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October 13, 2009

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Foreigners warned about visa agents

FOREIGNERS are being warned to watch out for fraudulent visa agents after dozens of scams with some people even losing their passports, the Shanghai Exit-Entry Administration Bureau said yesterday.
From January to September this year, about 100 foreigners had been put under detention by Shanghai Exit-Entry Administration Bureau.
More than 50 percent had overstayed after they failed to get their visa from the agents - 63 percent more than in the same period of last year, according to the bureau.
A woman identified as Jessica came from the Philippines to Shanghai last year with a travel visa valid for one month. She paid 6,000 yuan (US$879) to a visa agent to extend this to six months, but the agent disappeared with her money.
A Japanese man who came to China in January was employed by a consulting company in Shanghai. Since the company was recently established, there was no human resources manager to handle his visa arrangements.
He found an agent from a magazine who promised to extend his visa and paid the agent 8,000 yuan. A month later, when nothing had happened, he realized he had been cheated.
Police said foreigners should extend their visa by going to the Shanghai Exit-Entry Administration Bureau in person. They can call 2895-1900 for more information.


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