Sunday, March 4, 2007

Renew your visa using China

There are many reasons why you might want to go to China. One of them is to renew your visa, which may expire in 30 days.

Rather than paying around MOP$300 to take a ferry to and from Hong Kong, you can just visit China. Of course, China also charges money for your visa, unless you happen to be a Singaporean (or a few selected nationalities).

However, if you apply for a group visa for at least 3 people at least a few days in advance, it will be much cheaper.

You are not allowed to reenter and extend your stay indefinitely, but Macau customs may allow you a few extensions. If you do it often enough, they will start writing numbers next to your entry dates.

Then one day, when the customs officer gives you a hard look, asks you to go to the side office and tells you to sign a few copies of a letter telling you to report to the Immigration Department, then you know that you have overstayed your welcome.

Most likely, you will then get an "Ultimate Visa" (UV), which means that after this extension, you will have to go somewhere for 50 days before you can come back again. This visa comes with a somewhat disturbing letter:

"Having notified that by constantly re-entering Macau at short intervals without appropriate justification, you tried to evade prescribed regulations on Entry, Stay and Residence in the Macao SAR, you are now notified that you must leave Macao, before the expiry date of the Authorization now granted, for no less than 50 days otherwise you may be refused or blacklisted to enter Macao.

I declare that I am aware of the content of this notification, of which I was provided the original."

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