Goodbye Foreigners!

Cup of Cha‘s post called Goodbye Foreign Visitors describes my feelings on the new visa regulations, only more eloquently than I’d put it. This week involved saying goodbye to expat friends, Sven from Tennessee and Christina both left on Saturday.

Any foreigner living in China now will tell you that something weird is going on. Our fellow foreigners are disappearing in great numbers. It as if wild animals are picking them off on their smoggy bike rides to work. Increasingly we feel like Mexicans just inside the American border: looked upon suspiciously, regardless of the legitimacy of our legal status. Perhaps that overstating things, but a lot of people are moving away.

Visas are not being renewed for perpetual tourist and business folks. Some of these de-facto expulsions are legitimate, like people who hang out in China, teaching in a semi-legal status. Others, like business people who are frequent visitors to China, are wrong-headed. The most peculiar trend, and a prominent one at that, is it appears anyone born 1984 or later gets an automatic rejection on new work visas.

Keep reading…

Stick and I are both over the age-25 cutoff, and we both think we’re working for reputable schools who can look after our paperwork… but there are mysterious rumors about the inability to renew working visas a second time, or get an L visa for over 30 days, or switch from one kind to another. From everything I’ve heard, shady visa agents are making money hand over fist, while smaller schools and businesses are losing their foreign employees. Seems like a sad situation if expats who love China are forced to head home while under the table “visa services” make more cash.

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0 Responses to Goodbye Foreigners!

  1. flotsam says:

    @ under 25s – possibly this means there will be fewer backpackers and gapfillers ‘working’ their way around the schools.

    PS were you aware that your comment facility doesn’t accept Chinese characters? Bring back the Violent Clips.

  2. Meg says:

    I first came to China as a new grad, on a one year adventure, so I have some sympathy for the gap year travelers. I wonder if there’s a way to refuse visas for the boozing, teenage-girl chasing “teachers” only…

    I didn’t notice that about the Chinese character, but I probably should have because my blogroll has ??? instead of names. Hey, you have a wordpress blog, do you have a Chinese characters plugin?

  3. flotsam says:

    Possibly there are two types of thinking going on
    1 clear out as many foreigners as possible to reduce the risk of terrorist/activists/DL-ists/evangelists/other problems and make the games as safe as possible to attract millions of foreign tourists . . . . [who might also be terrorists/activists . . . ]
    2 clear out all the detritus that has been accumulating in China for the past 10 years
    . . . who knows. Somehow it doesn’t quite fit in with the Olympic spirit.

    ‘I wonder if there’s a way to refuse visas for the boozing, teenage-girl chasing “teachers” ‘ – yes, they are a problem too and come in all ages and sizes. I’m sure there is a way but it would probably involve something more subtle than the heavy-fisted PRC bureaucracy can cope with, at the moment. Unfortunately all westerners look weird to the PRC, but they can’t tell the difference between ‘western weirdness’ and ‘real weirdness’.

    About Hanzi on wordpress – there is no special plug-in that I’m aware of.

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