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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 Jan. 03, 2021 -
Questions & Answers on China Private Visit Visa
Asked by Andri from INDONESIA | Jan. 16, 2021 21:12Reply
Visit Girlfriend
I'm from indonesia and My girlfriend is China Citizen. And I intend to visit her, is it possible to apply S1 Visa for personal matter reason? Invitation letter can be provide by my girlfriend. Please advise.
Asked by Babyangel from SINGAPORE | Dec. 31, 2020 07:53Reply
Which Pass should I apply as I am travelling over to China to discuss on marriage matters?
We have planned to get marry in July 2020, due to the Covid-19 the plans are shelved. But now the parents are getting anxious. Therefore, I need to fly over to China to discuss the marriage matters. Kindly advise which pass should I apply.


Answers (2)
Answered by Jasper | Jan. 03, 2021 23:28

Dear, actually I'm afraid you cannot get a visa for this matter to enter China now.
Answered by Babayangel | Jan. 04, 2021 04:39

Meaning not even able to go to China at all? Is there any solution?
Asked by Asya from ISRAEL | Dec. 18, 2020 06:26Reply
Me and my partner (both foreigners) registered our marriage in our embassy.
Me and my partner (both foreigners) registered our marriage in our embassy. Both of us are currently in Beijing. He has a Z visa, will I be able to get a S1 visa through PSB? Or the only way is through the Chinese embassy from abroad?
Answers (1)
Answered by Helen | Dec. 24, 2020 22:33

If you can have your marriage certificate notarized and authenticated, it will possible for you to get an S1 visa in China.
Asked by Hishoki from ALBANIA | Nov. 30, 2020 10:21Reply
am a student in china, but currently out of china. Can I apply for private visa to see a friend?
What will happen to my student visa? Can I have two different types of visas at the same time. Thanks
Answers (1)
Answered by Melinda | Dec. 03, 2020 19:05

Dear, you can't apply for a private visa to see your friend in China due to the travel restrictions. And one cannot hold tow different types of China visas at the same time.
Asked by Aimee from CHINA | Nov. 25, 2020 02:58Reply
Can I currently apply for a S1 visa?
My 13 year old daughter is in the UK and I work and live in China. Can I currently apply for a S1 visa for her to relocate to China?
Answers (2)
Answered by Lexi | Nov. 26, 2020 23:09

Well, if you can get a PU or TE invitation letter for her, then she can apply for an S1 visa from the UK.
Answered by TB | Nov. 28, 2020 14:37

No. No countries are currently issuing dependent visas
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