China Visa Application Requirements – How to Apply for a China Visa

China Visa Application Requirements

China Visa Application Requirements – If you’re planning on visiting this remarkable country, you’ll want to do your research and prepare for your trip. The most important piece of prep is undoubtedly the Chinese visa, and how you go about securing one. Luckily, there are many resources to guide you on how to get a visa for China.

China Visa Application Requirements

China is a vast, ethnically diverse country of many languages, peoples, and cultures making it an extraordinary place to travel, work, and explore.

To apply for a China visa, you need to complete an application form attached with your recently-taken color photo, prepare a valid passport, and submit them along with other supporting documents to the Chinese embassy or consulate which is in charge of your residence area.

Best time to apply for a China visa

The best time to apply for a China visa is one or two months before your departure date. Usually, a China visa is valid for only three months from the date of issue, which indicates that the earliest time you can apply is three months before your departure.

Renew and extend China visa

Usually, you cannot renew and extend your China visa once you are granted, but it can be done when you are in China at the local Exit and Entry Administration under the Public Security Bureau.

Apply for China visa in a third country

Sometimes you may need to get a China visa while you are en route or residing in a third country. Things may get different in such cases. Proof of legal stay in the country where you apply for a China visa is usually additionally needed unless you enjoy visa-free access to the third country.

Check the step-by-step guide on how to apply for a China visa below for details.

How to Apply for China Visa

1. Check whether you need a visa

An essential thing to do is to check whether you need a visa before starting the following process. As long as you are eligible for China’s visa-free policies, you don’t need the visa, but some documents like your passport, in and out transportation tickets and sometimes sufficient funds still need to be prepared for an immigration check.

2. Check which visa you need to get

Based on your travel purpose, determine which visa you are going to get. Read China Visa Types to select one which suits you most. For tourists, the L visa is suitable.

3. Prepare all documents needed

Documents required for all types of visas include a passport and visa application form attached with a recently-taken photo. Besides, other supporting documents are required, but they vary according to the visa type you are applying for. For instance, if you apply for a tourist L visa, the supporting documents will refer to round-trip tickets, hotel bookings, or an invitation letter from your China travel agency.

Be sure your documents meet the requirements of the Chinese embassy or consulate.
Passport: with remaining validity of at least 6 months; have blank visa pages.

Visa Application Form: truthfully completed; type-written with no blanks left.

Photo: taken within the latest six months; full face against a light background; size: 48mm x 33mm; bare-headed unless for religious causes.

4. Submit the application

Visit the Chinese embassy, consulate, or Chinese Visa Application Center (CVASC) which serves your residence area. You can show up in person or ask an agent to do this for you. In some consular offices and CVASCs, mail service is also available.

The normal processing time is four working days including the day you submit the application and the day you collect. Remember there might be additional non-working days for Chinese public holidays.

By paying an additional fee you can usually have your application processed faster. It is normally possible to have your application processed overnight, for collection in the following afternoon, though some offices might offer a same-day service if you arrive in the office soon after opening. In general, try to apply for it well in advance to allow for any delay.

5. Pay the fee and pick up your visa

Go to the place where you apply for a China visa on the date appointed on the pick-up slip. Pay the fee and you will get your passport back with a visa.

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China Visa Application Requirements

China Visa Application Requirements

You must provide your actual signed passport, including one copy of the personal information page of your passport.

Your passport must:

  • Be valid for six months beyond the length of your requested visa (for example, if you are requesting a 12-month visa your passport must be valid for 18 months )
  • Contain at least two blank visa pages for the visa stamp (amendments and endorsement pages cannot be used to fulfill this requirement)
  • If requesting multiple entries, the passport must contain at least two blank facing visa pages, there can be no stamps or amendment endorsement type on the pages
    Not be frayed, torn, separated, or altered in any other way
  • If your passport does not meet these requirements, please contact VisaCentral at 877-535-0688 for further details.
    Photographs
  • You must provide one color, passport-type photograph that meets the following criteria:
  • Be taken within the last six months, against an all-white background, and printed on high-quality photo paper
  • Be 48 mm tall by 33 mm wide exactly. Note many passport photo vendors provide standard photos that are 2 inches by 2 inches
  • Provide the full frontal view of your head with your face centered in the middle and displaying a neutral (non-smiling) expression, eyes open, ears visible
  • No background light or shadow over your face
    You may not wear eyeglasses, jewelry, or headwear except for religious purposes
  • You should not wear any garment identical to the photo background
  • Your photo should not be affixed to your application and it may not display evidence of adhesive tape or staples
    Letter of Invitation
  • You must provide a letter of invitation. Use the included template in this kit as a guide to the content and format of the invitation. All components of the template are required.

