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Visa for China (Mainland Only)
2019/01/07

Visa Categories and Description of Visa

C Issued to foreign crew members of means of international transportation, including aircraft, trains and ships, or motor vehicle drivers engaged in cross-border transport activities, or to the accompanying family members of the crew members of the above-mentioned ships.

D Issued to those who intend to reside in China permanently.

F Issued to those who intend to go to China for exchanges, visits, study, tours and other activities.

G Issued to those who intend to transit through China.

J1 Issued to resident foreign journalists of foreign news organizations stationed in China. The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days.

J2 Issued to foreign journalists who intend to go to China for short-term news coverage. The intended duration of stay in China is no more than 180 days.

L Issued to those who intend to go to China as a tourist.

M Issued to those who intend to go to China for commercial and trade activities.

Q1 Issued to those who are family members of Chinese citizens or of foreigners with Chinese permanent residence and intend to go to China for family reunion, or to those who intend to go to China for the purpose of foster care. The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days.

"Family members" refers to spouses, parents, sons, daughters, spouses of sons or daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandsons, granddaughters and parents-in-law.

Q2 Issued to those who intend to visit their relatives who are Chinese citizens residing in China or foreigners with permanent residence in China. The intended duration of stay in China is no more than 180 days.

R Issued to those who are high-level talents or whose skills are urgently needed in China.

S1 Issued to those who intend to go to China to visit the foreigners working or studying in China to whom they are spouses, parents, sons or daughters under the age of 18 or parents-in-law, or to those who intend to go to China for other private affairs. The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days.

S2 Issued to those who intend to visit their family members who are foreigners working or studying in China, or to those who intend to go to China for other private matters. The intended duration of stay in China is no more than 180 days.

"family members" refers to spouses, parents, sons, daughters, spouses of sons or daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandsons, granddaughters and parents-in-law.

X1 Issued to those who intend to study in China for a period of more than 180 days.

X2 Issued to those who intend to study in China for a period of no more than 180 days.

Z Issued to those who intend to work in China.

Here are the documents you shall prepare before submission of visa application:

1. Basic Documents

(1) Passport

Original passport with at least six months of remaining validity and blank visa pages, and a photocopy of the passport's data page and the photo page if it is separate.

(2) Visa Application Form and Photo

One completed Visa Application Form with a recently-taken color passport photo (bare-head, full face) against a white background attached. Attached please find the photo requirements.

(3) Proof of legal stay or residence status (applicable to those not applying for the visa in their country of citizenship)

If you are not applying for the visa in the country of your citizenship, you must provide the original and photocopy of your valid certificates or visa of stay, residence, employment or student status, or other valid certificates of legal staying provided by the relevant authorities of the country where you are currently staying.

(4) Photocopy of previous Chinese passports or previous visas to Mainland China (applicable to foreign citizensthose who were Chinese citizens and have obtained foreign citizenship)

If you are applying for a visa to Mainland China for the first time, you should provide your previous Chinese passport held and a photocopy of its data page.

If you have obtained visas to Mainlan China before and want to apply for a Chinese visa with a renewed foreign passport that does not contain any Chinese visa, you should present the photocopy of the previous passport's data page and the photo page if it is separate, as well as the previous Chinese visa page. (If your name on the current passport differs from that on the previous one, you must provide an official document of name change.)

2. Supporting Documents

C Visa

A letter of guarantee issued by a foreign transport company or an invitation letter issued by a relevant entity in China

D Visa

The original and photocopy of the Confirmation Form for Foreigners Permanent Residence Status issued by the Ministry of Public Security of China.

We kindly remind you that:

Holders of D Visa shall, within 30 days from the date of their entry, apply to the exit/entry administrations of public security organs under local people's governments at or above the county level in the proposed places of residence for foreigners' residence permits.

F Visa

An invitation letter issued by a relevant entity or individual in China. The invitation should contain:

(1) Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)

(2) Information on the planned visit (purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, relations between the applicant and the inviting entity or individual, financial source for expenditures)

(3) Information on the inviting entity or individual (name, contact telephone number, address, official stamp, signature of the legal representative or the inviting individual)

G Visa

An onward air (train or ship) ticket with confirmed date and seat to the destination country or region.

