Visa policy of China

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An L Type Chinese visa for tourists.
Chinese L type 60-day visa affixed to a stamp page in a U.S. passport
Entry stamp
Exit stamp
Entry and exit stamps.

Visitors to 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. Special administrative regions – Hong Kong and Macau – maintain independent visa regimes.[1]

A Chinese visa is a permit issued by the Chinese visa authorities (Chinese embassies, consulates, and other offices authorized by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs) to a foreigner, that authorizes entry into, exit from, or transit through the People's Republic of China.[2] Visa authorities may issue a Diplomatic, Courtesy, Official or Regular Visa to an alien, depending on his/her status and purpose of visit to China, and/or passport type.

If a foreigner (alien) intends to enter into, exit from or transit through Chinese territory, he/she must apply for a Chinese visa to the above-mentioned Chinese visa authorities, usually where they are located in countries outside China. This application does not need to be done in person, but for tourists the procurement of a Chinese visa usually requires presentation of the original "ordinary" (tourist) passport to the authority in question. The reason is that the visa document is affixed in the form of an adhesive non-removable permanent sticker to one of the ordinary passport's visa pages (i.e., usually the same pages upon which entry and exit stamps are placed in the passport by non-visa requiring countries). This process nominally requires a few days, requiring passports to be dropped off and picked up on separate days, as it cannot be done by mail. However, for an extra fee, the process may be done in many embassies and consulates in a few hours during a single working day. Since passports do not need to be presented by the holder, some third parties will provide this service. A single person in a travel group may also submit and retrieve passports to obtain visas for the others, so long as the application paperwork and signatures are in order.

Residents from Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR who hold a Hong Kong SAR passport or Macau SAR passport should apply for a Home Return Permit in order to visit Mainland China. Neither a passport nor a visa is required as Hong Kong and Macau are both Special Administrative Region of China and China does not consider travelling between the SAR and the mainland as international travel despite a border that still separates the respective territories. This permit is valid for 10 years regardless of the entry status, be it tourism or employment, and can be applied for through the China Travel Service in Hong Kong and Macau respectively. Taiwan residents should apply for a Taiwanese Compatriot Pass and a visa endorsement (different from the normal visa held by foreigners) when visiting Mainland China. Visa endorsement as well as a one time compatriot pass can also be obtained from various port of entry or international airport in China on arrival. China considers Taiwan as its own territory and therefore does not recognize its passport; travelling between China and Taiwan is not considered as international travel either. Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan citizens, if they are overseas and not bearing the Home Return Permit or the Taiwan Compatriot Pass, they should apply for a China Travel Document through a Chinese embassy or consulate.

The Government of the People's Republic of China allows citizens of a few specific countries (see below) to travel to the Chinese Mainland for tourism or business for up to 15 or 30 days without having to obtain a visa. However, these do not include countries in the Americas, the U.K., or Europe. Most foreign travellers to China (travel "to" China being defined as leaving the security zone of an international airport) are required to hold a visa. Exceptions to this requirement exist in certain parts of the country, such as Shanghai and Beijing, but not in most of the entry points into China.

China's visa policies are constantly changing, which has been the subject of both official comment and news reports.[3][4] In fact, the Australian government warns its citizens: "The Chinese authorities have put in place more stringent requirements for visa issue.... Police authorities (Public Security Bureau) have tightened regulations and are stringently enforcing regulations for the issue and renewal of visas."[4]

In 2014 China announced a new policy to sign mutual visa-free travel agreements with as many countries as possible.[5]

Eligible nationalities for visa-free entry[edit]

Visa policy of China

Citizens holding passports issued by the following nations are not required to obtain a visa to travel to China on a trip as long as it lasts no more than the visa waiver limit as listed below.

Ordinary passports[edit]

Ordinary passports (endorsed "for public affairs")[edit]

People with passports issued from the following countries are allowed to enter and remain in China for up to 30 days.

