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, Xi'an, Guangzhou, and Hangzhou, enabling tourists to take a short tour in China.

144-hour visa-free transit For 53 countries Available in Guangdong, Beijing, Xi'an, Tianjin, Shijiazhuang, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Dalian, Shenyang, Chengdu, Xiamen, Qingdao, Wuhan, Chongqing 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. 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: Make an appoinment with Chinese embassy, consulate, or Chinese Visa Application Service Center (CVASC) and submit all documents at the appoinmented time. 

 Step 3: Collect your passport and visa on the date shown on the pick-up slip and pay the fee. You may be required to pay the fee when submitting the application. 

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 185 CAD 142 GBP 151 AUD 109.5
Double Entries USD 185 CAD 142 GBP 151 AUD 139.5
Multi Entries for 6 Months USD 185 CAD 142 GBP 151 AUD 169.5
Multi Entries for 12 Months or Longer USD 185 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 updated on May. 17, 2023 by Kate Liu -
Questions & Answers on China Visa
Asked by RTB from CANADA | Aug. 30, 2019 17:17Reply
Visa renewal in China?
I currently have a China Alien work permit and residence permit coming up for renewal, but I am considering early retirement. My wife is Chinese American and her father is elderly and ill, so she needs to be in China to care for him, and I would choose to accompany her. So I think I can convert to a multi year tourist visa? And can I apply for this changed visa in China, or must I return to my home country?
Answers (1)
Answered by Isaac from CANADA | Sep. 01, 2019 22:50

yes, you could change your visa within China. But you'd better change it into a Q1 visa.
Asked by amy from USA | Aug. 21, 2019 11:52Reply
China Tour from Vietnam.
I am US citizen and I am going home Vietnam in December 2019. I join a China tour from Vietnam but i purchase a tour from California, . Can I apply a China Visa from US?
thank you
Answers (1)
Answered by Marvin from USA | Aug. 22, 2019 18:32

yes, you can apply in US.
Asked by Lubomir from SK | Aug. 05, 2019 00:10Reply
Hello. I would like to inquire about the need for Chinese visas.
In December, I fly from Vienna to Hanoi with China Southern Airlines.
I have a technical stop in Urumqi and a stopover in Guangzhou.
The flight number from Vienna to Guangzhou is CZ6022, then to Vietnam CZ371.
The return flight from Vietnam to Guangzhou is CZ6090 and from Guangzhou to Vienna CZ6021.

Is Chinese VISA needed for this flight?

Thank you, best regards Kompanik
Answers (1)
Answered by Amy from CANADA | Aug. 06, 2019 19:07

Normally, you don't need to apply for a transit visa. But it is suggested that you apply one, just in case.
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.
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