Business Cover Letter

You are required to provide a Business Cover Letter from your U.S.-based company. All letters must be printed on company letterhead that displays a U.S. mailing address. Use the included sample Business Cover Letter to complete your letter. In addition to the language provided in the sample, your Business Cover Letter must:
The letter must be addressed to the Embassy of China

Proof of State Residency

You must provide proof of your current address of residency. The document must either be a copy of the front of your driver’s license or government ID, or a utility bill.

The document must:

Display your name as it appears on your passport
Display the current residence address as provided on your visa application
Please note, that if you must submit a utility bill the consulate requires an electric, gas, or water bill; phone and cable bills are not accepted.

PU Letter

If you have secured your PU it must show the consulate applicable to your jurisdiction. If you are unsure about the PU or need VisaCentral to assist in obtaining this requirement please contact VisaCentral for further directions.

  • Visa Application Form

One fully completed and signed visa application form. The application must:

  • Be completed online

Include answers for all required fields (NA where not applicable)
List the name of the traveler exactly as it is written in the passport

Be printed single-sided

Be dated and signed in blue or black ink
Be enclosed with all other documents in your visa application kit

VisaCentral provides a guide to assist you in completing the application.

To access the guide follow this link: https://visacentral.com/forms?formname=China Application Guide.pdf or type the address into your browser.

  • Authorization Letter

You must provide a letter of authorization found in this kit, authorizing VisaCentral to submit and collect your visa application and documents on your behalf.
Former PRC Nationals or Individuals Born in Chinese Territories

If you are a former PRC passport holder or were born in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, or Macau:

  1. You must write your name in Chinese characters for question 1.2 on the visa application form
  2. You must provide a copy of your most recent China visa and a copy of the passport in which the visa was issued
  3. If you have never been issued a China visa you must submit your original China passport and a copy of your Green Card, and a copy of your Naturalization Certificate
  4. If you were adopted from China you must also include a copy of your adoption papers showing your adoptive parent’s name, name change, and photo with your parents (do not include the original papers). If applicable, include a copy of your naturalization certificate and U.S. birth certificate.
    Media Professionals and Religious Professionals
  5. If you are a religious professional, media professional, or employed by a media company, even if you are not traveling for business purposes, you must submit both a personal statement and a letter from your employer on company letterhead indicating that you are not traveling on company business and will not be performing any media or religious related work.

Previous Visas

If you have been granted a China visa in the past, you must provide a copy of the most recently issued China visa. If the visa is not located in your current passport, you must submit the original passport containing the previous China visa.

China Visa Validity

Applicants will be eligible for a 10-year visa provided that the traveler has at least one year of remaining validity on their U.S. Passport. If you have less than one year you will be granted a six-month visa to China.VisaCentral can help you renew your passport. Call 877-535-0688 for more information.

U.S. Citizens Born in Certain Countries

U.S. citizens born in Afghanistan, Cameroon, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Nigeria, Tunisia, Turkey, or Syria who are currently traveling to China with their American passports will need to make a personal appearance to apply for a visa to China. VisaCentral will be unable to assist you with your visa request.

Proof of Vaccine

You may provide your original CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Card showing full vaccination status or you may provide a notarized copy of the front and back of the Vaccination card.

Travel Record

You must provide a copy of the travel record form included in this kit. The form must:
Include all countries that you have visited
Be signed
Include entry/exit dates of each travel

NGO/Non-Profit Workers

If applying for a business visa, you must provide an employer letter and personal statement. Processing time varies on a case-by-case basis. If your employer is an NGO or nonprofit your application will require additional review by the China Visa Section.

Applicants with Criminal Record

Travelers with a criminal record will be required to appear in person at the consulate to provide biometrics.

Urgent Applications

If you have an urgent visa application that carries a tight deadline, VisaCentral can help you to save valuable time and avoid expensive delays. A VisaCentral expert will review all of your documents to certify your application is accurate, complete, and ready for submission. We will contact you personally to quickly handle any mistakes ensuring your application is submitted correctly. Visit https://visacentral.com/visa-pre-check-service to learn more about this service.

Additional Documents

You must complete a “Where You Stay” form included in this kit.

Tourist Application Requirements for a China Visa
  • Passport

You must provide your actual signed passport, including one copy of the personal information page of your passport.

Your passport must:

Be valid for six months beyond the length of your requested visa (for example, if you are requesting a 12-month visa your passport must be valid for 18 months )

Contain at least two blank visa pages for the visa stamp (amendments and endorsement pages cannot be used to fulfill this requirement)

If requesting multiple entries, the passport must contain at least two blank facing visa pages, there can be no stamps or amendment endorsement type on the pages

Not be frayed, torn, separated, or altered in any other way
If your passport does not meet these requirements, please contact VisaCentral at 877-535-0688 for further details.

