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Chinese Visa Overview

Even before you apply for a Chinese visa, you’ll need to decide on the type of visa you need and make sure you fully understand the application procedures and the documents needed. In this section, we walk you through the different Chinese visa types. We will have more updates on FAQs section.


Types

Categories

Typical Applicants

Brief Description

Tourism

L

Tourism

Independent tourist or Group member

Visiting

F

Non-commercial activities

Academic, cultural, religious exchanges, Non-profit performance, NGO activities, Volunteering (90 days or less), Foreign expert with pre-approved letters of invitation, Geographic surveying and mapping activities

M

Commercial activities

Trade; Participation in Competition and other commercial activities

Re-Union

Q1

Family member or relative of Chinese citizen(s) or foreigner(s) with permanent residence status in China

Family member of Chinese citizen applying for residence in China for family reunion; Family member of foreigner(s) with permanent residence status in China who is applying for residence in China for a family reunion; Residence visa for child to be fostered in China

Q2

Relative of Chinese citizen(s) living in China applying for a visa for visit less than 180 days; Relative of foreigner(s) with permanent residence status in China applying for a visa for visit less than 180 days

Private

S1

Family member of foreigner(s) or person who needs to come to China for personal matters

Spouse, parent, child under the age of 18 or parent-in-law of foreigner(s) residing in China for work, study or other purposes who visit China for 180 days or more; Person who needs to reside in China for other personal matters

S2

Family member of foreigner(s) staying or residing in China for work, study or other purposes who visit China for less than 180 days; Applying for a visa to stay in China for other personal matters, such as handling litigation, inheritance, real estate or medical treatment

Working

Z

Employee

Foreign expert working in China; For commercial performance; Chief representative or representative of a foreign company; Offshore oil operations; Volunteering (more than 90 days); Foreigner working in China with a Work Permit issued by the Chinese government authorities

Student

X1

Study or training

Long term study (more than 180 days)

X2

Short term study (no more than 180 days)

Journalist

J1

Journalist

Resident foreign journalist of permanent office of a foreign news agency in China

J2

Foreign journalist visiting China for short-term news coverage

Crew

C

Crew member

Crew member performing duties on board an international train; Crew member performing duties on board an international aircraft; Crew member performing duties on board an international vessel or accompanying family member; Vehicle driver engaged in international transportation services

Transit

G

Transit

Transit through China

PR

D

Permanent residence

Person coming to China to take up permanent residence

Talent

R

High talent or specialist

Foreigner of high talent or specialist needed by the State


Visa Application Basics

Internship Visa:
If you wish to undertake an internship in China, you must only enter China with a private or L visa converted & endorsed with 'Internship' with the support of letters from host.
Working Visa:
If you wish to work in China, you must already hold a Z entry visa ( with Work Permit Notice as prerequisite ) or transfer within China your other types of visa into working residence permit (with Work Permit Card as prerequisite)
Your Passport:
You must hold a current passport valid for more than 6 months.
Actual Visa Processing Time:
Chinese visas normally take 5-7 working days provided all documents are ready and correct. Fast services are avaiable at most of the Chinese embassy offices.

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