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How to Apply for a China Visa

To apply for a China visa, you need to complete an application form attached with your recently-taken color photo, prepare a valid passport, and submit them along with other supporting documents to the Chinese embassy or consulate which is in charge of your residence area. Check the step-by-step guide on how to apply for a China visa below for details.

How to apply for China visa

1. Check whether you need a visa

An essential thing to do is to check whether you need a visa before starting the following process. As long as you are eligible for China's visa-free policies, you don't need the visa, but some documents like your passport, in and out transportation tickets and sometimes sufficient funds still need to be prepared for immigration check.

2. Check which visa you need to get

Based on your travel purpose, determine which visa you are going to get. Read China Visa Types to select one which suits you most. For tourists, the L visa is suitable.

3. Prepare all documents needed

Documents required for all types of visa include passport and visa application form attached with a recently-taken photo. Besides, other supporting documents are required, but they vary according to the visa type you are applying for. For instance, if you apply for a tourist L visa, the supporting documents will refer to round-trip tickets, hotel bookings or an invitation letter from your China travel agency. See detailed China Visa Application Requirements.

Be sure your documents meet the requirements of Chinese embassy or consulate.

Passport: with a remaining validity of at least 6 months; have blank visa pages.

Visa Application Form: truthfully completed; type-written with no blanks left.

Photo: taken within latest six months; full face against a light background; size: 48mm x 33mm; bare-headed unless for religious causes.

4. Submit the application

Visit the Chinese embassy, consulate or Chinese Visa Application Center (CVASC) which serves your residence area. You can show up in person or ask an agent to do this for you. In some consular offices and CVASCs, mail service is also available.

The normal processing time is four working days including the day you submit the application and the day you collect. Remember there might be additional non-working days for Chinese public holidays. By paying an additional fee you can usually have your application processed faster. It is normally possible to have your application processed overnight, for collection in the following afternoon, though some offices might offer a same-day service if you arrive in the office soon after opening. In general try to apply for it well in advance to allow for any delay.

5. Pay the fee and pick up your visa

Go to the place where you apply for China visa on the date appointed at the pick-up slip. Pay the fee and you will get your passport back with visa. See China Visa Fees.

Best time to apply for a China visa

The best time to apply for China visa is one or two months before your departure date. Usually, a China visa is valid for only three months from the date of issue, which indicates that the earliest time you can apply is three months before your departure.

Usually you cannot renew and extend China visa once you are granted, but it can be done when you are in China at the local Exit and Entry Administration under the Public Security Bureau.

Sometimes you may need to get China visa while you are en route or residing in a third country. Things may get different for such cases. A proof of legal stay in the country where you apply for a China visa is usually additionally needed unless you enjoy visa-free access to the third country.

- Last modified on Jun. 03, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on How to Apply for a China Visa
Asked by shirley from USA | Jul. 09, 2019 17:16Reply
How to pay for mail in Visa in USA
I live in Washington State in the USA but the nearest Chinese Consulate is in California. If I mail in my visa application, how do I pay for it? And after I mail it in, can I pick it up or do I have to wait to have it mailed back?
Answers (1)
Answered by Lisa from USA | Jul. 09, 2019 20:35

Shirley, as I know, you can't mail your documents to Chinese Consulate in California.
Asked by Alefina Esteban from USA | Jul. 02, 2019 19:53Reply
Possibility of getting a visa
Getting a Chinese visa

I am a US citizen and joining a pilgrimage tour to Xiamen with 5 cities to visit. Can i get a permit/visa to enter China with my passport and the itenerary of the tour? Thanks for any help.
Answers (1)
Answered by Doris from USA | Jul. 03, 2019 18:49

Dear, it is possible for you to apply for tourist L type. In addition to your valid passport and itinerary, you also need to provide application form and recent photo, round trip flight tickets, and hotel reservation.
Asked by Anique from JAMAICA | Jul. 02, 2019 11:38Reply
Jamaican in US needs Chinese Visa
Hello, I am interested in a trip to China that leaves Sept 11. I am a student and currently in the US visiting family for the summer. How do I obtain my Chinese Visa while I am in the US? My boyfriend is also interested in getting a Visa but he is not a student. Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by Justin from USA | Jul. 03, 2019 19:06

Antique, figure out which type you will apply for according to your purpose of visiting China. Prepare the required documents and submit the application to Chinese Embassy in US.
Asked by Masoud Ekzik from PALESTINE | Jun. 28, 2019 16:15Reply
I want to apply for chaises visa
I am Palestinian And my resident in Qatar I go Vietnam for tourist after that I disaied to go China for Tourist can I apply for the visa in Vietnam ?
Answers (2)
Answered by Kelly from USA | Jun. 30, 2019 23:51

Dear, you can apply in Vietnam.
Answered by John Doe | Jul. 01, 2019 18:52

If you are in Vietnam as a tourist then obviously you can't get a visa there. You should apply in your country of residence (i.e., Qatar).
Asked by Nance from GUYANA | Jun. 28, 2019 09:46Reply
Planning to study in China
I'm a Guyanese resident and plan to study in China September 2019. do i need any other visa en route to China?
Answers (1)
Answered by Elena from UNITED KINGDOM | Jun. 30, 2019 20:55

Dear, you need to apply for student X type.
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