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CPC 18TH NATIONAL CONGRESS

·Visa to China (updated)  (2013-08-29)
·Answers to Frequently Asked Questions Concerning 72-hour Transit Visa Exemption for Foreign Nationals  (2013-06-01)
·Documents Required for U.S.-Born Children with Chinese Descent  (2012-02-23)
·Frequently Asked Questions about Visa  (2012-02-23)
·Visa to MACAO  (2012-02-23)
·Visa and entry permit to HONG KONG  (2012-02-23)
·Visa fees  
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CPC 18TH NATIONAL CONGRESS
Visa to China (updated)
2013/08/29
  A visa is a travel document issued by authorized government agencies to foreign citizens applying to enter into, exit from or transit through the host country's territory based on the host country's laws and regulations.

In accordance with international law and practice, any sovereign state is entitled to decide on whether or not to allow a foreign citizen to enter into or exit from its territory, and whether to issue a visa, decline a visa application or to cancel an issued visa in accordance with its national laws.

Chinese consular officers are entitled to decide on the type, number of entries, validity and duration of each stay of a visa to be issued based on Chinese laws and regulations. Consular officers reserve the right to decline a visa application or revoke an issued visa.

I. Visa is required for a foreign citizen to visit China

Foreign citizens must obtain a Chinese visa before entry into China, with the exception of visa-free entry based on relevant agreements or regulations.

Please check the validity of your visa before traveling to China. If the visa has expired or the number of entries is not enough, you must apply for a new visa.

II. Visa Types

Chinese visas fall into four types: diplomatic visa, courtesy visa, service visa and ordinary visa. Ordinary visas are further divided into the following categories:

Visa Categories

Description of Visa

C

Issued to foreign crew members of means of international transportation, including aircraft, trains and ships, or motor vehicle drivers engaged in cross-border transport activities, or to the accompanying family members of the crew members of the above-mentioned ships.

D

Issued to those who intend to reside in China permanently.

F

Issued to those who intend to go to China for exchanges, visits, study tours and other activities.

G

Issued to those who intend to transit through China.

J1

Issued to resident foreign journalists of foreign news organizations stationed in China. The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days.

J2

Issued to foreign journalists who intend to go to China for short-term news coverage. The intended duration of stay in China is no more than 180 days.

L

Issued to those who intend to go to China as a tourist.

M

Issued to those who intend to go to China for commercial and trade activities.

Q1

Issued to those who are family members of Chinese citizens or of foreigners with Chinese permanent residence and intend to go to China for family reunion, or to those who intend to go to China for the purpose of foster care. The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days.

"Family members" refers to spouses, parents, sons, daughters, spouses of sons or daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandsons, granddaughters and parents-in-law.

Q2

Issued to those who intend to visit their relatives who are Chinese citizens residing in China or foreigners with permanent residence in China. The intended duration of stay in China is no more than 180 days.

R

Issued to those who are high-level talents or whose skills are urgently needed in China.

S1

Issued to those who intend to go to China to visit the foreigners working or studying in China to whom they are spouses, parents, sons or daughters under the age of 18 or parents-in-law, or to those who intend to go to China for other private affairs. The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days.

S2

Issued to those who intend to visit their family members who are foreigners working or studying in China, or to those who intend to go to China for other private matters. The intended duration of stay in China is no more than 180 days.

"family members" refers to spouses, parents, sons, daughters, spouses of sons or daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandsons, granddaughters and parents-in-law.

X1

Issued to those who intend to study in China for a period of more than 180 days.

X2

Issued to those who intend to study in China for a period of no more than 180 days.

Z

Issued to those who intend to work in China.

 

 

III. Validity, Number of Entries and Duration of Each Stay of Chinese Visa

1. Visa Validity ("Enter Before") means that the visa is valid, or can be used for entry into China from the date of issue to the "Enter Before" date indicated on the visa (Beijing Time). If a visa has unused entries, the bearer can enter China by 24:00 (Beijing Time) of the expiration date.

2. "Entries" refers to the number of times the bearer is permitted to enter China during the validity of a visa.

