11 Most Important Things Should Know about China Visa

Notice on Latest Visa and Entry Policies for Foreigners Entering China - Updated on May 8, 2024:

1. Breaking News! 15 days visa free for citizens of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Malaysia, Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg has been extended until December 31, 2025.

2. Hong Kong High-speed Rail West Kowloon Station has been added to Guangdong Province 144-hour transit visa-free.

3. China - Georgia Mutual Exemption of Visa, starting from May 28, 2024.

4. 15 Days Visa Exemption Policy is newly available for Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Read more »

5. Booking of flights and hotels, China itineraries and invitation letters are not required for application of Chinese Tourist Visa for U.S.nationals.

6. 15 Days Visa Exemption Policy is now available for other 6 countries including France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Malaysia. Read more »

7. Appointment is not required for visa application in many embassies and consulates.

8. Starting from 00:00 on November 1, 2023, individuals entering or exiting the country are exempt from filling out the "People's Republic of China Health Declaration Card for Entry/Exit."

9. Norway has become the 54th country whose passport holders can transit without visa up to 72/144 hours in China.

10. Starting from August 30, 2023, individuals traveling to China will no longer be required to undergo pre-entry COVID-19 nucleic acid or antigen testing.

11. U.S. citizens holding multi-year multiple-entry visas issued before March 28, 2020, whose visas temporarily lost entry functionality between March 28, 2020, and March 14, 2023, due to the pandemic, are eligible to apply for compensation. Those who choose to apply for compensation will receive a free 3-year multiple-entry visa. Those who choose to waive the compensation can apply for a new 10-year multiple-entry visa at the regular fee.

China Discovery will keep focusing on the updates of the latest Chinese visa and entry policy! You can also call +86 010 12367 (Official telephone number of China National Immigration Administration) to check further information. Welcome to join in our Facebook Groups to catch up with the latest news!

Invitation letter is a vital document for Chinese visa application. If you travel with us, we will not only create a valuable tour for you, but also provide you an invitation letter if you request, which will help you obtain your visa successfully. Start customizing your tour in China now!

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To help you better understand China Visa Policy and get a China Visa smoothly, here we give most useful visa-related tips and advice for you.

1.Always Check China Visa Free Policy First

Why not take advantage of visa-free policy to visit China if you qualify? You should know there are cost effective way for travel to China.

At present, ordinary passport holders of Singapore, Brunei and Japan can visit China without visa for tour, business or visiting family and friends for no longer than 15 days. China Visa Policy for Singaporeans >>

International transit passengers may get 144 Hour Visa-Free Transit in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Xiamen, Hangzhou, Tianjin, and total 20 cities (27 ports) in mainland China. Or obtain 72-Hour Transit Visa Exemption and layover tour in Guilin, Harbin, Changsha.

Tourists from appointed 59 countries can enter and stay in Hainan visa free for 30 days at most.

Besides, there are other visa exemption rules implemented in China. Strongly suggested to read our China Visa Free Policy or contact us to figure out if you can travel to China without applying and pay for a visa.

Useful Links: Transit in China Without Visa (China TWOV) | China Visa Free Countries | China Visa Free Tours | China 144 Hour Visa Free Transit | China 72 Hour Visa Free Transit

2.Apply for a China Visa by Yourself or via a Visa Agent?

It’s difficult to say getting a China Visa is easy or not. People may give different opinions based on individual situations.

If you have time and energy, or have experience in obtaining a visa before, we suggest you apply on your own. Because it will save you money and give useful experience for future visa application cases. It’s always right to Learn to rely on yourself.

Those who don’t fully understand China Visa application procedures, or have a tight schedule, better seek help from procession visa agent. They will do major fussy paperwork for you. The biggest issue is you have to pay extra service fee to the agent, apart from the China Visa application fee.

Beware that, it’s fine to make submission and pick up in person or entrust another person, agent to do it on behalf of you.

Useful Links: China Visa Required Documents | How to Get a China Visa | China Visa Application Form

3.Best Time to Apply for a Visa for China

Normally, it takes about 4 to 5 working days. Some citizens can also use expedited services (Express or Rush Service) to speed up the visa processing time to 1-2 working days. Therefore, we advise you to apply for a China Visa one month prior to your proposed travel date (to China).

Before application, please check office hours and holiday schedule of Chinese Embassy/Consulate or China Visa Application Service Center (CVASC), leave enough time for preparation and avoid busy period before & after holidays.

Tips: Chinese Embassy or Consulate may request applicants to provide other documents or supplementary materials, which may takes longer time. How Long Does a China Visa Cost?

4.Invitation Letter for China Visa

An invitation letter is required for China Visa Application, if you’re invited to visit China for tour, study and other purposes.

Default fax, photocopy or printout of the invitation letter all are valid. But, the consular officer has the right to require applicant providing the original. To ensure authenticity and avert sending materials again, it’s highly suggested to submit the original invitation letter at the first time application.

Here is our detailed Introduction of China Visa Invitation Letters (Samples...)

5.Physical Examination Report is Required or Not?

Currently, for regular China Visa application, such as a China Tourist Visa - L Visa, a physical examination report is not required.

However, applicants may required to submit medical examination report for applying China Student Visa and China Work Visa in some countries, including in Rwanda, etc.