Diplomatic and service/official passports[edit]

People with passports issued from the following countries are allowed to enter and remain in China for up to 30 days.[36]


Visa-free transit through international airports[edit]

24-hour transit[edit]

Visas are not required of any foreign passport holders who:

  • hold air tickets to a final destination outside China and who have booked seats on international airlines flying directly through China;
  • stay in the transit airport for less than 24 hours;
  • do not leave the transit airport.[39]

72-hour stay[edit]

Eligible countries

Holders of passports issued by the following 51 countries do not need a visa for a 72 hour visit if they are transiting through the following airports provided they hold valid passports, visas for the onward countries (if required), final destination tickets and have booked onward flight seats, and they visit only that city, municipality or province (Guangdong Province only).[40][41][42]

Eligible countries[edit]

Eligible airports[edit]

Xi'an/Xianyang announced the introduction of the 72 hour visa exemption for passengers in transit through Xi'an Xianyang International Airport. The decision will be implemented in the first half of 2014.[53]

Region-specific visa exemptions[edit]

The Chinese government has implemented visa waiver schemes for foreign nationals travelling to particular areas of Mainland China.[54]

Pearl River Delta[edit]

All visitors to Hong Kong and/or Macao are able to visit the surrounding Pearl River Delta visa-free as long as the following conditions are fulfilled:[55][56]

Shenzhen from Hong Kong[edit]

Visitors from most countries with notable exceptions of the US and, in certain cases, the UK may obtain a five-day entry visa when travelling from Hong Kong to Shenzhen. Visits are limited to Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, including Shenzhen City, Shekou and most of the factories. The visa can only be obtained upon arrival at Lo Wu border crossing.[57]

Hainan Province[edit]

Eligible countries

Nationals from the following countries can visit Hainan Island visa-free as long as their visit lasts 15 days or less and they are visiting as part of a tour group organised by a National Tourism Administration of China-approved travel agency based in Hainan.

In addition, visas on arrival are available for citizens from the following countries, which China considers countries with established diplomatic or official trade relations for the purposes of investment, trade, economic and technological interactions, visiting friends and family, or vacation. Visas are available at all entry points and are valid for 15 days.[58]

Tacheng[edit]

Citizens of  Kazakhstan can visit Tacheng in Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture without a visa for three days.[59]

Different Kinds of Chinese Visa[edit]

C Visa (Crew Visa)[edit]


C means "乘务"(Chéngwù) in Chinese. Issued to 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.

Documents required:

  • 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.
  • One completed Visa Application Form (V. 2013) with a recently taken color passport photo (bare-head, full face) against a light background attached.
  • A letter of guarantee issued by a foreign transport company or an invitation letter issued by a relevant entity in China

D Visa (Residence Visa)[edit]


D means "定居"(Dìngjū) in Chinese. D visa is issued to those who intend to reside in China permanently.

Documents required:

  • 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.
  • One completed Visa Application Form(V. 2013) with a recently taken color passport photo (bare-head, full face) against a light background attached.
  • The original and photocopy of the Confirmation Form for Foreigners Permanent Residence Status issued by the Ministry of Public Security of China.

F Visa (Non-Commercial Visa)[edit]


F means "访问"(Fǎngwèn) in Chinese. Originally serving a dual F Visa for both Business as well as non-commercial activities such as exchanges and internships, from 1 September 2013 the F Visa will be for Non-Commercial use only. The M Visa will be issued to a foreign citizen engaged in cultural exchanges, educational exchanges, visits and inspections.[60] While the former F visa specifically authorised “internships lasting less than six months” internships are not specifically mentioned under the new description of the F visa and it is unclear whether they will be encompassed by the F or M Visa categories. The F Visa does not allow 'work' in China and no income is allowed to be gained on the F Visa.[61]

Motive:

  • Exchanges
  • Visits
  • Inspections

Documents required:

  • Valid Passport (valid at least 6 months after the return date and 2 consecutive blank pages)
  • Visa Application Form properly completed and signed, with an ID photo
  • An F visa applicant shall provide an invitation letter issued by a domestic Chinese party.

G Visa (Transit Visa)[edit]


G means "过境"(Guòjìng) in Chinese. Transit visa is for people who stay for a short period in transit between two other countries. You must be resident in the country of destination or have a valid visa for it. The fees are the same as for a tourist visa; it is advisable to check if you can get a tourist visa instead.

