Recently, at the Beijing South Station, the Beijing Exit and Entry Management Police Brigade conducted inspections on foreigners.

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Holding Legal Visa, Why Was He Accused of Illegal Stay in China?
Officers approached a German man, he was cooperative and showed his passport. They found that he arrived on a valid 144-hour temporary transit visa.
However, they still summoned him to an investigation and accused him of illegal entry.

“What? I have legal entry formalities and my visa has not expired. You must be mistaken!” the German foreigner argued.
The immigration officer was not mistaken. Here’s what happened.
The foreigner entered China through Shanghai Pudong International airport the previous day. His temporary transit visa limited the stay area to Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang…But he was in Beijing.

Article 25 of the regulations of the People’s Republic of China on the administration of entry and exit of foreigners
Foreigners who are under any of the following circumstances in China shall be subject to illegal residence:
(1) staying or residing beyond the time limit prescribed in the visa or residence permit;
(2) foreigners who enter China by the temporary entry permit with a 144-hour transit visa exemption but stay longer than the visa-free period and do not apply for residence permits;
(3) foreigners’ activities outside the restricted stay or residence area;
(4) other circumstances of illegal residence
When it comes to the term, illegal residence, people often tend to equate it with entering or exiting illegally or overstaying a visa time period.

The illegal residence includes both stay and residence beyond the time limit and stay and residence beyond the area permitted.
A temporary entry permit with a 144-hour transit visa exemption clarifies the area of stay in both Chinese and English. In fact, many of the various temporary entry visas and permits are limited areas and periods of time.

Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Administration of Exit and Entry Article 78, paragraph 1

A warning shall be given to foreigners who reside illegally. If the circumstances are serious, the offender shall be fined 500 RMB for each day of illegal residence, with a total amount of not more than 10,000 RMB, or detained for a minimum of 5 days but no more than 15 days.
In the case with the German foreigner, the entry-exit civil police ordered him to immediately return to the activity area limited by the temporary entry permit; Shanghai, Jiangsu, or Zhejiang.
A reminder to all foreigners visiting China: abide by Chinese laws and pay attention to what is stated on your visa whether it long or short-term.

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