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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 May. 24, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Tourist Visa
Asked by Rohan from JAPAN | Jun. 17, 2019 01:06Reply
British national but Japanese resident

I hold a British passport but have residency in Japan.
Do you know if there are any special requirements or considerations I need to be aware of when applying for a tourist Visa for China? I would assume I follow the procedures for British citizens. But some countries have specific rules about this (for example Vietnam - British citizens travel Visa free for a period but British citizens in Japan need an application).

Thank you
Asked by Dulanjalee Shehara from SRILANKA | Jun. 15, 2019 02:43Reply
How a Pakistani person can get a visa
Please tell me the required documents to apply for tourist visa . Reason just to visit China . And also tell me the visa durations like how much months .
Answers (1)
Answered by Kelly from USA | Jun. 16, 2019 20:54

Dear, Pakistan passport holders are requested to join travel group to visit China.
Asked by NAULAK ZAMMUANKIMI from INDIA | Jun. 14, 2019 01:09Reply
single certificate application .
hello sir,
i am from india my boyfriend is china we want to married in china .so,i get from my single certificate in our hometown .and i had already complete attested in india.The marriage register bureau office zhengzhou they told me your single certificate is not complete words you need to get new one from india consulate office in beijing .but the beijing consulate office told me we never give any person single certificate here. what should i do please any information urgently.

Answers (1)
Answered by Greta from USA | Jun. 16, 2019 18:19

Dear, as I know, your single certificate need to be authenticated by Chinese Embassy in India. So I would like you to contact with them for more information.
Asked by Grizzie from UNITED STATES | Jun. 13, 2019 14:07Reply
Travelling to china with no tickets and palces
Daughter is playing in a women soccer tournament, Plan on attending the games , we plan on being in China 10 days . We want to do the tourist thing . But don’t have ticket places yet . Will this hinder the application process?
Answers (1)
Answered by John Doe | Jun. 13, 2019 19:26

Roundtrip ticket and proof of accomodations are a must for tourist visa applicants unless you can secure an invitation letter from a Chinese national or resident.
Asked by Moira from UNITED KINGDOM | Jun. 12, 2019 22:46Reply
I want to visit my daughter and son-in-law who are working in China for 3 years. What type of visa?
I want to visit my daughter and son-in-law twice while he is working in China. What type of visa do I need? How many days can each visit be for?
Answers (1)
Answered by Justin from USA | Jun. 13, 2019 01:43

Hi, you can apply for S type. The duration of each stay is usually 180 days.
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