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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 Mar. 15, 2021 -
Questions & Answers on China Visa Entries / Validity / Duration of Stay
Asked by Jessica from UNITED KINGDOM | Apr. 01, 2021 02:32Reply
Do I need to reactivate a Visa if I havent travelled to China since Jan 2020?
My director is hoping to travel to china later this year, his visa is scheduled to expire in 2024, however I was unsure if I needed to "reactivate" or reapply for this visa?
Asked by Max from UK | Mar. 12, 2021 10:45Reply
Is my Visa still valid
I have a Visa until May 2021, I left China in Dec 2020 and want to travel back now to see my wife. Can I enter China now and if so do I need to quarantine in a hotel or can I quarantine in my apartment?
Answers (1)
Answered by Matthew | Mar. 21, 2021 23:25

Max, if your wife is a Chinese citizen, you can apply for a new visa to enter China. After arrival, you will first be quarantined at a hotel in the airport, and then take a 14-day self-quarantine at your apartment.
Asked by Jay from UGANDA | Mar. 10, 2021 22:28Reply
How long is the chinese visit visa always valid?
Answers (1)
Answered by Oliver | Mar. 21, 2021 23:18

It is often valid for three months.
Asked by Deoye from NIGERIA | Mar. 10, 2021 00:09Reply
Dual citizenship
Hi , my name is Dee, previously I studied in china with my Nigerian passport and later I got a British passport and j want to visit using the British passport since it would be much easier. I went to the Embassy in Nigeria and they said I cant apply on my British passport because there is no record of it on their system. I also went to the British embassy and explained , what I was told is since I have travel history to China on my Nigerian passport I should continue using it or i should go to the embassy in Manchester and apply ... My questions are 1) since all my 4 year trave history is Nigerian passport would it count when applying for a 10 year Visa 2) Do I need to also submit my Nigerian passport when applying with the British passport 3) What are my chances of getting the visa
Answers (2)
Answered by Gloria | Mar. 21, 2021 23:16

It counts when applying for a 10 year visa. If you apply from Nigeria, you can only use your Nigerian passport. If in UK, you only need to show the British passport. As you have visited China previously, your chance to get a China visa is big.
Answered by Dee | Mar. 22, 2021 23:47

Thanks Gloria , now concern Is I do not have a travel history on the British passport , would it not count against me when applying for the Chinese Visa from the UK? What I read somewhere was u need to submit anyother passport if u have travel history to China
Asked by Ryan from JAPAN | Feb. 27, 2021 01:04Reply
Does the 2 week quarantine count towards your stay duration?
Hi if you enter china as a tourist with 15 day visa free entry, and you quarantine for 15 days in china, does that mean you have to leave right after your quarantine ends?

Or does the number of days you "stay" in china start after you end quarantine within china? Meaning you quarantine for 15 days, plus stay 15 extra days before you have to exit the country?
Answers (1)
Answered by Jeremy | Mar. 08, 2021 00:27

Ryan, actually the 15-dau visa free entry has been suspended during the epidemic control period. If you want to enter China, you should have a valid visa.
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