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China Travel Visa and Regulations

Chinese Visa Requirements

To enter the People’s Republic of China, a U.S. citizen must have a valid U.S. passport and Chinese visa.

For information about entry requirements and restricted areas, travelers may consult the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). (See addresses list at the bottom.) Visas are required to transit China, even if one is only changing flights at an airport. Persons transiting China on the way to and from Mongolia or North Korea or who plan to re-enter from the Hong Kong or Macau Special Administrative Regions should be sure to obtain visas allowing multiple entries. Permits are required to visit Tibet as well as many remote areas not normally open to foreigners.

Americans who plan to work in China must obtain a work visa before they begin working. There have recently been a number of cases where Americans who entered on a tourist visa were found to be working without the required visa and consequently asked to depart China after paying a fine. In some cases, employers have asked the Americans to begin working while promising to obtain the work visa. However, according to the Public Security Bureau, applying for a change of visa while already working is considered a violation of the law.


Chinese Visa Application Process

Procedures, fees for Visas can vary from one country to another. Details can be obtained from the web site of the Chinese Embassy or consulate in your country. Below are the general requirements for applying a Chinese Visa:
  • A completed Visa Application form. Forms are available in your local Chinese Embassy or Consulate, or can be downloaded from the official website of the Chinese Embassy in your country.
  • Two 2" X 2" passport photos.
  • Valid Passport. Passport should be valid for a minimum of six months from the date of travel and enough blank visa pages.
  • Documents supporting one’s purpose to enter China.
For more detail on applying chinese visa, please check the Chinese Embassies' website.


Reference - Chinese Visa Types

Tourist Visa (L) :
Issued to those foreigners who come to China for sightseeing, family visiting or other private purposes.
Business Visa (F):
Issued to those foreigners who are invited to China for visit, research, lecture, business, scientific-technological and cultural exchanges or short-term advanced studies or intern practice for a period of no more than six months.
Work Visa (Z):
Issued to those foreigners who come for a post or employment in China, and their accompanying family members.
Student Visa (X):
Issued to those who come to China for study or internship for a period of more than six months.
Transit Visa (G):
Issued to those foreigners who transit through China.
Journalist Visa (J-1):
Issued to those foreigners who are posted to China for at least one year.
Journalist Visa (J-2):
Issued to those foreign correspondents on temporary reporting tasks.
Residence Visa (D):
Issued to those foreigners who comes to reside in China permanently.
Crewmember Visa (C):
Issued to those crewmembers to perform duties on international train, airline or other vessel and their accompanying family members.


Some material from this page is based on source from U.S. State Department

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