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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 Mar. 06, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Visa Entries / Validity / Duration of Stay
Asked by Romeel from PAKISTAN | Mar. 18, 2019 12:56Reply
Hey I am Pakistani having Pakistani passport my question is how I can get 1 year china visa
Asked by Caiti from USA | Mar. 16, 2019 22:24Reply
X2 Student Visa Exit
Hello! I am applying for an X2 student type. I am wondering if a flight out of China to Macau will 'count' on my application as my exiting China (as Macau is technically China). Thanks for any info!
Answers (1)
Answered by Rose from FINLAND | Mar. 17, 2019 23:13

Yes, it will 'count' on your application as exiting China.
Asked by A M K Prasad from INDIA | Mar. 16, 2019 00:22Reply
Hi! I am Indian and would like to know if I can get Chinese tourist visa for 90 days
Answers (2)
Answered by Kevin | Mar. 17, 2019 23:10

It's possible. You can try to apply from the CVASC after you prepare all requirements.
Answered by AMK Prasad from INDIA | Mar. 18, 2019 05:34

Thank you Kevin!
Asked by Mohammed from AUSTRALIA | Mar. 15, 2019 19:59Reply
Query : Visa 2 years or 10years.
Hi. Can you please suggest me, Is there any options for getting china visa for more than 2 years validity,multiple entries..
How much it cost?
any travel agent can do it?
Answers (1)
Answered by John Doe | Mar. 17, 2019 17:49

If you don't have a US/Canadian/Israeli/Argentian passport then there is no way you can get a 10-year visa. A 2-year visa, similiarly, requires you to hold a British passport.
Asked by Nicolò from ITALY | Mar. 15, 2019 07:01Reply
About Multy-entry
I have a Chinese girlfriend and I want to visit her now and of course in the next year. The point is that I will surely visit her again within a year but I have no proof of that (no flight tickets), can I apply for a multiple entry visa anyway just by showing my first flight ticket?
Answers (1)
Answered by John Doe | Mar. 17, 2019 17:52

Rule of thumb is that Europeans cannot get a multiple-entry visa unless they are invited by a business entity in China. The maximum number of entries you can get is either 1 or 2. Of course, if you have a US/Canadian/UK/Israeli/Argentinian passport you can apply and potentially get multiple entries because of reciprocal visa agreements.
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