A visa becomes invalid if there are no entries left, or there are entries left but the visa validity expires. If a visa becomes invalid, its bearer must apply for a new visa before entering China. Traveling with an invalid visa to China will result in refusal of entry.

3."Duration of Each Stay" refers to the maximum number of days the visa bearer is permitted to stay in China each time, which is calculated from the date of entry into China.

A foreign citizen who overstays the end date of his/her authorized stay in China without going through extension formalities is subject to fines and other penalties for violation of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Control of the Entry and Exit of Aliens and its Detailed Rules for Implementation. If a visa bearer to stay in China longer than the duration of stay allowed on the visa, approval must be obtained from local public security authorities above the county level before the duration of stay expires. Approval of an extension of stay may or may not be granted. Please check the website of the local public security authorities in China for more information. Chinese Embassies and Consulates overseas are not authorized to extend a visa.

A bearer of a Work (Z) Visa, Student (X1)Visa Permanent, Resident (D) Visa, Family Reunion(Q1,S1) Visa or Resident Journalist (J-1)Visa must apply for a residence permit at the local public security authorities within 30 days of entry into China. Members of foreign diplomatic or consular missions in China must apply for a residence permit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or local foreign affairs departments within 30 days of entry into China.

IV. Visa-free Entry

A foreign citizen can enter China without a visa under any one of the following circumstances:

1. Direct Transit

A foreign citizen who is transiting through China by air is exempted from a visa if he/she will stay only in the airport for no more than 24 hours and has a valid connecting ticket with confirmed seating on an international flight.

Citizens with passport or other international travel document, confirmed interline ticket and valid visa to the third country or region (if required) of the following 45 countries , can apply to stay without visa for 72 hours in Beijing on direct transit via Beijing Capital Airport, in Shanghai on direct transit via Shanghai Pudong Airport and Hongqiao Airport, in Guangdong Province on direct transit via Guangzhou Baiyun airport, or in Chengdu on direct transit via Chengdu Shuangliu Airport :

Albania, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.

2. Visiting the Pearl River Delta or Hainan Island

(1) A foreign citizen holding an ordinary passport issued by any country with diplomatic relations with China is exempted from a visa if he or she is already in Hong Kong or Macao and joins a tourist group organized by a travel agency, which is registered in Hong Kong or Macao, for a visit to the Pearl River Delta region (including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen, Zhaoqing and Huizhou ) and his/her stay is no more than 6 days.

(2) A foreign citizen holding an ordinary passport issued by any of the following countries is exempted from a visa if he or she joins a tourist group(of 5 or more persons)organized by an international travel agency registered in Hainan with the approval of China National Tourism Administration to visit Hainan Province and his/her stay is no more than 15 days: Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the U.K., Ukraine and the U.S.

Citizens of Germany, Republic of Korea and Russia may join an international tourist group (of 2 or more persons) and can stay up to 21 days.

3. Citizens of Singapore, Brunei and Japan

A citizen of Singapore, Brunei or Japan with an ordinary passport is exempted from a visa if he/she visits China's mainland for tourism purpose, business, or meeting with friends or relatives, enters China through ports open to foreigners, and stays for no more than 15 days.

However, a visa is required for citizens of these three countries under any of the following circumstances:

(1) An ordinary passport holder visits China for tourism purpose, business, or meeting with friends or relatives, and stays for more than 15 days.

(2) An ordinary passport holder visits China for the purpose of study, work, permanent residency, official visits and news coverage.

(3) A Japanese citizen travels with a diplomatic or official passport.

4. Holders of Valid APEC Business Travel Card

The APEC Business Travel Card is a substitute of a multiple-entry visa valid for 3 years.A card holder who presents a valid passport of the same person at the same time can enter China multiple times during the validity of the card for a stay of no more than 2 months each time.

5. Foreigner's Permanent Residence Card Holders

6. Holders of Residence Permit for Foreigners issued by the Ministry of Public Security

Foreign citizens entering China for the purpose of study or employment or as resident foreign journalists must apply for a residence permit at local public security authorities within 30 days of entry into China. Permit holders may stay in China and enter or exit China multiple times without the need of a visa during the validity period of the permit.