J1 Visa

Visa Notification Letter issued by the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and an official letter issued by the media organization for which the journalist works.

Applicants should contact the press section of the Chinese Embassy/Consulate General in advanceor and complete relevant formalities.

We kindly remind you that:

Holders of J1 Visa shall, within 30 days from the date of their entry, apply to the exit/entry administrations of public security organs under local people's governments at or above the county level in the proposed places of residence for foreigners' residence permits.

J2 Visa

Visa Notification Letter issued by the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China or other authorized units in China and an official letter issued by the media organization for which the journalist works.

Applicants should contact the press section of the Chinese Embassy/Consulate General in advance and complete the required formalities.

L Visa

Documents showing the itinerary including air ticket booking record (round trip) and proof of a hotel reservation, etc. or an invitation letter issued by a relevant entity or individual in China. The invitation letter should contain:

(1) Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)

(2) Information on the planned visit (arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, etc.)

(3) Information on the inviting entity or individual (name, contact telephone number, address, official stamp, signature of the legal representative or the inviting individual)

M Visa

(1) Documents on the commercial activity issued by a trade partner in China, or trade fair invitation or other invitation letters issued by relevant entity or individual. The invitation letter should contain:

a) Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)

b) Information on the planned visit (purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, relations between the applicant and the inviting entity or individual, financial source for expenditures)

c) Information on the inviting entity or individual (name, contact telephone number, address, official stamp, signature of the legal representative or the inviting individual)

Q1 Visa

For family reunion, the following documents are required:

(1) An invitation letter issued by a Chinese citizen or a foreign citizen with a Chinese permanent residence permit who lives in China. The invitation letter should contain:

a) Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)

b) Information on the visit ( purpose of visit, intended arrival date, place(s) of intended residence, intended duration of residence, arrival and departure dates, relations between the applicant and the inviting entity or individual, financial source for expenditures)

c) Information on the inviting individual (name, contact telephone number, address, official stamp, signature of legal representative or the inviting individual, etc.)

(2) Photocopy of Chinese ID of the inviting individual or foreign passport and permanent residence permit.

(3) Original and photocopy of certification (marriage certificate, birth certificate, certification of kinship issued by Public Security Bureau or notarized certification of kinship) showing the relationship of family members between applicant and inviting individual.

"Family members" refers to spouses, parents, sons, daughters, spouses of sons or daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandsons, granddaughters and parents-in-law.

For foster care, the following documents are required:

(1)Foster entrustment notarization issued by Chinese Embassies/Consulates General in foreign countries or Foster Care Power of Attorney notarized and authenticated in the country of residence or in China

(2)Original and photocopy of the consignor's passport(s), as well as the original and photocopy of certification (marriage certificate, birth certificate, certification of kinship issued by Public Security Bureau or notarized certification of kinship) notarized and authenticated certification showing the relationship between parents or guardians and children.

(3) A letter of consent on foster care issued by the trustee living in China who has agreed to provide foster care services and a photocopy of the ID of the trustee.

(4) A photocopy of the certificate indicating the permanent residence status abroad of the parent(s) when the child was born, provided that either or both parents of the child are Chinese citizens.

We kindly remind you that:

Holders of Q1 Visa shall, within 30 days from the date of their entry, apply to the exit/entry administrations of public security organs under local people's governments at or above the county level in the proposed places of residence for foreigners' residence permits.

Q2 Visa

(1) An invitation letter issued by a Chinese citizen or a foreign citizen with a Chinese permanent residence permit who lives in China. The invitation letter should contain:

a) Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)

b) Information on the visit (purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, relations between the applicant and the inviting individual, financial source for expenditures)

c) Information on the inviting individual (name, contact number, address, signature etc.)

