This Article contains information on China Visa Application and Immigration Requirements: 2019. China, well known for its interesting culture, the Great Wall of China, eating with chopsticks, martial arts, and very weird characters for letters that only the Chinese and a handful other people can read. So, what more does this fascinating country have in store for us?
Yearly, many people travel to China for numerous reasons either for tourism, business, study, visit or immigration. Depending on the purpose of the trip to China, there are different types of visas that apply to the occasion.
So before applying for a Chinese visa, it is necessary to know the Chinese visa requirements and which of the visa category that you are eligible for.
LIST OF DOCUMENTS FOR A SWITZERLAND VISA APPLICATION
- Original passport with at least two blank visa pages and at least 6 months of remaining validity, and a photocopy of the passport’s data page and photo page if it is separate.
- One completed China Visa Application Form attached with a recently-taken passport photo (48mm x 33mm, bare-head, full face, and against a light background).
- If applying in a third country, you should also submit a proof of legal stay or residence permit, namely the original and photocopy of your valid visa, or certificates of stay, residence, employment or student status, or other valid certificates of legal staying provided by the relevant authorities of the third country.
SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS FOR MAJOR VISA TYPES
What documents are needed for China visa application? Depending on the visa type you are applying for, additional documentation must be submitted.
Tourist Visa (L)
Round-trip ticket booking record and proof of a hotel reservation, or an invitation letter issued by a relevant entity or individual in China with following information:
- Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)
- Information on the planned visit (dates of arrival and departure, places of visit, relations between the applicant and the inviting entity or individual, financial source for expenditures, etc.)
- Information on the inviting entity or individual (name, contact number, address, official stamp, signature of the legal representative or the inviting individual)
Business Visa (M)
Documents on the commercial activity issued by a trade partner in China, trade fair invitation or other invitation letters issued by relevant entity or individual. The invitation letter should contain the same information as described above for tourist visa.
Noncommercial Visit Visa (F)
An invitation letter issued by a relevant entity or individual in China, with details as described above for tourist visa.
Student Visa (X)
- Original and photocopy of the Admission Letter issued by a school or other entities in PRC.
- For X1 visa with an intended stay of more than 6 months, applicants should also provide:
Original and photocopy of “Visa Application for Study in China” (Form JW201 or Form JW202).
Work/ Employment Visa (Z)
One of the following work permits is required:
- Foreigners Employment Permit issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of the PRC.
- Registration Certificate of Resident Representative Offices of enterprises of foreign countries (regions) issued by Chinese authorities of industrial and commercial administration.
- Approval document for commercial performances issued by the Chinese government authorities for cultural affairs.
- Invitation Letter to Foreigners for Offshore Petroleum Operations issued by National Offshore Oil Corporation.
Private Visit Visa (S)
- An invitation letter from a foreigner who stays on a work Z or student X visa in China
- A photocopy of the inviting individual’s passport and residence permit
- Proof of kinship such as marriage certificate, birth certificate, certification of kinship issued by Public Security Bureau or notarized certification of kinship (original and copy)For those who visit for private affairs other than family reunion, documentation identifying the nature of the private affair should be provided as required by the consular officer.
Family Reunion Visa (Q)
- Invitation letter issued by a Chinese citizen or foreign citizen with a Chinese permanent residence permit.
- Photocopy of Chinese ID or foreign passport and permanent residence permit
- For Q1 visa only – a proof of kinship such as marriage certificate, birth certificate, certification of kinship issued by Public Security Bureau or notarized certification of kinship (original and copy)
Transit Visa (G)
An onward air, train or ship ticket with confirmed date and seat to the destination country or region is required.
Special Reminders for China Visa Application
- Generally, the invitation letter in the form of fax, photocopy or computer printout is acceptable, but the consular officer may require the original of the invitation letter when necessary.
- The consular officer may require other proof documents or supplementary materials or an interview or verification of the signature on application documents upon notification by the Embassy/Consulate-General if necessary.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A CHINA VISA
To apply for a China visa, you need to complete an application form attached with your recently-taken color photo, prepare a valid passport, and submit them along with other supporting documents to the Chinese embassy or consulate which is in charge of your residence area. Check the step-by-step guide on how to apply for a China visa below for details.
1. Check whether you need a visa
An essential thing to do is to check whether you need a visa before starting the following process. As long as you are eligible for China’s visa-free policies, you don’t need the visa, but some documents like your passport, in and out transportation tickets and sometimes sufficient funds still need to be prepared for immigration check.
2. Check which visa you need to get
Based on your travel purpose, determine which visa you are going to get. Read China Visa Types to select one which suits you most. For tourists, the L visa is suitable.
3. Prepare all documents needed
Documents required for all types of visa include passport and visa application form attached with a recently-taken photo. Besides, other supporting documents are required, but they vary according to the visa type you are applying for. For instance, if you apply for a tourist L visa, the supporting documents will refer to round-trip tickets, hotel bookings or an invitation letter from your China travel agency. See detailed China Visa Application Requirements.
Be sure your documents meet the requirements of Chinese embassy or consulate.
- Passport: with a remaining validity of at least 6 months; have blank visa pages.
- Visa Application Form: truthfully completed; type-written with no blanks left.
- Photo: taken within latest six months; full face against a light background; size: 48mm x 33mm; bare-headed unless for religious causes.
4. Submit the application
Visit the Chinese embassy, consulate or Chinese Visa Application Center (CVASC) which serves your residence area. You can show up in person or ask an agent to do this for you. In some consular offices and CVASCs, mail service is also available.
The normal processing time is four working days including the day you submit the application and the day you collect. Remember there might be additional non-working days for Chinese public holidays. By paying an additional fee you can usually have your application processed faster. It is normally possible to have your application processed overnight, for collection in the following afternoon, though some offices might offer a same-day service if you arrive in the office soon after opening. In general try to apply for it well in advance to allow for any delay.
5. Pay the fee and pick up your visa
Go to the place where you apply for China visa on the date appointed at the pick-up slip. Pay the fee and you will get your passport back with visa. See China Visa Fees.
Best time to apply for a China visa
The best time to apply for China visa is one or two months before your departure date. Usually, a China visa is valid for only three months from the date of issue, which indicates that the earliest time you can apply is three months before your departure.
Renew and extend China visa
Usually you cannot renew and extend China visa once you are granted, but it can be done when you are in China at the local Exit and Entry Administration under the Public Security Bureau.
Apply for China visa in a third country
Sometimes you may need to get China visa while you are en route or residing in a third country. Things may get different for such cases. A proof of legal stay in the country where you apply for a China visa is usually additionally needed unless you enjoy visa-free access to the third country.
Please consult the Chinese Embassy in your country for the updated Chinese Visa requirements!