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China  is a country in East Asia and the world’s most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. China is also known as a an ancient, mysterious and beautiful land, always appealing to adventurous foreign visitors.

Visitors to the Mainland of the People’s Republic of China must obtain a visa from one of the Chinese diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa exempt countries.

CHINA VISA EXMPTIONS

A foreign citizen can enter China without a visa under any one of the following circumstances:

1) Direct Transit

A foreign citizen who is transiting through China by air is exempted from a visa if he/she will stay only inside the airport (without entering the boder control) for no more than 24 hours

2) Transit in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou or Chengdu etc. within 72 Hours

As of June 2015, citizens of 51 countries with valid international travel documents and air tickets for a connecting flight with confirmed date of flight and seat for a third country or region can apply for a 72-hour transit visa exemption

3) Foreigners to visiting the Pearl River Delta or Hainan Island

4) Citizens of Singapore, Brunei and Japan

5) Holders of Valid APEC Business Travel Card

6) Foreigner’s Permanent Residence Card Holders of the People’s Republic of China.

7) Holder of valid Residence Permit for Foreigners issued by Public Security Bureau.

8) Bilateral Agreement

TYPE OF CHINA VISA

There are 12 major visa types, which are denoted by letters from C to Z.

  • L (tourist visa): Issued to an applicant who goes to China for sightseeing purposes, to visit family members or friends, or for other personal affairs.
  • M (business visa): Issued to an applicant who goes to China for commercial and trade activities.
  • F (visa for exchanges and visits): Issued to an applicant who is invited to China for an exchange, visit, study tour, and other activities.
  • Z (work visa): Issued to an applicant who is to take up a post or employment in China.
  • X (student visa): Issued to an applicant who intends to study in China.
  • G (transit visa): Issued to those who transit through China.
  • C (crew visa): Issued to crew members on international aviation, navigation, and land transportation missions, and to family members accompanying them.
  • D (resident visa): Issued to an applicant who is to reside permanently in China.
  • J (journalist visa): J-1 is issued to foreign resident correspondents in China; J-2 is issued to foreign correspondents on temporary interview missions in China.
  • R (talent visa): Issued to high-level talents or those whose skills are urgently needed in China.
  • S (visa for private visits): Issued to family members of foreigners residing in China for work, study, etc.
  • Q (family reunion visa): Issued to relatives of Chinese citizens or foreigners with permanent residence permits residing in China.

CHINA VISA REQUIREMENTS

Basic required documents

(1) Passport

Original passport with at least six months of remaining validity and blank visa pages, and a photocopy of the passport’s data page and the photo page if it is separate.

(2) Visa Application Form and Photo

One completed Visa Application Form with a recently-taken color passport photo (bare-head, full face) against a light background attached

(3) Proof of legal stay or residence status (applicable to those not applying for the visa in their country of citizenship)

If you are not applying for the visa in the country of your citizenship, you must provide the original and photocopy of your valid certificates or visa of stay, residence, employment or student status, or other valid certificates of legal staying provided by the relevant authorities of the country where you are currently staying.

(4) Photocopy of previous Chinese passports or previous Chinese visas (applicable to foreign citizensthose who were Chinese citizens and have obtained foreign citizenship)

Depend on the types of visa, some additional documents will be required as following:

Tourist visa requirements

If you are planning to go on a vacation or visit family in China, you will need to obtain a Tourist Visa. You should prepare these documents:

  • Passport (original, not a copy) with at least two blank visa pages
  • A complete visa application form (The visa application form can be downloaded from the Chinese embassy website or from our website. You complete it by computer, print and sign it.)
  • A recent passport-type photograph (head and shoulders only, front view, with a white background, approximately 35mm x 45mm)
  • Air ticket booking record (round trip) and proof of a hotel reservation or an invitation letter instead.

Business Visa Requirements

Apart from the general documents, such as your passport, a visa application form, and a recent passport-type photograph, this visa requires that you have an invitation letter provided by a Chinese organization or company.

Work Visa Requirements

Beside the basic documents, you must have one of the following documents:

(1) Foreigners Employment Permit of the People’s Republic of China issued by Chinese government authorities for Human Resources and Social Security, as well as Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Entity or Confirmation Letter of Invitation issued by relevant Chinese entities.

(2) Permit for Foreign Experts Working in China issued by the State Bureau of Foreign Experts as well as Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Entity or Confirmation Letter of Invitation issued by relevant Chinese entities.

