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Chinese Journalist Visa

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Procedures for Foreign Reporters to Apply for Short-term News Coverage in or Resident Accreditation to China

Updated: 08/15/2007   

I. For short-term news coverage in China by foreign reporters and related personnel, please submit:
  1. A letter of application for covering news in China signed by the head of the foreign media organization with detailed programs in China including the name list of the visiting reporter(s), date of arrival and departure, venue(s) and subject of news coverage.
  2. An invitation letter by the interviewee.
  3. Copies of professional journalist credentials and contact information.
  4. Completed Equipment Declaration Form if the reporter(s) intend(s) to bring into China reporting equipment of his (their) own.
II. For foreign reporters applying for resident accreditation to China and related personnel

  1. A foreign media organization should establish a resident office in China before sending resident reporters. The foreign media organization should first submit a written application to the Information Department of the Chinese Foreign Ministry directly or through the Chinese embassy or consulate in (country). The application should be signed by the legal representative of the organization and should include:
    • A profile of the media organization concerned.
    • Name of the resident office and the city in which it is to be established, its business scope, number of staff as well as personal information of the office chief and other staff such as name, gender, age, nationality, capacity and working experience.
    • A copy of the media organization's registration certificate issued by its home country.
  2. If a foreign media organization which already has a resident office in China wishes to send a resident reporter to China, it should first submit a written application to the Information Department directly or through the Chinese embassy or consulate in (country). The application should be signed by its head (chairman, president, vice president, editor-in-chief, deputy editor-in-chief, president or vice president of radio/TV station, etc.) and should include:
    • A profile of the media organization concerned.
    • The name, gender, age, nationality, capacity, resum¨¦, and the city where the reporter is to be based.
    • Professional credentials.
  3. If two or more foreign media organizations wish to send the same individual as their resident reporter in China, they should go through the above-mentioned procedures separately and indicate in their respective applications the post which the reporter concurrently will hold.
  4. Approved resident foreign reporters and their accompanying dependents should apply for J-1 visas at the Chinese embassy, consulate or visa issuing institution(s) authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in (country). Foreign staff working not as reporters and their accompanying dependents should apply for Z visas. Kinship certificates or documents should be provided.

What to submit (in addition to documents listed above)

  1. Your actual passport, with at least six (6) months of remianing validity and at least one blank visa page (pages 22-24 are not visa pages).
  2. A completed Visa Application Form (Q1) with one passport photo (color, about 2x2).
  3. A copy of the order confirmation page of our agency, filled out online.
  4. If you were born in China, and your current foreign passport does not have an old Chinese visa, please submit your original Chinese passport (*), or your last foreign passport with a Chinese visa (**).
  5. Children who were born in US and either parent is Chinese, please follow instructions in this document (in Chinese).

How to apply

Visa processing time and fees

[For details on fees please see table here] The regular processing time at the Consulate is 4 working days. For express service, additional fees are required for same day or 2-3 working days processing.

Visa validity and duration of stay

Usually the validity of a Single Entry or Double Entry "L" visa is 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!

The duration of stay of a "L" visa is 30 days, which means the holder of the visa may stay in China for up to 30 days from the date of entry. The visa officer may extend the Duration of Stay if the applicant needs and requests a stay in China for more than 30 days, upto 180 days (single entry) or 90 day (double or multiple entry).

* original Chinese passport and a copy of the photo/data page are required the first time you apply for a Chinese visa. Your Chinese passport will be returned to you after it is canceled.

** usually only copies of the photo page and the page with a Chinese visa is needed, and you don't have to submit the actual old foreign passport with a Chinese visa.

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For US citizens, a 1-year multiple visa is as easy to get as a single visa, and costs the same.

Frequent travelers, please make sure you have at least one blank visa page.

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