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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 May. 23, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Visa Entries / Validity / Duration of Stay
Asked by Nirmal Kumar from INDIA | Jul. 23, 2019 01:26Reply
I have 30 days china visa,can I stay in China on 30th day and leave to my country on 31st day?
Asked by Ingrid from CHINA | Jul. 22, 2019 01:28Reply
How long do we have to stay in Hong Kong?
Hello,we are currently in China and need to exit as we have a multiple tourist visa. How long do we have to stay in Hong Kong? Can we fly in the morning and return in the evening or do we need to stay a night in a hotel? Many thanks
Answers (1)
Answered by Larry from USA | Jul. 22, 2019 23:53

There is no regulation regarding such situation. You can fly in the morning and return in the evening.
Asked by Tinnie Beh from MALAYSIA | Jul. 21, 2019 19:05Reply
One year multiple entries for Malaysian passport
Due to business reasons, I would have to visit China frequently in a year. However, via a travel agent, I was advised that currently, the China embassy does not approve "one year multiple entries" visa. Is it real?
Answers (2)
Answered by Candy from UNITED KINGDOM | Jul. 23, 2019 01:47

Tinnie, it is possible for you to apply for one year multiple entries type, but it may be quite difficult to obtain.
Answered by Tinnie from EY | Jul. 23, 2019 03:06

Asked by dawn from ENGLAND | Jul. 21, 2019 11:10Reply
Chinese X2 visa query
it has come with an issue date and an expiry date

Is the expiry date the same as the enter before date ?
Answers (1)
Answered by Alan from CANADA | Jul. 22, 2019 23:09

Yes, the expiry date is almost the same as the enter before date, but note that after you enter China, you can stay for the allowed stay length even it's beyond the expiry date.
Asked by Julie meredith from UNITED KINGDOM | Jul. 19, 2019 13:38Reply
Has application for visa to visit China have to be printed out in colour?
I understand I have to complete the form to apply for a visa to visit China on line and upload a recent passport style pic. I then have to make an appointment to visit the embassy with a print out of the application form and other supporting documents (itinary, passport etc) to then have my finger prints taken. I have been told the application form has to be printed in colour, is this correct? Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by Crystal from UNITED KINGDOM | Jul. 22, 2019 01:44

Dear, as I know, you don't need to print your application form in color, and you just need to provide color photo.
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