A Chinese visa is a permit issued by the Chinese visa authorities to an alien for entry into, exit from or transit through China. The Chinese visa authorities may issue a Diplomatic, Courtesy, Official or Regular Visa to an alien according to his/her status, purpose of visit to China or passport type.
The overseas Chinese visa authorities are Chinese embassies, consulates, and other offices authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China. If a foreigner intends to enter into, exit from or transit through Chinese territory, he/she shall apply for a Chinese visa to the above-mentioned Chinese visa authorities .
Visa-free entry for visitors: No visa is required for ordinary passport holders from Singapore ,Brunei and Japan to visit China for up to 15 days for business, sightseeing, visiting relatives and friends or transit.
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Visas are not required of aliens who hold air tickets to the final destination and have booked seats on international airliners flying directly through China, and will stay in a transit city for less than 24 hours without leaving the airport.
Visas are not required of passport holders of the following countries, who transit through Pudong Airport or Hongqiao Airport of Shanghai, provided they hold valid passports, visas for the onward countries, final destination tickets and have booked seats, and stay in Shanghai for less than 48 hours : Republic of Korea, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Austria, Greece, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland.
Regular Visas consist of eight sub-categories, which are respectively marked with Chinese phonetic letters C, D, F, G, J-1, J-2, L, X and Z.
C Visa: Issued to crewmembers to perform duties on board an international train, airliner or other vessel, and their accompanying family members.
D Visa: Issued to an alien who comes to reside permanently in China.
F Visa: Issued to an alien who is invited to China for a visit, an investigation, a lecture, to do business, scientific-technological and culture exchanges, short-term advanced studies or internship for a period of no more than six months.
G Visa: Issued to an alien who transits through China.
J-1 Visa: Issued to foreign resident correspondents in China.
J-2 Visa: Issued to foreign journalists who make short trips to China on reporting tasks.
L Visa: Issued to an alien who comes to China for sightseeing, family visiting or other private purposes.
X Visa : Issued to an alien who comes to China for study, advanced studies or internship for a period of more than six months.
Z Visa: Issued to an alien who comes to China for a post or employment, and his or her accompanying family members.