(2) Photocopy of Chinese ID or foreign passport and permanent residence permit of the inviting individual

R Visa

The applicant should submit relevant certification in accordance with relevent regualtions, and meet the relevant requirements of the competent authorities of the Chinese government on high-level talents and individual with special skills urgently needed by China,

S1 Visa

(1) An invitation letter from the inviting individual (a foreigner who stays or resides in China for work or studies) which contains:

a) Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)

b) Information on the visit (purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place of intended residence, relations between the applicant and the inviting individual, financial source for expenditures, etc.)

c) Information on the inviting individual (name, contact telephone number, address, signature, etc.)

(2) A photocopy of the inviting individual's passport and residence permit

(3)Original and photocopy of certification (marriage certificate, birth certificate, certification of kinship issued by Public Security Bureau or notarized certification of kinship) showing the relationship of immediate family members between applicants and inviting individual.

"immediate family members " refers to spouses, parents, sons or daughters under the age of 18, parents-in-law.

We kindly remind you that:

Holders of S1 Visa shall, within 30 days from the date of their entry, apply to the exit/entry administrations of public security organs under local people's governments at or above the county level in the proposed places of residence for foreigners' residence permits.

S2 Visa

For visiting family members for a short period, the following documents are required:

(1)An invitation letter issued by the inviting individual (a foreigner who stays or resides in China for work or studies) which contains:

a) Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)

b) Information on the visit (purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, relations between the applicant and the inviting individual, financial source for expenditures, etc.)

c) Information on the inviting individual (name, contact telephone number, address, signature, etc.)

(2) A photocopy of the inviting individual's (a foreigner who stays or lives in China for work or studies) passport and residence permit

(3) Photocopy of certification (marriage certificate, birth certificate or notarized certification of kinship) showing the relationship of family members between the applicant and the inviting individual.

"Family members" refers to spouses, parents, sons, daughters, spouses of sons or daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandsons, granddaughters and parents-in-law.

For private affairs, documentation identifying the nature of the private affairs should be provided as required by the consular officer.

X1 Visa

(1) Original and photocopy of the Admission Letter issued by a school or other entities in China.

(2) Original and photocopy of "Visa Application for Study in China" (Form JW201 or Form JW202).

We kindly remind you that:

Holders of X1 Visa shall, within 30 days from the date of their entry, apply to the exit/entry administrations of public security organs under local people's governments at or above the county level in the proposed places of residence for foreigners' residence permits.

X2 Visa

Original and photocopy of Admission Notice issued by a school or other entities in China.

Z Visa

One of the following documents:

(1) Foreigners Employment Permit of the People's Republic of China.

(2) Permit for Foreign Experts Working in China.

(3) Notification letter of foreigner's work permit in the People's Republic of China.  

(4) Letter of Invitation to Foreigners for Offshore Petroleum Operations in China.

(5) Registration Certificate of Resident Representative Offices of enterprises of foreign countries(regions).

(6) The Confirmation Letter of Foreign Cultural Center Employment of Staff.

(7) An approval document for commercial performances issued by the Chinese government authorities for cultural affairs.

We kindly remind you that:

Holders of Z Visa shall, within 30 days from the date of their entry, apply to the exit/entry administrations of public security organs under local people's governments at or above the county level in the proposed places of residence for foreigners' residence permits.

3. Special Reminder

(1) The invitation letter may be in the form of fax, photocopy or computer printout, but the consular officer may require the applicant to submit the original of the invitation letter..

(2) If necessary, the consular officer may require the applicant to provide other proof documents or supplementary materials, or require an interview with the applicant.

(3) The consular officer will decide on whether or not to issue the visa and on its validity, duration of stay and number of entries in light of specific conditions of the applicant.

4. INQURIES AND ANSWER ON VISAS TO CHIN

Visa officers decide on the type, number of entries, validity and duration of stay of the visa to be issued and have the authority to decline a visa application or cancel an issued visa.

---Do I need to apply for a visa to visit China (mainland)?

Foreign nationals (including those with Chinese origin) must bear valid visa before entering China (except for those who are eligible for Visa Waiver Program). For Chinese visa obtained in the past, the validity of the visa needs to be checked. If the visa is already expired or the entries are all used up, the visa holder should apply for a new visa.

For entry to Hong Kong, please refer to Hong Kong Visa.

