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China Visa

29 August 2020 last updated at 19:41 0 Comments

According to relevant agreements and regulations, foreign citizens need a visa to visit China's mainland. Before arriving in China, you need have a passport with at least 6 months’ validity remaining and must obtain a China visa, unless you can enjoy the China visa-free policy on the last part of this article.  

Basic Requirements for Chinese Visa Application

1. Original passport with at least one blank visa page and valid for at least 6 months.

2. One photocopy of data and photo pages of the passport.

3. Completed Chinese visa application form A and B with clean and tidy hand-writting.

4. One colored passport photo taken in the last six months.

5. China Itinerarywith flight booking and hotel reservation OR Invitation Letter from relatives or companies.

How to Apply for China Visa, Processing Time, Visa Fees

1. China Visa Application Steps

STEP 1: Select a visa category that best describes your trip to China and prepare your visa application including necessary supporting documents accordingly.

STEP 2: Submit your application form to the Visa Office of Chinese Embassy/ Consulate General based on your country of residence

STEP 3: Pay the visa application fee at the Visa Office and pick up your visa.

2. China Visa Processing Time

Regular service: 4-5 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.

3. China Visa Fee

The China visa application fee will be different based on different countries. It is better to consult the staff of visa center or China Embassy.

China Visa Sample

Types of Chinese Visas

Visa Catagory Eligible Applicants
L Foreigners who intend to go to China as a tourist.
C Foreign crew members of means of international transportation, including aircraft, trains and ships, or motor vehicle drivers engaged in cross-border transport activities, or to the accompanying family members of the crew members of the above-mentioned ships.
D Foreigners who intend to reside in China permanently.
F Foreigners who intend to go to China for exchanges, visits, study tours and other non-business activities.
G Foreigners who intend to transit through China.
J1 Resident foreign journalists of foreign news organizations stationed in China. The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days.
J2 Foreign journalists who intend to go to China for short-term news coverage. The intended duration of stay in China is no more than 180 days.
M Foreigners who intend to go to China for commercial and trade activities.
Q1 Foreigners who are family members* of Chinese citizens or of foreigners with Chinese permanent residence and intend to go to China for family reunion, or to those who intend to go to China for the purpose of foster care. The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days.
Q2 Foreigners who intend to visit their relatives who are Chinese citizens residing in China or foreigners with permanent residence in China. The intended duration of stay in China is no more than 180 days.
R Foreigners who are high-level talents or whose skills are urgently needed in China.
S1 Foreigners who intend to go to China to visit the foreigners working or studying in China to whom they are spouses, parents, sons or daughters under the age of 18 or parents-in-law, or to those who intend to go to China for other private affairs. The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days.
S2 Foreigners who intend to visit their family members* who are foreigners working or studying in China, or to those who intend to go to China for other private matters. The intended duration of stay in China is no more than 180 days.
X1 Foreigners who intend to study in China for a period of more than 180 days.
X2 Foreigners who intend to study in China for a period of no more than 180 days.
Z Foreigners who intend to work in China.

* Family members refer to spouses, parents, sons, daughters, spouses of sons or daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandsons, granddaughters and parents-in-law.

Latest China Visa-Free Policy

Nowadays, there are the following 11 kinds of visa exemption policies in China. Enjoy any one of policies, you come to China and do not need to apply for a China Visa.

1. Visa-Free Policy for Citizens of Singapore, Brunei, Japan, Qatar and Armenia

Ordinary passport holders of Singapore, Brunei and Japan are allowed to enter China without visas for up to 15 days for tourism, visiting family or friends, or minor business purposes. According to Mutual Visa Exemption, Qatar citizens with ordinary passports can stay in China for less than 30 days without a visa. Armenian citizens can stay in China for no more than 90 days every 180 days are exempted from China visas.

For citizens of these countries, a visa is required under following circumstance:

(1) Ordinary passport holder visits for tourism, business, visiting friends and relatives but stays for more than 15 days (30 days for Qataris, 90 days for Armenians).

(2) Ordinary passport holder visits for the purposes of study, work, official visit, settling down and interview.

(3) Japanese Diplomatic and Official passport holder.

During the visa-free period, you can plan a Tibet tour.

