Chinese

Chinese Tourist and Family Visit Visa

Revised: 2017-08-14

Tourist Visa (L) is issued to an alien who comes to China for sightseeing. From September 2013, new visa categories (Q2, S2) are created for those visiting family members and friends. In addition, there are Q1 and S1 for those staying in China for longer term (more than 180 days). However, there is basically no change in document requirements, and you do not need to pay particular attention to the category of visa you are applying for -- you just check the reason of your visit on the visa application form.

Non-US passport holder must provide notarized copy (or original AND copy) of green card, 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.

I. Documents needed for a tourist or family visit visa

  1. 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.
  2. A copy of the photo page of your passport.
  3. One completed Chinese Visa Application Form.
  4. One photo (approximately 2x2, color, similar to passport photo). Detailed visa photo requirement.
  5. (From 2012/08/01) invitation letter (family visit) or "flight and hotel reservations" (tourist): click to see detailed requirements.
  6. Those who join family members working or studying in China on a resident permit should also provide proof of kinship (e.g. copy of marriage license or birth certificate).
  7. If you were born in mainland China, Hong Kong or Taiwan, and your current foreign passport does not have an old Chinese visa, please submit the original AND a copy of your old Chinese passport (pages with your name, photo and passport extension), or a copy of old Chinese visa on your last foreign passport. Also supply your name in Chinese characters. Be sure to check out the Chinese version: documents required for Chinese visa.
  8. Non-US passport holder must provide notarized copy (or original AND copy) of green card, or a copy of US immigration document (e.g. H1B, I-20). Please read detailed information and country specific visa requirements.
  9. Children who were born in US and either parent is Chinese, please follow instruction in Chinese.
  10. Online order confirmation page (create a new order).

II. How to apply

Please follow "How to apply: Step by step procedures" on our main index page.

Multiple entry "L" visa

Visiting Hong Kong or Macau on your trip? You may need multiple entry visa.

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.

Please note: From time to time, the consulate may experience delays. Please check our home page for important update on processing time.

IV. Visa validity period and duration of stay

Validity period

For US/Canadian citizens, this is not an issue, as you can apply for the 10-year multiple entry visa. For citizens of other countries, a "single entry" or "double entry" "M/F" visa is usually valid only 90 days or 180 days from the date of issue. This means the holder of the visa shall enter China no later than 90 days or 180 days from the date of issue, otherwise the visa is expired and is null and void.

If you intend to apply for double entry visa, please remember that your second entry can be no later than 180 days from the date your visa was issued!

Duration of stay

For a tourist visa (L), the duration of stay is normally 60 days for US/Canadians (30 days for other countries), which means the holder of the visa may stay in China for up to 60/30 days from the date of entry on each trip. You may get 90 days if you can justify your longer stay.

If you want to stay longer than 90 days, it is still possible, but the consul may give you only "one year multiple entry" instead of "10 year multiple entry".

If you are visiting family members in China who are Chinese citizens (Q2) or foreign citizens working in China (S2), you normally get 120/90 days, and may be extended to 180 days if justified.

If you want to stay for more than 180 days, you will be issued Q1 or S1 (single entry), but can be converted to a resident permit which acts like a temporary "green card" (you can enter/exit China freely).


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