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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 Nov. 05, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Student Visa
Asked by Bob Geller from USA | Nov. 11, 2019 20:21Reply
can you travel around china with an x2 visa?
I am going to study in chengdu, I was thinking about traveling to different cities on the weekend (like chongqing) and staying in a hotel. is this allowed on the x2 visa?
Asked by Harris from LIBERIA | Nov. 10, 2019 11:28Reply
My name is Harris, I travelled to China with an M visa, which I tried to convert it to student visa X1, but they told me that I can't convert it anymore, then I left China back to my country to apply for direct Jw202 to enable me apply for direct students X1 visa. Now I have gotten my Jw202 and the admission letter which I have submitted to Chinese embassy of my country, please can they grant me the X1 visa and like how many years or months will they give me if my request were granted.
Answers (1)
Answered by Jack from UNITED KINGDOM | Nov. 11, 2019 19:30

If you can provide all the required documents, you are likely to get the X1 visa. The vadility of X1 is usually only three months. After you enter China during the three months, you need to apply for a temporary residence permit, of which the validity ranges from six months to one year according to the length of your study.
Asked by Oyasogo Morohunfoluwa from NIGERIA | Nov. 08, 2019 10:49Reply
Can I be allow to work while I study in China
Oyasogo Ayomide from Nigeria
Answers (2)
Answered by Nelly from UNITED KINGDOM | Nov. 10, 2019 18:50

Generally speaking, you are not allowed to work while studying in China.
Answered by Oyasogo Morohunfoluwa from NIGERIA | Nov. 11, 2019 00:09

Please nelly how do I apply for this and how much does it cost
Asked by Tom from AUSTRALIA | Nov. 07, 2019 00:31Reply
Exchange student, X1 visa, residence permit and internships
Hi there,

I am hoping to study in Beijing next year but also to do a couple of internships in other cities around China. Would a residence permit allow me to intern everywhere in China or just in the city where the residence permit is issued. I do not plan for the internships to be paid.

One of the internships might be before I start studying at the university. Would it be better to get an internship visa first then leave the country and then come back with an X1 visa ready to apply for a residence permit? Is there a simpler way to do this?

Thank you in advance?
Answers (1)
Answered by Alice from USA | Nov. 07, 2019 19:26

You can intern everywhere in China with the residence permit issued.

For the internship before your study, you can get an M visa to enter China and convert it to an X1 type later for your study, and apply for a residence permit at the local exit and entry administration.
Asked by Jonas from SRI LANKA | Nov. 04, 2019 22:27Reply
Changing university
I have applied for study in china and I got jw2, but recently I want to study in another university in weifang. Is it possible to apply different university after I got jw2 letter? Thanks
Answers (1)
Answered by SLK from CHINA | Nov. 05, 2019 05:22

Yes I can help you transfer if you want .. my wechat is 858666814
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