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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 Mar. 06, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Private Visit Visa
Asked by Muzaffar from UZBEKISTAN | Mar. 18, 2019 00:06Reply
Chinese X visa opportunities
I am from Uzbekistan, I study in China now. My visa is study X visa. Can I Enter Shouth Korea as a tours purpose for a month? Thanks,
Asked by Brad from SINGAPORE | Mar. 15, 2019 09:15Reply
S1 Visa enquiry
Is it ok to use birth certificate of the child which reflects father and mother's names to b for her and the child to get an S1 as we are customarily married not having white wedding at the moment?
Answers (1)
Answered by Hill from KUWAIT | Mar. 17, 2019 20:06

I think that would be possible. You are advised to contact the visa office to confirm that.
Asked by Salim from UZBEKISTAN | Mar. 14, 2019 01:46Reply
S visa requiring process
I am in China , if I want to invite my wife, should I go back to my country's China emmbassy or Sending documents is possible to Get S of my wife without me.
Answers (1)
Answered by Jean | Mar. 14, 2019 19:56

You can send an invitation letter and other requirements to your wife, and she can apply for the S type from the China embassy in your country.
Asked by BRG from INDIA | Mar. 13, 2019 18:39Reply
Do I need to go the police station for registration after entering china on S2 visa
Answers (1)
Answered by Hunter from THAILAND | Mar. 13, 2019 19:47

I think you are supposed to go the police station for registration.
Asked by Whitney from USA | Mar. 13, 2019 13:10Reply
Bringing your family to China
I am bringing my family with me as I work in China on a Z (then residency permit). Can we all come at the same time? Do I need to get my residency permit first?
Answers (1)
Answered by Lewis from GERMANY | Mar. 13, 2019 18:11

I think you can all come at the same time. Maybe your employer needs to send you an invitation. You are advised to contact the visa office to inquire that.
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