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 treatment. 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

Perceptive 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 treatment 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 Jun. 07, 2020 -
Questions & Answers on China Private Visit Visa
Asked by Rox from UK | Aug. 10, 2020 03:26Reply
applying for a work visa (Z visa) for China
If you are applying for a work visa (Z visa) for China and you get it. Can you apply for your husband S1 or S2 visa whilst you are in the UK together? Can we fly to China together?
Asked by GYSPYGIRL | Aug. 01, 2020 08:59Reply
Bringing Family with me to China
My family and I plan on moving to Chine once teachers are allowed back in. I have the invitation letter from my school and will start the visa process. I am American, my son has both American and British citizenship and my husband is British. DO they both come on an S Visa? Any idea what steps my husband needs to take as a Brit who is coming under my "umbrella"? Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by Amy from USA | Aug. 05, 2020 18:40

Yes, your son and husband need to apply for an S visa. The application process for your husband is almost the same as your son and you, except he needs to show the residence permit of US if he applies from the US.
Asked by Shira from PHILIPPINES | Jul. 04, 2020 09:35Reply
I am a single mother of 9 years old.
Does the school needs to sponsor her visa? Or can i just file it alone? Thanks
Answers (1)
Answered by Fiona from PHILIPPINES | Jul. 06, 2020 00:30

You need to file the visa application on the behalf of your kid.
Asked by Kev from GERMANY | Jul. 03, 2020 05:43Reply
Can dependents with S1 visa conduct business activities and work ?
Answers (1)
Answered by Vera from UNITED KINGDOM | Jul. 06, 2020 00:30

Sorry, you had better not do this to avoid unnecessary troubles.
Asked by J from GRAY | Jun. 24, 2020 04:52Reply
How can my partner enter China? As we are not yet married.
I have a work visa for China sponsered through my company. How can my partner enter China? As we are not married.

Also say they wanted to find part time work once living in China, is it OK to work, will their visa permit this?
Answers (1)
Answered by Sandra from USA | Jun. 29, 2020 00:56

As you are not married, your partner can only apply for a tourist visa, but he or she is not allowed to work under a tourist visa.
Ask a Question
Question Summary (100 characters)
Details (optional) (2,000 characters)