China Visa

Most visitors, whether for sightseeing or business purposes, need to apply for a China visa in advance, unless they are eligible for visa exemption policies. The necessary documents for a China visa application include a passport, an application form, a recent bareheaded photo, round-trip tickets, a travel itinerary and any other documents as required by the Chinese embassy or consulate. The cost varies in different countries. For US citizens, a China visa application costs 140 dollars.

Do I need a visa for China travel?

Before working out your China travel plan, it is important to check whether you are covered by the visa-free policies in China.

Some countries, like Japan, Singapore, and Brunei, have a 15-day visa-free entry agreement with China, so their citizens do not need a China visa as long as their stay lasts no longer than 15 days. Mutual Visa Exemption between China and Qatar stipulates Qatar citizens with ordinary passports may stay in China for less than 30 days without visa. Armenian citizens enjoy visa free if they stay in China for no more than 90 days every 180 days. For a majority of foreign visitors from other countries, the visa is obligatory, even if you hold a US, UK, or Canadian passport.

However, if you meet the requirements, you may still enjoy visa-free travel by taking advantage of favorable visa-free schemes. Currently, visa-free transit options ranging from 24 to 144 hours have been adopted in quite a number of China's major tourist destinations including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hangzhou, enabling tourists to take a short tour in China.

144-hour visa-free transit For 53 countries Available in Guangdong, Beijing, Tianjin, Shijiazhuang, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Dalian, Shenyang, Chengdu, Xiamen, Qingdao, Wuhan, and Kunming
72-hour visa-free transit For 53 countries Available in major Chinese cities including Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai
24-hour Direct Transit For almost all countries Available in most China ports

If you wish to plan a longer stay, a China visa should be obtained.

 See more about Do I Need A Visa for Guangzhou If Traveling from Hong Kong?

How to apply for China visa?

 Step 1: Collect all the documents you need, including a passport valid for at least six months and with blank pages and a fully type-written China visa application form glued with your recent bareheaded photo. If applying for a tourist visa, round-trip tickets and hotel bookings are also required. If you have booked a tour with a China agency, they will issue you with an invitation letter, which will be of great help to smooth the process.

 Step 2: Submit all documents to the Chinese embassy, consulate, or Chinese Visa Application Service Center (CVASC) in person or through an agency. Some embassies and CVASCs accept mail applications but these incur extra charges.

 Step 3: Collect your passport and visa on the date shown on the pick-up slip and pay the fee.

How much does a China visa cost?

The China visa fee is determined by factors such as your nationality, required number of entries, and whether you use express services. Here is a price schedule for your reference.

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 China Visa Fees to know more details.

How long does it take for China visa application?

In normal cases, the application takes four working days to process. If you use urgent service, you may get the visa on the same day you submit the application. If using express service, you need to wait for two or three working days. Should your demand for fast service get refused, it is advised to start preparing the visa early to avoid delays and complications.

- Last modified on Jun. 03, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Visa
Asked by Amad from PAKISTAN | Mar. 24, 2019 19:36Reply
Pakistani eligible for a free trainsit?
will be travelling from Pakistan to Japan with pakistani passport Want to Go Via China and stay 1 day in Bejing. Am I eligible for a transit free visa?
Answers (1)
Answered by Kelly | Mar. 25, 2019 18:13

If the layover time in Beijing is less than 24 hours, you could get the 24h twov.
Asked by Kelera from AUSTRALIA | Feb. 24, 2019 18:22Reply
Chinese visa whilst on a cruise
I am going on a cruise visiting Shanghai, Tianjin and Qingdao, then onto Japan. Can I utilise the 144-hour twov while visiting these ports? I am an Australian citizen with an Australian passport
Answers (1)
Answered by Alonzo from SAN MARINO | Feb. 25, 2019 17:38

I'm afraid you cannot use the 144h twov in this trip. You can inquire your cruise if you can get the 15-day cruise visa-free in your trip.
Asked by Talha ahmed from PAKISTAN | Dec. 13, 2018 19:27Reply
Visit visa. Hi I am from Pakistan
why I can't go china for visit individually ? Why should we have group more than five people is there any way to go individually pease guide
Answers (1)
Answered by Mckinney from GERMANY | Dec. 13, 2018 19:38

As I know, the embassy doesn't accept Pakistani individual applicants. So you are advised to find an agency to help you.
Asked by Mai from UNITED STATES | Dec. 12, 2018 10:51Reply
Celebrity Millenium China & South Korea cruise in March, 3 days in Beijing. Do I need Chinese Visa?
I'm a US citizen, taking Celebrity Millenium China & South Korea cruise in March. Depart from Hong Kong --> to Seoul, Korea --> then to Beijing --> the to Jeju Island, Korea --> then to Shanghai. Will the 144-hour Free work for both Beijing and Shanghai?

I'm concerned if the 144-hour Free work for: Seoul, Korea --> to Beijing, China --> to Jeju Island, South Korea?

Thank you so much!
Answers (1)
Answered by Rob from OMAN | Dec. 12, 2018 19:14

Seoul, Korea --> to Beijing, China --> to Jeju Island, South Korea is not a transit, so you won't qualify for the free transit in Beijing. You need a visa for that.
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