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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 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. Make an appointment for China visa application submission
2. You may submit the application to the consular office of the Chinese embassies, consulates, or China Visa Application Centers (CVASC) in person. 
3. Mailed applications are refused by most Chinese embassies, consulates, or CVASCs.

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 185 CAD 142 GBP 151 AUD 109.5
Double Entries USD 185 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 updated on Dec. 18, 2023 by Kate Liu -
Questions & Answers on China Student Visa
Asked by Zahra from USA | Jan. 09, 2024 13:38Reply
How do I apply for multiple-entries X2 visa? They tell me it is for only one entry.
Answers (1)
Answered by Helen | Jan. 10, 2024 19:32

In most cases, it is only for one entry. But as I know, someone can apply for adding another entry after arriving in China.
Asked by Muhammad Ali from PAKISTAN | Dec. 18, 2023 07:13Reply
I am going for an internship only, which visa should i apply for.
I am going for an internship only for a duration of an year. The company told me that they will apply for F type visa invitation letter. As i don't have hsk level 3 language clearance, i cant apply for working visa. But as F type visa will be valid for only a month, idk if i will be given any extension. Is that the right visa for me or should i apply for another visa type?
Answers (1)
Answered by Helen | Dec. 18, 2023 18:17

It seems F visa is the best choice. You can apply for visa extension. But as I know, the duration is generally no more than 1 month. It is better for you to confirm with the local entry and exit administration bureau about the extension duration and times.
Asked by Ashish from INDIA | Dec. 12, 2023 21:15Reply
Q1 to X1 VISA conversion and vice versa
Im married to a chinese national and hold Q1 VISA. Can i apply for conversion to X1 VISA to study in a university in China? Or Can i simply study in China on Q1 VISA ?
Answers (2)
Answered by Helen | Dec. 13, 2023 00:04

Generally, you can apply for a conversion in the local entry and exit administration bureau.
Answered by ashish | Dec. 13, 2023 21:56

Asked by Alex from NETHERLANDS | Dec. 08, 2023 06:14Reply
X1 or X2
Can I apply for an X1 visa even if I'm doing an exchange program with a duration of 6 months? Because with X2 you can only enter China once but I am planning to travel to other countries during my exchange as well
Answers (2)
Answered by Daisy | Dec. 10, 2023 17:22

It is not easy and you may try to apply for a multiple-entry X2 visa.
Answered by Zahra | Jan. 09, 2024 13:37

I am the same situation but they tell me that X2 visa is for single-entry. How do you apply for multiple-entries?
Asked by Bob from USA | Nov. 20, 2023 19:09Reply
Do I need to make an appointment to sumbit my applicate at the Chinese Consulate in NYC?
Answers (1)
Answered by Harry | Nov. 21, 2023 22:00

No, you don't need. No appointment is required since October 23, 2023.
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