Some airports do not have an area of international transfer and you may have to collect your luggage and exit the main area so that you expect to need a visa. However, in some cases, immigration officials will deliver you from the airport, Residence Permit "for 24 hours. When making reservations that you like will not be checked directly to your final destination you are advised to ask the airline or agent, or contact a visa-issuing consulate to check if a transit visa is necessary.[62]

Motive:

  • Transit to China to other countries or territories

Documents required:

  • Valid Passport (valid at least 6 months after the return date and 2 consecutive blank pages)
  • Visa Application Form properly completed and signed, with an ID photo
  • Valid visa for the countries (or territories) of destination or recipient of the ticket correspondence for those who benefit from the visa waiver countries (or territories) of destination

J Visa (Journalist Visa)[edit]


J means "记者"(Jìzhě) in Chinese. The long stay J1 is for resident journalists, the short stay, J2, is for those who are visiting for short term assignments. These are rather specialist visas and there are several extra requirements including approvals, invitations from the Chinese media authorities, or itineraries. There are extra requirements if you want to bring filming equipment into China. You will find the full details on the application form.[63]

J-1 Visa (Resident Journalist Visa)[edit]

Issued to resident foreign journalists of foreign news organizations stationed in China. The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days.

Holders of J-1 Visa shall, within 30 days from the date of their entry, apply to the exit/entry administrations of public security organs under local people's governments at or above the county level in the proposed places of residence for foreigners' residence permits for the duration of your contract, to a maximum of 5 years.

J-2 Visa (Temporary Journalist Visa)[edit]

Issued to 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.

Motive:

  • Journalism
  • News coverage

Documents required:

  • 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.
  • One completed Visa Application Form(V. 2013) with a recently taken color passport photo (bare-head, full face) against a light background attached.
  • Visa Notification Letter issued by the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China or other authorized units in China and an official letter issued by the media organization for which the journalist works.

L Visa (Tourist Visa)[edit]


L means "旅游"(Lǚyóu) in Chinese. The L visa is made only for "short stays" in China and is usually valid for 30 to 90 days. These can be extended once for 30 more days each time in China, all other extensions or transfers of visa must be processed outside of the country. The availability of long L visa is constantly changing. Depending on your country and the climate of invisible forces at work behind the immigration policy. In general, these visas allow you to stay in the country for 90 consecutive days at a time, which requires a trip across the border at least once every three months.[64]

Motive:

  • Tourism

Documents required:

  • Valid Passport (valid at least 6 months after the return date and 2 consecutive blank pages)
  • Visa Application Form properly completed and signed, with an ID photo

Additional documents that may be required:

  • Photocopies of roundtrip airline tickets (Travel on a one-way ticket is accepted according to Timatic requirements, however)
  • Photocopies of hotel reservations during your stay or certificate of accommodation in China
  • International Insurance Certificate (care / repatriation, valid during the stay in China)
  • Certificate of employment/proof of income (statement of last 3 months) or certificate of education (for students over 18 )
  • For those who visit a family member in China, provide a letter of invitation from parents, an attestation of family relationships (family book, marriage certificate...) and identification (residence permit for Foreigners in China, Chinese ID card for Chinese ...)
  • For those who visit friends in China, provide a letter of invitation from a friend in China by joining identification (residence permit for Foreigners in China, Chinese ID card for the Chinese. ..)

M Visa (Commercial Visa)[edit]


M means "商贸"(ShāngMào) in Chinese. From 1 September 2013, the new M Visa category will cover Business and Commercial activities. Though not mentioned in the legislation by name, some Chinese visa centres believe that internships as well as short term study will fall within the M Visa category. However, as of September 2013 there is no clear consensus across China visa offices globally and so which visa category (whether F or M) internships will fall under is still not clear.

Motive:

  • Business activities
  • Commercial activities

Documents required:

  • Valid Passport (valid at least 6 months after the return date and 2 consecutive blank pages)
  • Visa Application Form properly completed and signed, with an ID photo
  • An M visa applicant shall provide an invitation letter issued by a trade partner in China, a trade fair invitation etc.

Q Visa (Family Visa)[edit]


Q means "亲属"(Qīnshǔ) in Chinese. This visa type came along with the promulgation of the Administrative Regulations of the PRC on Entry and Exit of foreigners on July 12, 2013, which was implemented as of September 1, 2013. Overseas Chinese expect to benefit from the change to go back to China for family reunions. According to difference of the duration of stay and applicants' different identities, Q visa is further divided into two subclasses as Q1 and Q2.[65]

Q-1 Visa (Family Reunion/Foster Care Visa)[edit]

Issued to those 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.

Holders of Q1 Visa shall, within 30 days from the date of their entry, apply to the exit/entry administrations of public security organs under local people's governments at or above the county level in the proposed places of residence for foreigners' residence permits.

