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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 Sep. 10, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Private Visit Visa
Asked by Den Sy from PHILIPPINES | Oct. 19, 2019 21:15Reply
Can my live in partner and two son be issued an s1 visa?
I want to get my live-in partner and our 2 son here in China for the s1 or s2 visa if applicable. I'm from the Philippines and I'm married before and we don't have divorce in the Philippines. So I have a live-in partner/ common law partner with our two kids and I want to sponsor them to be with me while I am working here in China.
Asked by Rosie from UNITED KINGDOM | Oct. 16, 2019 10:33Reply
Visiting Sister
Hi, I want to visit my sister who works in China what visa should I get? And what document can I get which will proove that we are sisters? Thank you from England!
Answers (1)
Answered by Ruth from USA | Oct. 17, 2019 19:49

You can apply for tourist or S2 visa. If you apply for tourist visa, acutally you don't need to rpovide the certificate that states you are sisters.
Asked by Ali from CHINA | Oct. 11, 2019 06:06Reply
Wants to invite my little brother in china
Hello I'm studying in China and i want to invite my little brother here to live with me which visa should i apply for him??
Answers (1)
Answered by Tracy from UNITED KINGDOM | Oct. 11, 2019 20:15

He should apply for an S1 visa.
Asked by Lekha Sharma from INDIA | Oct. 01, 2019 02:28Reply
S1 visa for spouse
I am an Indian and have been invited to work in Beijing and will apply for Z visa. I wish to take my spouse with me on S1 dependent visa. Is this possible? If yes, how?
Answers (1)
Answered by Betty from UNITED KINGDOM | Oct. 08, 2019 23:26

Yes, it's possible. Shen can apply for the S1 at the same time when you apply for the Z visa. Just ask your employer to add her name on the work permit as your accopanying person. She will need passport, application form, recent photo, a copy of your work permit, and your marriage certificate for the application.
Asked by Melody from PHILIPPINES | Sep. 16, 2019 08:03Reply
Hi there, Ive been to china for 30 days with s1 visa.
Suddenly I have to go back to philippines due to lack of authorization document. Then now the travel agency lady said i have to apply for a new s1 visa which i did, but when the visa/passport came s2 visa is written on my passport/visa. What should I do. Thank you for your response, God bless
Answers (2)
Answered by Tom from USA | Sep. 16, 2019 20:04

You should go with the S2 visa.
Answered by Melody Boyland from PHILIPPINES | Sep. 17, 2019 03:50

Thank you for your response i do really appriciate. God bless you
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