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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.

Further Reading: How to Apply a China Visa in Hong Kong

- Last modified on Jun. 20, 2021 -
Questions & Answers on How to Apply for a China Visa
Asked by Glean from CHINA | Jun. 04, 2021 00:45Reply
How do I apply for a humanitarian visa?
Hello, I work at the university and my contract and visa will expire on June 30, 2021 and they have already canceled my work permit by online. A couple of days ago I visited the PSB and asked how I could extend my visa. I am unable to return home due to COVID-19. Any best advice will be of great assistance to me. Thank you
Answers (1)
Answered by Lisa | Jun. 07, 2021 02:08
00Reply


The best way is to renew the current visa to a temporary visa at least 5 days before it expires. At the same time, try to find a new job, and then change the temporary visa to a work visa.
Asked by Earn from UNITED STATES | May. 31, 2021 08:25Reply
Student X1 Visa
I got accepted to ECNU for a Master's degree program begin in the Fall2021 semester that will start around Sep,2021. I'm wondering if China is open for international students and can I get a student visa?
Answers (1)
Answered by Leo | Jun. 01, 2021 02:26
00Reply


It's possible but not guaranteed. Just try your luck.
Asked by Annabel from UNITED KINGDOM | May. 04, 2021 01:07Reply
Visa info including notary
Hi, we are applying for a Z visa, husband has a two year teaching contract. Our HR contact in Shenzhen has said we need to get our marriage cert, birth certs of our sons and the police check notarised. Do I need to do this before booking an appointment at the centre? Many thanks.
Answers (1)
Answered by Stella | May. 17, 2021 00:28
00Reply


Yes, you'd better or you can do them the same time.
Asked by josh from UNITED STATES | May. 03, 2021 09:33Reply
How can I get a visa to visit my fiance in China in July 2021?
Answers (1)
Answered by Leo | May. 16, 2021 23:48
00Reply


Frankly speaking, it's difficult if you are not in an emergency situation.
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