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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. 30, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Visa Entries / Validity / Duration of Stay
Asked by Ogechi from NIGERIA | Mar. 27, 2020 06:25Reply
I need IV
Hello, good afternoon ma!sir. Am charting from Nigeria please I need help on how I can get IV to be able to come to your country for business thanks. Mrs Okafor
Answers (1)
Answered by Eric from AUSTRALIA | Mar. 29, 2020 23:46

You can get one invitation letter from your business partner of China.
Asked by Igi from UNITED KINGDOM | Mar. 26, 2020 21:41Reply
Duration of each stay

I have 'L' type multiple entry 90 day Visa. If I stay in the country for 10 weeks, leave the country for a weekend. Does it mean that when I get back I can stay another 90 days again?
Answers (1)
Answered by Cherry from AUSTRALIA | Mar. 29, 2020 23:45

Yes, you are right.
Asked by Shuchad Ahmed Saif from BANGLADESH | Mar. 25, 2020 21:37Reply
Multiple Visa L
I can enter before 8 April 2020. But if I want to go to China on 6 April 2020. Then how many days can I stay in China? Please inform me.
Answers (2)
Answered by Shuchad Ahmed Saif from BANGLADESH | Mar. 25, 2020 21:40

My entry before date 8 April 2020 only.
Answered by Janet from USA | Mar. 25, 2020 22:52

You can check the number of days allowed to stay shown on your visa. It shows the longest time you can stay in China after each entry.
Asked by Markus from GERMANY | Mar. 16, 2020 09:40Reply
staying beyond the "Entry Before" date
do I understand it correctly, that the date of "Entry Before" is the latest date for entry, but the visa is then still valid for the duration of the "Duration of Each Stay after Entry"?
So for example given the dates of the sample visa on the top of the page: if the owner of this visa would enter on 15 Sep ("Entry before" date), would he then still be allowed to stay for 30 days beyond this date, so until 13 Oct? Is the "3 month visa" thus in fact a "3 month plus 30 days visa" if used to the extreme?
Answers (3)
Answered by John Doe | Mar. 16, 2020 12:34

The "Enter before" date has nothing to do with the duration of stay. If your duration of stay is 30 days then you can only stay for 30 days starting from the calendar day after the day you have entered China. You must leave China even if the "enter before" date has not passed, otherwise it would be an overstay of your visa.

Case in point: if the person entered on 15 Jun 2018, then he must depart on or before 15 Jul 2018. If the person entered on 14 Sept 2018 (which is the last day the visa would remain valid) then he must depart on 14 Oct 2018. Thus the example is only a 30-day visa.
Answered by Markus from GERMANY | Mar. 17, 2020 09:39

Thanks for your swift answer!

This means, if I understand correctly, if you have a 3-month multiple entry visa you could potentially stay up to four (!) time 30 days each
(in the example it is a single entry visa, but assuming it would be multiple entry (M), then it would be possible to stay 15. Jun to 15 Jul, reenter same day and stay to 14 Aug, reenter same day and stay to 13 Sept and still reenter same day and stay until 13 Oct. So altogether 120 days with three intermediate short visits outside China e.g. to Hongkong. Right?
Answered by John Doe | Mar. 19, 2020 09:52

That is largely correct except you can't enter on the "enter before" date but the day before that date. This means you can stay for around 118-119 days. I am not completely positive that Chinese authorities will issue a 3-month multiple entry visa though. Europeans usually can only get single-entry visas (and they still check stamps for visits to Turkey).
Asked by Rayees from INDIA | Mar. 12, 2020 02:55Reply
Passport expiry in 6 months
My z visa residence permit and passport, both are valid till oct 2020. Can I enter China during this time or I need to renew my passport and permit before 6 months?
Answers (1)
Answered by John Doe | Mar. 13, 2020 08:11

China has no six-month minimum validity rule. You can renew your residence permit and passport after arriving in China.
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