  • Photographs

You must provide one color, passport-type photograph that meets the following criteria:

  • Be taken within the last six months, against an all-white background, and printed on high-quality photo paper
    Be 48 mm tall by 33 mm wide exactly. Note many passport photo vendors provide standard photos that are 2 inches by 2 inches
  • Provide the full frontal view of your head with your face centered in the middle and displaying a neutral (non-smiling) expression, eyes open, ears visible
  • No background light or shadow over your face
  • You may not wear eyeglasses, jewelry, or headwear except for religious purposes
  • You should not wear any garment identical to the photo background
  • Your photo should not be affixed to your application and it may not display evidence of adhesive tape or staples

Letter of Invitation

  • To fulfill the tourist visa invite requirement, you must select one of the following options:
    A copy of your round-trip airline ticket, or
    Itinerary and airline confirmation: A copy of your day-by-day cruise itinerary, or if on a tour, your tour itinerary. In addition, you must provide a copy of your confirmed airline reservations showing all segments of your flights from your state of residence in the U.S. to China and returning to the U.S. to your state of residence. Your itinerary and flight information must include your full name as it appears on your passport, or
  • A copy of an official letter of invitation from a governmental agency or individual sponsor.

If you obtain a letter of invitation from an individual sponsor in China, the invitation must include the following:

  • Your name, gender, date of birth
  • Purpose of applicant’s visit
  • Date of arrival and departure
  • Places to visit, specific names of cities required
  • Details of your flight itinerary and hotel reservation
  • State who will bear the cost of the applicant’s lodging while in China
  • Information on the sponsor: name of the unit, phone number, address, copy of sponsor’s passport or ID
  • Have the company or organizations seal/stamp
  • If your invitation is from a non-governmental sponsor your letter must include your job title/occupation, passport number with the issue, and expiration date. The relationship between the applicant and sponsor must also be stated. If the individual inviting you is in China on a work permit then you must provide a copy of the inviter’s residence permit
  • The invitation may be a copy, fax, or printout but the consular office may request the original.

Proof of State Residency

You must provide proof of your current address of residency. The document must either be a copy of the front of your driver’s license or government ID, or a utility bill.

The document must:

  • Display your name as it appears on your passport
  • Display the current residence address as provided on your visa application
  • Please note, that if you must submit a utility bill the consulate requires an electric, gas, or water bill; phone and cable bills are not accepted.
Visa Application Form
  • One fully completed and signed visa application form. The application must:
  • Be completed online
  • Include answers for all required fields (NA where not applicable)
  • List the name of the traveler exactly as it is written in the passport
  • Be printed single-sided
  • Be dated and signed in blue or black ink
  • Be enclosed with all other documents in your visa application kit
  • VisaCentral provides a guide to assist you in completing the application. To access the guide follow this link: https://visacentral.com/forms?formname=China Application Guide.pdf or type the address into your browser.

Travel Record

You must provide a copy of the travel record form included in this kit.

The form must:

  • Include all countries that you have visited in the last 28 days
  • Be signed
  • Include entry/exit dates of each travel

Health Declaration

Applicants must provide the Health Declaration Form which can be found within the VisaCentral Application kit.

Authorization Letter

You must provide a letter of authorization found in this kit, authorizing VisaCentral to submit and collect your visa application and documents on your behalf.
Former PRC Nationals or Individuals Born in Chinese Territories

If you are a former PRC passport holder or were born in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, or Macau:

  • You must write your name in Chinese characters for question 1.2 on the visa application form
  • You must provide a copy of your most recent China visa and a copy of the passport in which the visa was issued
  • If you have never been issued a China visa you must submit your original China passport and a copy of your Green Card, and a copy of your Naturalization Certificate
  • If you were adopted from China you must also include a copy of your adoption papers showing your adoptive parents’ names, name change, and photo with your parents (do not include the original papers). If applicable, include a copy of your naturalization certificate and U.S. birth certificate.

Applicants Under the Age of 18

All minors under the age of 18 traveling to China must:
Provide a copy of their birth certificate
Provide a copy of both parent’s passports or drivers’ licenses
Provide a copy of the parent’s proof of U.S. residency status (if not U.S. citizens)
Provide a notarized letter of consent from both parents (if the parents are not accompanying the minor on the trip) that states the child has permission to travel.

To access a sample consent letter, follow this link: https://visacentral.com/forms?formname=ParentalConsent.pdf or type the address into your browser

On Page 4 (Part 4) of the application, both parents must sign Part 4 and print the name of the minor

On Page 4 (Part 5) of the application, one parent’s information must be filled in and that parent must sign Part 5
Media Professionals and Religious Professionals

If you are a religious professional, media professional, or employed by a media company, even if you are not traveling for business purposes, you must submit both a personal statement and a letter from your employer on company letterhead indicating that you are not traveling on company business and will not be performing any media or religious related work.

Urgent Applications

If you have an urgent visa application that carries a tight deadline, VisaCentral can help you to save valuable time and avoid expensive delays. A VisaCentral expert will review all of your documents to certify your application is accurate, complete, and ready for submission. We will contact you personally to quickly handle any mistakes ensuring your application is submitted correctly.

Visit https://visacentral.com/visa-pre-check-service to learn more about this service.

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