Do I need a visa to visit China's mainland?
Foreign citizens generally need a visa to visit China's mainland with the exception of visa-free entry according to relevant agreements and regulations. (See Exemption of visa for more information.)
I am a U.S. citizen, can I apply for a Chinese visa at the port of entry?
U.S. citizens must obtain a visa before arrival in China. You are not eligible for a landing visa.
I have received my visa, but there will be a change in my trip plan. Do I need to apply for a change of the visa type or validity?
Once your visa application is processed and approved, you will not be able to change a visa type or validity unless you request the visa be voided by the Visa Office and apply and pay for a new one. If you have entered China, you should apply to the local Public Security authority for a change in visa type or an extension of stay or validity. Your application will be considered by the Public Security authority in accordance with relevant Chinese Laws and Regulations.
I get a new passport, but I have a valid Chinese visa in my old passport. Can I travel with both passports to China without applying for a new visa?
Yes, you may travel with both passports provided that your visa is still valid and the personal details including your name, sex, date of birth and nationality on both passports are exactly the same.
I have received my visa. Is there a guarantee that I will be allowed to enter China?
A visa is not a guarantee to enter China. The decision on whether or not you will be allowed to enter China is made at a port of entry by Chinese Border Control authority in accordance with Chinese Laws and Regulations.
Why I was granted a different type of visa with what I applied for?
The consular officers will determine whether or not to grant a visa and its category, validity and permitted duration of stay. The decision is final unless there is an technical error on the visa.
How do I read and understand my visa?
"Entries" refers to the number of times you are permitted to enter China. It can be single-entry, double-entry, or multiple-entry and good through the validity of your visa.
Validity ("Enter Before") of a visa begins from the date of issue and good through 24h00 Beijing Time of the "Enter Before" date unless the number of entries is used up or the visa is revoked by the Chinese government.
Duration of Each Stay is the maximum number of days you are allowed to stay in China on each entry, calculated from the date of entry into China. While in China, you may find your date of departure from China will exceed the "Enter Before" date. You will not be punished as long as your total stay on that entry is within the limit on the "Duration of Each Stay".
Note: Please take notice of the Remarks if any on your visa. All Z, X1, Q1, S1, D visa holders are required to proceed to and apply for a residence permit from the local Public Security authorities within 30 days upon arrival in China unless the Duration of Each Stay on the visa is marked as 30 days.
Where should I apply for a visa? Must I appear in person to submit my application? May I use a visa service?
You may apply for a visa at a Chinese Embassy or Consulate General based on your State of residence. (Check Service Area Map). You need to complete and sign the visa form and prepare necessary supporting documents and have your friend or a visa service help submit your application. You don't have to appear in person unless required by a consular officer.
Do I need to schedule an appointment for visa application?
No. You may visit the Visa Office anytime during business hours unless otherwise required by a consular officer.
Can I apply for a visa by mail? Could you mail the passport with visa back to me?
No. We do NOT accept mail-in visa applications. We do NOT provide mail-back service either.
What do I need to know if I go to Visa Office to submit my application?
Please make sure you have checked our website and prepared all necessary documents BEFORE you come to the Visa Office. Oversize baggage or hazardous objects are NOT allowed in the Visa Office. You must pass a security check at the entrance of the Visa Office. Once in the office, please take a number for visa application and wait for your turn. Proceed to the window that shows your number and submit your application. You will be given a pick-up slip for your application and passport accepted. Please retain the slip and return to the Visa Office on or after the date shown on the slip to pick up your passport. You will need to pay for your visa on the pick-up day.
If no pick-up date is shown on the slip, you need to wait for a call or mail notification from the Visa Office as your application may require longer processing time. You may also contact us for inquiries.
How long does it to process my application? What is the right time to submit my visa application?
Normally it takes 4 business days to process a visa application although some applications require longer processing time. You will be notified of the estimated collection date either on your pick-up slip or by phone later. You are advised to submit your visa application about one month before your planned travel date in China.
Do you provide express visa service?
Yes. Express service is available for an additional fee. You need to make such request to our staff while submitting your application. Please note that not all applications can be expedited as some requires longer processing time.
How much do I need to pay for my visa? What are your accepted methods of payment?
Please click to check for detailed info.
I need to apply for a Chinese visa, what documents should I submit with my application?
You need to prepare your valid passport, duly completed and signed visa application form, a passport photo, and supporting documents based on the purpose of your trip. (Please click to check for detailed info)
What are the requirements for passport, visa application form and photo?
Your passport must valid at least for one year, and not altered/damaged/smudged in any way.
Make sure you TYPE to complete and sign an up-to-date version of visa application form (V2013). You must provide true, complete and accurate answers to each question on the form. The form needs to be signed by the applicant (or a parent /guardian in case of a minor). Only original signature is accepted.
You must provide one color, passport-type photo that meets the following criteria: be taken within the last six months against a white background and printed on high-quality photo paper; 2'x2' in size; showing the full frontal view of you head without any headwear.
What are the requirements for an invitation letter?
The invitation letter may be in the form of fax, photocopy or computer printout, and must be signed by the inviter and/or company seal in case of a business invite. An applicant may be required to provide the original invitation letter as deemed necessary by a consular officer.
Do I have to provide Physical Examination Form to apply for a visa?
I will be traveling to China on company business. I will also meet my friends in China. What type of visa is most appropriate for me?
If you travel to China on multiple purposes, you may submit your application based on your main purpose and provide supporting documents accordingly.
Can I check other applicants' visa application information at the Chinese Embassy or Consulate General?
What should I do if I lose my passport during my stay in China?
You should report the loss to local public security authorities as soon as possible and go to your country's embassy or consulate in China to apply for a replacement passport or travel document. After that, you must go to the local public security authorities to apply for a new entry and exit visa.
I am currently in China on a visa and the permitted time of stay is almost up, but I need to stay longer. May I send my passport back to a friend in U.S. in order to get a new valid visa?
No. You must leave mainland China if you need to apply for a new visa. Or you may apply for an extension of visa from the local public security authorities in China.
I am planning to travel as a tourist to Hong Kong, Macao and other cities in China. Do I need different visas?
If you are a U.S. citizen, you need to apply for mainland China visa only. For non-U.S. citizens, if you are not eligible for a short-term visa-free visit to HKSAR/Macao SAR (Click to check your eligibility), you will need to apply both mainland China visa AND HKSAR/Macao SAR visa.
I am now in China on a Z visa and have received my residence permit. Can I leave China and come back as often as I wish?
You may use your residence permit (placed on your passport and similar to a visa) issued by the local public security authority to enter and exit China during the validity of the residence permit. No other visa is needed.
If you are a Chinese Permanent Resident Card holder, you don't need a visa to enter China during the validity of your Permanent Resident Card.