Visitors to The Peoples Republic of China must meet China visa requirements in order to gain entry to this country. Both a current passport and a visa must be presented to go into and out of China. If you're an American citizen who arrives in China without these documents, you may be fined and deported immediately at your own expense. Take the time to understand all that's required to obtain a Chinese visa so as to avoid any unnecessary delays in your visit.
There are several types of Chinese visas. Diplomatic, Courtesy, Regular or Official visas can be issues depending on the type of and reason for entry into China. Visitors can obtain a Chinese visa by visiting their local Chinese Embassy or Consulate to begin the Chinese visa application process.
Visitors who are coming to China as tourists will require a type L visa. This type of visa authorizes individuals to sightsee, visit family or friends in China or handle other personal issues. As China opens its doors to foreign tourism, this type of visa is becoming the most commonly requested document.
Requesting a tourist visa requires a valid passport which will not expire within the next 6 months, as well as having a blank page available within the passport book. The visa application form must be completed and include 1 passport-type photograph which must be of size 2x2 inches in either black and white or color.
Depending on your citizenship and place of birth, you may apply for a single entry or a multiple-entry visa. Single entry visas are good for up to 6 months. Typical multiple entry visas last 12 months. The longest type of multiple-entry visa is 24 months, which is reserved for Chinese-Americans who were born in China.
Your application form must be submitted to the Visa Office at either the Embassy or Consulate General in your current location. You must present this form in person as mailed applications will be rejected.
Fees for a China visa vary depending on your nationality. American applicants will pay a fee of $130. Citizens of other countries will pay from $30.00 to $90.00 depending on the type of visa being requested.
The time to process your visa application is usually 4 working days but be prepared for it to take longer if there is a backlog. Express service is also available for an additional price. The most prudent thing is to submit for your visa well in advance of the day you plan to travel to accommodate unexpected delays.
To find out more detail on requirements, be sure to visit the web site of The Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States of America. This page is full of specific information and discusses other situations which may apply to you.
Visit often to learn more information from our updated China Visa Requirements.