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FAQ about Chinese Visa Application

 Do I need a Chinese visa?
 Foreigners are generally required to apply for a China visa before departure, but some needn't if they enjoy visa exemption or visa-free transit policies, for example, passport holders from 53 countries enjoy the 72-hour visa-free transit and 144-hour visa-free transit in major Chinese cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. For more detailed information, you can see the Chinese Visa Exemption.  
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 Can I apply for a visa on arrival at entry ports?
 In Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Xiamen, Shantou, and Hainan, passport holders of most countries can get the visa on arrival. It is difficult to get one in other cities, unless you are in real urgent situations.
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 When is the best time to apply for a visa?
 Please apply only 1 or 2 months (at least 2 weeks) before your planned date for visit. If you apply for it too late, you may not have enough time for the application. If you apply for it too early, it may become invalid before your departure.
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 How long does a China visa last?
 Generally, the validity of a single-entry visa is 3 months, counted from the date of issue.
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 Where can I submit my application?
 Aliens should apply from the Chinese embassy, consulate, or Chinese Visa Application Service Center (CVASC) which is in charge of their residence area. For example, if you live in Colorado, you should submit application to the Chinese Consulate in Chicago.

Applicants who reside or travel outside their home country can apply at a local Chinese embassy, consulate, or CVASC.
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 Do I need to make an appointment to submit application?
 It depends. Almost all Chinese embassies and consulates don't ask applicants to make an appointment. Most CVASCs offer visa application appointment service, but it’s not compulsory. US citizens don’t need to do so while UK citizens must book an appointment before going to the CVASC. Canadian and Australian citizens can choose to make appointment or not at the official website of CVASC in their countries. Please check with the embassy, consulate or CVASC in your residence area before you go there.
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 Can I send application by mail?
 Few Chinese embassies and consulates accept visa application by post. However, if you apply from the CVASC, it's possible to use the postal application service. You should visit the official website of Chinese embassy, consulate or CVASC to check whether it accepts application by mail or not. See more at China Visa Mail Service.
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 Can I apply for China visa online? 
  No, you can't.
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 Can I entrust someone else to submit my application and pick it up on my behalf if I can't go there in person?
 Yes, the application can be presented by someone else, such as your friends, relatives, or a travel agency, but the application form should be completed and signed by yourself. Someone else can pick up it on your behalf as long as he can show the "Pick-up Form".  
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 What documents are needed for Chinese visa application?
 Basic requirements are your original passport with at least 6 months validity and two blank pages, one legibly, completely and honestly filled Application Form, one recent passport photo affixed on the application form. You also should submit additional documents for different categories. For more information, please refer to China Visa Application Requirements.
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 Where can I get China Visa Application Form?
 The easiest way is to download it from internet, but the form is in PDF, you should have installed the software of Adobe Reader. Click to download China Visa Application Form.
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 Do I have to submit my actual passport for application? Can I submit the copy of my passport because I need my passport every day?
 Yes, you must offer your original passport because the visa should be stamped on the blank page of your passport. If you need your passport every day, you can apply for 1 working day service and pick up your passport on the day of submission.
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 Hong long does it take to get a visa to go to China?
 Generally speaking, it takes 4 working days. 1 working day service and 2-3 working days service are available, but you need to pay extra money for the service.
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 How much is a visa for China?
 The visa fees vary greatly according to your nationality, the number of entries, the country you are applying in and whether you need an express service or not. Generally speaking, the fees are more expensive if you want more entries. However, the fees are the same for American citizens no matter what number of entries they apply for. See China Visa Fees.
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 What are Entries, Enter Before, and Duration of Each Stay on a visa?
 The number of entries on a visa indicates the times that you can enter mainland China during its validity. The visa becomes void if it goes beyond the date of ENTER BEFORE even if there are some ENTRIES left. ENTRIES vary from single, double and multiple. A single entry is printed as 01(壹), while double as 02(贰), and multiple as M(多).

ENTER BEFORE means the last date for the holder to use it to enter mainland PRC. You must enter before 24:00 on this date. A visa comes into effect since the date of issuance, which is the starting day that the holder can use it to enter mainland PRC.

Duration of Each Stay after Entry means the maximum number of days the applicants are permitted to stay in China. Duration of Each Stay is counted from the date of entry.
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 Can UK, US, Australian, and Canadian citizens go to China without a visa?
 UK, US, Australian, and Canadian citizens need a visa for China unless they are covered by the visa exemption policies.
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 How long can I stay in China on a tourist visa?
 It depends on the duration of stay shown on your visa. Generally speaking, the duration of stay of a tourist visa is one month. However, it can be longer determined by your travel itinerary and the consular officers.
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 Can I apply for an extended stay when I'm in China?
 Aliens who are already in China holding a valid visa can apply for an extended stay at a local Public Security Bureau of county level or above. You can read China Visa Renewal and Extension to get more useful information.
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 Do I need a visa to Hong Kong and Macau?
 About 170 countries or regions don't need it for Hong Kong. You can read the List of Visa-free Countries to Hong Kong to check whether you need it or not. Passport holders from 65 countries enjoy free access to Macau for a certain period; other aliens can apply when they arrive in Macau, please refer to the List of Visa-free Countries to Macau.

- Last modified on Dec. 22, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on FAQ of Chinese Visa Application
Asked by Corinne from CANADA | Jan. 31, 2020 14:16Reply
From Canada
Hi,
I am on a cruise originating from Tokyo and ending in Hong Kong. Itinerary - Tokyo, Shimizu, Kobe, Osaka, Nagasaki, Shanghai (overnight), Okinawa, Keelung and finally Hong Kong. Will I need a visa for China?
Asked by Sarah from UNITED KINGDOM | Jan. 27, 2020 16:25Reply
Travel dates may change.
I have booked to travel round China in April and have been filling in my visa application, with the various desrination dates. At the moment, due to the health epidemic getting worse, my trip may be postponed. Is there any point in submitting my form with the dates on, as I wondered if I do, will I still be able to travel with it if my dates change by two or three months?
Asked by Valerie Cope | Jan. 23, 2020 09:35Reply
Visa for Shanghai, Beijing, Dalian.
On a cruise commencing in Hong Kong. Visiting above ports for max 72 hours. Returning each night to the ship. Hope to take a tour in each port. Do I require a visa ?these tours will probably be organised by the cruise company.
Asked by Annemarie from THE NETHERLANDS | Jan. 22, 2020 07:20Reply
15 day visa free option, how to proceed further after booking a tour?
Following the reply of Zupan dated Nov 9, we meanwhile booked a tour in Shanghai upon arrival of ms Westerdam, but how do we know that we are "approved" by the Shanghai Port Authorities as a tourgroup of two and do we get some proof? We already gave passport data etc. to your colleague Yori Yuan.
I read in yr comments that Travel China Guide will do the paperwork.
Asked by KEITHM | Jan. 21, 2020 10:30Reply
What type of visa do we require
I have now added another country to our holiday in September.

We are flying from Singapore to Shanghai, staying 1 night in a hotel, before boarding a Cruise for 7 nights around Japan. On return to Shanghi we spend 1 night in hotel before catching a flight to Bali via Kuala Lumpar. Please could tell me what type of visa is required.

Thank you for your previous reply. It is greatly appreciated.
Answers (1)
Answered by Jenny from USA | Jan. 31, 2020 18:36
00Reply


Keithm, if your route is Singapore - Shanghai - Japan - Shanghai - Kuala Lumpur - Bali and you don't have other layovers enroute, you will be eligible for the visa-free transit in Shanghai for both times.
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