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China Student Visa (X)

Chinese student visa, also known as the X visa, is issued to aliens who come to China for study, advanced studies, or fieldwork. It can be divided into two types:

X1 visa: For long-term study > 180 days
X2 visa: For short-term study ≤ 180 days

The validity of both is 90 days from the date of issue, while the stay duration for X1 visa is usually 000, which needs to be determined after the applicant enters China, and that for X2 visa is not more than 180 days.

For international students, it’s necessary to find an organization accredited for offering courses or internships to foreigners so that they will send a JW201 or JW202 form and an admission letter.
See Chinese Universities Enrolling Foreign Students

China Student Visa Requirements & Documents

1. Passport

- Applicant's original passport valid up to at least six months with at least one blank page.

2. Application Form

- One accurately and truthfully completed China Student Visa Application Form.

3. Recent Photo

- Affix one recent passport style color photo with full face, front view, no hat, and against a plain light background onto the application form.

4. Admission Notice

- Original and a copy of Admission Notice from the Chinese university or school.

5. JW201 or JW202 Form - for X1 application only

Original and a copy of approved Foreign Student Visa Application Form JW201 or JW202.

1. Since US students can now apply for the five-year X1 visa, their passports should have a remaining validity of at least one year if applying for the 5-year X1 visa.
2. The JW201 or JW202 form should be obtained through the school you are to enroll at. JW201 form is issued to international students dispatched by government or funded by Chinese government scholarships while JW202 is for self-sponsored foreign students. (Download Application Form for Chinese Government Scholarship)

How to Apply for China X visa

1. You may submit the application to the consular office of the Chinese embassies, consulates, or China Visa Application Centers (CVASC) in person.
2. Or you can entrust someone else (e.g. friends, relatives), a travel agency or a visa agency to act on your behalf if you can't come personally. Power of attorney is not required.
3. Mailed applications are refused by most Chinese embassies or consulates, but acceptable in many CVASCs.
4. Appointment is not required by most embassies and consulates. But if you are required to submit application to CVASC, you may need to make an online appointment via CVASC's website.

Processing Time

The regular processing time is 4 working days. If you want to collect your visa earlier, the express service and rush service are available.
Express Service: 2-3 working days processing; extra US$ 20 will be charged.
Rush Service: 1 working day processing; extra US$ 30 will be charged.

China Student Visa Fees

The fee for X visa is the same with the fee for other types of Chinese visa. Since X1 visa only has one entry and seldom do Chinese embassies and consulates issue multiple-entry X2 visas, here we only list single-entry and double-entry X visa fees for reference.

China X 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

For more details, please click China Visa Fees.

Things to Know for X1 Visa Holders

X1 visa holders shall apply for a Temporary Residence Permit from the local Exit and Entry Administration within 30 days upon entry into China. The temporary residence permit can be issued with the validity of up to 5 years. Documents required include passport, admission notice, JW201 or JW202 form, Foreigner Physical Examination Record, a registration of accommodation, and a passport style white-background photo.

Within the validity of the Temporary Residence Permit, students can travel into and out of mainland China freely.

When the study in China ends, X1 visa holders should go to the local Exit and Entry Administration to cancel the Temporary Residence Permit and apply for a 30-day tourist visa with zero entry to avoid problems.

Things to Know for X2 Visa Holders

X2 holders shall stay in China within the duration period as indicated on the visa, and it is not necessary for them to apply for the temporary residence permit. In case that they need to extend the X2 visa, please go to the local Exit and Entry Administration to handle this affair 30 days before the expiration date.

Working on X Visa Is Not Allowed

You are not permitted to work on the X type visa. But part-time work and internships off campus may be authorized. You should contact you university or employer after you have settled in China to see what can be arranged.

For foreign students who work in violation of Chinese regulations or beyond the prescribed scope of jobs or time limit, they shall be deemed unlawful employment and will probably have to stop or be expelled. 


Further Reading:

8 Tips for Filling Out Chinese Visa Application Form
Top 8 Reasons Why Your China Visa Gets Rejected
Student Group Tours
Student Travel Tips        

- Last modified on Jan. 23, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Student Visa
Asked by Modou from GAMBIA | Jan. 23, 2019 10:30Reply
Visa expired without leaving my country
Due to family issues, I defer my semester after I was issued a visa. Should I apply again a new x? With all required documents
Answers (1)
Answered by John from BELGIUM | Jan. 23, 2019 19:03

You can apply again, and the requirement would be the same as the previous application.
Asked by Marth from CAMEROON | Jan. 22, 2019 10:17Reply
Student visa. I want to apply for X2
I already make body check in my country and it's not my first time to go in China, should I make body check again in when I will be there?
Answers (1)
Answered by Rice from EGYPT | Jan. 22, 2019 18:46

If it's required, you need to do it again. You are advised to contact the consular officers to inquire that.
Asked by Dessa from PHILIPPINES | Jan. 21, 2019 19:51Reply
Student Visa. Hi, i hold a tourist visa right now here in china.
I want get study here, where do i get the JW202 form? I saw the last question posted here that i can change s2 to student X. I just dont know the process. Like where to get JW202 form. Because i dont think the university will provide. They will only provide the admission letter. Please help.
Answers (1)
Answered by Vega from NETHERLANDS | Jan. 21, 2019 22:28

As I know, the school needs to provide the JW form for you.
Asked by Rob from USA | Jan. 17, 2019 20:20Reply
family visa to student
Is it possible to change an S2 visa to a student visa in China without exiting?
Answers (2)
Answered by Edwards from UKRAINE | Jan. 17, 2019 22:12

It's possible for you to do that at the exit and entry administration of the local PSB within China. If it can succeed, you don’t need to go back to your home country for that.
Answered by Rob from USA | Jan. 17, 2019 22:19

Great, thank you so much!
Asked by Kath from PHILIPPINES | Jan. 17, 2019 14:09Reply
Student Visa. My friends applied for a student visa but they are denied.
I don't understand why, because they have their complete papers/requirements with them.
Answers (1)
Answered by Reynolds from EGYPT | Jan. 17, 2019 19:42

Sometimes, the consular officers may deny the application without giving any reasons. Try to apply it again after preparing all right requirements.
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