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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:
8 Tips for Filling Out Chinese Visa Application Form
Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid in Completing a Chinese Visa Application Form
Top 8 Reasons Why Your China Visa Gets Rejected

- Last modified on Nov. 08, 2018 -
Questions & Answers on How to Apply for a China Visa
Asked by Liam from EGYPT | Nov. 08, 2018 05:30Reply
Hi there, I am a british passport holder living in Egypt . Is it possible to get a visa in Egypt?
I need a tourist L for china but am currently living in Egypt
Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by Day from GERMANY | Nov. 08, 2018 18:41

It's possible for you to apply from the Chinese embassy or consulate general. You can have a try.
Asked by Klem from UNITED STATES | Nov. 07, 2018 14:53Reply
Hi, I'm form Spain, I'll be in Hong Kong in Cosmo Prof, I'll go to ShenZhen to expend a day.
What kind of visa do I need, and where can I found it.
Now I'm in the US.
Please Letr me know thank you.

Answers (1)
Answered by Sarah from FINLAND | Nov. 07, 2018 18:59

It's possible for you to apply the Shenzhen VOA at the Luohu port between HK and Shenzhen. You can have a try. If it can succeed, no visa will be needed.
Asked by Mahmud md noor from BRUNEI. | Nov. 02, 2018 19:08Reply
visa permit
I am Bruneian and my wife is Malaysian as permanent resident of Brunei, We would like to visit China, Guangzhau for 5 days stay. Do we need visa permit,

Answers (1)
Answered by Solomon from FRANCE | Nov. 04, 2018 18:05

You don't need it. Your wife needs to apply for a tourist L type from the Chinese embassy in your country.
Asked by YUWEN CAI from CHINA | Nov. 01, 2018 04:51Reply
My girlfriend is from Burma. What materials do we need to prepare for getting married in China?
Can I go to Burma to visas with her
Answers (1)
Answered by Wilder | Nov. 01, 2018 19:19

Both of you need to provide passport, her visa or residence permit in China, and a single status certificate from your country. You can go to Burma with her to get married, I suppose.
Asked by Asif khan from PAKISTAN | Oct. 29, 2018 00:11Reply
how i apply for hong kong i need for goinh work visa
hi adear boos i need apply for the Hong kong work entry permit how can i apply please Guideline me how can i go
Answers (1)
Answered by Shea from GERMANY | Oct. 29, 2018 19:33

First, prepare the relevant documents: copy of passport, the application form, passport-style photo, copies of your work experience and certificate of degree, your HK employer's application form, copy of your contract, copy of the company's business license, copy of the company's financial support proof, and introduction letter of the company and others. Next, submit the application to China embassy or post it to HK immigration department directly to apply for HK work visa.
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