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Chinese Tourist Visa
Chinese visa authorities issue different types of Chinese visas to those foreigners who want to enter into, exit from or transit through the country' s territory. Chinese Tourist Visa (L) is issued to those who enter China temporarily for traveling, family visiting or other personal affairs. It ensures a short duration of stay, usually 30 days, no more than 90 days. Generally, most tourist visas issued are for single-entry only, which allow tourist to enter China once. For people who are planning to enter China on more than one occasion, a multi-entry visa is required.
Transit through China
A transit visa allows a traveler to pass through the territory of a country. An international traveler usually begins his travel from his own country and arrives in the destination country by the way of one or more countries. In this case, he needs to not only apply for a tourist visa of his destination country but apply for the transit visa for each pass-by country. A Chinese transit visa allows a traveler to have a seven-day stay in China and the period of validity of the transit visa is 90 days.
Changes of applying Chinese Visa for US citizens
How to Apply a Chinese Tourist Visa
Documents Requirements:
A valid passport for at least six months from the date of travel with at least one entire unused page
A completed visa application form can be obtained from the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in your country or be downloaded from the official website of the Chinese Embassy in your country.
Two 2" X 2 (inch)" passport photos (either white& black or color) should be affixed to the visa application form
For Chinese Nationals now resident or naturalized in another country, the former Chinese passport is needed.
Related documents explain one's reasons to enter China. An invitation letter or a travel itinerary confirmed by a travel agency in China or an air tickets or hotel reservation files are all acceptable as the explanation of a traveler's reason for entry.
How to Apply: An individual traveler can come to the embassy or consulate in their native country in person or through a third party (e.g. a travel agency or operator) to apply for his Chinese tourist visa.
No pre-contract is needed.
The embassy or consulate does not accept any visa applications sent by mail or postal services.
The process is straightforward and usually takes four to five working days. For express processing within one working day (any hand-in before 11:30 can be finished before 15:00), an extra fee of USD30 is charged and the express processing within two or three days cost an extra fee of USD 20. Some travel agencies or operators handle a group tourist visa file for their tourists. However, this kind of group visa is actually not very convenient for tourists because all the group members are required to enter into and exit from China on the same dates.
Apply for a multi-entry tourist visa:
The multi-entry tourist visa allows a tourist to enter into and exit from China on more than one occasion and the stay period is 60 days. Applicants are required to provide documents, giving a reasonable reason for multi-entry into China.
Visa Fee
Entries of Visas U.S. Citizen Citizen of other countries
Single USD 50 USD 30
Double USD 75 USD 45
Multiple within half a year USD 100 USD 60
Multiple within one year USD 150 USD 90
Validity & Extension
idity & Period of Stay
Period of Validity of a visa refers to the period starting from the issuing date to last day before a person may enter China. For example, if your visa is issued on Augest 1st with a period of validity of 90 days. It means you have to enter China before November 1st.
The Period of Stay refers to the period starting from the entering date on which a traveler enters into China to the last day, on which he has to leave the country. Take the previous example again. If the period of stay of the visa you apply for is 30 days and you enter China on September 10, it means you can stay in China till October 10.
Most tourist visas are usually valid for three months with a stay period of 30 days. The period of validity can be extended for an extra month. We suggest that you apply for your visa one month prior to your travel date.
Extension of Visa
Foreigners who want to stay in China beyond the period which is allowed by their L visas, need to apply for an extension of their visas with appropriate reasons.
Documents of your valid passport, visa and certificate of residence registration, a completed visa extension application form and materials supporting the reasons of extension are required when you have the extension processed at the municipal public security bureau seven days before your visa expires. Also the certificates of your travel expenditures such traveler's check or other financial supports are needed to show you have an economic guarantee of your further stay.
The multiple entry visas cannot be extended
The L visa held by visitors could be extended once with duration of not more than one month; L visa held by family visitors could be extended three times with the duration of each under three months.
For visitors who are purposely on traveling, with L visa, the stay period can be extended once with the maximum duration no more than one month and for family visitors, the visas could be extended two or three times with the duration of each less than three months. However, for the latter cases, more detailed materials are required to provide reasonable grounds of your extending stay in the country.
Entry to Hong Kong, Macau and Other Special Regions
Please note that Hong Kong and Macau, as two Special Administration Regions of China, have their own separate entry & exit regulations.
A foreign tourist traveling from mainland China to Hong Kong or Macau regions, need not apply for any travel documents. However if a foreign tourist traveling from Hong Kong or Macau to mainland China, will be required to apply for a Chinese visa. For example, if you were traveling to Shanghai on May 1st (of course, now you have your Chinese single-entry tourist visa with you) and left for Hong Kong on May 3rd. After an overnight stay in Hong Kong, you were planning to visit Guangzhou in Guangdong Province on May 5th; you are required again to apply for another Chinese Tourist Visa. The best way to avoid this is to apply for a double-entry or multi-entry visa prior to leaving your country, which allows a traveler to enter China twice or multiple times during the specified visa period.
Things are the same for Macau
Any travelers taking a group tour from Hong Kong to Shenzhen Special Economic Zone for a period of less than 72 hours are exempt from entry visas.
Foreigners who want to visit Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Xiamen and other Special Economic Zones in China may apply directly to visa authorities in these zones for tourist visas. However, we do suggest travelers who need a visa for visit (or purposes other than a visit) should obtain the appropriate visa before traveling to China.
