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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 Jun. 21, 2021 -
Questions & Answers on China Private Visit Visa
Asked by Kyle from RUSSIA | Jul. 24, 2021 06:07Reply
Entering china on valid Residence permit !
I got the X1 students residence permit on December 2020 and is valid until 23 December 2021 ! Possible to enter re enter china as I came back home last month !
Answers (1)
Answered by Michelle | Jul. 25, 2021 18:54

Kyle, if you have the green health code and you have vaccinated against COVID, I think it will be possible for you to re-enter China.
Asked by Kyle from RUSSIA | Jul. 19, 2021 08:58Reply
X1 Valid residence permit
Hey ! Can we enter china on X1 students valid residence permit ?
Answers (2)
Answered by Anne | Jul. 19, 2021 20:16

When did you get the residence permit? If you got it before the pandemic, you cannot enter China on this residence permit.
Answered by Kyle | Jul. 23, 2021 20:53

I got the residence permit on December 2020 and valid until 23 December 2021 !
Asked by Conor from HUNGARY | Jul. 11, 2021 10:10Reply
Valid X1 residence permit
Hello Sir , I'm from Hungary and recently I came back to Hungary from China and I spend pandemic In china , I'm a student in China, I hold a valid X1 residence permit that is valid until December 2021 , So I wanna know if I can travel on my X1 student residence permit or not ! Kindly need some assistance !
Answers (2)
Answered by Nancy | Jul. 12, 2021 19:00

Conor, I advise you to contact the Chinese embassy in your country to see if you can you can use the X1 student residence permit to enter China.
Answered by Conor | Jul. 13, 2021 02:07

I send a mail but I didn't get any response yet ! Kindly according to your info what do you think , can traveling on X1 residence permit be easy or can't travel ? Just according to your information
Asked by Tony from USA | Jun. 25, 2021 10:12Reply
Wife is moving to China to work on Z Visa, can her husband and son obtain an S1 Visa?
My wife is in process of obtaining her Z-Visa for work in Shanghai for a school. Once she is there can me and our son get an S1 Visa to move with her now, or are COVID restrictions still in place?
Answers (1)
Answered by Emily | Jun. 28, 2021 02:21

Tony, I'm afraid the COVID restrictions are still in place so that your son and you cannot get the S1 visa to move with your wife.
Asked by Kyle from HUNGARY | Jun. 22, 2021 23:11Reply
Can I enter china on valid student visa and marry my chinese girlfriend ?
Hey … I hold a valid student visa X visa that is going to be expired in December 2021 and my visa was issued after March 2020 , so I wanna marry my girlfriend and wanna go to china ! So can I travel to China on valid X student visa ? I've searched that , only three categories holding valid visa can enter includes ( work , Personal affairs and one more ) so can I enter on X visa ?
Answers (1)
Answered by Tom | Jun. 28, 2021 00:41

If your Chinese visa was issued after March 28, 2020, you can enter China. It has nothing to do with the visa types.

What you mentioned about "work, personal affairs and one more" is the type of residence permit, not visa.
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