---How to identify if an issued Chinese Visa is still valid?

Please check carefully if the validity, number of entries and duration of stay on the obtained visa could still meet the need for the trip.

1. Validity (enter before) of a visa is the length of period that the visa is good for, namely from the issuing date to the deadline of entering China for the bearer of the visa. Given the number of entries are sufficient, the bearer is able to enter China at anytime before 12:00am on the expiring date.

A visa becomes void once its period of validity expires regardless of whether its entries are used up or not. The visa holder should apply for a new visa if he or she intends to visit China again.

2. Entries is the number permitted to enter China during the validity of a visa. A visa becomes invalid if there is no more valid number of entries left. To use such a visa will lead to decline of entry.

3. Duration of each stay refers to the longest period of time the bearer of a visa is permitted to stay in China from the date of entry into China on each visit.

Under Chinese law, a foreign national who overstays his or her visa in China is subject to fine and other penalties. If it's necessary to stay in China longer than the duration of stay on the visa, approval must be obtained from a local public security authority above county level 30 days before the duration of stay is running out. The bearer is permitted to stay in China once the application is approved.

---Under what circumstance a visa to China is exempted?

A foreign national is exempted from applying for a visa to China under any of the following circumstances:

1. Direct transit

A foreign national who is transiting China by international flight is exempted from applying for a visa only give that he or she is remained in the airport not exceeding 24 hours and has valid air ticket to connect flight with confirmed seating.

Citizens holding passports issued by the following nations are not required to obtain a visa given he or she transit by Shanghai and stay up to 48 hours: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, ROK, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, US.

2. Visiting the Pearl River Delta region

Citizens holding passports issued by the nations with diplomatic relations with China is exempted from applying for a visa if he or she joins tourist group at Hong Kong and Macao organized by registered travel agencies in Hong Kong and Macao to visit the Pearl River Delta region (Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Zhaoqing, Huzhou Municipalities) for tourism and stay up to 6 days.

3. Visiting Hainan Province

Citizens holding ordinary passports issued by the following nations is exempted from applying for a visa if he or she joins international tourist group organized by any of the registered travel agencies in Hainan Province which is approved by China National Tourism Administration and stay up to 15 days: Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, U.K, U.S.

4. Nationals of Singapore, Brunei and Japan

Ordinary passport holder of Singapore, Brunei and Japan is exempted from applying for a visa if he or she visits China (mainland) for tourism, business, visiting friends and relatives and enters China by open ports to foreign nationals and stay up to 15 days.

For nationals of these three countries, a visa is requested under following circumstances:

(1) Ordinary passport holder visits China for tourism, business, visiting friends and relatives and stay for more than 15 days.

(2) Ordinary passport holder visits China for the purposes of study, work, official visit, settling down and interview.

(3) Diplomatic and Official passport holder of Japan.

5. The APEC Business Travel Card is regarded as a multiple entry visa valid for three years. With this card and relevant passport, the holder is entitled to enter China repeatedly within three years. The duration of each stay should be within 2 months.

6. 72-hour transit visa exemption at ports of entry in Beijing and Shanghai

Travelers from the 45 countries may apply for the 72-hour transit visa exemption, which are: 1) 24 Schengen countries in Europe: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherland, Poland, Portugal, Slovak, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. 2) 7 other European countries: Russia, Great Britain, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine. 6 American countries: The United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile. 4) 2 Oceanian countries: Australia and New Zealand. 5) 6 Asian countries: Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. The above 45 countries are chosen on the basis of the figures of foreign travelers' entry, stopover and accommodations in Beijing and Shanghai in recent years.

7. The bearer of Aliens' Permanent Residence Card

Foreign nationals who visit China for the purposes of study or work and resident foreign journalists shall apply for Aliens' Residence Cards at local public security authorities within 30 days of entry into China.

Within the period of the validity of the Residence Card, the bearer is entitled to enter and exit China repeatedly without applying for another visa.

8. A child with Chinese descent born in Brunei applying for Chinese a visa, please read Documentations required for Children with Chinese descent born in Brunei.

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