Generally the visa situation for China is very generous and it is straightforward to get visas for longterm stay especially in Hong Kong. China has several categories of visa:
||L – Tourist
F – Business
X – Student
Z – Working
Most visitors to China will enter on a Tourist Visa which allows stays of either one or two months and come either as a single entry visa or a double entry.
Make sure you get a double entry of you plan to come in more than once with the same visa.
Hong Kong is not treated as part of China visa wise and movement between Hong Kong and the mainland considered an ‘entry’ into China.
Citizens from many countries are entitled to a Visa on Entry for Hong Kong which makes life easier. This is true for Mainland China.
Visas can be extended within China itself twice by a month each time. Visa extension is a straightforward process in Guilin taking 5 working days to process. A 1 month visa can therefore give you 3 months in china 2 month visa can give you 4 months in total.
Hong Kong has special visa services and it is possible to obtain a 3 month multiple entry tourist visa but I can believe this can be extended. Maybe once?
It is also generally possible to obtain longer stay visas for most nationalities in Hong Kong by applying for Business visas (F) which are available for stays of 6 months or 1 year. This visa, from experience is available from agencies in Hong Kong who have good relations with the visa office and they don’t require details of you business plans in China. ‘ F ‘ visas issued elsewhere appear to be different.
Of special note, Hong Kong, from an immigration and visa perspective is separate from the rest of mainland China and carries a special status. Therefore, traveling to Hong Kong is considered leaving mainland China and requires a visa in order to reenter. Mainland China visa are extremely easy to obtain in Hong Kong and can be obtained at most concierge desks in one day. This convenience, however, comes with a price. The Lonely Planet is a good source for visa agencies in Hong Kong. Otherwise try: China World Travel Service in Kowloon ( Nb. Uk & American citizens now pay a little more than other countries)
Nb: It appears to be difficult for those of American or Israeli nationality to obtain long stay visas for China. Don’t worry this isn’t disastrous for Tai Chi study at least because you are able to extend the one month visa Guilin twice to give you three months, and then you just make a trip to Hong Kong which isn’t too far to get new visa and repeat the process. Hassle – a little, but less so than other countries.
It is actually straightforward to go to Yangshuo and set up life there. As long as one respects the law in China they seem content to allow people to live there either on long term visas which you keep renewing or on working visas which allow temporary residencey. Working in China generally requires that you work for a company who apply for a working visa for you which can take a few months to arrange.
Nb: The school and webmaster take no responsibility for the accuracy of this information as it is something which can change depending on China’s relations with other countries. It should be regarded for guidance only.