Chinese Visa Types

Chinse Visa Types

Foreign nationals travel the world for many different reasons. Most would travel for leisure, winding down with the scenic view of tourist’s destination, several business-minded people desire to explore greater opportunities to better their business, many students and professionals would want to learn greater deal in life.

The People’s Republic of China is one of the most traveled places in the globe. People come and go in China, fulfilling their objectives. Before that, they have to complete essential procedures to be permitted to enter the country. One significant process to undertake is the Chinese Visa Application. Knowing what Visa Type to apply for is the foremost thing to do as a Chinese Tourist.

Before we realize our ultimate goal of visiting China, we’ll get to know more about the various Chinese Visa Types. Moreover, there are three fundamental requirements in applying for the Chinese Visa. The following are:

1. Valid Passport

– The passport should consist of at least 2 unused pages designated for the Visa.

– It should be at least 6 months valid.

– Photocopy of Passport’s Profile page

– If the applicant is a previous passport holder, submit along with the previous passport. In case Visa applicant lost one’s passport, or is a new passport holder, clearly state it on the application form

2. Recent Photo

  • Submit 2 latest passport-sized photos at least within the last 6 months.
  • One photo should be affixed to the online application form.

3. Chinese Visa Application Form

  • Fill out the form completely. Provide sincere answers on the blank.
  • Answer all the questions in typewritten form, capitalized letters. Handwritten answers are strictly unacceptable.
  • Put N/A for non-applicable questions instead of leaving it blank.
  • For minor applicants, the application form shall be signed by parents.

Note: For first-time Chinese visa applicants, you are likely requested to include additional document to show one’s financial subsistence; professional/student’s identification card, Bank certificates, employment certificate/business certificate and the like;

CHINESE VISA TYPES

  1. TOURIST VISA (L)

For foreign travelers aiming to visit China for tourism purposes, one has to apply for a Chinese tourist visa. Unless one is entitled to China-visa free, the tourist has to undergo the process of Tourist Visa application. When considering traveling in China, the typical question one asks is how to get a Chinese tourist visa?

When traveling as a tourist in China, you may opt to travel with a tour group or independently. Is there any difference between these two? What are its advantages? You can benefit from traveling under travel agency, as they can provide a Chinese Invitation letter, a significant document for applying for a Chinese Visa. There is likely a bigger chance to be approved of your Visa application when you are under a travel agency. Thus, some tourists apply for Chinese Visa through a travel agency.

Traveling to China individually is neither a bad option. You can enjoy one’s company and have a space to breathe as you enjoy the beautiful view of its territory. Worrying about rejection because you are not connected with a tour group? That’s a misconception. The presence of Visa Service provides a perfect solution to your Visa worries. It is a Visa support agency to help you achieve your dream of traveling to China.

Requirements to be submitted for the Chinese Tourist Visa application:

  1. Hotel booking confirmation
  2. Round trip air tickets
  3. Daily Itinerary

4.    Invitation letter

   –  Photocopy of the identification card of the Chinese inviter.

   –  Passport

   –  Chinese residential permit

Note: The Chinese Visa office normally grants eligible Chinese tourist Visa applicants with 90 or 180 visa-validity. This implies one must enter the People’s Republic of China not exceeding the given period. Visiting China beyond 90 or 180 days from the issuance of the Visa considers it as forfeited.

  • STUDENT VISA (X)

Various students want to experience how learning like is in China. Their major goal for applying this visa is to further one’s studies. China is one of the best choices to study, aside from realizing the main objective; the student can as well explore the wonders of the country. This type of Chinese Visa is issued to foreign students who desire to study in the Peoples Republic of China.

The Student Visa is classified into two based on the period of validity and the number of entries permitted:

The X1 Visa is released to students who’ll study in China for longer than 180 days.

Whereas, the X2 Visa is provided to students who’ll study in China shorter than 180 days.

These visas have 90-day validity. However, the X1 Student Visa holder can finalize one’s duration stay upon arrival in China.

Requirements to be submitted for the Chinese Student Visa application:

1. X1 (original and photocopy of a form of Visa Application study in China JW201 or JW202)

2. X2 (original and photocopy of Notice of Admission from China.)


Note: To make the foreign student’s process much easier, one should research a registered school that can provide courses to international students. Accredited schools can provide JW201 and JW202 and an admission letter.

  • COMMERCIAL BUSINESS VISA (M)

Business people project in widening the scope of their business and increasing their profit. China is known as the fastest-growing economy in the world, no doubt, it is the first choice of several business-minded people. The Chinese Visa Type is intended for foreign Visa applicants who want to do commercial and trade activities in the People’s Republic of China.


For US passport holders, they can be entitled to a 10 year-validity with multiple entries, a 60 day-stay per entry in the mainland of China.

For non-US passport holders, they are entitled to a 3 to 6 months maximum validity with single or double entry, a 60 day-stay in China per entry.

Requirements to be submitted for the Chinese Business Visa Application:

1. Letter of Invitation provided by the business partner.

Note: Visa applicants such as sports players, technical support, or business representative, who will work in China temporarily for 3-months, shall apply for Work Visa.

