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July 16, 2011

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Last-minute visas are offered

The city is promoting a last-minute, landing-visa service to foreigners who fail to get a visa from Chinese embassies but have special and urgent situations, the Shanghai Exit-Entrance Administration Bureau said yesterday.

The idea came after two Venezuelan athletes who came to Shanghai to participate in the 14th FINA World Championships were stopped at Pudong International Airport for holding invalid visas.

The two then were granted landing visas after their identities were confirmed by the organizing committee of the event.

Li Feng, an official with the bureau, said a few other athletes also lacked the time to get visas from Chinese embassies and consulates and were given landing visas.

According to the bureau, there are usually 10 conditions under which foreigners can apply for visa on arrival. Once people qualify for one of the 10 conditions, they will be able to apply for the landing visa, said Li.

He also revealed that Shanghai offers about 16,000 landing visas every year, but only 700-plus have been offered to people with the above situations.

"The services have been available for some time, but few people know about it. And we welcome foreigners who fit the above requirements to apply for visa on arrival," Li said.

Ten Conditions To Apply For Visa On Arrival

Invited by local organizers' last-minute decisions to participate in trade fairs

Invited to participate in bidding or to sign business cooperation contracts

To supervise export shipment and import commodity inspection or to check on the completion of a contract

Invited to work on equipment installation or to make rush repairs

Invited by the local party to solve compensation-related problems

Invited to provide science and technology consultations

Foreign groups invited to the country are able to increase or change group members with the agreement from its Chinese host

To visit patients in critical condition or to conduct a funeral

Foreigners in transit who, because of forces outside their control (such as weather delays) are unable to leave China by their original aircraft within 24 hours or have to leave China by other means of transport

Invited foreign guests having no time to get visas from Chinese embassies with authority letters which allow them to apply for landing visa


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