Below are some general questions for you to understand the Visa policy of China and help you to apply for Chinese Visa more smoothly before traveling to China.
Usually most foreigners traveling to mainland China require a visa, except those who are citizens of Singapore, Brunei and Japan and stay no more than 15 days for the purpose of travel and business.
There is no need to have Chinese visa for visa-required foreign citizens, if you visit the Pearl River Delta, Hainan Island, or some certain area of China. For more conditions without a visa, please click Chinese Visa Exemption to give you all details.
No, you shouldn’t have to apply it, if you transit through China within 24 hours. Besides, China has opened the 72 hours visa free for you to travel some cities within 72 hours. Click 72-Hour Visa-free Transit to read more details.
Hong Kong and Macau as the SAR in China, have their own policy and open widely for most foreign short-stay visitors to enter without a visa. While if you have the long term stay for the purpose of work, study, or taking up residence, then you must obtain a Hong Kong / Macau Visa before entry. Click Hong Kong SAR Visa and Macau SAR Visa for details.
First of all, you need a valid passport with visa to enter China. For Tibet regions, the Tibet Travel Permit is needed as well, which includes different kinds of permits for you to enter different area of Tibet. Check more details at Tibet Travel Permit for details.
For ordinary people, there are over 15 types for you to choose according to your purpose to visit China: if you plan to visit China for sightseeing, the Tourist Visa (L) is suitable to apply for; if you go to China for commercial and trade, the Business Visa (M) is chosen to apply for. For more types of Chinese Visa, please check Chinese Visa Types to read more.
There are three numbers of entries: single-entry; double-entry and multiple-entry. Influenced by different factors, including countries, types of visa, the validity and duration of each stay can be different. Normally, the tourists Visa has a validity of up to 90 days, and 30 days for each stay duration. With more related resources, please check Visa Introduction for details.
Usually it is recommended to submit the application one month prior to your planned entry date of China. Both of Chinese embassy and Chinese consulate set up the consulate office to accept your application. Click Chinese Embassy & Consulate in your own country.
Make a preparation of necessary documents (e.g. passport &completed visa application form) and submit to Chinese embassy or Chinese consulate, or the Chinese Visa Application Service Center (only for the ordinary visa application), the latter step is wait for approval and pay the visa fee. Check Visa Applications for more detailed steps.
The application process generally takes three to five working days and if you are in hurry, you can choose express service or rush service with extra pay to shorten the time to 1-2 days.
Traveling China and want to re-enter, you should apply a visa of double or multiple entries, like the route of China mainland (e.g. Beijing)--third regions/ countries--China mainland (e.g. Shanghai). Just remember that Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are regarded as the third region.
Foreigners who want to stay in China beyond the duration of their visa need to apply for an extension at the Exit and Entry Administration office of the municipal Public Security Bureau where you stay in. You should provide the materials of valid passport and visa and a completed visa extension application form about 7-10 days prior to the visa expiry date.
Note: (1) the length of the extension depends on the type of visa. For multiple-entry visa is not allowed to be extended; (2) the Chance to get the extension in China is slim, so you should try to avoid that happens.
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