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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 Dec. 29, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on How to Apply for a China Visa
Asked by Seronti Mahasela from SOUTH AFRICA | Jan. 24, 2020 04:00Reply
How much is cost for China visa for south Africa citizens
Answers (3)
Answered by Claire from SOUTH AFRICA | Feb. 01, 2020 22:35

If you apply from the China Visa Application Service Center, a single entry China visa costs ZAR 800.
Answered by Fzy from MOROCCO | Feb. 16, 2020 16:25

Hi! I’m moroccan and My ( chinese) visa will expire on 2april and I’m planing to travel to Malaysia from Morocco is it possible to renew the visa in Malaysia?
Answered by Alan | Feb. 17, 2020 17:11

Yes, it's possible to do so.
Asked by Aud bakke from NORGR | Jan. 24, 2020 02:42Reply
Visa china from tibet
Do i need 2 permits to visit china and from china ho to Tibet and back to china
Aud bakke
Answers (1)
Answered by John Doe | Jan. 24, 2020 18:58

You will need a tourist visa and a separate Tibet Travel Permit. Traveling from Tibet to the rest of Mainland China does not require a separate visa.
Asked by Soetkin from BELGIUM | Jan. 22, 2020 20:13Reply
Visa application from Laos
Hi, me and my friend are traveling over land trough Asia. We applied for a Chinese visa in Bangkok and only one of us got it. We submitted the same documents so we find this very strange. We want to enter China from the Laos border over land (bus/train). Can my friend apply one more time in Laos? We will be there 2 weeks before we would like to enter China is that to short notice? What should she be prepared for? Thank you!
Answers (1)
Answered by Alice from LAOS | Feb. 01, 2020 22:37

Yes, he can have a try in Laos, but the result is still not very positive. Two weeks are tight but enough to process the visa.
Asked by H.rithy from CAMBODIA | Jan. 22, 2020 03:24Reply
How to apply Elisa going to shanghai
I am Cambodian, stay in Thai border, I would require about EVisa going to Shanghai!
How can do or I ought to go directly to China embassy in Phnom Penh !
Please kindly
Waiting .
Answers (1)
Answered by John Doe | Jan. 24, 2020 18:56

There is no e-visa. What some website offers is called a pre-arranged business visa and requires you to apply for a visa on arrival. What you get before arrival is a regular visa and requires you to visit your local visa application center to apply.
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