Important Things Should Know about China Visa
While planing a trip to China, the visa topic always comes first and seriously. Indeed, China Visa is an obligatory official permission all foreign travelers normally required to obtained for a China travel. To obtain a valid visa and enter China successfully, you need to do massive relevant researches, choose a right type of visa, make piles of paperwork meticulously, pay appreciate fees and submit application to Chinese Embassy or Consulate abroad. Once get it, you also need to enter adhering to related China’s laws and regulations.
China has carried out many visa-free policies for different situations of nationality, transportation of entry, place will visit, etc., to closer contact to the world and present diverse charm of China. Among all, the 144-Hour Transit in China Without Visa (TWOV) is most concerned and frequently used. Without pre-arrival application, qualified tourists could get “no-visa” entry and tour through fast procedures by a few documents , which is time, money and energy-saving.
Always Check China Visa Free Policy First
Why not take advantage of visa-free policy to visit China if you qualify? You should know there are cost effective way for travel to China.
At present, ordinary passport holders of Singapore, Brunei and Japan can visit China without visa for tour, business or visiting family and friends for no longer than 15 days.
International transit passengers may get (24-Hour & 144-Hour) Visa-Free Transit in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Xiamen, Hangzhou, Tianjin, and total 17 cities in mainland China. Or obtain 72-Hour Transit Visa Exemption and layover tour in Xian, Guilin, Chongqing, Harbin, Changsha and so on.
Tourists from appointed 59 countries can enter and stay in Hainan visa free for 30 days at most.
Besides, there are other visa exemption rules implemented in China. Strongly suggested to read our China Visa Free Policy or contact us to figure out if you can travel to China without applying and pay for a visa.
Apply for a China Visa by Yourself or via a Visa Agent?
It’s difficult to say getting a China Visa is easy or not. People may give different opinions based on individual situations.
If you have time and energy, or have experience in obtaining a visa before, we suggest you apply on your own. Because it will save you money and give useful experience for future visa application cases. It’s always right to Learn to rely on yourself.
Those who don’t fully understand China Visa application procedures, or have a tight schedule, better seek help from procession visa agent. They will do major fussy paperwork for you. The biggest issue is you have to pay extra service fee to the agent, apart from the China Visa application fee.
Beware that, it’s fine to make submission and pick up in person or entrust another person, agent to do it on behalf of you.
Best Time to Apply for a Visa for China
Normally, it takes about 4 to 5 working days. Some citizens can also use expedited services (Express or Rush Service) to speed up the visa processing time to 1-2 working days. Therefore, we advise you to apply for a China Visa one month prior to your proposed travel date (to China).
Before application, please check office hours and holiday schedule of Chinese Embassy/Consulate or China Visa Application Service Center (CVASC), leave enough time for preparation and avoid busy period before & after holidays.
Tips: Chinese Embassy or Consulate may request applicants to provide other documents or supplementary materials, which may takes longer time.
Invitation Letter for China Visa
An invitation letter is required for China Visa Application, if you’re invited to visit China for tour, study and other purposes.
Default fax, photocopy or printout of the invitation letter all are valid. But, the consular officer has the right to require applicant providing the original. To ensure authenticity and avert sending materials again, it’s highly suggested to submit the original invitation letter at the first time application.
Physical Examination Report is Required or Not?
Currently, for regular China Visa application, such as a China Tourist Visa - L Visa, a physical examination report is not required.
However, applicants may required to submit medical examination report for applying China Student Visa and China Work Visa in some countries, including in Rwanda, etc.
Thus, check from the official Embassy/Consulate website first to find out if you need one, and how to get from the appointed hospital in your country.
Make an Appointment in Advance?
If you apply China Visa via China Visa Application Service Center (CVASC) in UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and all 40 countries or regions, you must use the application form number to make a online appointment beforehand. Otherwise, your application will not be accepted by the center.
Some Chinese Embassy/Consulate also require advanced appointment to save time and ensure each application proceeding in order.
