Starting from September 2, relevant departments of public security will issue foreign students in China with a Foreigner Residency Permit with a time limit equal to their actual study period instead of previous regulations of having their residence permits renewed each year, according to the Ministry of Public Security.
Meanwhile, foreign students who need to leave China during their study period, temporarily, will be issued with multiple-entry visas which have the same time limit as their residency permit. Their relatives in China who apply as a companion to their study can have their visa extended for six months by showing official letters of agreement from the universities they are studying at. Their visa can be extended many times as long as it is within the valid date of their residency permit.
In light of these regulations in China, foreign students who plan to study in China for over six months need to enter China with an 'X' visa and apply for a Foreigner Residency Permit at the local Exit-Entry Management Office of Public Security Departments within 30 days after arriving in China. Previously, foreign students studying in China for over one year were usually granted a one-year-long residency permit and had to renew it each year.
According to Zhang Yindi, vice director of the Exit-Entry Administration of the Ministry of Public Security, due to more and more frequent international exchange of Chinese universities, increasing foreign students come to China to study language and culture. "Under such circumstances, we should provide further convenience for the exit-entry and residence of foreign students in order to enhance cultural exchanges between China and other countries, attracting more foreign students to study in China and enable them to have more time to focus on their studies," said Zhang.
It is reported that, with the further development of China's opening-up policy, the number of foreigners studying in China has increased annually. There were 43,065 foreign students studying in China last year. Of them, 40,568 studied in universities and 2,479 studied in primary and middle schools.
(China.org.cn by Wang Qian, September 3, 2003)