Thus, check from the official Embassy/Consulate website first to find out if you need one, and how to get from the appointed hospital in your country.

6.Make an Appointment in Advance?

If you apply China Visa via China Visa Application Service Center (CVASC) in UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and all 40 countries or regions, you must use the application form number to make a online appointment beforehand. Otherwise, your application will not be accepted by the center.

Some Chinese Embassy/Consulate also require advanced appointment to save time and ensure each application proceeding in order.

You can submit directly to Chinese Embassy or Consulate in US during office hours. No appointment is needed. A few embassy will accept walking-in submission.

The best idea is to confirm to the Chinese Embassy/Consulate where you will submit to.

7.Apply for a China Visa by Post?

So far, a postal China Visa application in only accepted in Australia, where applicants can mail application materials to China Visa Application Service Center (CVASC) and get things back by postal as well. Thus, Express and Rush Services are not available. And the postal application takes around 10 working days.

Most China Visa Application Service Centers has optional postal-return service for applicants. Extra express fees will be charged.

Some Chinese Embassies/Consulates abroad may offer mail-back service for convenience. It’s suggested to check from the authority. How to Apply China Visa Online >>

8.Get an Express Visa for China - Get a Visa to China Quickly

A regular China Visa application takes around 4 to 5 working days for being processed. However, if you need to get a visa to travel to China urgently, you may pay for Express or Rush Service when submitting to Chinese Embassy or Consulate. Generally, the expedited service cuts down visa processing time to 1 to 2 working days.

Warm Tips:

1. Not all Chinese Embassies/Consulates offer Express or Rush Service, better check with official first if you are in need.

2. There are special submission and collection hours, pay attention to it.

3. Chinese Embassy/Consulate has the right to request supplementary documents. That may cause longer processing time even though you’ve paid for expedited service.

Useful Links: China Visa Expedited Service | How Much is A China Visa

9.Alteration of Types & Validity of China Visa

Before arrival in China

If your trip plan changes, or the validity is given not enough as expected, after receiving a China Visa, it’s doable to reapply a China Visa with same procedures and payment. But, you have to request the obtained visa voided by the visa office. Visa fees won’t be refunded and a second application needs to pay again.

After entry in China

Once your purpose of stay has been changed, or visa will expire soon, you may apply for China Visa Renewal and Extension at the Exit & Entry Administration Department of local Public Security Bureau (PSB). The application shall be done at least 7 days before the expiration date.

For example: change Tourist “L” Visa to “F” Visa for short-term study tour, exchange; foreign students change “L/F” Visa to Student “X1/X2” Visa.

10.China Visa Refusal - Find Possible Reasons

Accident sometimes happens. Though submitting all required documents, some people may get China Visa rejected, even for no specific reason. You must understand the denial always having causes. Would that affect later application? Can I apply as soon as possible? Any advice for another submission? The first and most step is to calm down and figure the situation. Updated 64 China Visa FAQs & Answers >>

Below are some possibility of the refusal you can take a reference:

1. Issues of Application Materials:

Passport: check whether passport has a validity of at least 6 months left, or have at least 2 blank visa pages, or stamped refusal once, or has been damaged;

Application Form: check if all answers have been filled truthfully and correctly as required; don’t give any false information.

Photo: check if the photo size, color and potential problems.

Supporting Documents: check invitation letter, air ticket booking and hotel reservation, travel itinerary, the purpose and date of visiting China shall be in accordance with the application.

2.Bad Records:

Having past or current criminal record, or involving in any illegal activities could cause denial.

3. Proof of Finance:

If the financial certificate provided can’t support you during the travel, the officer may doubt your purpose and have intention of illegal work in China.

4.Other Reasons:

Forgot to make temporary accommodation during last trip in China; have police record in China; illegal stay in China before; lack essential explanation to relationship between you and the invited person; come from a terrorist country, etc.

Note: Whether you can reapply after refusal, regulations work different in each country. Normally you can resubmit after 2 to 3 weeks, some may wait 2 months later.

11.What to Notice for Entry in China

A. Before taking flight, cruise to enter China, please check the visa if is valid and has enough number of entry. If it expires or no valid entry left, must apply for a new China Visa. Know more about China Single/Double/Multiple Entry Visa >>

B. Visiting China with animals, plants, currency and items must comply with relevant Chinese laws and regulations.

C. You can’t perform activities not relate to the reporting purpose, for example, holding a Tourist Visa, you can’t work or reside in China.

D. Any overstaying is forbidden. Pay attention to the passport and China Visa validity. Extend the visa or renew a passport in advance if necessary. How to Read a China Visa >>

E. Without permission, you can’t travel to areas restricted entry by foreigners.

F. Holding an invalid China Visa, you will certainly be denied entry when boarding.

Travel with China Discovery

China Discovery is a professional and experienced travel companion who offers high-value and worry-free tours. We not only design ideal itinerary covering sightseeing, dining, transfer and hotel, but also can provide any visa-related support & help you need to travel to China. To fulfill your dream tour to Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Guilin, Chengdu and more destinations in China, we will try our best to provide you each travel related service, visa matters included.

You may choose from our most popular China tours, or just contact us, tell your interests and travel plans, we could customize a perfect China tour as you like.

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Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once inquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

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