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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 May. 06, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Private Visit Visa
Asked by Vamsi Krishna from INDIA | May. 19, 2019 20:20Reply
Possibility of extension of S2 Visa from with in china.

I'm a foreigner working in China with Z visa. If my spouse travels to China with an S2 visa and before the visa expiration if we would like to extend the stay to more than 180 days, can we process the Visa extension while staying in China or should we travel back to the home country?
Or is it possible to convert S2 Visa to S1 visa while in China?

Answers (1)
Answered by Mario from USA | May. 21, 2019 02:06

Hi, you can process the extension in China. Plus, it is possible but quite difficult to convert S1 to S2. You can have a try.
Asked by Vikas from INDIA | May. 18, 2019 21:21Reply
Can we get Temporary Resident permit on M- Visa
I am Indian National , with M- visa (6 months)
I am willing to join 6 months language course in GZ University
Can I apply for temporary resident permit in China on basis of M- Visa.
Also , later I have my wife and 4 months infa t to stay with me only - which visa they should apply for?
Kindly assist. Thanks
Answers (1)
Answered by Elinor from INDIA | May. 20, 2019 23:29

Hi, you can't apply for temporary residence permit on M type. Plus, your wife and child can apply for S2 type.
Asked by Crystal Croy from UNITED STATES | May. 17, 2019 09:06Reply
American teaching at international school in Shanghai
I am legal guardian of my grandson he is 2 years old. I will be getting a working visa. What do I apply for to bring him with me? What kind of documentation do I need besides my court papers?
Answers (1)
Answered by Bille from USA | May. 19, 2019 23:40

Hi, he can apply for S2 which needs provide his passport, application form and recent photo, your invitation letter, copy of your passport, and notarized certification of kinship between you.
Asked by Bernie Mendoz from USA | May. 14, 2019 17:19Reply
can the person granted to have S2 China Visa study in high school at China?
Answers (1)
Answered by Bernie from USA | May. 16, 2019 01:00

No, he or she can only study on a student visa.
Asked by Angela from SWITZERLAND | May. 14, 2019 02:10Reply
Gay couple going to work in China
Marriage is not recognized in China.
My wife does not work and is economically dependent on me, but I can't get her any Visa to stay as is not in the Chinese regulation.
Are other Private Affairs that could be used to guarantee the S1 Visa issuance ?

Answers (1)
Answered by Cissy from USA | May. 16, 2019 02:43

Hi, it may be impossible to get S1.
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