Nearly 5,000 Africans Forced to Leave China on New Visa Rules for Olympics

By Aaron Pan, Bloomberg.com, May 11, 2008-

May 11 (Bloomberg) — Africans living in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou are being forced to leave the country because of new visa policies, the South China Morning Post reported, citing an unidentified spokesman for the community.

Nearly half of the 10,000 Africans in the city have already been forced to leave because their visa-renewal applications have been denied and at least 100 people are stranded in Macau without enough money to return home, the newspaper reported.

African nationals in the city have been running small businesses on flexible, six-month “F” visas and are now being given only tourist visas of up to 15 days, the Morning Post said.

The General Committee of African People in Guangzhou has sent a letter to 10 African embassies in Beijing asking them to press the Chinese government on the issue, the newspaper added.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing said May 7 that visa checks have been tightened ahead of the Olympic Games to ensure “greater security.”

- Original report from Bloomberg: Africans Forced to Leave China on New Visa Rules, Post Reports