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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 Nov. 06, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Visa Entries / Validity / Duration of Stay
Asked by Ambacador Tony from UGANDA | Nov. 14, 2019 13:53Reply
Visa expire soon
My visa ends on 6 December and I'm planning to enter china on 2nd and leave on 5th December. Will I be allowed?
Asked by Michele Raissa from MALAYSIA | Nov. 14, 2019 03:22Reply
Hello, if i make a single entry visa how long will i need to stay in china?
Asked by HESHAM from KUWAIT | Nov. 13, 2019 07:20Reply
Visa Expire soon
Dear I have yearly business visa with multiple entry will expire 12 of December and I will arrive on 24 Nov November will stay 8-9 days is it ok ? Will they allow me to enter china ?
Answers (1)
Answered by Roger from USA | Nov. 13, 2019 18:24

Yes, it's ok, as long as you enter before December 12th, you can stay for the whole allowed stay duration stated on your visa.
Asked by Pwanji from KENYA | Nov. 12, 2019 09:13Reply
Hello if my visa expires before I enter China is there a penalty when doing a reapplication ?
Answers (1)
Answered by Linda from USA | Nov. 12, 2019 18:12

As far as I know, no.
Asked by Steve from AUSTRALIA | Nov. 12, 2019 02:24Reply
Multiple entry with limited days allowed to stay per year
Hi, my work is telling me that there is a visa which is for multiple entries per year but will not allow me to be in China for more than 3 month. I can't find this type of visa anywhere. Could someone please confirm this type of visa does exist?
Just to clarify what I meant, I've been told there is no restrictions how long each entry is, but the total amount of days in China per year cannot exceed 3 month.
Answers (1)
Answered by Emily from AUSTRALIA | Nov. 13, 2019 17:23

Steve, what type to apply depends on your travel purpose. There are 6-month and 12-month multiple-entry visas, but I haven't heard that the total amount of days in China per year cannot exceed 3 months. However, it is said that if you are on a 12-month M visa, the total mount of days per year cannot exceed 183 days. I'm not sure about this anyway.
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