Home / Embassy / Visa /

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. 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 Tourist Destinations of China
Top 8 Reasons Why Your China Visa Gets Rejected
- Last modified on Feb. 14, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Tourist Visa
Asked by Bruce Wallace from AUSTRALIA | Feb. 14, 2019 20:04Reply
Visa Period of Validity
I'm an Australian citizen and I'm booked to fly into China on 10 May 2019, and will be departing on 28 May 2019. I realise that I can apply for a 'three month one entry visa' which I valid for three months from the date of issue.

I am travelling to Sydney next week (21-22 Feb), which falls within the three month period of my arrival (10 May) in China. However my departure date from China(28 May) falls outside the three month period, will my three visa be valid, allowing me to continue my travel within China and depart on 28 May?
Asked by Qiao from UNITED KINGDOM | Feb. 11, 2019 20:21Reply
UK national, 'L' visa, 180 days per year?
Validity: 2 years from September 2018
Entries: Multiple
Duration of each stay: 90 days

Hi, I'm wondering how many days I can spend in China within one year as a UK national with this Tourist L. I've seen some accounts saying there is a 180 day limit on stays within a single one year period. Is this the case? I can't find reliable sources to ensure it, but it would make sense, to prevent people from basically living in China.

I first entered in October 2018, left after 90 days in December 2018 before re-entering that same month. I will currently have to leave China on March 15th. Will I then be unable to reenter on my current visa until a full year has passed (October 2019) since my first entry, as I will have stayed in China 180 days already?

I am working towards getting a work permit with a legitimate and reputable employer who has offered me a job. For various reasons I won't go into, the job will not begin until after March 15. I just don't want to have to go back to the UK while I wait for the work permit to be processed, I'd rather stay in China if I can.

If anyone could clear this up for me that would be great! Also, is there an entity within China that I can ask about this without risking their suspicion?

Thanks for any help!
Answers (1)
Answered by Elaine | Feb. 12, 2019 19:14

Hi, as I know, you can stay in China for up to 90 days after entry. But you have multiple entries, so you can enter China for many times in a year and stay for 90 days each time. There is no 180day limit.
Asked by Anna May Saquing from PHILIPPINES | Feb. 08, 2019 22:45Reply
Visa Requirements for group application
I am from the Philippines. I have already booked to and return tickets to Shnaghai.I will be travelling with my son,mother and aunt.What are the requirements for visa application?thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by James from DENMARK | Feb. 10, 2019 17:34

If you apply for tourist L type, you need to provide a filled-out application form affixed with 2 passport-style photos, your passport and its photocopy, round trip air tickets and hotel reservation, your travel plan, bank statement, tax certificate, identity card, as well as other documents the consular officers consider necessary.
Asked by Rashid from PAKISTAN | Feb. 07, 2019 06:03Reply
business visa req
we are planning to start business setup in china, Quangzhou city,
what will be procedure pls guide
Answers (1)
Answered by Jeanne from FRANCE | Feb. 10, 2019 17:31

You should provide your passport and copy of its data page, the completed application form attached with 2 passport-style photos, the invitation letter of duly authorized unit, letter of undertaking from your company, tax certificate, copy of your company's business license, bank statement and the invitation letter from the Chinese business partner, as well as other required documents. Next, submit the application to the embassy to apply for business M type.
Asked by linda from PHILIPPINES | Feb. 05, 2019 03:49Reply
I am Filipina and staying in Japan, do i need to get visa to enter china for a period of 3 days?
Answers (1)
Answered by Rehana | Feb. 07, 2019 09:23

Ask a Question
Question Summary (100 characters)
Details (optional) (2,000 characters)