Once you have your Chinese visa, it is impossible to have it renewed, extended, or altered. However, it is always possible to get a new visa in order to prolong your stay. If you are currently within the country, you won’t even need to travel back to your own country to make a new visa application, as it is just as easy to get a visa from inside China.
The process of applying for a visa within China is largely the same as the original process you probably went through before you came to the country in the first place. The main difference is that, instead of going to a consulate or embassy, you will be taking your application to the Public Security Bureau Exit and Entry Administration Office for the municipality wherein you plan to reside on the night after your application submission. If you don’t know where to find your nearest Public Security Bureau, try asking the staff at your international hotel.
While a lot of Public Security Bureaus are likely to have an English-speaking staff ready to accommodate international visitors, the offices in some smaller or more remote regions might be less equipped to do so. Try to bring along a Chinese-speaking friend, if you have this luxury.
When you receive your new visa, it is important to remember that this visa begins on the date it is issued. Any pre-existing visa is immediately negated, and any time you might have had left on this visa will not count towards your remaining stay in the country.
As of 2013, you are not allowed to apply for a new visa in China unless you have at least seven days before your current visa expires. The Public Security Bureau will give you a return receipt when you submit your application and give you a final decision within seven days.
The current standard period of time that a regular tourist can expect when applying for a new visa is one month. In some circumstances, longer durations may be available. Consult your Public Security Bureau to find out more about the options that are available to you.