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

Motive:

  • Family reunion
  • Foster care

Documents required:

  • 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.
  • One completed Visa Application Form(V. 2013) with a recently taken color passport photo (bare-head, full face) against a light background attached.
  • An invitation letter issued by a Chinese citizen or a foreign with a Chinese permanent residence permit who lives in China. The invitation letter should contain:
    • Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)
    • Information on the visit ( purpose of visit, intended arrival date, place(s) of intended residence, intended duration of residence, relations between the applicant and the inviting individual, financial source for expenditures)
    • Information on the inviting individual (name, contact telephone number, address, official stamp, signature of legal representative or the inviting individual, etc.)
  • Photocopy of Chinese ID of the inviting individual or foreign passport and permanent residence permit.
  • Original and photocopy of certification (marriage certificate, birth certificate, certification of kinship issued by Public Security Bureau or notarized certification of kinship) showing the relationship of family members between applicant and inviting individual.

For foster care, the following documents are required:

  • Foster entrustment notarization issued by Chinese Embassies/Consulates General in foreign countries or Foster Care Power of Attorney notarized and authenticated in the country of residence or in China
  • Original and photocopy of the consignor's passport(s), as well as the original and photocopy of certification (marriage certificate, birth certificate, certification of kinship issued by Public Security Bureau or notarized certification of kinship) showing the relationship between parents and children.
  • A letter of consent on foster care issued by the trustee living in China who has agreed to provide foster care services and a photocopy of the ID of the trustee.
  • A photocopy of the certificate indicating the permanent residence status abroad of the parent(s) when the child was born, provided that either or both parents of the child are Chinese citizens.

Q-2 Visa (Visiting Relatives Visa)[edit]

Issued to those 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.

Motive:

  • Visit relatives

Documents required:

  • 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.
  • One completed Visa Application Form(V. 2013) with a recently taken color passport photo (bare-head, full face) against a light background attached.
  • An invitation letter by a Chinese citizen or a foreign citizen with a Chinese permanent residence permit who lives in China. The invitation letter should contain:
    • Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)
    • Information on the visit (purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, relations between the applicant and the inviting individual, financial source for expenditures)
    • Information on the inviting individual (name, contact number, address, signature etc.)
  • Photocopy of Chinese ID or foreign passport and permanent residence permit of the inviting individual

R Visa (Talent Visa)[edit]


R means "人才"(Réncái) in Chinese. Under the regulations from September 1, 2013, the R Visa is issued to foreign high-level personnel and much-needed highly talented people who need to stay in China.[66]

Documents required:

  • Employment
  • 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.
  • One completed Visa Application Form(V. 2013) with a recently taken color passport photo (bare-head, full face) against a light background attached.
  • Documents as required in accordance with relevant regulations, and meet the relevant requirements of the competent authorities of the Chinese government on high-level personnel and urgently needed talents.

S Visa (Private Visit Visa)[edit]


S means "私人事务"(Sīrénshìwù) in Chinese. From September 1, 2013, relatives of foreign residents in China have more opportunities to visit their loved ones under new regulations. S visa is a new visa type issued to family members of foreign professionals and students in China. Spouses, children, brothers, sisters, parents and parents-in-law of foreigners residing in China all qualify for this S visa, which is considered much more generous than the international standard limited to only spouse and children. The policy can be sure benefiting many foreigners, making their lives much easier and more comfortable here in China. S has subdivided categories as S1 and S2.[67]

S-1 Visa (Immediate Family Visa)[edit]

S1 visa is issued to those 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.

Holders of S1 Visa shall, within 30 days from the date of their entry, apply to the exit/entry administrations of public security organs under local people's governments at or above the county level in the proposed places of residence for foreigners' residence permits.

S-2 Visa (Family Visa)[edit]

S2 visa is issued to those 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.

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

Motive:

  • Visiting family members (foreigners) working or studying in China

Documents required:

  • 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.
  • One completed Visa Application Form(V. 2013) with a recently taken color passport photo (bare-head, full face) against a light background attached.
  • An invitation letter issued by the invitingindividual (a foreigner who stays or resides in China for work or studies) which contains:
    • Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)
    • Information on the visit (purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, relations between the applicant and the inviting individual, financial source for expenditures, etc.)
    • Information on the inviting individual (name, contact telephone number, address, signature, etc.)
  • A photocopy of the inviting individual's (a foreigner who stays or lives in China for work or studies) passport and residence permit
  • Photocopy of certification (marriage certificate, birth certificate or notarized certification of kinship) showing the relationship of family members between the applicant and the inviting individual.

