In the past weeks, Shanghai has conducted grid-screening lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19. On the 27 March, the Shanghai municipal government announced the city will impose a staggered lockdown in two stages first Pudong and then Puxi, which extended into May. Therefore, many foreigners may have difficulties in renewing their residence permit or visas due to the lockdown. Below, we answer three common questions about residence permit and visa renewals.
Q: I am unable to submit my document for my residence permit renewal due to my compound lockdown, can I submit online?
A: Applications for residence permit require documents to be submitted to the relevant exit and entrance bureau. In the case, the applicant was unable to submit due to lockdown, a certification of the compound should be obtained. However, applicants do not automatically receive an extension period during lockdown.
Q: If I am unable to renew my residence permits before the expiry date, will I face penalties?
A: Residence permits can be renewed three-months in advance; therefore, the lockdown period does not automatically exclude any fines or administrative penalties for overstays. Each circumstance would be evaluated individually by the relevant authorities. Even though, offenders may not be fined, a written record may be noted which could impact future applications.
Q: My residence period expires at the end of May, when should I renew it?
A: We recommend leaving ample time to renew residence permits. Thus, renewal should be conducted at the earliest three-months in advance to migrate risks arising from extraordinary circumstances.