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Foreigners overstay their warm welcome

2010. 24 August

by Fang Yunyu
( The number of foreigners overstaying their visa this summer has increased 10 percent compared to last year, according to information from the Beijing General Station of Exit and Entry Frontier Inspection.

"Our station has caught more foreigners," said exit-entry inspection station spokesman Jia Dong.

More than 40 foreigners were stopped and punished at Beijing Capital International Airport between August 1 and 22, 10 percent up on last year.

Half were overseas Chinese who came to China to visit relatives or for tourism, he said. The increased number was connected to the Shanghai Expo, said station spokeswoman Li Xiaoxu.

Overseas Chinese more easily forgot they had come here with foreign passports, according to the station data. One Chinese Canadian was fined Sunday for overstaying 16 days. He had reportedly decided to add Beijing to his itinerary for a few more days after his Shanghai Expo trip.

Of 114 foreigners seized between June 1 and August 23, seven were under 14 and not punished, Li said.

"But we hope foreigners will pay more attention to their visa expiration date and visa validity, which can save trouble on their trip to China."

Foreigners who stay in China illegally may be given a warning or fined 500 yuan ($74) for each illegal day to a maximum of 5,000 yuan ($736).

They can be held in detention three to 10 days. In more serious cases, foreigners are ordered to leave the country, according to the Rules for Implementation of the Law on Control of the Entry and Exit of Aliens.