7. Bilateral Agreement

Based on bilateral agreements signed or reached between China and foreign countries, foreign citizens of some countries who meet certain requirements may visit China without a visa. Please see the list of agreements on visa exemption signed between China and foreign countries for more information.

For those who come to China for work, study, family reunion, long term family visit, permanent residence or as resident foreign journalist, they are required to apply for Z, X1, Q1, S1, D, J1 visa accordingly before they enter China.

Visa Application Guidelines

I. Basic Materials to Be Submitted for Application

(1) Passport

Original passport with at least six months of remaining validity and blank visa pages, and a photocopy of the passport's data page and the photo page if it is separate.

(2) Visa Application Form and Photo

One completed Visa Application Form with a recently-taken color passport photo (bare-head, full face) against a light background attached

(3) Proof of legal stay or residence status (applicable to those not applying for the visa in their country of citizenship)

If you are not applying for the visa in the country of your citizenship, you must provide the original and photocopy of your valid certificates or visa of stay, residence, employment or student status, or other valid certificates of legal staying provided by the relevant authorities of the country where you are currently staying.

(4) Photocopy of previous Chinese passports or previous Chinese visas (applicable to foreign citizensthose who were Chinese citizens and have obtained foreign citizenship)

If you are applying for a Chinese visa for the first time, you should provide your previous Chinese passport held and a photocopy of its data page.

If you have obtained Chinese visas before and want to apply for a Chinese visa with a renewed foreign passport that does not contain any Chinese visa, you should present the photocopy of the previous passport's data page and the photo page if it is separate, as well as the previous Chinese visa page. (If your name on the current passport differs from that on the previous one, you must provide an official document of name change.)

II. Additional Materials to Be Submitted and Special Explanations

   C Visa

A letter of guarantee issued by a foreign transport company or an invitation letter issued by a relevant entity in China

* Based on the SINO-USA bilateral agreement the Chinese Consulate will issue multible-entry visas valid for 5 years for  American crew members.

D Visa

The original and photocopy of the Confirmation Form for Foreigners Permanent Residence Status issued by the Ministry of Public Security of China.

We kindly remind you that:

Holders of D Visa shall, within 30 days from the date of their entry, apply to the exit/entry administrations of public security organs under local people's governments at or above the county level in the proposed places of residence for foreigners' residence permits.

F Visa

An invitation letter issued by a relevant entity or individual in China. The invitation should contain:

(1) Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)

(2) Information on the planned visit (purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, relations between the applicant and the inviting entity or individual, financial source for expenditures)

(3) Information on the inviting entity or individual (name, contact telephone number, address, official stamp, signature of the legal representative or the inviting individual)

G Visa

An onward air (train or ship) ticket with confirmed date and seat to the destination country or region.

J1 Visa

Visa Notification Letter issued by the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and an official letter issued by the media organization for which the journalist works.

Applicants should contact the press section of the Chinese Embassy/Consulate General in advanceor and complete relevant formalities.

We kindly remind you that:

Holders of J1 Visa shall, within 30 days from the date of their entry, apply to the exit/entry administrations of public security organs under local people's governments at or above the county level in the proposed places of residence for foreigners' residence permits.

J2 Visa

Visa Notification Letter issued by the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China or other authorized units in China and an official letter issued by the media organization for which the journalist works.

Applicants should contact the press section of the Chinese Embassy/Consulate General in advance and complete the required formalities.

L Visa

Documents showing the itinerary including air ticket booking record (round trip) and proof of a hotel reservation, etc. or an invitation letter issued by a relevant entity or individual in China. The invitation letter should contain:

(1) Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)

(2) Information on the planned visit (arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, etc.)

(3) Information on the inviting entity or individual (name, contact telephone number, address, official stamp, signature of the legal representative or the inviting individual)

M Visa

(1) Documents on the commercial activity issued by a trade partner in China, or trade fair invitation or other invitation letters issued by relevant entity or individual. The invitation letter should contain:

a) Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)

b) Information on the planned visit (purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, relations between the applicant and the inviting entity or individual, financial source for expenditures)

c) Information on the inviting entity or individual (name, contact telephone number, address, official stamp, signature of the legal representative or the inviting individual)

Q1 Visa

For family reunion, the following documents are required:

(1) An invitation letter issued by a Chinese citizen or a foreign citizen with a Chinese permanent residence permit who lives in China. The invitation letter should contain:

a) Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)

b) Information on the visit ( purpose of visit, intended arrival date, place(s) of intended residence, intended duration of residence, arrival and departure dates, relations between the applicant and the inviting entity or individual, financial source for expenditures)

c) Information on the inviting individual (name, contact telephone number, address, official stamp, signature of legal representative or the inviting individual, etc.)