4. WORK VISA (Z)

China is a haven for many industries and establishments, as it has set the best example in the world as one of the most productive nations. Several foreign nationals desire to be working in the mainland of China. 

A foreign individual who hopes to see oneself working in China has to process a Chinese Work Visa. It is issued to foreign nationals who have obtained a work permit and have the intention of working in the People’s Republic of China. The Chinese Embassy requires a Certificate of Employment and Work Permit as a significant Chinese Visa Document to acquire the Chinese Work Visa.


Foreign nationals with Work Visa have single entry-Visa and the period of stay will be determined upon arrival in China. Once the Chinese Work Visa is released, the Visa-holder should enter China within the 90 days, and must register within 30 days at the local police bureau. When the Visa is registered successfully, the bureau will replace the on-hand Work Visa with Chinese Residence Permit. This entitles the Work- Visa holder to have multiple-entry in one year.

Requirements to be submitted for the Chinese Work Visa Application:

1. Original and photocopy of permit of employment

2. Foreign expert permit

3. Confirmation letter or photocopy of Aliens Work Permit

4. Registration of the residential certificate

5. Supporting document of approval of the commercial performance

Note: For foreign entertainers or performers who will conduct activities in mainland China not more than 3 months will have to comply and submit an original and photocopy of Approval of short-term employment. This is applicable to other short-term foreign workers in the People’s Republic of China.

5. PRIVATE VISIT VISA (S)

A member of a family may have to be away from the home country for some time to intend to work or to advance one’s education or to promote the business in China. Either way, it makes the family misses each other. Moreover, China has developed its technology in the medical field. Several people consider visiting China to find the best treatment for one’s illness. Whatever private affairs you have, you need to process the Chinese Private Visa application to be able to visit the mainland. This Chinese type of Visa is obtained by foreign applicants who hope to visit their non-native families in China.

The Private Visit Visa is categorized into two:

S1 – Visa-holders are entitled to stay in the mainland of China longer than 180 days. Once the applicant receives the S1 Visa, the period indicated on the Visa is 000. It is yet to be determined upon registration and application of temporary Residential Permit. The registration process of Visa can be done upon arrival or within a 30-day stay in China.

S2 – Visa-holders are allowed to stay in China not exceeding 180 days.

Requirements to be submitted for the Chinese Private Visit Visa Application:

1. Letter of Invitation from relatives in China

2. Photocopy of inviters passport

3. Residential permit for foreigners

4. Photocopy of any documents that will prove the relationship of invitee and inviter

5. Documents to support one’s reason for visiting China

Note: The letter of invitation must contain the following important information of the applicant: full name, gender, birth date, information about the planned visit, entry and exit dates, travel itinerary, the relationship of invitee and inviter, the source for travel expenses, and similar basic information of the invitee.

6. TRANSIT VISA (G)

China’s geographical location is central to another destination. When traveling to other countries, in transit to China, via plane, ship or train, the tourist may have to apply for a Transit Visa.

However, some countries are permitted by China to transit Visa-free, with certain restrictions and limitations. It’s advisable to know this fact before you take the course to your final destination.

One day Transit Visa-free

For tourists traveling via ship, plane, or train to their respective destination from China in transit less than 24 hours do not need to apply for a Transit Visa. This 24-hour Visa-free Transit policy of China to other destinations is likely applicable to all foreign individuals. If the tourist decides to stay longer than the expected 24-hour stay, one has to apply at the Immigration Office for a short-term stay in the mainland.

Three-day Transit Visa-free

Foreign passport holders of 53 countries are entitled to a 72 transit-visa free in China. Specific locations are covered by this visa-free transit including Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Shenyang, Harbin, Dalian, Xi’an, Kunming, Hangzhou, Tianjin, Wuhan, Qingdao

Six-day Transit Visa-free

Passport holders of 53 countries are permitted to transit in Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Tianjin, Shanghai, Beijing, Liaoning and Hebei.

The Transit-Visa holder is allowed to stay in the mainland of China for 7 to 10 days with 3-month maximum Visa-validity.

Requirements to be submitted for the Chinese Transit Visa Application

1. Supporting document in a form of air, train and ship tickets for transit to the final destination via China.

Note: There isn’t much big difference with Transit Visa and Tourist Visa fee, considering how much Chinese tourist visa costs, one might consider applying for Tourist Visa instead, as you can stay longer and experience the Chinese culture even more.

7. FAMILY REUNION VISA (Q)

It’s a pleasurable feeling to visit your loved ones in China. Apart from meeting them in person, you’ll get to experience the majestic beauty of its territory. What sets Family Reunion Visa different from Private Visa is that this type of Visa is applied to legal Chinese resident and naturalized citizen of China. The latter is an alien who permanently resides in the People’s Republic of China. Both Chinese and naturalized residents can issue a Family Reunion Invitation letter to their loved ones abroad.

The Family Reunion Visa is classified into two:

Q1 – this type of Visa is issued to foreign individuals who are eligible to stay more than 180 days in China. Immediate families of the legal residents and naturalized citizens are entitled to this privilege.

