Chinese Visa Types: General Information
This page serves as a general introduction to the requirement for application of a Chinese visa. There are also specific requirement for each visa type, please follow the links.
From Nov. 12, 2014, applicants with US passports can get 10-year multiple entry for tourist, business visits, regardless of the passport expiration date.
From March 9, 2015, applicants with Canadian passports can get upto 10-year multiple entry for tourist, business visits.
Our agency charges the same low service fee
($79.96 for US/Canadian passports, $59.96 for others) for your visa application, for most visa types and numbers of entries
see details of visa fee, service fee and duration of stay).
I. Documents needed for Chinese visa
- One completed Chinese Visa Application Form.
- Your valid and actual passport. The passport must have at least six (6)
months validity left before expiration and at least one blank page left in it.
- A copy of the photo page of your passport.
- One photo (approximately 2x2, color, similar to passport photo).
Detailed visa photo requirement.
- (From 2012/08/01) invitation and/or flight and hotel reservations: click to see detailed requirements.
If you are applying for a China tourist visa
visa (single to one-year multiple), and none of the following
applies to you, the above are all you need, you do not need to read the rest.
- Business visa needs an invitation letter from a company/organization that hosts you, see Chinese Business Visa for details.
- Non-US passport holders must provide document showing your current legal status in US, such as original AND copy of green card (or a notarized copy), or original I-94 and a copy of US immigration document (e.g. H1B, I-20). Please read detailed information and country specific visa requirements.
- Requesting stay of more than 60 days on each trip: you will need some justification on section 3 of the visa application form.
- An applicant born in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan,
- please write your name in Chinese on the application form. If you don't have one, don't know how to write, attach a brief explanation.
- if your current passport does not contain a Chinese visa, please submit the original AND a copy of your Chinese passport, or
a copy of Chinese visa on your last foreign passport.
- If you changed name in US, the first time you apply for Chinese visa please provide a copy of name change document.
- Children who were born in US and either parent is Chinese, please follow instructions in
this document (in Chinese).
II. How to apply
"How to apply: Step by step procedures" on our main index page.
III. Visa fee and processing time
The consular fee is $140 and our service fee is $79.96.
The regular processing time at the consulate is 4 working days. Additional fees are required for express processing. For details, please see
visa fee table.
For round-trip time including shipping, please use our Travel Planner.
Please note: From time to time, the consulate may experience delays. Please check our home page for important update on processing time.
IV. Specific information on a particular visa type
- Changes in Chinese visa application effective Sept. 1, 2013.
- Visiting Hong Kong or Macau on your trip? You may need multiple entry
- Tourist (L) and Family Visit Visa (Q) is for sightseeing or visiting family members and friends.
- Business Visa (M) is for someone 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.
- Study Visa (X1, X2), also known as Student Visa,
is for someone who comes to China for study, advanced studies
or intern practice for a period of more than six months (X1).
If the period is less than six months, you should apply for a (X2) Visa.
- Work Visa (Z) is issued to an alien who comes to China for a post or employment, and his/her accompanying family members.
- Transit Visa (G) is for someone who transits through China. You may stay for upto 7 days.
- Journalist Visa (J) is for reporters who travel to China for news reporting, either short term or long term.
- Sample visa, visa validity and duration of stay
- Special rule for children of Chinese origin: visa or travel certificate?
(see Chinese Version)
- Document Authentication
- Hong Kong visa and permit (in Chinese)
US citizens may visit Hong Kong without a visa for 90 days.
V. Visa validity period and duration of stay
The consul may not issue a visa with the number of entries and duration of stay you requested. It is within their rights to do so.
Currently you normally get 10-year, 60 days for US passport holders, and double entry, 30 days for non-US passport holders. The duration of stay may be increased up to 90 days if justification is provided.
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