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China Visa Entries / Validity / Duration of Stay

A holder of a valid Chinese visa can enter China during its validity and stay there for the allowed duration after each entry. It's important to carefully check the number of entries, validity and duration of each stay after your visa is issued to avoid any problems.

Number of Entries: Single (01), Double (02) and Multiple (M)

China Visa Sample
China Visa Sample (click to enlarge)

China issues single, double, and multiple-entry visas. A single-entry visa only allows you to enter China once, a double-entry twice, and a multiple-entry visa enables you to exit from mainland China and re-enter on the same visa for multiple times during its validity.

Once you leave mainland China, you must either have another valid entry on your original visa or obtain a new visa to return. Remember that even a few hours in Hong Kong or Macau is an exit from mainland China in this context. Also, remember that you cannot gain extra entries on a visa once it has been issued. In case you need more entries, you would have to apply for a new visa.

When filling out China Visa Application Form, you can tick the intended number of entries and validity of your visa in Section 2.2. For US, Canada, and Argentina citizens, they can also tick the last option "Other (Please specify)" and express their wish for getting a 10-year China visa with multiple entries in the blank after. However, you are not guaranteed to get the intended number of entries you select. The consular officers may judge by your actual itinerary and make their own decision. It seems that they are less willing to issue multiple entries if you apply outside your home country.

China Visa Validity: 3 Months, 6 Months, 1 Year, 10 Years

The validity of a China visa is the period between the "Issue Date" and "Enter Before" date shown on your visa. It is usually 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, and sometimes even 10 years. Holders please note that they must enter mainland China before 24:00 of the "Enter Before" date. Otherwise, the visa will expire and cannot be extended no matter whether there are entries left, and reapplication is required.

Duration of Each Stay after Entry

Duration of each stay is clearly shown on a China visa, which refers to the maximum number of days the holder is permitted to stay in the mainland of China each time and is counted from the next day after entry.

The granted duration of stay ranges from 7 to 180 days. For transit visas, the duration of stay is 7 to 10 days. For a regular single-entry tourist visa, it's often 30 days. The longest durations of stay for X2, S2, Q2, and J2 visas are 180 days. If you receive Z, Q1, S1, J1, or X1 visas, you may find that the stay duration shown on your visa is 000. In this case, you need to apply for a temporary residence permit from a local exit and entry administration within 30 days after entering China. During the validity of your residence permit, you can stay in China for any number of days as you wish.

Travelers need to keep in mind of the time limit in order not to overstay. Overstaying is against the Chinese laws and regulations, punishments such as fines or even expulsion will be made.

In need of an extended stay, applicants should apply for it at the Exit and Entry Administration of local public security at least 7 days before the allowed stay duration runs out. See China Visa Renewal and Extension.

- Last modified on Jan. 21, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Visa Entries / Validity / Duration of Stay
Asked by NOMAN from PAKISTAN | Jan. 21, 2019 05:30Reply
enter before date should consider exit date or only entry is manadotory before visa expiry date?
i have my M issued for 6months validity that is valid till 16th feb 2019, i want to know whether i can visit china on 15th feb and return back on 22nd feb after the expiry of (enter before) date?

or shall i apply to extend some days for the entry permit like 15 days?
Answers (1)
Answered by Paul from USA | Jan. 21, 2019 10:17

You can stay past the enter by date. You just need to enter by that date and then stay no longer than the number of days on your visa.
Asked by Eko rahayu from HONGKONG | Jan. 18, 2019 17:15Reply
Can i enter china on my last date visa expires?
My china entry permit is valid till 19th january.
Can i enter china on same date?
Answers (1)
Answered by Roberts from EGYPT | Jan. 20, 2019 23:06

Yes, you can enter China on that day.
Asked by Ann-Cecile Brock from SVERIGE | Jan. 17, 2019 00:20Reply
Stay in China after expired Visa
My Visa (M-30 days) will expire on March 13th. Can I travel into China before the 13th and stay until March 16th? (3 days after the entry permit has expired.)
Answers (1)
Answered by Robinson from TANZANIA | Jan. 17, 2019 18:12

Yes, you can do that.
Asked by Christiane from DENMARK | Jan. 16, 2019 01:57Reply
Business M visa travel
Hi, I have received a business M, is it then possible to travel to for instance South Korea and back on this? Or do I have to stay in China for the duration of my visa?

Thank you very much
Answers (1)
Answered by Williams from RUSSIA | Jan. 16, 2019 17:19

You can travel to South Korea and back on this visa.
Asked by Fahad from PAKISTAN | Jan. 15, 2019 23:33Reply
Confuse about overstay and confuse about when should Count the days start
Actually some buddies are saying if u enter china on 14th November then your days will be count from 14th November ,not from 15th November,,,,,that’s why I am confuse if count from 14th November then I my return ticket on 12th feb ,,and one day is overstaying
Answers (1)
Answered by Martine from REPUBLIC OF KOREA | Jan. 16, 2019 17:11

You can return on 12th feb, and it would not be issued as overstaying.
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