A new online visa and permit application service for foreigners in Beijing was launched on Tuesday by the city's Public Security Bureau. It will simplify procedures for obtaining documents and shorten approval time.
Foreigners will be allowed to apply for a visa, a stay permit or a residence permit through the public service section of the website, according to a statement on Sunday by the bureau's Entry and Exit Department. After filling out an online application form and making a reservation, applicants are directed to a designated window at the department, located at No 2 Andingmen Dongdajie, to hand in their materials.
Lin Song, a department official, said foreigners who intend to live in Beijing must register their dwelling places at a local police station before they apply.
"When they go to the window to hand in papers, they must bring with them the printouts of their online application forms with the barcodes," he added.
Another new policy issued on Sunday is designed to help foreigners stay in Beijing without a visa obtained in advance.
Foreigners normally are required to obtain a visa before they arrive in China. They are now allowed to apply on the website and get a visa upon arrival at Beijing Capital International Airport if they had to rush to China for an emergency matter.
Lin said those who arrive in Beijing at the invitation of a Chinese host for an emergency issue, can apply online and hand in paperwork at offices authorized by the Entry and Exit Department at Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 at the airport, where they can get an M or F visa.
The Public Security Bureau has also created policies to assist foreigners' visits to Beijing. They took effect at the beginning of this year.
For example, a policy was created that allows a foreign family member of a Chinese citizen to stay in Beijing for two years, extending the previous policy by one year. The two-year permits are renewable. A family member of a Chinese citizen, including a spouse, spouse's parent, spouse's child, or spouses of children－is now allowed to live in Beijing for two years. Formerly, their permit required renewal annually.