The complexity of application form and requirements can be daunting. However, careful study and attention to detail will ensure that you will have everything in order when you arrive.
Types of Visas: The Chinese visa for tourists is called an L Visa. This visa is for sightseeing and visits with family. It is limited to a 30 day stay in China. If you want to go to an area of China that is not open to tourists you must apply for a Foreign Travel Permit once you arrive. Business visas require an invitation letter from a Chinese organization, governmental department or Chinese business. Business visas are generally granted for 90 days. A travel visa must be approved by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is usually granted to someone who has been invited by a state organization or government agency. Travel visas are valid for six to 12 months.
Passports: Anyone wishing to enter China must have a valid passport with a Chinese visa inside. Passports should have six months time minimum before they are due to expire. Passports for individuals who are studying in China must have 12 months left before their passports expire. All passports must have at least one blank visa page inside.
Forms: Visa applications may be downloaded. You must also have a Declaration form filled out and accepted before a visa will be approved. Both the visa form and declaration form are available online for downloading. Do not sign or date these forms as your signature must be authenticated.
Where to Apply: China does not allow anyone to apply for a visa by mail or online. If you can not go to apply in person, a family member or a travel-agent expediter has to apply in person with an employee of the Chinese Embassy or Chinese Consulate. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Photos: China requires two identical photographs of your shoulders and head to be submitted with your visa application. These photos must be recent but can be black and white or color photos. These photographs must be two by two inches.
Fees: Single, double or multiple visit visas cost $130.00 dollars. The cost is the same for six or 12 month visas. These fees must be paid in cash, with a money order or a bank draft. Credit cards and personal checks are not accepted.
What to Bring: Before you go to your appointment be sure that you have all of the requested documents with you. You will need your passport, and two identical two inch by two inch photographs. The visa application form must be filled out prior to your appointment. You will need to have proof of your round trip travel tickets and motel reservations. You will need to provide a pre-paid return package or envelope. Chinese officials suggest that you use FedEx, UPS or Express Mail. You will also need a cover letter requesting a visa, include the documents that will be in the envelope, and your as name, complete address, and telephone number. If you use a cellular phone include that number as well.
Expedition: China does not have expedited processing available for individuals. In larger cities, travel-agent expeditors can help get visas quicker. There is a fee for their service. These fees range from $40 to $170 dollars.
The time-consuming process of completing a application form may seem difficult; however, the trip of a life time is well worth the effort.
Visit often to learn more information from our updated China Visa Application Form.