Home / Embassy / Visa /

China Private Visit Visa (S)

Chinese private visit visa, more familiar to foreigners as S visa or sometimes as the dependant visa, is issued to family members of foreigners who reside in China for work or study or to those who intend to go to China for private affairs such as marriage, lawsuit, heritage, adoption, and medical treatments. It is further classified into S1 visa and S2 visa. The former is for a longer stay duration of more than 180 days, while the latter is for a stay duration not exceeding 180 days.

Differences between S1 Visa and S2 Visa

Type Application Conditions
S1 visa 1. Intended Duration of Stay > 180 days
2. Applicants restrictions:
Family members of foreigners residing in China for work or study, including spouses, parents, sons or daughters under the age of 18 or parents-in-law;
those who intend to go to China for private matters
S2 visa 1. Intended Duration of Stay ≤ 180 days
2. Applicants restrictions:
Family members of foreigners residing in China for work or study, including spouses, parents, sons, daughters, spouses of sons or daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandsons, granddaughters and parents-in-law;
those who intend to go to China for private matters

Careful applicants may find that the Duration of Each Stay is 000 when they receive the S1 visa. It means the exact stay duration needs to be further determined when they apply for the Temporary Residence Permit within 30 days after entering China. The residence permit can be granted with a maximum validity of five years and can be used to exit and enter China freely as long as it's valid.

China Private Visit Visa (S Visa) Requirements & Documents

1. Passport

- Applicant's passport with blank pages and at least six months validity left. Note: US citizens wishing to apply for a 10-year S2 visa should provide a passport valid for at least one year.

2. Application Form

- One truthfully completed China S Visa Application Form attached with a recent color photo.

3. Invitation Letter from the Foreigner Who Works or Studies in China

- The letter should contain:
a. Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)
b. Information on the visit (purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, address of intended residence, relations between the applicant and the inviting individual, financial source of living expenditure, etc.)
c. Information on the inviting individual (name, contact number, address, signature, etc.)

4. The Inviter's Passport and Chinese Residence Permit

- A photocopy of the inviting individual's passport and residence permit of China.

5. Kinship Certification between the Inviter and Invitee

- Original and a photocopy of certification such as a marriage certificate, birth certificate, certification of kinship issued by the Public Security Bureau, or other notarized certification of kinship showing their family relationship.

For private affairs, a document explaining personal details such as marriage, heritage, adoption, and medical treatments is required.

How to Apply for China S Visa

Applicants must submit applications to Chinese embassies or consulates by themselves or someone else or through a trusted travel/visa agency. A personal appearance is necessary only when consular officials require an interview. Mail and mail-back services are not available at most embassies and consulates. However, for applications through the Chinese Visa Application Service Center (CVASC) wherever available, such as Canada, UK, Australia, France, Germany, India, and Singapore, applying by post is an option and applicants can also complete the application form online.

Processing Time

Regular processing currently takes four working days at Chinese embassies/consulates/ CVASC. Express service is also available. Same-day collecting service requires an extra charge of US$ 30 while two or three-day collecting service needs extra US$ 20. If applying from CVASC, you may also need to pay express service fee to the center.

China S Visa Fees

The fees differ in accordance with nationalities, number of entries and requested processing time. For S1 visa, as it only has one entry, the single-entry visa fee is applicable. For S2 visa, the fee varies with the number of entries.

China Business Visa Types US Citizens Canadian Citizens UK Citizens Australian Citizens
Single Entry USD 140 CAD 142 GBP 151 AUD 109.5
Double Entries USD 140 CAD 142 GBP 151 AUD 139.5
Multi Entries for 6 Months USD 140 CAD 142 GBP 151 AUD 169.5
Multi Entries for 12 Months or Longer USD 140 CAD 142 GBP 151 AUD 229.5

*The table is for reference only. For more details, please click China Visa Fees.

Further Reading:

8 Tips for Filling Out Chinese Visa Application Form

- Last modified on Oct. 15, 2018 -
Questions & Answers on China Private Visit Visa
Asked by dillon from POLLAND | Oct. 15, 2018 23:11Reply
we have M type now, it will expire on 14 th november. I apply for work permit now. Do u know how long it takes to get the work permit?do we have enough time to get our working visa before 14 th november? what should we do if we do not have enough time, it is stressful because i have bring my family with me to apply later for s1 once i got the working visa.
thank you so much
Answers (1)
Answered by Swan from FINLAND | Oct. 15, 2018 23:47

As I know, it may take 7 working days to get the work permit. Just for reference.
Asked by Fiffie | Oct. 15, 2018 22:17Reply
S1 to X1 student visa
I have S1 (spouse visa). Can I transfer to X1 as I want to study in China? S1 is not a tourist L, my home is in China now. Do I need to leave China to apply to X1 student?
Answers (1)
Answered by Sarah from HONDURAS | Oct. 15, 2018 23:34

It's possible for you to do the change from the exit and entry administration of the local PSB within China. You can have a try.
Asked by Marita from PERU | Oct. 13, 2018 01:47Reply
Please help. Hello, I got a job in China to reach English.
They salud they want to have my degree, criminal récord (mine and my husband) and marriage certificate legalized and notirized by the china embassy in my country. They ser going to apply for a visa for us. Is that ok? Will I get ir? However long Does it take? I don't understand their process.
Answers (1)
Answered by Swan from DENMARK | Oct. 14, 2018 18:30

That process is ok. After you submit all the required documents, they can issue your visa application. Processing time is around four working days if you have all the right documents.
Asked by Mozlee from UGANDA | Oct. 12, 2018 07:00Reply
Hi, if I have a Z visa, is it possible for my sister and wife to travel on the same day?
Answers (1)
Answered by Ryan from MALAYSIA | Oct. 14, 2018 18:28

That's possible as long as they have valid visa for mainland China.
Ask a Question
Question Summary (100 characters)
Details (optional) (2,000 characters)
media recommendationfeatured on media