa policies, as this will make it much easier for my children and family members to visit me. Previously, the documentation required made it very difficult to arrange travel on a short-term basis. These new policies will benefit all concerned. This is especially important for me as I am permanently established in China and wish to remain in my adopted country.”

Janelle Woo is the representative of the Singapore-Shandong Economic and Trade Council in Qingdao.

“Singapore and China have signed a visa-free agreement with each other, so this new policy won't make much difference for us. And I don't have relatives to visit me often. Even if the policy is eased more, I won't invite them to China since my work is too busy.”

Ben Lor is a Chinese-American working for an art dealership in China.

“I'm pretty sure that the S-type visa benefits us. For my mother, who only comes for short visits, this is not that useful. But as my wife and I both work in China, this will enable us to invite our son, who just graduated from college, to come and stay a bit longer with us.

“My sister will come to China next month, and I have to provide lots of testimonials to help her get the visa. That's quite troublesome, and I hope the procedures will be improved. I'm also looking forward to having a ‘Chinese green card' one day. I have been in China for 16 year, but I still need to apply for a working visa every year, and this is extremely inconvenient.”

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