2. Visa-Free Policy for Aliens' Residence Permit Holders

Foreigners who visit for study on X1 visa or for work on Z visa or resident foreign journalists should apply for Aliens' Residence Permit from local public security bureau within 30 days after arrival. During the validity period of the Resident Permit, the permit holder is entitled to enter into and exit from mainland China for multiple times without applying for other visa.

If you have a Resident Permit, you can visit Tibet by offering a sheet of relevant certificate.

3. Visa-Free Policy for APEC Business Travel Card Holders

The APEC Business Travel Card is regarded as a multiple entry visa valid for three years. With this card and passport, the holder is entitled to enter into China for many times within its validity. But you can only stay in China 2 months each time.

You can use passport, APEC card and a work certificate to travel to Tibet during the validity period.

4. 24-Hour Direct Transit in mainland China

For the 24-Hour visa-free transit policy, almost all nationalities can enjoy this policy when they hold tickets to transit directly through mainland China by international flight, ship or train to a third country or region, and have a confirmed seat. Travelers can stay for less than 24 hours.

Within the 24 hours transit, travelers can also apply for a Temporary Stay Permit upon arrival to leave the port for city sightseeing or leave one city to another city, such as: USA - Shanghai - Beijing - Malaysia.

5. 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit in mainland China

The 72-hour visa-free transit policy in China allows air passengers from 53 countries to transit and stay for up to 72 hours (3 days) in 19 China airports without a China visa.

19 China airports: Beijing Capital Airport, Shanghai Pudong Airport, Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, and airports of Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Shenyang, Dalian, Harbin, Xi'an, Guilin, Kunming, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Tianjin, Qingdao, Nanjing, Changsha, and Xiamen.

24 Schengen Agreement Countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

15 Other European Countries: Russia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia (FYROM), Albania, Belarus, Monaco

6 American Countries: the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile

2 Oceania Countries: Australia, New Zealand

6 Asian Countries: Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar

6. 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit in mainland China

International passengers from the above 53 countries transiting in Guangdong, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Xi'an, Chongqing, Liaoning, Chengdu, Wuhan, Qingdao, Kunming, and Xiamen can enjoy a visa-free stay up to 144 hours.

7. 30-Day Visa-Free Access to Hainan Province

The following countries citizens are exempted from China visas when they travel to Hainan Province as a group or an individual organized by Travel Agency in Hainan. The stay is limited to 30 days in general, and it counts from the following day after arrival.

6 American Countries: the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile

2 Oceania Countries: Australia, New Zealand

25 Schengen Agreement Countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

15 Other European Countries: Russia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia (FYROM), Albania, Belarus, Monaco

11 Asian Countries: Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar

8. 15-Day Visa-Free Stay Policy for Cruise Tour Groups to Shanghai

International travelers who take a cruise tour to Shanghai and leave with the cruise from Shanghai or other ports of China can enjoy a 15-day visa-free stay in China, and they need be accepted by a local travel agency as a tour group. The group should contain at least two members. These passengers can travel with the ship to other coastal cities and provinces, including Beijing, Liaoning, Hebei, Tianjin, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, and Hainan. The stay time counts from the following day after arrival.

9. 6-Day Visa-Free Policy for Tourists to Pearl River Delta

International tourists holding passports issued by the countries with diplomatic relations with China are exempted from China visas if they join a group tour organized by registered travel agencies in Hong Kong and Macao to visit the Pearl River Delta region for tourism up to 6 days. The region includes Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Zhaoqing, and Huizhou.

10. 6-Day Visa-Free Policy for ASEAN Tour Groups to visit Guilin

Tour groups from ASEAN member countries, including Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Myanmar, Brunei, and the Philippines, can enjoy 6 days Visa-Free Policy to visit Guilin if they join a group tour organized by registered travel agencies in Guilin. The tour groups need enter into and exit from Guilin Liangjiang Airport and all members need travel in Guilin together.  

11. Visa-Free Policy for Diplomatic, Service or Official Passport Holders

Mainland China has mutual visa-free agreements with some countries, but they are mainly for diplomatic, service or official passport holders and the passport holders are allowed to stay in China less than 30 days.

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