China Visa - How and Where to Apply for Chinese Visa

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China Visa

Ordinary passport holders from Singapore, Brunei and Japan can gain access to China without applying for visas for up to 15 days for business, sightseeing, visiting relatives and friends, or transit.

Citizens of all other countries need visas to enter into China. If travel in group, the visa will be kept by the accompanying guide and for individual traveler, visa, which is insert into the passport, should be kept by himself.

Passports are also needed as it will be the prime means of identification. You will have to show them when you cash travelers checks, make plane or train reservations, exchange money or establish the holder's identity.

Chinese visa is a permit issued by the Chinese visa authorities to those foreigners who want to enter into, exit from or transit through the Chinese territory.

According to the applicants' identity, visiting purpose and passport type, the Chinese visa falls into four categories, namely, diplomatic, courtesy, service and ordinary visas.

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

  • Visit / Business Visa (F): Issued to those foreigners who are invited to China for visit, research, lecture, business, scientific-technological and cultural exchanges or short-term advanced studies or intern practice for a period of less than six months.
  • Tourism Visa (L): Issued to those who enter China temporarily for touring, family visiting or other personal affairs (multiple-entry is not granted for this category).
  • Working Visa (Z): Issued to foreigners who are to take up a post or employment in China, and their accompanying family members.
  • Study / Student Visa (X): Issued to those who come to China for study or intern practice for a period of six months or above.
  • Crewmember Visa (C): Issued to crewmembers on international aviation, navigation and land transportation missions and their accompanying family members.
  • Journalist Visa (J-1): This visa is for journalists who are posted to China for at least one year.
  • Journalist Visa (J-2): Issued to foreign correspondents on temporary interview mission in China.
  • Transit Visa (G): Issued to those who transit through China.
  • Residence Visa (D): Issued to people who are going to live in China permanently.

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.

General Requirements for Applying for a Chinese Visa:

  • A completed Visa Application Form. Forms can be obtained from the local Chinese Embassy or Consulate or downloaded from their official web sites.
  • Two passport size photos showing applicant's full front face.
  • Current Passport that is valid for a minimum of six months from the date of travel. The passport must also have a more than two blank visa pages.
  • Submitting documents which explain one's reasons to enter China.

How to apply for your Visa:

Applicants should come in person or through a third party (e.g. Travel Agent or Tour Operator) to apply for the Chinese visa during office hours 9 -12 am in Chinese Embassy / Chinese Consulates-General in the country you live. Usually, the processing time is about 5- 7 working days.

Applications by Mail: It takes 2 weeks to process the application, so there is no same day or express day service. It is advised that your passport(s) should be sent by registered post for security and proof of posting needs to be kept. Enclose a self-addressed envelope, the visa application form and payment.

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