China Visa Application

China Visa

The following information is FOR YOUR REFERENCE ONLY, Please contact Chinese embassy or consulate general in your country or region for accurate and detailed information.

According to the Law of the People's Republic of China Concerning the Administration of Foreigners Entering and Leaving the Country, foreign tourists must apply for visas at China's foreign affairs offices, consulates or other organizations authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A group of five tourists or more can apply for a group tourist visa. This is usually handled by a travel agency organizing groups. People coming to China from countries which have visa agreements with China (such as agreements which exempt tourist groups from visas) are treated in accordance with these agreements.

If anyone wants to go to Tibet for a visit you can apply for a visa only with the consent of the Tourism Administration of the Tibet Autonomous Region or any one of its foreign representative offices. A passport is required for visa application, the passport shall be valid for at least 6 months beyond the duration of the tour.

A Brief Introduction to Chinese Visa

Chinese visa is a permit issued to a foreigner by the Chinese visa authorities for entry into, exit from or transit through the Chinese territory. The Chinese visa authorities may issue a Diplomatic, Courtesy, Service or Ordinary Visa to a foreigner according to his/her identity, purpose of visit to China and passport type.

The Ordinary Visa consists of eight sub-categories, which are respectively marked with Chinese phonetic letters L, F, Z, X, C, G, D, J-1and J-2.

L Visa: Issued to an applicant who comes to China for tourist purposes, family visiting or other personal affairs.

F Visa: Issued to an applicant who is invited to China for visit, research, lecture, business, scientific-technological and culture exchanges or short-term advanced studies or intern practice for a period of no more than six months.

Z Visa: Issued to an applicant who is to take up a post or employment in China, and their accompanying family members.

X Visa: Issued to an applicant who comes to China for the purpose of study, advanced studies or intern practice for a period over six months.

C Visa: Issued to crewmembers on international aviation, navigation and land transportation missions and family members accompanying them.

G Visa: Issued to those who transit through China.

D Visa: Issued to applicant who is to reside permanently in China.

J-1 Visa: Issued to foreign resident correspondents in China.

J-2 Visa: Issued to foreign correspondents on temporary interview missions in China.

Validity of Visa: normally speaking, a visa is valid for 3 months from the date of issuance (date of application) and on any day within this period, the visa holder may enter China.

Duration of Stay Specified in the Visa: normally, a visa holder may stay in China for 1 month which counts from the date of his/her entrance into China. To stay longer, you need to specify your request in your application form and it'll be subject to the permission of the consul in charge.

Chinese Visa Authorities Overseas

The Chinese Visa Authorities Overseas include Chinese embassies, consulates, visa offices, and the consular department of the office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China. If a foreigner intends to enter into, exit from, or transit through the Chinese territory, he shall apply to the above-mentioned Chinese visa authorities for a Chinese visa. For further information, please consult the nearest Chinese visa authorities.

Visa Exemption

Foreign crewmembers or passengers, excluding citizens of the USA (except for transit in Shanghai) or UK, do not need a Chinese visa if they take a direct transit in China by plane for less than 24 hours without exiting from the airport.

Citizens from the following countries do not need a Chinese visa to transit in Shanghai if they enter and exit from Pudong or Hongqiao airport, stay for less than 48 hours, and hold their valid passport, visa of the destination country, and on-going air ticket with departure date and seat confirmed:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, and USA.

As of July 1, 2003, ordinary passport holders from Singapore and Brunei enjoy visa-free access to China for up to 15 days for the purposes of business, tourism, visit to relatives and friends, or transit, and may enter and exit from the Chinese ports that are open to foreigners.


1. The Chinese visa is generally valid for 6 months from the issue date to entry date. Please apply for your visa within 6 months of entry into China according to your travel itinerary, and avoid expiry of visa, or extra cost of urgent fee due to lack of application process time. Please also decide the duration of stay in China. The permitted duration of stay of Chinese visas are generally up to 30 days. If you need to stay longer, please apply to the local public security bureau in China for visa extension.

2. Previous Chinese citizens who have obtained foreign citizenship should present their original Chinese passport when applying for a Chinese visa for the first time. In this case, a child should also provide the original and photocopy of passports of both parents.

3. The validity, duration of stay, and number of entries of the Chinese visa are decided at the discretion of consular officials according to Chinese laws and regulations. The consular officials have the authority to refuse any applications inconsistent with Chinese laws and regulations, and are entitled to change and /or revoke any issued visas, without providing any explanation.

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