You can submit directly to Chinese Embassy or Consulate in US during office hours. No appointment is needed. A few embassy will accept walking-in submission.
The best idea is to confirm to the Chinese Embassy/Consulate where you will submit to.
Apply for a China Visa by Post?
So far, a postal China Visa application in only accepted in Australia, where applicants can mail application materials to China Visa Application Service Center (CVASC) and get things back by postal as well. Thus, Express and Rush Services are not available. And the postal application takes around 10 working days.
Most China Visa Application Service Centers has optional postal-return service for applicants. Extra express fees will be charged.
Some Chinese Embassies/Consulates abroad may offer mail-back service for convenience. It’s suggested to check from the authority.
Get an Express Visa for China - Get a Visa to China Quickly
A regular China Visa application takes around 4 to 5 working days for being processed. However, if you need to get a visa to travel to China urgently, you may pay for Express or Rush Service when submitting to Chinese Embassy or Consulate. Generally, the expedited service cuts down visa processing time to 1 to 2 working days.
1. Not all Chinese Embassies/Consulates offer Express or Rush Service, better check with official first if you are in need.
2. There are special submission and collection hours, pay attention to it.
3. Chinese Embassy/Consulate has the right to request supplementary documents. That may cause longer processing time even though you’ve paid for expedited service.
Alteration of Types & Validity of China Visa
Before arrival in China
If your trip plan changes, or the validity is given not enough as expected, after receiving a China Visa, it’s doable to reapply a China Visa with same procedures and payment. But, you have to request the obtained visa voided by the visa office. Visa fees won’t be refunded and a second application needs to pay again.
After entry in China
Once your purpose of stay has been changed, or visa will expire soon, you may apply for China Visa Renewal and Extension at the Exit & Entry Administration Department of local Public Security Bureau (PSB). The application shall be done at least 7 days before the expiration date.
For example: change Tourist “L” Visa to “F” Visa for short-term study tour, exchange; foreign students change “L/F” Visa to Student “X1/X2” Visa.
China Visa Refusal - Find Possible Reasons
Accident sometimes happens. Though submitting all required documents, some people may get China Visa rejected, even for no specific reason. You must understand the denial always having causes. Would that affect later application? Can I apply as soon as possible? Any advice for another submission? The first and most step is to calm down and figure the situation.
Below are some possibility of the refusal you can take a reference:
1. Issues of Application Materials:
Passport: check whether passport has a validity of at least 6 months left, or have at least 2 blank visa pages, or stamped refusal once, or has been damaged;
Application Form: check if all answers have been filled truthfully and correctly as required; don’t give any false information.
Photo: check if the photo size, color and potential problems.
Supporting Documents: check invitation letter, air ticket booking and hotel reservation, travel itinerary, the purpose and date of visiting China shall be in accordance with the application.
Having past or current criminal record, or involving in any illegal activities could cause denial.
3. Proof of Finance:
If the financial certificate provided can’t support you during the travel, the officer may doubt your purpose and have intention of illegal work in China.
Forgot to make temporary accommodation during last trip in China; have police record in China; illegal stay in China before; lack essential explanation to relationship between you and the invited person; come from a terrorist country, etc.
Note: Whether you can reapply after refusal, regulations work different in each country. Normally you can resubmit after 2 to 3 weeks, some may wait 2 months later.
What to Notice for Entry in China
A. Before taking flight, cruise to enter China, please check the visa if is valid and has enough number of entry. If it expires or no valid entry left, must apply for a new China Visa.
B. Visiting China with animals, plants, currency and items must comply with relevant Chinese laws and regulations.
C. You can’t perform activities not relate to the reporting purpose, for example, holding a Tourist Visa, you can’t work or reside in China.
D. Any overstaying is forbidden. Pay attention to the passport and China Visa validity. Extend the visa or renew a passport in advance if necessary.
E. Without permission, you can’t travel to areas restricted entry by foreigners.
F. Holding an invalid China Visa, you will certainly be denied entry when boarding.