While planing a trip to China, the visa topic always comes first and seriously. Indeed, China Visa is an obligatory official permission all foreign travelers normally required to obtained for a China travel. To obtain a valid visa and enter China successfully, you need to do massive relevant researches, choose a right type of visa, make piles of paperwork meticulously, pay appreciate fees and submit application to Chinese Embassy or Consulate abroad. Once get it, you also need to enter adhering to related China’s laws and regulations.
Another good news is, China has carried out many visa-free policies for different situations of nationality, transportation of entry, place will visit, etc., to closer contact to the world and present diverse charm of China. Among all, the 144-Hour Transit in China Without Visa (TWOV) is most concerned and frequently used. Without pre-arrival application, qualified tourists could get “no-visa” entry and tour through fast procedures by a few documents, which is time, money and energy-saving.
Aiming at offering visa worry-free help for your journey to China. We introduced both visa waiver programs you may use, top destinations available, related trip planning ideas, and detailed instruction of applying for a regular China Visa, to make sure you learn each step and can smoothly get a China Visa as expected.
In order to further facilitate the entry and exit of Chinese and foreign personnel, the following adjustments have been made to the visa and entry policies for foreigners entering China, effective from 00:00 March 15, 2023, Beijing time:
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Being acquainted with key information of China Visa helps you avoid wasting time, money and making annoying mistakes. Above all, checking the visa exemptions to find out if you really need a visa. When an application is needed, confirm a right visa type, validity, fees and the correct way to apply. Follow our comprehensive guide to solve confusions and special situations during trip. Now, let’s get start to the introduction part first.
Apply China Visa on your own or via an agent? When is the best time to apply? Can I change visa type or validity after issuance? Pick the best practical suggestions you may need.
The first and most important step is to check whether you are eligible for China’s visa-free policy. If yes, then you can travel to China without applying a visa and pay lots of fees.
Judge you purpose of visiting, and choose the most appropriate visa category to apply, e.g. China L Visa is for tour, M Visa is for business, Z visa is for work in China.
Learn how to understand vital informations of your China Visa, including visa category, validity, duration of stay per entry, number of entry and so on.
The L Visa is issued to who intend to visit China for tourism. With it, you can travel to Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Guilin and more cities crossing different provinces, enter and exit through any port.
Not qualified for China’s free transit rule? Then you must apply and get a China Transit/G Visa for layover in China before departure. Here offers detailed guide of needed documents, where and how to apply for it.
Figure out difference between them, like entry limitations and application fees, and select the most suitable kind to meet your single, two-time or multiple-trip to China.
Only emergency entry, invited high-level talents, travel to Shenzhen, Zhuhai and other Special Economic Zones, special group tourists can apply China Visa on Arrival. Learn more application directions here.
Confused by flood-like messages online and don’t know where to start? Don’t worry! China Discovery identifies each key step and leads you to know all China Visa application works clearly, correctly and completely. Please understand that an overall application involve basic requirement and supporting materials, fees and so on. You need to prepare all required documents and submit to Chinese Embassy or Consulate directly or through a China Visa Application Service Center nearby. Once learn it, you can apply by yourself, no more need to find a agent. (Complete Guide about Detailed Chinese Visa Application Processes »)
Passport with over 6 months’ validity; completed visa application form; 2 qualified photos; related supporting documents like air tickets and hotel reservation, invitation letter, etc.
Applicants in UK, Canada, Australia and designated 40 countries have to complete application form online and print it out. Others can download PDF file to fill in and print.
It is required if you apply for certain types of China Visa, e.g. Business or Work Visa, etc. If you are invited to travel to China, an invitation letter will help explain your purpose and itinerary.
Recent-taken (within 6 months) color photo in high definition, white background, high without hat on, paper photo size: 33mm×48mm; no filters, blurred picture, over-exposed photos.
Chinese Embassies (Consulates) are the only authorities to process China Visa application. Applying in US should direct visit Embassy office, please submit to Visa Center in Canada, Australia.
You must fill in visa application form online and make online appointment, if applying in UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore and specific 40 foreign countries or regions via visa center.
China Visa is charged differently by nationalities, number of entry and places submit. It costs USD 140 for US passport holders for all types, CAD 100 for Canadian regular application.
A regular China Visa application takes about 4 to 5 working days. It’s suggested to submit application around 1 month in advance before your entry date to China.
In most countries, you may pay additional fees for optional Express or Rush services to expedite processing to 1 to 2 working days. Shipping delivery time not included.
