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How To Get A Visa For China

Planning a trip to China for a job? But don't know how to apply for a Chinese visa? If you don't yet know which visa is best for you, or if you don't yet understand what materials are needed to get a visa, I suggest you don't get discouraged. Below, we go over the differences between the various types of Chinese visas and what materials are needed to get the visa you need.

How long does it take to get A Visa For China?

If you have all the necessary documents ready and have a passport valid for at least 6 months and two blank pages, it should take between 2 working days (if you are applying for an express service) and 4 working days to get your China visa.

It should be noted that rush service (one working day) is only available in certain countries (e.g., the United States) and only in very urgent cases, with the approval of the Chinese Consulate.

The best time to apply for a Chinese visa is between two months and 15 days before departure. You cannot apply for a visa too early because if you do not use it, the visa will expire after 90 days (or 180 days) from the date you receive it.

How much does a Chinese visa cost?

Prices range from $30 to $140 depending on your nationality, visa type, country of application and number of entries.

Generally, Europeans are cheaper, while Americans generally pay the full $140 fee.

What are the basic requirements To Get A Visa For China?

Your original passport, valid for at least 6 months, with two blank pages.

A black and white copy of the passport page with your photo, and a black and white copy of the page containing any Chinese visas you have obtained in the past (only if you have been to China).

One recent color passport photo (48mm x 33mm) with a light background.

A copy of the previous Chinese passport (only applicable to foreign nationals who have been Chinese citizens and acquired foreign nationality).

Proof of legal identity, such as a residence permit, in the country where the visa is applied for (only if the visa is applied for in a country other than the country of nationality).

A fully completed, printed and signed application form (click here to download the application form from CVASC in London and here to download the application form from the Chinese Consulate in the U.S. - similar documents can be downloaded from the CVASC website if you wish, or from the Chinese Consulate office in the country where you are applying for your visa)

Printed and signed statement (only required if applying through CVASC, click here to download the London CVASC statement).

A hard copy of the appointment receipt (only available through CVASC, you can make an appointment directly on the CVASC website).

Letter of invitation from the relevant unit or individual in China. An invitation letter is only required if you are applying for a C visa (unless you have a letter of sponsorship from a foreign transportation company), F visa, L visa (unless you have proof of a hotel reservation in China), M visa, Q visa, S visa or Z visa. See the next section for details on the different types of Chinese visas.

While invitations can usually be faxed, photocopied or computer scanned and printed, in some cases you may be required to submit the original invitation, provide other supporting documentation or arrange an interview with a consular officer. Click here to learn how to write an invitation and what documents must be attached to it.

Different types of Chinese visas

C VISA: are granted to foreign crew members of aircraft, trains, ships or motor vehicle drivers engaged in cross-border transport activities, or to family members accompanying crew members of such ships.

D VISA: issued to a person who intends to stay in China permanently.

F VISA is issued to people who intend to go to China for exchange, visit, study tour, etc.

G VISA: is issued to people who intend to transit through China (but it is advisable to check whether a 72-hour waiver is available before applying for a G visa).

J VISA: is issued to foreign correspondents of foreign news agencies in China. If you plan to stay in China for more than 180 days, you should apply for J1 visa; if you plan to stay in China for less than 180 days, you should apply for J2 visa (short term).

L VISA: is issued to people who intend to come to China as a tourist.

M VISA: is issued to persons who intend to come to China to conduct business and trade activities.

Q VISA:Family members of Chinese nationals or foreigners holding a permanent residence permit in China who are issued with the intention of coming to China for family reunion or for the purpose of foster care.

R VISA: is issued to high-level talent in China or to people with skills that are urgently needed in China.

S VISA: is issued to the spouse, parents, children under the age of 18 or parents-in-law of foreigners working or studying in China, or persons who intend to come to China for other personal reasons.

X VISA: is issued to those who intend to study in China. If you intend to stay in China for more than 180 days, you should apply for X1 visa; if you intend to stay in China for less than 180 days, you should apply for X2 visa (short term).

Z VISA: is issued to people who intend to work in China.