Give me some more information. What is the expiry date? Where is your ARC application process now?
The application process is something like this.
- You and the school get everything together, including your health check which takes a week.
- You (or technically your employer) give this to the Ministry of Education (MOE) (if you are a teacher) for them to process your work permit (ie the paper that says you’re allowed to work). They take about 3-4 weeks to do this.
- You take the papers from the MOE to MOFA, they take this and your passport to process your visa. I can;t remember but I htink this is 3 days (maybe five).
- For the visa to be valid you have to take it to the Foreign Affairs Police to validate and issue your ARC. I can’t remember if this takes 1 day or is on the spot.
If you’re at step 3 and MOFA have your passport, it’s absolutely no worries. It doesn’t matter if your visa expires while it’s in their hands.
If you’re at step 2, most people will say you have to go to HK for a visa run. What most people, including most employers, don’t realise, is that you can take the paper from the MOE that says you’ve lodged the application with them and get a visa extension. You have to take it to a different part of the MOFA (a building behind the one you usually go to) though. This only works if you have a ‘visa’ though, not a ‘landing visa’ (which I think is technically visa exemption). Sorry, but I don’t know the details of EXACTLY how to do this, but I do know that it can be done.
If you’re still at stage one, then it probably means that the school hasn’t got their shit together yet. Maybe they haven’t got their licence or maybe they’re just disorganised. Or possibly they’re in the proces of verifying your degree (which can take a week) or something. If this is the case, then you’re lucky you have a 60 day visa. First bet would be to see if you’ve got enough time to get to stage 2, find out exactly how to extend your visa from there (some calls to MOFA from a very patient Chinese speakeing friend), and convince your school that it is possible. If there’s no time for this, weigh up the costs of a visa run to HK to get a 30 day (if that’s going to be long enough) or enrolling in Chinese classes. If you’re really not confident that time is on your side, Chinese classes are the best option. You’ll have to be ‘not working’ when you enrol in the classes. The Chinese school will tell you how to extend your 60-day non-extendable visa (it’s possible and standard practice). Then when you’re ready to apply to the MOE you have to officially stop being a student again! But the extension will still be valid.
Good luck (you’ll need it)