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. 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 Aug. 20, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Tourist Visa
Asked by AG from USA | Aug. 20, 2019 02:20Reply
10 Year VISA
I am a US citizen, I want to get a 10 year VISA because I am traveling for the first time next summer and plan to go from NYC to Beijing for 4 days, then Zhangjiajie for 2 days then on to Japan. I would hope to return again in the future. I do not think I can get a 144hr VISA because of the different provinces. Please advise.
Asked by Ann Clague from UNITED KINGDOM | Aug. 19, 2019 07:23Reply
144 hr permit
Leaving a cruise from Japan then two days in Beijing,then back to uk.
Do I get a 144hr permit on the boat or when we arrive in Beijing?
Answers (1)
Answered by Amber from UNITED KINGDOM | Aug. 20, 2019 00:23

You should get it when you arrive in Beijing.
Asked by Steven from USA | Aug. 17, 2019 20:36Reply
I will be stopping in China for 8 hours on a cruise from Japan. Do I need a visa?
Answers (1)
Answered by Ares from IRELAND | Aug. 18, 2019 23:27

Steven, if your route is country A - mainland China - Country C, you will be eligible for the 24h visa-free transit policy.
Asked by J from BRITAIN | Aug. 17, 2019 20:21Reply
Visa for dutch National
My boyfriend wants to come over, eventually for work, but regardless he wants to come over to visit in October. I’m guessing he can only come on a tourist visa, how long will this allow him to stay ? Can he extend? How many times can he apply for a tourist visa in a year? Is he allowed to come and stay with me for the full time? If we say he’s coming to see a partner will that impact his visa ? Please advise the best solution for this. Many thanks in advance for your help.
Answers (1)
Answered by Bunny from UNITED KINGDOM | Aug. 18, 2019 23:34

Dear, he can apply for a tourist visa, which often has a stay duration of 30 days. Anyway, he can apply for longer duration as he wishes. You can provide him with an invitation letter and a copy of your temporary residence permit of China to help him to get the visa. Of course, he is allowed to stay with you for the full time. Saying he's coming to see a partner won't impact the visa application result. By the way, he can extend the visa at the local exit and entry administration seven working days before his stay duration runs out in China.
Asked by Dominic Haworth-Staines from ENGLAND | Aug. 15, 2019 06:14Reply
Longer stay than 30 days
I would like to travel around china with Workaway for around 3 months, is this in any way possible? Will they grant me a duration of stay that long from the beginning or will I have to extend my visa while I am there?

Also what are the odds that the extension is refused? As I would like to book flights.
Answers (1)
Answered by Keith from UNITED KINGDOM | Aug. 16, 2019 00:29

If you indeed need such a long stay duration, then just apply for it. Whether you will get it is hard to say. If you get a shorter stay duration as a result, it doesn't matter, for you can extend your stay duration while in China.
Ask a Question
Question Summary (100 characters)
Details (optional) (2,000 characters)