How to Apply for a China Tourist Visa

Before embarking on your China trip, it’s necessary to obtain a Chinese tourist visa, aka L visa or travel visa, unless that you are eligible for China's visa exemption policies. No matter you will join a group tour or travel independently, you need to apply for the visa on your own in most cases, but there is a slight difference in the two scenarios.

Sample of China Tourist Visa
Sample of China Tourist Visa

Join a group tour

If you book a tour from a China agency like TravelChinaGuide, the process might be easier. You can ask for an invitation letter from the agency, which is of great help in visa application and can improve the chance for visa approval to some degree.

Travel independently

Round-trip tickets and hotel reservations are required for tourist visa application for independent travelers. Submit as detailed supporting documents as you can to justify your travel itinerary. Usually the hotel bookings should cover your whole stay length in China and be consistent with the dates of arrival and departure shown on your tickets, otherwise your visa may get rejected.

What Are the Requirements for China Tourist Visa?

Generally the required documents include:
1. Your passport, which should be valid for at least six months
2. A complete Chinese Tourist Visa Application Form attached with your passport style photo
3. Round-trip tickets and hotel reservations or an invitation letter from from a travel agency in China
4. For some first-time applicants or citizens from certain countries, they may need to provide extra documents such as bank statement, employee certificate and tax return form to prove their financial status.

China Tourist Visa Requirements
China Tourist Visa Requirements

5 Steps to Apply for a Tourist Visa for China

1. Prepare your passport and ensure its validity is no less than six months.
2. Book round-trip tickets and hotels, and print the booking records. Alternatively, book a tour from a travel agency and get the invitation letter.
3. Complete the application form. (See 8 Tips for Filling out Chinese Visa Application Form)
4. Submit the above documents to the Chinese embassy / consulate or CVASC which has jurisdiction in your residence area.
5. Collect your passport and visa on the appointed date and pay the fee.

How Much Does a China Tourist Visa Cost?

US Citizens Canadian Citizens UK Citizens Australian Citizens
USD 140 CAD 142 GBP 151 AUD 109.5

Here we only list single entry tourist visa fees for some major countries. Click on China Visa Fees for more information.

How Long Does It Take for the Application?

It normally takes only four working days. In case you are in a hurry, you may apply for the expedited services like same day collection service or 2-3 day collection service. Of course, such services require an additional fee.

How Far in Advance Do I Apply for a Tourist Visa for China?

It's recommended to apply six weeks ahead of your planned visit, which is neither too early nor too late.

How Long Is a China Tourist Visa Valid?

A China tourist visa is normally valid for three months from the date of issue. For US citizens, they may get a multiple-entry tourist visa valid for 10 years. The allowed stay duration ranges from 30 days to 90 days decided by consular officers on the basis of your travel itinerary.

See some of our best tour packages:


You may also be interested in:
China Travel Tips
China Tour Planning
Top 10 China Destinations for First Time Travelers

- Last modified on Mar. 15, 2021 -
Questions & Answers on How to Apply for a China Tourist Visa
Asked by john zhouu from USA | Apr. 09, 2021 06:06Reply
现在是否可以办理回国10 年签证?
Asked by nIk from PAKISTAN | Dec. 17, 2020 23:03Reply
Visa change
Hello, can anyone tell me how to get T-visa, (If person already in china)
Currently, I am here in china working in a company holding a Z-visa, last month I resigned, and the company going to cancel my visa and residence permit. At this moment, I don't have any opportunity.
Answers (2)
Answered by Maria | Dec. 24, 2020 22:21

Do you mean the humanitarian visa? If your company cancels your visa and residence permit, the local exit and entry administration will give you a one-month humanitarian visa, but you should leave China during the month.
Answered by Pakistan | Dec. 24, 2020 23:04

Hey, Maria thank you for your response.
Alright, after one month can I apply for another one month. If yes what are the requirements for that? Thanks
Asked by Ebuka Hillary okoye from NIGERIA | Oct. 04, 2020 02:19Reply
Am ebuka I work in United Arab Emirates want to go for tourist in china
Please I want to know the requirements
Answers (1)
Answered by Emily | Oct. 14, 2020 00:19

At present, tourists are not allowed to enter China.
Asked by camille from PHILIPPINES | Sep. 04, 2020 06:38Reply
Hi. Is China accepting visa applications now?
I want to know if China is accepting visa applications for Filipinos now and can I travel to China now to visit a friend?
Answers (1)
Answered by Michelle | Sep. 07, 2020 01:50

Camile, if you plan to visit a friend in China now, you cannot get the visa.
Asked by Antonette Mae cabalan from PHILIPPINES | Jun. 20, 2020 22:14Reply
Hi I want to travel in china with my son to visiting my son's grandma what documents we need to prep
Answers (1)
Answered by Greta from PHILIPPINES | Jun. 21, 2020 23:27

You can apply for a tourist visa. Documents include passport, application form, photo, financial statement, and an invitation from your family members in China.
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