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China Tourist Visa (L)

Most travelers to China are required to get a China tourist visa, L visa for short, which allows them to travel freely in most parts of China as tourists, assuming that they do not qualify under the visa-free policies of China. Passports, application form, and documents showing the itinerary or an invitation letter from China are the essential application documents.

Sample of China Tourist Visa
Sample of China Tourist Visa

In most cases, a tourist can get a single entry L visa with a stay duration of 30 days. UK, US, Canadian, and Argentine citizens are able to get a 10-year China tourist visa with multiple entries.

If travelling with an organized tour group, you might not have an individual visa in your passport.  Instead, the tour group will be issued a group tour visa bearing all the members' names. In such situations supply your details to the travel agency beforehand and you will have no further concerns.

If travelling independently, you need to handle visa affairs on your own. The process is not complicated if you follow the guidelines below.

China Tourist Visa Requirements & Documents

1. Passport

- Your passport  with at least 6 months remaining validity and available blank pages, and a photocopy of passport's data page.

2. Application Form

- One accurately completed China Tourist Visa Application Form. Please fill in every column of the application form, using "N/A" if not applicable. If the application form is not filled out truthfully, completely and legibly, there could be a delay in processing or refusal of the application.

3. Recent Photo

- A recent passport-size color photo with white background attached to the application form.

4. Round-trip Tickets Plus Hotel Bookings or Invitation Letter from China

- Documents showing the itinerary including proof of round trip tickets booking and proof of hotel reservation.
- Or, if you are being invited to China, you can submit an invitation letter issued by the inviter, whether it's an entity or individual, with following information:
a. Information on the applicant, including full name, gender, and date of birth.
b. Information on the planned visit, including arrival and departure dates, place(s) of visit.
c. Information on the inviter, including name, contact number, address, official stamp, and signature of the legal representative of the entity or the inviting individual.

5. Other Supporting Documents

a. For those not applying in their country of citizenship, a proof of legal stay or residence status is required.
b. In some cases, applicants may need to submit a certification letter from the employer of the applicant with details as follows: name and contact number of the employer, the applicant's income statement, or original copy of recent 6-month bank statement of the applicant.
c. Applicants who intend to travel to Tibet must obtain a Tibet Travel Permit, which can be obtained from Tourism Bureau of Tibet Autonomous Region by travel agencies.

China Tourist Visa Requirements
China Tourist Visa Requirements

How to Get a Chinese Tourist Visa

With all the required documents at hand, you can go to Chinese embassies, consulates, Chinese diplomatic missions, or a Chinese Visa Application Center (CVASC) if there are any in your country to submit the application in person. If you can't go personally, you can entrust someone else,such as a travel agency or a visa agency to act on your behalf. An appointment is not mandatory. Applications by mails are not accepted and will be refused at most Chinese embassies or consulates. In countries with CVASCs, applicants may be able to apply by post, or submit applications based on an online appointment via the website of CVASC.

Processing Time

It normally takes 4 working days for processing a China travel visa. For express service, an additional fee of USD 20 will be charged for two or three working day service. For rush service, an additional fee of USD30 will be charged for same-day service.

Chinese Tourist Visa Cost

The visa costs vary depending on your nationality and number of entries. However, according to the Visa Fee Abolition Agreement, the nationals of following several countries can get a visa for free, but must pay for express service, rush service or mail service: Pakistan, Maldives, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovakia and Micronesia. For major countries, the fee is listed below.

China Travel 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

Click on China Visa Fees for more information.

China Tourist Visa Extension

If you need to stay in China past the allowed stay duration on your visitor visa, you can apply for an extension at the local Exit and Entry Administration of China seven days before your L visa expires. Your passport, a visa application form with your recent color photo attached, a registration of temporary residence, and your travel itinerary will be required for submission. If your application is approved, you can get an extended stay not exceeding the original stay duration on your visa.

Recommended Tour Packages


Further Reading:

8 Tips for Filling Out Chinese Visa Application Form
Top 10 China Destinations for First Time Travelers
Top 8 Reasons Why Your China Visa Gets Rejected
- Last modified on Nov. 16, 2020 -
Questions & Answers on China Tourist Visa
Asked by NOOR from CANADA | Nov. 14, 2020 21:12Reply
When is China opening up L VISA ENTRY
Answers (1)
Answered by Kevin | Nov. 16, 2020 00:48

It's unknown at present, but I guess it should be after the global epidemic situation is well controlled.
Asked by Hugh from ZIMBABWE | Nov. 04, 2020 09:05Reply
Is China granting L Visa
From Zimbabwe Africa, i go to Guangzhou to buy goods on the L visa. I had a one year multiple entry from Aug 2019 expired Aug 2020. Questions, is China helping out with these expired visas and issuing new ones, and is Guangzhou now open for traders? If so what are the quarantine rules
Answers (1)
Answered by Michelle | Nov. 08, 2020 18:46

Dear, I'm afraid China does not issue L visas at present. If you need to go to China urgently for business purposes, you can try to apply for an M visa provided that you can get a PU or TE invitation letter.
Asked by Jing from USA | Nov. 04, 2020 03:30Reply
10 year tourist visa
I have a 10-year tourist visa issued before 2019. Provided that it is valid for more than 6 months, may I use it to travel to China? Does the pandemic affect the visa?
Answers (1)
Answered by Lydia | Nov. 08, 2020 18:03

Jing, yes, the pandemic affects this visa, and you can't use it to travel to China at present.
Asked by Kareem from UAE | Nov. 02, 2020 21:16Reply
Can I apply for a tourist visa into China? I am currently in the UAE and have jordanian passport.
I study in Singapore and have a student pass in Singapore as well and my wife has LTVP (Long term visa pass) for Singapore. Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by John | Nov. 08, 2020 18:36

Dear, at present, China does not issue tourist visas, so you can't apply for it.
Asked by Keith A from USA | Oct. 31, 2020 21:37Reply
I have an M Visa, Can I enter China now?
Thank You!
Answers (4)
Answered by Lora | Nov. 02, 2020 00:29

Keith, if the M visa is issued after March 28, 2020 and still valid, you can enter China now with it.
Answered by Keith | Nov. 02, 2020 08:19

It was issued just a couple months before that, I need a new one? Can you help me?
Answered by Lora | Nov. 05, 2020 22:44

Yes, in this case, you need to get a new visa to enter China.
Answered by Keith | Nov. 05, 2020 23:02

Can I hire you to help me please?
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