(3) Registration Certificate of Resident Representative Offices of enterprises of foreign countries(regions) issued by Chinese authorities of industrial and commercial administration, as well as Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Entity or Confirmation Letter of Invitation issued by relevant Chinese entities as well as Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Entity or Confirmation Letter of Invitation issued by relevant Chinese entities.

(4) An approval document for commercial performances issued by the Chinese government authorities for cultural affairs or Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Entity or Confirmation Letter of Invitation issued by relevant Foreign Affairs Office of provincial governments of China.

(5)Letter of Invitation to Foreigners for Offshore Petroleum Operations in China issued by China National Offshore Oil Corporation;

China Student Visa Requirements

  • Completed Visa Application Form of the People’s Republic of China
  • Original and copy of Visa Application for Study in China (JW201 or JW202)
  • Original and copy of China education institution admission letter
  • Two suitable photos
  • Passport with over 6 months validity
  • Proof of legal stay or residence status (if not applying from your home country)

To know more additional required documents for other specific types of China visa, you should contact the nearest Chinese embassy of consulate in your country to get latest information.

HOW TO APPLY FOR A CHINA VISA

Before start applyting for a visa, find out if you need a visa. Please confirm whether or not you need to apply for a visa, find out what visa you need. Determine your visa type by reading about the types of China visa. Each visa type explains the qualifications and application items. Choose the visa type that applies to your situation.

Check your passport. To get a China visa, you must have a valid passport with at least 6 months of remaining validity.

Step 1: Gather documents

Gather all required documents for your visa application.

Step 2: Submit your application

You may submit the application to the Visa Office at Chinese embassies or consulates, or China Visa Application Service Centers if they are operating in your country. Mailed applications are not accepted. No appointment is required

Step 3: Pay fees and collect visa

Pay the visa application fee and collect your visa. The fees vary enormously depending on your nationality and number of entries.

COST OF CHINA VISA

Below is Regular Chinese visa fees, in some special case the fees will be subject to change. Contact with China embassy or consulate in your country to ask the exactly fee for your visa.

Number of Entry

U.S. Citizen

Non-U.S. Citizen*

Single Entry

$140

$30

Double Entries

$140

$45

Multiple Entries for 6 Months

$140

$60

Multiple Entries for 12 Months or more

$140

$90

CHINA VISA PROCESSING TIME

Regular service: 4 business days

Express service: 2-3 business days

Rush  service: 1 business day. Available only in extreme emergencies and subject to approval by the consular officer.

CHINA VISA APPLICATION FORM

To apply for a visa, applications must complete a China visa application form dowloaded from this website then print and sign it before going to the visa application centre.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

1. When should I apply for visa?

You can apply your chinese visa within 90 days from entry date. The best time to apply for your Chinese visa is 30-60 days before your departure.

2. How long is a China visa valid?

A Single and Double entry China visa is good for 90 days from issuance. Within 90 days (please note the time difference between China and the U.S.) you can enter China. And from the date of your entrance, you can stay in China for
30 days (the duration period is written in the visa label). A Multiple entry China visa (Business Only) is good for 6 months from issuance.  Within 180 days (please note the time difference between China and the U.S.) you can enter China. And from the date of your entrance, you can stay in China for 30 days (the duration period is written in the visa label). 

 

3. Where should I apply for a China visa?

Generally speaking, you should apply to the Chinese Embassy or Consulates General in your country; or you may entrust a travel agency, visa agency or a third party to make an application for you. Foreign visitors from the following 15 countries should apply to the Chinese Visa Application Service Center: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, and the United
Kingdom.

4. Can I apply for a visa by mail?

Will the Chinese Embassy or Consulates General send back the passports and visa by mail? Most Embassies and Consulates General neither accept visa applications by mail nor provide the service of sending back passports.
The Chinese Visa Application Service Centers do accept visa applications by mail from the places over which they exercise jurisdiction (currently available in 15 countries). Applicants must attend an interview if required by the embassy or consulates general.

5. How long does it take to get chinese visa?

It may take 2-4 working days to get a Chinese visa if all the accompanying documents meet the requirements. The best time to apply for a Chinese Visa is between two months and fifteen days before your departure. You can’t apply for your Visa too early because if you don’t use it, the Visa will expire after 90 days (or 180 days, in some cases), starting from the day you obtained it.