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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 Ana meliza bundalian from PHILIPPINES | Aug. 19, 2019 19:50Reply
is it possible to extend my L visa with 30days duration? or is it possible to renew or reapply?
i got L visa with 2 entries 3x in my country with 30 days duration only, so every time i need to go home after 30 days. my husband got his 60days L visa with multiple entries, so i wanted to ask for an extension so that way i and my husband could home same time. is it possible to extend my visa before my 30 days duration will be finish?
Answers (1)
Answered by Edgar from UNITED KINGDOM | Aug. 20, 2019 19:32

yes, it is possible. you could extend your L visa at nearby Public Security Bureau (PSB) Exit and Entry Administration office.
Asked by Zihanzu from ZIMBABWE | Aug. 17, 2019 04:39Reply
How much is needed in a bank account when applying for a student visa to china
Answers (1)
Answered by Albert from ZIMBABWE | Aug. 18, 2019 23:05

Generally speaking, you don't have to submit a bank acount statement when applying for the X visa. If it's required, the mount of the balance is not regulated, but it at least should be able to afford your tuition and accomodation expenses for the study.
Asked by Andrew Cogan from AUSTRALIA | Aug. 14, 2019 05:25Reply
Where can I apply for a tourist visa from Melbourne Australia?
Answers (1)
Answered by Jenny from AUSTRALIA | Aug. 14, 2019 23:48

You can do the application at the China visa center there. Address: Part Level 4, 140 Ann Street, Brisbane, QLD 4000
Asked by Mickey from GERMANY | Aug. 12, 2019 22:43Reply
It is not possible to make a china visa in Laos anymore..
Is not a question just an update.
Iv'e been today in the Chinese embassy in Vientiane, and they told me that it is not possible to make a visa to China in Laos if you are not lao or if you don't have work permit in Laos (i'm a German with tourist visa).

So if you need a visa to China, Laos is not an option anymore...
Answers (1)
Answered by Carl from UNITED KINGDOM | Aug. 14, 2019 17:55

Thanks, Mickey
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