Guidelines to Chinese Visa Application

Basic Facts

China Visa Types

  • Tourist (L) Issued to aliens who are going to PRC for tourism.
  • Business (M/F) Issued to aliens who are invited to PRC for business visit, an investigation, a lecture, scientific-technological & cultural exchanges, intern practice.
  • Student (X) Issued to aliens who are going to PRC for study, furthering studies.
  • Work (Z) Issued to aliens who are going to PRC for a post or employment.
  • Resident (D) Issued to aliens who are going to reside permanently in PRC.
  • Talent (R) Issued to high-level personnel and much-needed highly talented people.
  • Private Visit (S) Issued to family members of foreigners residing in China for work, study, etc.
  • Family Reunion (Q) Issued to relatives of Chinese citizens or foreigners with permanent residence permit residing in PRC.
  • Transit (G) Issued to aliens who are going to a third country in transit of PRC.
  • Crew (C) Issued to crewmembers involving international-based transportation by trains, airway and ships and their accompanying family members.
  • Journalist (J-1, J-2) Issued to foreign journalists for the purpose of reporting from PRC.

TravelChinaGuide provides the following information to help foreign travellers understand about obtaining visas and some of the rules for foreigners to stay in China. The information is accurate to the best of our knowledge.  However, there is considerable complexity as there are several types; It can be applied for in your own country, within mainland, or in a third country; the rules vary according to your nationality, and the regulations can be changed at any time.

The information is relevant to holders of ordinary passports. If you hold a diplomatic or service passport, there are different rules and you will need to get advice from your employer.

Wherever you are in doubt about your situation, you should contact your local Chinese office directly, such as Chinese Embassy in Washington DC, USA, Chinese Embassy in Ottawa, Canada, Chinese Embassy in London, UK.

Mostly, a visa is a permit granted before travelling to enter a country, usually for a fee. However, it is only an indication to immigration officials that you have satisfied certain conditions.  On arrival, the immigration official has the power to approve or disallow your entrance.  So, when you arrive you can be told that you may not enter.  This can be for many reasons including a belief that there is something wrong with the passport or the visa, you do not have enough money, you plan to work when the type you hold does not allow this, or that you are in some other way 'undesirable'.  There is normally nothing you can do about it and you will not be permitted to enter.  This poses problems for airlines and in turn for passengers – see the heading Airline Rules

Sometimes, a visa can be issued at the border when you arrive.  This is half way between being a true one and a 'no visa required' situation.  There are not many situations where this is available for entry to China.

 Marriage Registration in China
It explains the basic rules that foreigners need to know about marriage registration in China.

 Futher Reading:
 Passport           Visa Forum           China Visa Fees

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