Passport holders of foreign countries (including those of Taiwan, Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR regions in China) who want to visit Tibet need Alien's Travel Permits issued by the Tourist Administration Bureau of Tibetan Autonomous Regions as well as a valid passport and a visa. The Chinese government allows only group touring in Tibet region and individual travelers are also required to travel under a group control in that region. Therefore, you can only obtain an Alien's Travel Permit through a travel agency.
Hong Kong Visa and Travel Permit Who needs to apply for a Hong Kong visa or travel permit
A person who need a visa or entry permit for visit (or purposes other than a visit) should obtain the appropriate visa or entry permit before traveling to the HKSAR.
Passport holders of the countries listed below DO NOT need a visa during the visa-free period. Travelers who are not from those countries or those who want to stay for a longer period exceeding the visa-free period, are required to apply for the appropriate visa or entry permit from the nearest Chinese embassies and consulates.
Nationality of foreign country (Territory)/ Type of Travel Document Visa free period for visit not exceeding
ALGERIA 14 Days
ANDORRA 3 Months
ANGUILLA 3 Months
ANTIGUA & BARBUDA 3 Months
ARGENTINA 1 Month
AUSTRALIA 3 Months
AUSTRIA 3 Months
BAHAMAS 3 Months
BAHRAIN 14 Days
BANGLADESH 14 Days
BARBADOS 3 Months
BELGIUM 3 Months
BELIZE 3 Months
BENIN 14 Days
BERMUDA 3 Months
BHUTAN 14 Days
BOLIVIA 1 Month
BOSNIA 14 Days
BOTSWANA 3 Months
BRAZIL 3 Months
BRITAIN (British citizens) Months
BRITAIN (British Dependent Territories citizens, British Overseas citizens, British subjects and British Protected persons) 3 Months
BRITISH ANTARCTIC TERRITORY 3 Months
BRITISH INDIAN OCEAN TERRITORY 3 Months
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS /td> 3 Months
BRUNEI 3 Months
BURKINA FASO 14 Days
BURUNDI 14 Days
CAMEROON 14 Days
CANADA 3 Months
CAPE VERDE (REPUBLIC OF) 1 Month
CAYMAN ISLANDS 3 Months
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC 14 Days
CHAD 4 Days
CHILE 3 Months
COLOMBIA 3 Months
COMOROS 14 Days
CONGO (DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF) (Formerly known as Zaire) 14 Days
CONGO (PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF) 14 Days
COSTA RICA 1 Month
COTE D'IVOIRE (REPUBLIC OF) 14 Days
CROATIA 14 Days
CYPRUS (REPUBLIC OF) 3 Months
CZECH REPUBLIC 14 Days
DENMARK 3 Months
DJIBOUTI 14 Days
DOMINICA (COMMONWEALTH OF) 3 Months
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1 Month
ECUADOR 3 Months
EGYPT 14 Days
EL SALVADOR 1 Month
EQUATORIAL GUINEA 14 Days
ERITREA 14 Days
ESTONIA 3 Months
ETHIOPIA 14 Days
FALKLAND ISLANDS & DEPENDENCIES 3 Months
FIJI 3 Months
FINLAND 3 Months
FRANCE 3 Months
GABON 14 Days
GAMBIA 3 Months
GERMANY 3 Months
GHANA 3 Months
GIBRALTAR 3 Months
GREECE 3 Months
GUATEMALA 1 Month
GUINEA 14 Days
GUINEA-BISSAU 14 Days
GUYANA 3 Months
HAITI 14 Days
HONDURAS 1 Month
HUNGARY 14 Days
ICELAND 3 Months
INDIA 14 Days
INDONESIA 14 Days
IRELAND (REPUBLIC OF) 3 Months
ISRAEL 3 Months
ITALY 3 Months
JAMAICA 3 Months
JAPAN 3 Months
JORDAN 14 Days
KENYA 3 Months
KIRIBATI 3 Months
KOREA (REPUBLIC OF) 1 Month
Who needs NOT to apply for a Hong Kong visa or travel permit
No visa or entry permit is required for any purpose if you are Holders of
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Passport
British National (Overseas) Passport
Hong Kong Certificate of Identity
Hong Kong Re-entry permit (for entry from the Mainland of China and the region of Macau only)
Hong Kong Seaman's Identity Book
Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card
Entry to neighboring cities in China from Hong Kong
For travel from Hong Kong to the mainland Chinese cities such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen or Zhuhai and others, passports are required to be valid for 60 days and visa application and travel document requirements required are as same as those of a traveler who enter China from Beijing and Shanghai.
Macau Visa and Travel Permit
Who needs to apply for a Macau Visa Passport holders of the countries listed below would be exempt from the entry visa to Macau. Passport holders of other countries not specified hereunder should apply a visa for the entry admission to Macau. Asia: India, Indonesia, Japan, Lebanon, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand
Asia: India, Indonesia, Japan, Lebanon, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand

Africa: Egypt, Seychelles, South Africa
Americas: Brazil, Canada, Mexico, USA, Uruguay
Europe: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom
Oceania: Australia, Kiribati, New Zealand, Samoa
Entry to neighboring cities in China from Macau
For travel from Macau to the mainland Chinese cities such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen or Zhuhai and others, passports are required to be valid for 60 days and visa application and travel document requirements required are as same as those of a traveler who enter China from Beijing and Shanghai. For more detailed info please visit