(2) Photocopy of Chinese ID of the inviting individual or foreign passport and permanent residence permit.

(3) Original and photocopy of certification (marriage certificate, birth certificate, certification of kinship issued by Public Security Bureau or notarized certification of kinship) showing the relationship of family members between applicant and inviting individual.

"Family members" refers to spouses, parents, sons, daughters, spouses of sons or daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandsons, granddaughters and parents-in-law.

For foster care, the following documents are required:

(1)Foster entrustment notarization issued by Chinese Embassies/Consulates General in foreign countries or Foster Care Power of Attorney notarized and authenticated in the country of residence or in China

(2)Original and photocopy of the consignor's passport(s), as well as the original and photocopy of certification (marriage certificate, birth certificate, certification of kinship issued by Public Security Bureau or notarized certification of kinship) notarized and authenticated certification showing the relationship between parents or guardians and children.

(3) A letter of consent on foster care issued by the trustee living in China who has agreed to provide foster care services and a photocopy of the ID of the trustee.

(4) A photocopy of the certificate indicating the permanent residence status abroad of the parent(s) when the child was born, provided that either or both parents of the child are Chinese citizens.

We kindly remind you that:

Holders of Q1 Visa shall, within 30 days from the date of their entry, apply to the exit/entry administrations of public security organs under local people's governments at or above the county level in the proposed places of residence for foreigners' residence permits.

Q2 Visa

(1) An invitation letter issued by a Chinese citizen or a foreign citizen with a Chinese permanent residence permit who lives in China. The invitation letter should contain:

a) Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)

b) Information on the visit (purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, relations between the applicant and the inviting individual, financial source for expenditures)

c) Information on the inviting individual (name, contact number, address, signature etc.)

(2) Photocopy of Chinese ID or foreign passport and permanent residence permit of the inviting individual

R Visa

The applicant should submit relevant certification in accordance with relevent regualtions, and meet the relevant requirements of the competent authorities of the Chinese government on high-level talents and individualnel with special skills urgently needed by China,

S1 Visa

(1) An invitation letter from the inviting individual (a foreigner who stays or resides in China for work or studies) which contains:

a) Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)

b) Information on the visit (purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place of intended residence, relations between the applicant and the inviting individual, financial source for expenditures, etc.)

c) Information on the inviting individual (name, contact telephone number, address, signature, etc.)

(2) A photocopy of the inviting individual's passport and residence permit

(3)Original and photocopy of certification (marriage certificate, birth certificate, certification of kinship issued by Public Security Bureau or notarized certification of kinship) showing the relationship of immediate family members between applicants and inviting individual.

"immediate family members " refers to spouses, parents, sons or daughters under the age of 18, parents-in-law.

We kindly remind you that:

Holders of S1 Visa shall, within 30 days from the date of their entry, apply to the exit/entry administrations of public security organs under local people's governments at or above the county level in the proposed places of residence for foreigners' residence permits.

S2-Visa

For visiting family members for a short period, the following documents are required:

(1)An invitation letter issued by the inviting individual (a foreigner who stays or resides in China for work or studies) which contains:

a) Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)

b) Information on the visit (purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, relations between the applicant and the inviting individual, financial source for expenditures, etc.)

c) Information on the inviting individual (name, contact telephone number, address, signature, etc.)

(2) A photocopy of the inviting individual's (a foreigner who stays or lives in China for work or studies) passport and residence permit

(3) Photocopy of certification (marriage certificate, birth certificate or notarized certification of kinship) showing the relationship of family members between the applicant and the inviting individual.

"Family members" refers to spouses, parents, sons, daughters, spouses of sons or daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandsons, granddaughters and parents-in-law.

For private affairs, documentation identifying the nature of the private affairs should be provided as required by the consular officer.