For private affairs, documentation identifying the nature of the private affairs should be provided as required by the consular officer.

X Visa (Student Visa)[edit]


X means "学生"(Xuéshēng) in Chinese. The organization must be accredited to offer courses or internships abroad. You are not allowed to work with this visa "without authorization." However, many students forget that and. If the authorities find it, you need to stop or even be expelled or

The X visa is valid for 30 days from the date of arrival. During this period, you and your university or employer must apply for a temporary residence permit for the duration of your study or training. And for a maximum period of 5 years.[68]

Motive:

  • Studies

Documents required:

  • Valid Passport (valid at least 6 months after the return date and 2 consecutive blank pages)
  • Visa Application Form properly completed and signed, with an ID photo
  • Photocopies of roundtrip airline tickets
  • Photocopies of hotel reservations during your stay or certificate of accommodation in China
  • International Insurance Certificate (care / repatriation, valid during the stay in China)
  • Form JW201 or JW202 issued by the Chinese Education
  • Certificate of admission to the establishment of teaching Chinese
  • Medical certificate

The Student Visa is divided into X and F Visa. The X Visa is issued to foreigners who come to China for study, advanced studies for more than six months. The F visa is issued to foreigners who come to China with the same purpose, but for a period of less than 6 months.

Z Visa (Employment Visa)[edit]


Z means "工作"(GōngZuò) in Chinese. The working visa is issued to foreigners, and their family members who accompany them, which will occupy a position in China, to give commercial performances or participate in projects of assistance and cooperation. The work visa is both for businesses, non-profit organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) goal.[69]

Motive:

  • Long term Work, more than 6 months

Documents required:

  • Valid Passport (valid at least 6 months after the return date and 2 consecutive blank pages)
  • Visa Application Form properly completed and signed, with an ID photo
  • Notification of visa issued by a competent Chinese authority
  • Employment License issued by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the People's Republic of China;
    • Or license issued by the National Administration of Foreign Experts of the People's Republic of China;
    • Or Ratification for the representative office of foreign companies in China issued by Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China (for representatives working permanently in the said office);
    • Or Teaching Certificate of representative office of foreign companies in China issued by the National Administration of Industry and Commerce of the People's Republic of China (for the head of the representative office);
    • Or WC representatives of the representative office of foreign enterprises issued by the Provincial Administration of Commerce;
    • Or Work permit issued by the Provincial Employment Service;
  • Family record of civil status or a photocopy of the family record book (for spouses, children and other family members accompanying appearing on Notification of visa)
  • Medical certificate

For minors[edit]


Documents required:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Parental authorization (in the form of notarized and legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  • Copy of parent’s identity documents
  • In case of divorce: notarial deed of legalized divorce, with entries for custody
  • School Certificate

Validity, Number of Entries and Duration of Each Stay of Chinese Visas[edit]

1) Visa Validity ("Enter Before") means that the visa is valid, or can be used for entry into China from the date of issue to the "Enter Before" date indicated on the visa (Beijing Time). If a visa has unused entries, the bearer can enter China before 24:00 (Beijing Time) on the expiration date.

2) "Entries" refers to the number of times the bearer is permitted to enter China during the validity of a visa.

A visa becomes invalid if there are no entries left, or if there are entries left but the visa validity expires. If a visa becomes invalid, its bearer must apply for a new visa before entering China. Traveling with an invalid visa to China will result in refusal of entry.

3) "Duration of Each Stay" refers to the maximum number of days the visa bearer is permitted to stay in China each time, which is calculated from the date of entry into China.

A foreign citizen who overstays the end date of his/her authorized stay in China without going through extension formalities is subject to fines and other penalties for violation of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Control of the Entry and Exit of Aliens and its Detailed Rules for Implementation. If a visa bearer is to stay in China longer than the duration of stay allowed on the visa, approval must be obtained from local public security authorities above the county level before the duration of stay expires. Approval of an extension of stay may or may not be granted. Please check the website of the local public security authorities in China for more information. Chinese Embassies and Consulates overseas are not authorized to extend a visa.

