Guidelines for US Citizen

US citizens who would like to travel to China must ask themselves numerous questions about visiting the territory. These questions could include things such as “how would I apply for a Chinese visa in the US?” “Is doing Chinese visa paperwork within easy reach?” “How long does it take to get a Chinese visa?” “How much does it cost?” or “Can I apply at any Chinese consulate in the US?” and even more. These questions may sound bombarding or overwhelming but they are essential to consider before taking the initial step of applying for a Chinese visa in the United States.

For US Passport holders, the most important factor to consider when applying for a Chinese visa is know which consulate you should go to. Should you submit the document in Chicago? Or should you head to the Chinese embassy in Los Angeles? Or would you head straight to the Chinese consulate in San Francisco? Knowing which of these to use is very crucial information to know seeing as China has set very strict limitations when applying for a Chinese Visa in the United States.

American citizens who aspire to visit China simply can’t just apply for a Chinese Visa to any embassy or consulate they desire. Chinese consulates and Embassies have jurisdictions. One must apply at the correct consulate for the jurisdiction that one lives in. The applicants ought to visit respective Chinese Consulate to where their State is covered. A US citizen who is a resident in Vermont has to apply and submit the Chinese visa application to Chinese Embassy in NYC, a local of North Carolina has to process one’s application to Chinese Consulate in Washington D.C., a West Virginia (Louisiana) native should visit Chinese Visa office in DC (Houston). When the US applicant fails to meet this standard, the regular processing period may take even longer, or it will cause a hitch to one’s application or worst, the applicant gets denied. To avoid this from happening, it is important to know the major functional Chinese Consulates in the USA and the lists of States covered by each:

Chinese Consulate in Houston:

  • Texas (TX)                                                       – Georgia (GA)
  • Oklahoma (OK)                                               – Florida (FL)
  • Arkansas (AR)                                                  – Alabama (AL)
  • Mississippi (MI)                                               – Louisiana (LA)

Chinese Embassy in Los Angeles:

– Southern California (CA)                                   – Pacific Islands

– New Mexico (NM)                                             – Hawaii (HI)

– Arizona (AZ)

Chinese Embassy in NY:

– New Jersey (NJ)                                                 – Maine (ME)

– Ohio (OH)                                                          – Pennsylvania (PA)

– Vermont (VT)                                                     – Massachusetts (MA)

– Connecticut (CT)                                                – Rhode Island (RI)

– New Hampshire (NH)                                        – New York (NY)

Chinese Embassy in SF:

– North Carolina (NC)                                      – Nevada (NV)

– Washington (WA)                                         – Alaska (AK)

– Oregon (OR)

Chinese Embassy in Chicago:

– Missouri (MO)                                              – Michigan (MI)

– Wisconsin (WI)                                              – Kansas (KS)

– Iowa (IA)                                                       – Indiana (IN)

-Illinois            (IL)                                                       – Minnesota (MN)

– Colorado (CO)

         Chinese Consulate in Washington:

  • Delaware (DE)                                                  – Idaho (ID)
  • Kentucky (KY)                                                  – Maryland (MD)
  • Wyoming (WY)                                                – North Carolina (NC)
  • Utah (UT)                                                        – South Carolina (SC)
  • Virginia           (VA)                                         – Montana (MT)
  • Nebraska (NE)                                                 – North Dakota (ND)
  • West Virginia (WV)                                         – South Dakota (SD)
  • Washington DC                                               – Tennessee (TN)

US citizens who are native of any covered States of Consular New York must renew their passport in New York, likewise, the locals of any states under the jurisdiction of Embassy of Houston need to renew the passport in Houston.

Chinese Visa Consulates do not welcome applications being sent via telefax nor mail. US Passport holders have to apply and submit the documents in person. When the Chinese Visa is released within 2 to 7 working days, the applicant has to receive the documents personally.

Dual Citizenship

American citizens may possess two passports for different reasons, usually for the purpose of dual citizenship. Though legally you may have two passports, the People’s Republic of China does not recognize this. When a US citizen travels to China with a US passport, it is required that the traveler exit the territory using the same passport. Failure to do so will almost definitely cause issues and complications. To avoid such complications and stress, US passport holders need to confirm the validity of their documents prior to leaving the United States.

Policies on Entry and Exit

China strictly adhere to entry and exit policies. When a US citizen arrives in mainland China, they have to register at the local police station stating where their accommodation is located and registered. Failing to do so with the first 24 hours from the time of arrival will most likely result in a penalty, or in some cases even deportation. If the US tourist is not connected to any hostel establishment, it is your sole responsibility to ensure that the registration process is taken care of in a timely manner. 

Various establishments as well, practice precautionary action to ascertain that a US citizen hasn’t overstayed in China’s territory. Hotel management, school administrators and officials of transportation services may verify the American’s Chinese visa. If these agencies recognized the tourist’s illegal overstaying in Chinese territory, it has (replace it has with they have) all the right to not grant you its service, plus charge you with a penalty or worst (replace worst with worse) detention. Thus, it is wise to carry a Chinese visa and passport all the time. This is to secure one’s identity and ensure that your stay in the People’s Republic of China is enjoyable and runs smoothly.

Extending one’s stay beyond the Chinese visa’s validity is against the law. A US tourist in China must exit the country before the visa expires. Not complying with this, results in a penalty or being detained. Presuming you have to overstay the visa for some reason (replace reason with extenuating circumstance), the US tourist can request visa extension at the Bureau of Entry and Exit.


Traveling to the vast country of China will take some time to explore its entire territory. A US passport holder must grab unto (replace grab unto with take advantage of) the opportunity of applying for a Chinese visa with 10-year multiple entries. When Granted this, a US tourist can leisurely tour around China and can even go beyond Macau and Hongkong (Hong Kong) frequently.

Certificate of Good Conduct

Another process that needs to be undertaken by the US citizen is to provide a credential of good conduct. This document is vital for the Chinese government intended for US visa applicants, whose purpose in China is securing employment, residential permit, enrolling in an institute. This procedure may be foreign to US passport holders as this prerequisite is not required by the USA.

The certificate of good conduct can be obtained through:

Local Police – The local police department to which you are residing can run and provide a credential of good conduct. An acceptable document shows that you don’t hold any history of criminal charges. The US applicant must visit the police bureau to personally undergo the process.

FBI – The US visa applicant may also secure one’s credentials through this agency. FBI is a centralized department capable of providing a timely report when one requests so.

It is important to note that the Chinese government doesn’t accept any longer these documents (doesn’t accept these documents any longer instead of doesn’t accept any longer these documents) for the reason for immigration. The page aims to enlighten US applicants with additional helpful information about traveling to China. To further your understanding, you may visit the Consulate where your State is covered. For your Chinese visa needs and assistance, visit us at We’ll be more than glad to be of service to you.

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