X1-Visa

(1) Original and photocopy of the Admission Letter issued by a school or other entities in China.

(2) Original and photocopy of "Visa Application for Study in China" (Form JW201 or Form JW202).

We kindly remind you that:

Holders of X1 Visa shall, within 30 days from the date of their entry, apply to the exit/entry administrations of public security organs under local people's governments at or above the county level in the proposed places of residence for foreigners' residence permits.

X2-Visa

Original and photocopy of Admission Notice issued by a school or other entities in China.

Z-Visa

One of the following documents:

(1) Foreigners Employment Permit of the People's Republic of China issued by Chinese government authorities for Human Resources and Social Security, as well as Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Entity or Confirmation Letter of Invitation issued by relevant Chinese entities.

(2) Permit for Foreign Experts Working in China issued by the State Bureau of Foreign Experts as well as Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Entity or Confirmation Letter of Invitation issued by relevant Chinese entities.

(3) Registration Certificate of Resident Representative Offices of enterprises of foreign countries(regions) issued by Chinese authorities of industrial and commercial administration, as well as Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Entity or Confirmation Letter of Invitation issued by relevant Chinese entities as well as Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Entity or Confirmation Letter of Invitation issued by relevant Chinese entities.

(4) An approval document for commercial performances issued by the Chinese government authorities for cultural affairs or Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Entity or Confirmation Letter of Invitation issued by relevant Foreign Affairs Office of provincial governments of China.

(5)Letter of Invitation to Foreigners for Offshore Petroleum Operations in China issued by China National Offshore Oil Corporation;

We kindly remind you that:

Holders of Z Visa shall, within 30 days from the date of their entry, apply to the exit/entry administrations of public security organs under local people's governments at or above the county level in the proposed places of residence for foreigners' residence permits.

3. Special Reminder

(1) The invitation letter may be in the form of fax, photocopy or computer printout, but the consular officer may require the applicant to submit the original of the invitation letter..

(2) If necessary, the consular officer may require the applicant to provide other proof documents or supplementary materials, or require an interview with the applicant.

(3) The consular officer will decide on whether or not to issue the visa and on its validity, duration of stay and number of entries in light of specific conditions of the applicant.

(4) For further details, please visit the web-site of the relevant Chinese Embassy or Consulate General.

4.  Additional documents if deemed necessary by visa officers.

III. How to apply

1. Locate the Visa Office of the Embassy / Consulate General which holds consular jurisdiction over the state in which you reside. You may either submit your application in person, or you may entrust someone else or a travel/visa agent to submit your application at the visa office.

2. If necessary, the applicant should go to the Embassy/Consulate-General for an interview or verification of the signature on application documents upon notification by the Embassy/Consulate-General.

3. Mailed applications are not accepted.

4. No appointment is required.

IV. Processing Time

Regular service: Visas can be obtained on the fourth business day . No express service will be provided unless emergency. Express service needs approval of consular officials, and extra fees may apply.

V. Visa Fees and Payment

1. Visa fees for regular service

Number of Entry

U.S. Citizens

Citizens of Third Countries

Single Entry

$140

$30

Double Entries

$140

$45

Multiple Entries for 6 Months

$140

$60

Multiple Entries for 12 Months or more

$140

$90

Note: Visa fees for certain third countries may vary from the list above based on reciprocal agreements.

2. Express service: An additional fee of $20 or $30 per visa will be charged. 

3. Please pay by money order, cashier's check or Visa/MasterCard. Cash or personal checks are not accepted. Please make checks or money order payable to "Chinese Consulate General".

VI. Other Important Information

1. Please fill out the visa application form truthfully, completely and clearly. Any false or incomplete statement or failure to write in a clear way may delay the processing of a visa application or result in the refusal of a visa.

2. Visa officers are entitled to decide on the type, number of entries, validity and duration of each stay of a visa based on Chinese laws and regulations.

3. If you are a U.S.-born child with one or two Chinese parents, and apply for a Chinese visa for the first time, please read Documentations Required for U.S.-born Children with Chinese Descent.

4. The Chinese Embassy or Consulates General reserve the right of interpret ation in case of changes to the information above .

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