[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >
All visitors holding ordinary passport must get a valid visa to enter and visit China, unless you meet relevant visa-free/visa exemption policy. At present, foreigners are required to submit China Visa Application before departure, and some can apply for Chinese Visa upon arrival once accord with certain China Port Visa regulations. How long to get a visa to China? Except special circumstance, applicants can get a Chinese Visa after 1 ~ 4 working days, even on the same day of your submission. Specific processing time depends on which service you choose. Here we introduce several different cases to help you understand more clearly about Chinese Visa processing time.
Applicants should prepare valid passport with a validity of at least 6 months, a completed China Visa Application Form attached with a photo and other supporting documents first. And then you can either submit application direct to Chinese Embassies and Consulates in person, or through recognized China Visa Application Service Center (CVASC). After that, you will wait for the application to be processed by the Chinese Embassy and Consulate. Generally, it takes 4 business days for a regular application, if all the documents meet requirements. Shipping and returning delivery time is not included. Typically, so you can pick up your passport and China Visa (if proved) on the 4th to 5th working day after submission.
Your China Visa Application may need longer time for processing in these situations: 1.) the Chinese Embassy and Consulate Officer request for supplementary materials or an interview and other occasions; 2.) application by mail (applies to Australians) takes about 10 working days; 3.) if you use the mail-back service at CVASC, more several days are needed.
Besides regular service, applicants may use express service or rush service to speed up the visa application processing time. If you are in a emergency, or want to get a Chinese Visa fast, you can choose such urgent services with additional fees (including visa fees by embassy & service charges by CVASC). Please note that rush application service is only valid in some countries and for extreme emergencies approved by the Chinese Consular Office.
● Express Service: 2~3 working days, can be picked up on the 3rd or 4th working day.
● Rush Service: 1 working day, can be picked up on the same day or next working day.
US passport holders can obtain the Same Day China Visa in the afternoon, if you submit application to visa section of Chinese Embassy or Consulate before 12:00pm and get approved successfully. Other nationals using rush service may pick up on the 2nd working day.
The fast services do NOT apply to China Visa Application by mail, and Hong Kong Visa and Macau Visa Application which will be referred to local immigration departments.
Read How Much is a Chinese Visa to know detailed China Visa Application Fees and Costs!
The processing time for special Chinese visa types and regions differs from the visa application for mainland China mentioned above. Knowing the average time for Hong Kong Visa, Macau Visa, China Port Visa and Group Visa helps you better plan your trip. Moreover, once meet relevant requirements, visitor can apply for and obtain China Visa at port of entry and destinations upon arrival. Below are particular China visa times:
◆ Hong Kong SAR Visa
◆ Macau SAR Visa
◆ Tibet Travel Permit
◆ Chinese Tourist Group Visa
◆ China Port/Landing Visa
1. What is the right/best time to submit my visa application?
Since Chinese Visa has fixed validity (“Enter Before”) after it is issued, it would waste the duration of stay or expire if you apply too early. Therefore, you are advised to make the submission prior to departure, about 1 month before your planned departure date to China.
2. When and how to collect my passport and visa return?
Once you are notified by the Chinese Embassy or Consulate, or track online and see your application is processed, you can bring the pick-up slip, and collect the passport, visa, documents in person, or entrust other person or service agent to help.
3. How long does it take to get my Chinese Visa renewed or extended?
If you are in China and want to stay longer, or apply for a new type visa, you have to apply for a China Visa Extension/Renewal to a local Public Security Bureau (at county level or above), 7 days prior to the expiration date. They will consider whether to extend/renew your Chinese Visa within 7 working days, counting from the submission date.
Read different types of Chinese Visa to figure out which kind of visa you should apply for. Judging your purpose of visiting is for travel, business, work, transit, family reunion and etc or not. China Tourist Visa (L Visa) is for visiting China for tourism, F Visa is for exchanges, study tour, Business Visa (M Visa) is for commercial and trade. More Chinese Visa Types >>
According to various visa policy, applicants can submit China Visa application at Chinese Embassy, Diplomatic and Consular Missions, China Visa Application Service Center or specific ports of entry. You need to prepare and submit your valid passport with at least 6 months’ validity and blank pages, copy of passport’s first page, completed visa application form pasted with a recent photo (color photo with white background, taken within past 6 months, size: 33mm x 48mm), sufficient visa fee and service charge and other supporting documents. More Chinese Visa Types >>
The processing time differs from visa applications. Normally, it takes about 4 to 5 business days for applicant to get a China Visa, and the accurate collection date will be noted on the pick-up slip. If you submit China Tourist Visa (L Visa) on Monday, you can pick up on Thursday. Check carefully duration of stay, number of entries if issued correctly or not, after getting your passport back. Double check the validity when you plan to enter China, otherwise you will be denied entry.
You can visit How to Get a Visa for China: China Visa Applivation to know more about the visa requirements, processes, costs and useful tips.
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If you are interested in China visa-free tour, we could also customize a China Visa-free Tour in Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Chengdu, Hangzhou and more available destinations if you meet relevant visa requirements.
Introduction to China Visa
China Visa Application
China Visa Exemptions
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[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening now! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >