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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 Dec. 22, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Student Visa
Asked by Bryce from PHILIPPINES | Jan. 22, 2020 19:42Reply
I have a X2 visa with 1 entry, how do I get another entry if I want to go home during the holiday?
Do I have to get another visa? And if so, what kind of visa should I be getting?
Asked by ingrid from CHINA | Jan. 21, 2020 15:33Reply
Already in China on an S visa, now planning to do a three months university course - change visa?
I moved to Beijing this past summer on an S visa. I would like to take a three months intensive Chinese course at a local university and they tell me I have to get a student visa. Really? And I need to travel abroad just before the course starts, will be back right on time. How does the student visa affect my ability to travel?
Asked by Andrea from SPAIN | Jan. 16, 2020 06:55Reply
HK trip from China with x2 student visa
Is it possible to travel from China to HK with a Student x2 visa? Or is only valid for 1 entrance? Im a student from Spain.
Cheers! :)
Answers (1)
Answered by Miranda from USA | Jan. 16, 2020 19:18

Andrea, you need to check whether your x2 visa is a single-entry one or double-entry one. Just look at the number after "Entires" on your visa. If it's 1, then the visa is only valid for 1 entry and you should get another visa in order to return from HK to mainland.
Asked by Ton from AUSTRALIA | Jan. 12, 2020 23:36Reply
Requirements for X2
Dose anyone know exact requirements for X2 visa 2020? Applying from Australia as Australian citizens. Thanks
Answers (1)
Answered by Rebecca from AUSTRALIA | Jan. 13, 2020 18:38

(1) Passport
(2) Visa Application Form and Photo
One completed Visa Application Form (V.2013) with a recently-taken colour passport photo (bare-head, full face) against a white background (size: 48mm x 33mm) attached.
(3) Original and photocopy of Admission Notice issued by a school or other entities in China.
Asked by Josh from PHILIPPINES | Jan. 10, 2020 19:33Reply
X2 Visa Application w/o JW201 Form
Hi, is it really possible to apply for an X2 Visa without a JW201 form? Because my current school does not provide one. I was asked for it by my travel agency and was advised that this would be rejected.
Answers (1)
Answered by Fiona from PHILIPPINES | Jan. 12, 2020 18:15

Josh, as far as I know, JW201 form is not required for X2 visa application.
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