Visit www.visaforchina.org to complete visa application form, book appointment online, then bring the form and all required documents to submit at the visa center in Hong Kong.
During trip in China, you may renew and extend China Visa from the Exit& Entry Administrative Department of local Public Security Bureau at least 7 days before expiration.
64 updated China Visa-related questions are listed to give assistance for your visa application. Get the most valuable answers and advice to make a visa worry-free China tour.
Based on the 15 different kinds of visa exemption rules of China, eligible foreigners can get exceptional visa-free entry and enjoy a certain period of journey in permitted areas in China. No visa incurs, only a valid passport, departing ticket and a few simple materials are needed. Be aware preconditions before planning such a trip.
Singaporeans, Bruneians and Japaneses ordinary passport holders may obtain a unilateral visa exemption for tour, business, visiting family or friends in China with 15 days. It’s free to travel to most cities across China then. Fiji, Qatar and all 14 countries benefit mutual visa exemption between China.
Visa-Free Transit (TWOV) is another popular way to make a short-term layover tour in China. Meeting related requirements, you may get a longer 144 hours in 20 top destinations in China, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Guangzhou, Chengdu, etc., or 72 hours free visa in Guilin, Harbin and Changsha. Besides, more regional visa waiver programs provided in China, like Hainan 30-Day Free Visa, Shanghai 15-Day Visa Free for Curise Groups, Pearl River Delta 6-Day Visa Free. Being a wonderful time-saver, each of them largely cuts your costs and enriches your journey with unique scenery and experience.
Currently, China offers 24-hour, 72-hour and 144-hour transit visa free, totally 3 kinds of special visa services for foreigners transit convenience. Eligible travelers not only get Transit Visa exempted without any charges, but also granted a short-term stopover to explore brilliant and diverse nature, culture and history of China, spice up your world journey.
To get a visa-free layover tour in China, you must hold valid passport of the appointed 53 countries and departing ticket to a third country or region (including HK, Macau, Taiwan), transit through China via certain port in cities or regions.
144-Hour Visa Cities (20):
● Beijing / Shanghai / Xian /Guangzhou / Chengdu
● Shenzhen / Tianjin / Hangzhou / Nanjing
● Xiamen / Kunming / Wuhan / Qingdao / Dalian
● Chongqing / Ningbo / Shenyang / Shijiazhuang / Qinhuangdao / Jieyang
72-Hour Visa Cities (3):
● Guilin / Harbin / Changsha
1. Transit travelers must enter via certain airport, seaport or land port and apply visa-free entry.
2. The transit time officially counts from 00:00 the next day upon arrival.
3. After entry, you must stay within the authorized administrative region and can not go places beyond the limitation.
Learn more related requirements, application procedures and useful tips about:
>> China 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit
China 24-Hour Transit Visa Free is open to all international transiting passengers, while 72-Hour and 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit only applies to citizens of specific 53 foreign countries. Others not in the list should obtain a China Transit Visa prior to arrival. Check full list as below:
European Countries (39)
- Countries under Schengen Visa Agreement (24): Austria, Belgium, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
- Other European Countries (15): Russia, United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania,
Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Monaco and Belarus.
American Countries (6):
American Countries (6):
The United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and the Republic of Chile.
Oceania Countries (2):
Australia and New Zealand.
Asian Countries (6):
South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.
Applicants normally make request to the carrier when boarding, and follow a few simple steps to apply for a free entry and layover upon arrival. Also, you can make pre-arrival online application for Shanghai & Xiamen, or direct apply at the entry port.
Step 1 - When boarding, inform the air/cruise/train staff that you will apply Visa-Free Transit. They will deliver your request to the immigration authority at border ports before arrival.
Step 2 - Upon arrival, fill in the Arrival Card (blue version) at specialized desk, and then follow guide to Transit Visa Exemption counter. Complete related Application Form, and then queue up for submission with passport and ticket leaving for onward destination.
Step 3 - After verification and checking, the immigration officer will grant you a ”Temporary Entry Permit” stamped on your passport.
Step 4 - Go through custom clearance and immigration formalities, leave the port and transfer to downtown or your hotel.
Step 5 - Must make temporary accommodation registration to local police station after checking-in within 24 hours.
If you plan to visit China for tour, a China Tourist Visa - L Visa is the right category to apply. For a trip to Hong Kong or Macau Special Administrative Regions of China, please check the related immigration rules to figure out where you are visa exempted or visa required applicant. To simplify your preparation and help clarify each detail, below introduces further travel-related visas foreigners most concerned, covering requirement, application procedure and useful tips.
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