china edition



Chinese visa is a permit issued by the Chinese visa authorities to those foreigners who want to enter into, exit from or transit through the Chinese territory. According to the applicants' identity, visiting purpose and passport type, the Chinese visa falls into 4 categories, namely, diplomatic, courtesy, service and ordinary visas.

The ordinary visa consists of 9 sub-categories, which are respectively marked with Chinese phonetic letters F, L, Z, X, C, J-1, J-2, G, and D.

Visit/Business Visa (F)

Issued to those foreigners who are invited to China for visit, research, lecture, business, scientific-technological and cultural exchanges or short-term advanced studies or intern practice for a period of less than 6 months.

Tourism Visa (L)

Issued to those who enter China temporarily for touring, family visiting or other personal affairs (multiple-entry is not granted for this category).

Working Visa (Z)

Issued to foreigners who are going to work in China and their accompanying family members.

Study/Student Visa (X)

Issued to those who come to China for study or intern practice for a period of 6 months or above.

Crewmember Visa (C)

Issued to crewmembers on international aviation, navigation and land transportation missions and their accompanying family members.

Journalist Visa (J-1)

This visa is for journalists who are posted to China for at least 1 year.

Journalist Visa (J-2)

Issued to foreign correspondents on temporary interview mission in China.

Transit Visa (G)

Issued to those who transit through China.

Residence Visa (D)

Issued to people who are going to live in China permanently.

The Chinese visa authorities overseas include Chinese embassies, consulates, visa offices and the consular department of the office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China. If a foreigner intends to enter into, exit from or transit through the Chinese territory, he shall apply to the above-mentioned Chinese visa authorities for a Chinese visa. For further information, you need to consult the nearest Chinese visa authorities.

If you are planning to enter China through Hong Kong, this is probably the best place of all to buy your visa. Hong Kong also issues visas of longer duration quite easily.

Travelers should be aware that Hong Kong and Macau are Special Administrative Regions with separate visa and entry administration. Travelers who exit mainland China to visit those destinations may require a new Chinese visa if they wish to re-enter mainland China. Some travel permits, issued in Hong Kong or at Hong Kong-Macau-Chinese mainland border crossings, are valid for limited travel to special areas only such as Shenzhen, Zhuhai or other areas in Guangdong Province. It is illegal to use these permits to travel onwards to other parts of China.

Detailed information of Chinese Visa
Visa Categories Entries of Visas Validity Duration of Stay
Journalist (J-1) Single 3 months  
Journalist (J-2) Single    
Study/Student (X) Single 3 months  
Residence (D) Single 3 months  
Tourist (L) Single/Double 3 months 1-60 days
Crewmember (C) Single/Double 3 months 1-30 days
Transit (G) Single/Double 3 months 7 days
Visit/Business (F) Single/Double/Multiple 3 months, 6/12 months 1-60 days

The following notes are offered as a general guide in order to assist you to understand the passport and visa requirements. Should you require any further information, we recommend you to contact the Chinese Embassy or the Chinese Consulate in your country.

General requirements for applying for a Chinese Visa:

  1. A completed Visa Application form. Form can be obtained from the local Chinese Embassy or Consulate, or you can download it from the official website of the Chinese Embassy in your country.
  2. Two 2' X 2' passport photos showing applicant's full front face.
  3. Current Passport that is valid for a minimum of 6 months from the date of travel. The passport must also have more than 2 blank visa pages.
  4. Submitting documents which explain one's reasons to enter China.

Requirements applicable to the 9 different classes of Visa:

Visa F: Visit/Business Visa

The invitation letter from the inviting unit or a visa notification letter/telegram from the authorized unit is required.

Visa L: Tourism Visa

In principle a tourist must be able to demonstrate the ability to finance all of his/her expenses whilst in China. It is also necessary to produce evidence of exit travel arrangements in the form of air, rail or ship tickets for the onward/return journey to the appropriate destination.

Applicants who are intending to stay with relatives in China will be required to show an invitation letter from such relatives by way of confirmation.

Visa Z: Working Visa

Foreign applicants wishing to take up employment in the PRC are required to obtain an Employment License from either their proposed employer in China or from the provincial or municipal labor authority. A visa notification letter or a telegram issued by an authorized organization or company as appropriate should accompany this document.

Visa X: Students Visa

Certificates from the receiving unit and competent authority concerned are required. These comprise JW-201 or JW-202 form issued by the Ministry of Education of China and a letter of admission from a Chinese University / College.

Visa C: Crewmember Visa

Applicants must produce relevant documents in accordance with bilateral agreements or regulations stipulated on the Chinese side.

Visa J-1 and J-2: Journalist Visa

Applicants for these classes of visa are required to produce a certificate issued by the competent Chinese authorities.

Visa G: Transit Visa

When arrangements have been made to continue foreign travel, applicants must be able to produce the necessary visas and/or travel permits that are required by the country to which they will travel upon leaving China.

Visa D: Permanent Residence Visa

A permanent residence confirmation form is required. This can be obtained by the applicant direct or through his/her designated relatives in China from the exit and entry department of the public security bureau in the city or county in which the applicant wishes to reside.

Besides providing the above-mentioned documents, an applicant is also required to answer relevant questions and go through the following formalities (with the exception of those stipulated otherwise by agreements):

•  Providing valid passport or a travel document in lieu of the passport

•  Filling out a visa application form, and providing a recent 2-inch, bareheaded and full-faced passport photo.

Visa to enter the People's Republic of China are required by all except:

  1. nationals of Brunei, Japan and Singapore for stays of up to 15 days;
  2. transit passengers (except nationals of the UK and USA, who always require a visa) continuing their journey by the same or first connecting plane to another country within 24 hours who hold valid onward documentation and do not leave the airport.