Q2 – this type of Visa is issued to foreign individuals who’ll stay in mainland of China less than 180 days. Relatives and immediate families can enjoy the benefit of Q2-Visa.

Once the tourist has been issued with Q1 Visa, one is entitled to apply for a Residential Permit within 30 days or upon arrival in China through a local police bureau. During the application process of residence permit, the visa-holder can determine and nominate the period of stay in the People’s Republic of China.

Requirements to be submitted for the Chinese Family Reunion Visa Application

1. Letter of Invitation from the relatives in the People’s Republic of China

2. Photocopy of inviter’s identification card / Chinese Permanent Residential Permit

3. Original and photocopy of documents that will show proof of relationship

Note: For Q2 Chinese visa applicant, may not need to submit proof of relationship document.

8. NON-COMMERCIAL VISIT (F)

Foreign nationals who are invited to speak before a sponsored event, conduct scientific research, tasked to do some lecture in a forum or an institute, or to be a cultural exchange student or for educational tours are obliged to apply for a Chinese Non-commercial Visa.

Typically, the Non-commercial visa holder is entitled to stay in China up to 30 days upon arrival however the applicant can request to stay longer. One must state his intention to stay beyond the usual 30 days during the application process.
Note: It is upon the discretion of the Chinese Consulate to approve the applicant’s request or not.

Requirements to be submitted for the Chinese Non-commercial Visa Application

1. Letter of Invitation provided by Chinese individual or relevant Chinese organization.

Note: For foreign individuals who intend to do commercial activities should apply for Visa Z.

9. JOURNALIST VISA

Media related occupation is very demanding. As scoop can likely happen anytime and anywhere, journalists have to present the news to the public promptly. In the Republic of China, they have to comply with the requirements to successfully enter and deliver their job well.

The Journalist Visa is classified into two:

J1 – The visa holder of this type has the status of a resident journalist. One who holds this type of Visa must be an international correspondent in China. Once the Visa is approved, the initial period of validity is good for 30 days. However, upon arrival in China, the media organization or the foreign journalist has to apply a Temporary Residence permit which enables him to stay up to 5 years.

J2 – Journalists who hold this type of Visa is entitled to a limited period of stay in China.

Requirements to be submitted for the Chinese Journalist Visa Application:

   J1 and J2

       – Confirmation of Visa provided by the Information Department of the Chinese Foreign Ministry or other significant Chinese organizations.

        – Foreign Applicants Employer’s official letters

Note: Journalist Visa requires additional documents and processes, such as getting permits when bringing in film equipment in the Republic of China. Check the website of the Chinese embassy to see the sample of the Chinese visa application.

10. TALENT VISA (R)

The Republic of China requires talents to comply with all the necessary documents to be able to enter and conduct activities in the territory. Highly-sought after talents who need to stay and work in China have to adhere to submit a Certificate of Employment and a Work Permit. Talent Visa-holders are usually granted with 5 to a longer period of 10-year Chinese visa, alongside with their family members who are Private Visa-holders.

Requirements to be submitted for the Chinese Talent Visa Application

1. Visa Confirmation of significant organization in China

11. CREW VISA (C)

Foreign professional workers who are employed on a transportation service hold a Crew status. Aviation officers, marine workers, train staff, vehicle drivers who conduct trans-border transportation services have to obtain a Chinese Crew Visa.

Only U.S. Citizens are entitled to 5 year-Visa validity with multiple-entry.

Requirements to be submitted for the Chinese Crew Visa Application

1. Letter of Guarantee from foreign airline management and shipping agencies

2.  Letter of Invitation provided by the significant Chinese organization

Note: Visit the Chinese embassy website and check the Chinese Visa Application form sample.

RESIDENT VISA (D)

Foreign work visa holders are entitled to work under an employer in China. Student visa holders are permitted to advance their studies in Chinese schools and educational institutions. Journalist S2 visa holder has an international correspondent status in the mainland of China and has to stay and work in the territory. These visa-holders have the privilege to a Temporary Residence Visa or Permit, as the nature of their work and stay entitles them so.

Upon the release of the specific visas, they are initially allowed 30-day visa validity however they are required to process their application of temporary residence visas at the local police bureau to where their residence is situated

It’s is advisable to process the application outright when arriving in China. Visit the local police office bureau to process the temporary residence application. The local police officer is responsible for releasing the residence registration which is given after a short interview. Along with this, the applicant must undergo a medical examination as part of the requirement in obtaining Residence Permit.


Requirements to be submitted for the Chinese Residence Visa

1. Result of the medical examination

2. Residence Registration

3. Student or Employment document

4. Processing fee

Note: Foreign nationals who possess Chinese Residence Visa can re-enter China unlimitedly until the Chinese Visa’s expiration.

We have highlighted on this page the Chinese Visa types and its requirements to help you clearly define what Visa type should you apply for on your trip to China. The soonest you finalized your intention to visit China, feel free to drop by at our site at www.getachinesevisa.com and we’ll be happy to assist you with your Chinese Visa needs.

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