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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 Nov. 11, 2020 -
Questions & Answers on How to Apply for a China Visa
Asked by Aldo Magana from UNITED STATES | Nov. 22, 2020 19:49Reply
Tourist Visa
I want to travel to China in middle of February 2021 to check out universities to decide whether I want to study in China or not. I also plan on living and working in China after I finish my studies there if I study there. Since I come from Oregon where we are one of the least hardest hit states in the United States and considering all of this information is it even possible to travel there? And I would like to know if the Chinese government can issue tourist visas as of now.

Thank you
Answers (1)
Answered by Eric | Nov. 22, 2020 22:11

Well...actually China does not issue tourist visas now, so you may have to wait for a while.
Asked by Jamiu fatai from NIGERIA | Nov. 11, 2020 05:32Reply
this visa is it for free
Answers (1)
Answered by Jasper | Nov. 12, 2020 23:15

It's not free.
Asked by B from EGYPT | Nov. 09, 2020 20:10Reply
Visa C type
My husband is working in China for long time and he hold leave permission
And , I want to travel to him from Egypt to China with my 2 children under case of family reunion
Can I apply for visa C type?
Because, I want to leave with him
Answers (1)
Answered by Kathie | Nov. 12, 2020 23:14

Dear, I think you should apply for the S type. If you have a PU or TE invitation letter from China, you can apply for it.
Asked by m.dharmateja yaddav from INDIA | Oct. 29, 2020 07:13Reply
student visa
hey, I am mbbs student in china so I came to my country(India) for the holidays due to covid19 I stuck here so my visa expired last week. is there any possibility to renew the visa from my country
Answers (1)
Answered by Amanda | Nov. 01, 2020 23:02

Well, you can contact the visa center to see whether you can renew your visa.
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