A bearer of a D, Q1, J1, S1, X1 and Z visa must apply for a residence permit at the local public security authorities within 30 days of entry into China. Members of foreign diplomatic or consular missions in China must apply for a residence permit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or local foreign affairs departments within 30 days of entry into China.

Region-specific visa restrictions[edit]

Tibet Autonomous Region[edit]

Foreign Passport holders entering Tibet must have a Tibet Travel Permit, issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau. This permit will be checked when going on board any buses, trains or airlines that bound for the TAR. However, the only way to obtain a Tibet Travel Permit is to arrange a tour operated by a Tibet travel agent which at least includes hotels and transportation. Foreigners are also not permitted to travel by public buses across Tibet and are only allowed to travel by private transportation as organised in the tour. Moreover, if entering Tibet from Nepal, one must also joined a group tour and be only allowed on a group visa. The Tibet Travel Permit has to be handed in to the tour guide upon arrival in the airport or train station, and to tour guide will keep the permit until the traveler left the TAR. The Tibet Travel Permit is also required by Taiwanese holding a Taiwan Compatriot Pass, but it is not required for Chinese citizens from Hong Kong or Macao holding a Home Return Permit.[citation needed]

Visa application procedures for foreign nationals (aliens)[edit]

In the majority of cases, visa nationals (persons not citizens of China) are required to apply for a Chinese visa in their home country at the Chinese foreign mission (embassy or consulate) or through an appointed visa agent, prior to entry into China. In the U.S., this requires presentation of a physical passport to the embassy, where the visa sticker is affixed. This process requires four days but may be done in a single working day for an extra fee. It cannot be done by mail, and cash and personal checks are not accepted as payment.

In some scenarios, it is possible to arrange for a visa upon entry into China.

There are currently four main categories of visas available: L (tourist), F (short term business/study), X (study) and residence permits, also called work (Z) visas.

There are also visa categories for spouses and children, though these are more complex to obtain and rarely granted (letters of invitation are required for all types). L-visas are issued for any time between 14 – 90 days and can be extended in China twice for 30 days. F-visas are issued for either 1, 3, or 6 months, X-visas for 6 or 12 months and Z-visas for 12 months. Since March 2012 invitation letters are need for all types of visa, including Tourist (L) at almost all Chinese embassies when applying for a visa. For tourist (L) visas a copy of both sides of the inviting person's Chinese ID card or passport is needed since. In some countries a return flight ticket, travel itinerary and accommodation bookings might also be required. Non PRC nationals can only issue invitations if they hold a residence permit (Z visa).[70][71]

Visa-on-arrival procedures[edit]

Airports[edit]

Visa nationals are able to obtain a visa-on-arrival at the following airports as long as arrangements have been made prior to arrival into China and confirmation has been received from the Entry and Exit Division of the local Public Security Bureau that a visa will be issued on arrival.

Mainland China Visa for Hong Kong Non-Chinese Residents[edit]

Residents of Hong Kong who are not Chinese citizens require a visa to visit the mainland. Hong Kong Permanent Residents may apply for a 3-year multi-entry visa. Hong Kong Residents can apply for a 1-year multi entry visa. In most cases the length of stay for each individual trip is one month. For non Chinese Citizens, currently it is not possible to apply for a resident visa for mainland China based on the applicant's status as a Hong Kong Permanent Resident.

Notes[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Visa Information - China". Timatic. IATA. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Exit-Entry Administration Law, article 15.
  3. ^ Muhammad Cohen, "Visa curbs haunt Macau," Asia Times, August 3, 2010. Found at Asia Times online. Accessed August 26, 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Travel Advice for China", found at Government of Australia website. online. Accessed August 26, 2010.
  5. ^ No visa, no entry, what is a Chinese passport worth?
  6. ^ "Visa information for China (People's Rep.)". Retrieved 12 February 2014. 
  7. ^ Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Negara Brunei Darussalam: Information for Visa to China [1]
  8. ^ Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Japan: About Chinese Visa [2]
  9. ^ Embassy of the People's Republic of China in The Republic of Mauritius: Chinese Visas[3]
  10. ^ "''Visa Information''". Timaticweb.com. Retrieved 2013-03-29. 
  11. ^ "''Mutual Visa-free Agreement between China and Foreign Countries''" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-03-29. 
  12. ^ "Ufficio Passaporti - Visti turistici - Segreteria di Stato per gli Affari Esteri e Politici - Repubblica di San Marino". Esteri.sm. Retrieved 2013-03-29. 
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