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Introduction to Chinese Visa (Mainland)
2014/11/18
 

 

 In accordance with international law and practice, China is entitled to decide on whether or not to allow a foreign citizen to enter or exit from its territory, and whether to issue a visa, decline a visa application or to cancel an issued visa in accordance with its laws.

Chinese consular officials are entitled to decide on the type, number of entries, validity and duration of each stay of a visa to be issued based on Chinese laws and regulations. Visa officials reserve the right to decline a visa application or revoke an issued visa.

 1. A visa is required for a foreign citizen to visit China.

Foreign citizens must obtain a Chinese visa before entry into China, with the exception of visa-free entry based on relevant agreements with other countries or Chinese regulations.

 2. Visa Types

There are four types of Chinese visas: diplomatic visa, courtesy visa, service visa and ordinary visa. Ordinary visas are further divided into the following categories:

Major Purpose

of Visit

Visa Category

Description of Visa

Exchanges, visits, study tours and other activities

F

Issued to those who are invited to China for exchanges, visits, study tours and other activities.

Commerce & Trade

M

Issued to those who are invited to China for commercial and trade activities.

As a tourist

L

Issued to those who are going to travel to China for tourism.

Family reunion, foster care or visiting relatives with permanent residence in China

 

     Q1

Issued to those who are family members of Chinese citizens or of foreigners with Chinese permanent residence and intend to go to China for a long-term family reunion, or to those who intend to go to China for the purposes of foster care .The intended duration of stay in China is exceeding 180 days.

 

 

 

"Family members" refers to spouses, parents, sons, daughters, spouses of sons or daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandsons, granddaughters and parents-in-law. The intended duration of stay is exceeding 180 days.

Q2

Issued to those who intend to visit relatives who are Chinese citizens residing in China or foreigners with permanent residence in China; the intended duration of stay is limited to no more than 180 days.

Visiting relatives working or studying in China or other private affairs

S1

Issued to relatives of foreigners working or studying in China for the purpose of long-term visit, or to those who intend to visit China for other private reasons (intended duration of stay exceeding 180 days).

"Relatives" refer to spouses, parents, sons or daughters under the age of 18 years and parents-in-law.

S2

 

 

Issued to those wishing to visit family members that are foreigners working or studying in China, or to those who intend to go to China for other private reasons.  The intended duration of stay in China is limited to no more than 180 days.

 

"Family members" refers to spouses, parents, sons, daughters, spouses of sons or daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandsons, granddaughters and parents-in-law.

Employment

Z

Issued to those taking up a post or employment, or giving commercial performances, in China.

Commercial performances

Transit

G

Issued to those who are going to transit through China en route to a third country (or region).

 

 

 

 

As a crew member or a motor vehicle driver

C

 

 

 

 

Issued to foreign crew members of aircraft, trains and ships, motor vehicle drivers engaged in cross-border transport activities, and also to the accompanying family members of the above-mentioned ships' crew members.

As a student

X1

Issued to those intending to study in China for a period of more than 180 days.

X2

Issued to those intending to study in China for a period of no more than 180 days.

As an introduced talent

R

Issued to those who are high-level qualified talents or whose skills are urgently needed by China.

As a journalist

J1

Issued to resident foreign journalists/media staff of foreign news organizations stationed in China. The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days.

J2

Issued to foreign journalists/media staff on temporary news coverage missions.  The intended duration of stay in China is limited to no more than 180 days.

 Permanent Residence

D

Issued to those who are going to reside in China permanently.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Validity, Number of Entries and Duration of Each Stay of Chinese Visa

1) Visa Validity ("Enter Before") means that the visa is valid, or can be used for entry into China from the date of issue to the "Enter Before" date indicated on the visa (Beijing Time). If a visa has unused entries, the bearer can enter China before 24:00 (Beijing Time) on the expiration date.

2) "Entries" refers to the number of times the bearer is permitted to enter into the Mainland China during the validity of a visa.

A visa becomes invalid if there are no entries left, or if there are entries left but the visa validity expires. If a visa becomes invalid, its bearer must apply for a new visa before entering China. Traveling with an invalid visa to China will result in refusal of entry.

Please be noticed that if you come out from the Mainland of China to the Hong Kong SAR, and then go back to the Mainland, you should apply for a 2-entry visa for both the first and second entry.

3) "Duration of Each Stay" refers to the maximum number of days the visa bearer is permitted to stay in China each time, which is calculated from the date of entry into China.

A foreign citizen who overstays the end date of his/her authorized stay in China without going through extension formalities is subject to fines and other penalties for violation of law. If a visa bearer is to stay in China longer than the duration of stay allowed on the visa, approval must be obtained from local public security authorities above the county level before the duration of stay expires. Approval of an extension of stay may or may not be granted. Please check the website of the local public security authorities in China for more information. Chinese Embassies and Consulates overseas are not authorized to extend a visa.

A bearer of a D, Q1, J1, S1, X1 and Z visa must apply for a residence permit at the local public security authorities within 30 days of entry into China. Members of foreign diplomatic or consular missions in China must apply for a residence permit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or local foreign affairs offices within 30 days of entry into China.

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