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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 UK, 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.

Read more:
10-year China Visa for US & Canadian Citizens
10-year China Visa for UK Citizens

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 Dec. 31, 2020 -
Questions & Answers on China Visa Entries / Validity / Duration of Stay
Asked by S from UNITED KINGDOM | Jan. 14, 2021 23:53Reply
I have a Z Visa which expires on the exact same day as my work contract
I have a Z Visa which expires on the exact same day as my work contract. If I wish to leave China once my contract is over how many days do I have after my Visa expires to leave... as I will need to.work to the last day of my contract but I cant exactly finish work and run to the airport. so what is the procedure for this kind of situation.
Asked by berfit from ERITREA | Jan. 10, 2021 01:50Reply
I have a residence permit till 2023 and my university said if i am can comeback they are welcome.
there fore as a foreign student and currently out side china is it possible to return. i heard some students are returning to shanghai.
Answers (1)
Answered by Leona | Jan. 10, 2021 22:31

You may return to China if the residence permit is still valid, but you should take the relevant tests and get the health code before departure.
Asked by Benoit from GERMANY | Jan. 04, 2021 01:19Reply
Moving to china
I will have a M visa, which I will change into a Z visa once my quarantine in China will be over.
My wife and my dautger shall come with me. My wife is a chinese citizen, but my daughter holds the german passport. How can we all go together at once, knowing that I am currently the only one capable of getting a PU Letter?
Answers (1)
Answered by Pater | Jan. 10, 2021 22:29

If your daughter cannot get the PU letter, she will not get the family reunion visa of China at present.
Asked by BEATRICE BRUEY from FRANCE | Dec. 27, 2020 21:34Reply
Cancellation of my M visa without notice
On the 23/12 I was supposed to travel from Seoul to Guangzhou. I have a M visa issued on the 06/10/2020 in France and valid up to the 06/01/2021. But after doing my covid two tests requested to enter in China and download them on the embassy application with
My visa details I have been told that my visa was no more valid and therefore I could not travel.I went back to france and now I would like to know what should I do to be able to travel in January to China as initially
Planned .
Answers (2)
Answered by Peter | Dec. 31, 2020 00:36

You need to first get a PU or TE invitation letter through your Chinese partner and then get a new M visa. Visas issued before March 28, 2020 are not valid during the epidemic period.
Answered by BEATRICE B | Dec. 31, 2020 01:27

Sorry but your information is not correct.in fact all visas which have been issued before 03/11/2020 have been cancelled on the 03/11.mine was issued on the 06/10/2020.now to get a new PU letter will be more complex as it will be only delivered for people asking for a working visa.in other words even for urgent business purpose you cannot get a visa for time being
Asked by Houssein andallah from LEBANON | Dec. 17, 2020 21:41Reply
Can I renew my 90 days visa in china
I have my visa for 90 days but I’m not sure that’s I can finish my work in this 90 days specially im blocking for 14 days and Chinese New Years is soon I can Renew another 90days ?
Answers (1)
Answered by Nathan | Dec. 20, 2020 19:59

If you do need to stay longer, it's possible to extend your visa at the local exit and entry administration provided you can provide all necessary documents.
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