China Visa FAQs

What kind of Chinese Visa do I need to travel to China?

Most travelers would only apply for a Tourist Visa L, which is issued for foreigners who come to China for sightseeing or visiting family members or friends. The Tourist L visa can be either a single or multiple entries one. To find out exactly what kind of visa is suitable for you, try the links at the bottom of this page.

What are the validity of a Chinese Visa and the duration of my China stay?

Different visas have different validity, varying from 3 months, 6 months, 12 months to 24 months. Most people would only apply for a single-entry or double-entry tourist visa (L), which is usually valid for 3 or 6 months from the date of issue. An L visa normally allows you to stay in China for a maximum of 30 days (counted from the next day after entry). If you plan to stay in China for more than 30 days, state clearly in the application form to get the approval of the visa officer when you submit your application.

How to apply for a Chinese Visa?

1. Locate the visa office of the nearest Chinese Embassy/ Consulate General in your resident country/city.

2. Go in person or entrust someone or a visa agent to drop off your application. Mail service is not available at most embassies and consulates of PRC. An interview might be requested.

3. After getting to the visa center, obtain a queen number and wait for your number to be called. After summiting your visa supplication with required documents, you will receive a pick-up form, which shows the information of your application and expected date for collection.


(1) Getting a China visa is possible in Hong Kong. Despite the visa office states that you should apply in your home country, the policy is not usually enforced for most nationalities. Check out how to get a China visa in Hong Kong.

(2) Though it is also possible to get a China visa in a third country while you're en route, it has become difficult these days. Some offices do not accept the applications from persons who do not resident in the country.

(3) In accordance with a 2014 China-U.S. visa arrangement, U.S. citizens may be eligible for 10-year multiple entry visas. The remaining validity of the U.S. passport must be over 12 months.

What are the requirements for applying for a Chinese Visa?

To apply for a China visa, you need to provide some basic documents including a valid passport, a completed Visa Application Form and one recent passport photo, as well as a few additional supporting documents for visa application.

What is the cost of applying for a Chinese Visa?

Visa cost varies according to your nationality, number of entries, and service options.

When can I obtain my Chinese Visa after application?

Normally it takes 4 business days. Fill out your application form completely, correctly and legibly to avoid unnecessary delay of processing. Additional fees are needed for quicker service.

What is the best time to apply for a visa?

The best time to submit your visa application is 1 or 2 months before your intended trip to China. If you apply too early, the visa may go expired when needed. If you apply too late, there might be not enough time to get it.

How about 72/144-hour visa-free transit policy

From 1st. January, 2013, foreigners from the 53 countries (issued on the 72-hour Visa-free Transit Policy List) holding the third country visas and confirmed onward air tickets can now apply for a 72-hour visa-free transit at the following cities under the 72 hours visa-free stay policy: Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Xian, Guilin, Chongqing, Shenyang, Dalian, Harbin, Kunming, Wuhan, Xiamen, Tianjin, Qingdao, and Changsha.

Since January 30th, 2016, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang have carried out a 144-hour Visa-free Transit Policy, aiming at boosting the number of inbound tourists in the Yangtze River Delta. Travelers can travel around these three places but are not allowed to visit other places in China during the layout period.

72/144-hour Visa-free Transit Policy is valid for passport holders from the following 53 countries:

Schengen Agreement Countries (24): Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

Other European Countries (15): Russia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia (FYROM), Albania, Belarus, Monaco

American Countries (6): the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile

Oceania Countries (2): Australia, New Zealand

Asian Countries (6): Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar

Application condition and tips for a free 72-hour transit visa:

1. Hold passports issued by the listed 53 countries.

2. Valid airline tickets with 72-hour validation and making transit through those 15 (Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Xian, Guilin, Chongqing, Shenyang, Dalian, Harbin, Kunming, Wuhan, Xiamen, Tianjin, Qingdao, and Changsha) International Airports in China to a third destination. And the 144-hour Visa-free Transit Policy is implemented in Shanghai's Pudong & Hongqiao Airport, Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal, Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal, all railway stations in Shanghai, as well as Nanjing Lukou Airport of Jiangsu and Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport of Zhejiang.

3. Only transit by air in one city in China in the one direction to a third country. e.g. New York - Beijing - Sydney. This measure does not apply to a passenger traveling from New York, USA, and stopping over at Beijing on his/her way to Los Angeles, USA.

4. Visitors are not allowed to leave these seven visa-free cities during the 72-hour visa-free period.

5. The 72/144 hours will be counted from 00: 00 am the day after your arrival, not from the time when the flight land at the airport. E.g. If you arrive at Beijing Capital International Airport at 11:00 am on Aug. 1, your 72 hours will be counted from 00:00 am on Aug. 2.

Check our visa-free tours

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