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A Comprehensive Guide to Apply for a China Visa

Several things should be kept in mind while applying for a China visa. Getting a China visa could be made easy if you provide all the information correctly and honestly. If you have all the legal documents and all the required tickets, then it becomes easier for you to get a China visa. Moreover, China offers benefits according to the type of visa you have been issued, so choose your visa wisely and according to the requirements of your visit.

The first and foremost thing is to check whether you need a China visa or not. If you fall under China’s visa-free policies, then you don’t need a China visa. However, in some cases, you may need your passport, your in and out transportation ticket and sufficient funds for an immigration check. We will be further discussing the China Visa application process in detail later on in the article. Let’s get started!

A Comprehensive Guide to Apply for a China Visa

Types of China Visas

There are different types of China visas. Ordinary China Visas are of 8 types and are represented by letters. Now, we will be discussing the types of China Visas in detail to better understand the procedure, benefits and requirements of the different visas.

1. L (Tourist Visa)

L visas are commonly known as tourist visas. The L visa is issued to an applicant who wants to come to China as a tourist, wants to visit the family or in case of some personal affair. 

2. Port Visa (Landing Visa)

In case of an emergency or if you don’t have time to apply for a tourist visa or you find the process of a tourist visa slow and complicated, you can apply for a Port Visa. A port visa can only be used for a group of people consisting of at least two persons. If you have a port visa, you can stay in China for a period of 1 to 2 months. The entry and exit ports should be the same if you have a port visa. The ports that provide the facility are Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Guilin, Xi’an, Chengdu, etc. 

3. M (Business Visa)

M visa is commonly known as a Business Visa. It is issued to those applicants who are invited to China for business, research, visit, lecture, cultural trade, short-lived advanced studies, internship practices and scientific and technological exchange. It is only valid for a term of six months and not more than that.

4. Z (Work Visa)

Z visa or Work Visa is issued to applicants who have come to China for some employment or to take up a post. It is also issued to the applicant’s families who are traveling with them.

5. X (Student Visa)

Student Visa is issued to applicants who want to pursue study or advanced studies and internship practices for the time being over six months.

6. C (Crew Visa)

Crew Visas are issued to crew members on international flights, navigation and land transportation missions. It is also given to the family members accompanying them.

7. G (Transit Visa)

When someone is being moved, or someone is going somewhere else through China, then a Transit Visa is issued to them.

8. D (Resident Visa)

Applicants who are going to permanently reside in China have a Resident Visa issued for them. 

There are two more visa types which are only issued to someone who is going to work in journalism as a foreign correspondent.

9. J-1 (Journalist Visa)

A J-1 visa is issued to foreign resident correspondents in China. They are employed to send news from foreign countries to their resident countries.

10. J-2 (Journalist Visa)

A J-2 visa is issued to foreign resident correspondents who are on a visit to China to conduct temporary interview missions like interviewing the Chief of some company or interviewing a renowned celebrity.

Steps to Apply for China Visa

There are certain steps to apply for a China Visa. You must follow them all to get your visa easily and timely.

1. Identify the Type of visa you need

You must identify the type of visa you need based on your objective of travel because each visa provides you with different benefits and stay time. So, it is highly recommended to apply for the right type of visa.

2. Arrange all the required documents

China Visa document requirements vary according to the type of visa you are applying for. Each type of visa requires a different set of supporting documents. Some common documents required for each visa are a passport with remaining validity of at least 6 months and empty visa pages, a visa application and a recently taken photo of yours without headgear(unless for any religious reasons) of dimension 48mm×33mm with white background. Consider a L-visa, you will need the common document and transportation tickets, hotel bookings and proof of legal stay.

3. Make an appointment and Submit the Visa Application 

Make an appointment with the Chinese Visa Application Centre (CVAC), Chinese embassy or consulate according to the jurisdiction of your residence and submit the application at the scheduled time. 

The applicants of age groups between 14 to 70 have to show up at the Chinese Visa Application Centre or the consulate in most cases. But, in some cases, you can appoint an agent or entrust someone else to submit the form. Some consulates and CVACs take applications through mail too.

It takes around four working days to process the application but if you pay additional fees then your application procedure can run faster. It is wise to apply for a China Visa in advance to counter any delay in processing time.

4. Pay the Required Fees

Now you have to visit the visa office to which you submitted your visa application on the appointed date. Make the required payment at the office. The fees for applying for a China Visa vary from country to country. You may have to pay the fees on the day you apply for the visa or on the day you receive it. If you apply from the Chinese Visa Application Centre(CVAC), then you will have to pay the service fee and tax also for the application.

5. Collect your Visa

Finally, after you select your type of visa, arrange the documents, submit them and complete the transaction, you will be allotted a date to collect your visa. Then you can visit the visa office and collect your visa along with your passport.

Some other points to keep in mind while applying for a China Visa:

  • Best time to apply for a China Visa You need to wisely choose the time of application for a China Visa as it is usually valid for 3 months from the issue date. So, the best time to apply for a China Visa is one to two months before the date of departure, and the earliest you can apply is three months before the date of departure.
  • Renewal and Extension of China Visa It is usually not possible to renew or extend your China Visa, but in case you are in China at the native Exit and Entry Administration under the Public Security Bureau, you can renew and extend your visa.
  • Validity of Visa The validity of your visa depends upon the type of visa you have chosen for the visit. Single-entry China Visas are valid for a time period of 3 months and will allow you to stay in China for not more than 30 days. If you are going to travel between China and Hong Kong or Taiwan or Macau on the same tour, then you will need multiple-entry visas for each one of them.

Need any expert assistance in applying for a China visa? 

As an applicant, you must keep all the above-mentioned points in mind so that it becomes easy and more proficient to get a China Visa. If you follow all the above-mentioned steps, then there are high chances that you may get your China Visa.

Having the desire to explore China but don’t know how to apply for a visa? Mirek Pachl and his company can help you with expert assistance for EU residents in applying China Visa hassle freely.