China Visa Application - Requirements,Cost,Processing Time & Interview Tips


To travel to China you need to get a China visa. Getting a China visa is an easy process,all you need to do is to provide all the necessary requirement needed for the visa processing. So in this post you will get to know the necessary dash visa requirements and the application process.

 

This post is to answer frequently asked questions such as

 

How to apply for a China visa

Requirements to apply for China visa

Cost of a China visa

Duration to process a China visa

China visa interview tips

 

Documents required to apply for a China visa

(1) A valid original passport. There must be blank visa pages in the passport. Pages for endorsements or amendments can not be used as a visa page. The passport should be valid for at least 6 months;
(2) One completed Chinese Visa Application Form signed by the applicant. Children's application form can be signed by their parents or guardians;
(3) One recent passport photograph affixed to the visa application form. Life photos, copied photos and digital photos printed on ordinary paper are not acceptable.

 

Documents required for China L visa
(1)Documents mentioned in part A;
(2)A copy of outward and return flight ticket booking;
(3)A copy of Chinese hotel booking (please note the applicants who are below 14 years old or born in China (including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) as shown in the passport are not required to provide this);

If the applicant is going to stay at a relative or friend's home while visiting China, and therefore unable to provide hotel booking, an invitation letter containing the inviter's home address and telephone, and a copy of the inviter's ID card or residence permit should be provided instead.

For applicants who are going to Tibet, an entry permit issued by Tibetan Tourist Bureau is required . (Fax number of Tibetan Tourist Bureau: 0086-891-6834632; Telephone number:0086-891-6834313)

Documents required to apply for a China F visa
(1)Documents mentioned in part A;
(2)A copy of outward and return flight ticket booking;
(3)A copy of Chinese hotel booking;
(4)Visa Notification Form (which is issued by the relevant department of Chinese government, companies or institutions, under the authorization of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China. Detailed information can be obtained from the Foreign Affairs Office of the relevant province, autonomous region and municipality where the inviting party resides.);

Documents required to apply for a China X visa (for studying more than 6 months in China)
(1)Documents mentioned in part A;
(2)JW-201 or JW-202 form issued by the Ministry of Education of China;
(3)A letter of admission from a Chinese University/College.

Documents required to apply for a China Z visa (for long-term working)
(1)Documents mentioned in part A;
(2)An employment permit from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security or the State Administration of Foreign Experts of China;
(3)An invitation letter from a relevant Department of Chinese Government or a government-authorized company.

Documents required to apply for a China J-1 or J-2 visa (for journalism)
(1)Documents mentioned in part A;
(2)A letter from a relevant Department of Chinese government;
(3)A letter from the employer.

Documents required to apply for a China G visa (for transit through China)
(1)Documents mentioned in part A;
(2)A copy of Chinese hotel booking;
(3)A copy of outward and return flight ticket booking;
(4)A valid visa for the country of destination.

NOTE

Applicants should check the issued visa upon collection and if necessary raise any queries at the same time. If there is no immediate query relating to the issued visa, the applicant is held responsible under any circumstances thereafter.

 


Anyone entering China for longer than 48 hours requires a visa.

The Chinese visa authorities may issue a Diplomatic, Courtesy, Service or Ordinary Visa to a foreigner according to his/her identity, purpose of visit to China and passport type. The Ordinary Visa consists of eight sub-categories, which are respectively marked with Chinese phonetic letters L, F, X, Z, G, C, J, and D.

L Visa: Issued to an applicant who comes to China for tourist purposes, family visiting or other personal affairs. Visa L is characterized by a short duration of stay, usually 30 days, no more than 90 days, and could not be extended upon expiration. For a tourist applicant, in principle he shall evidence his financial capability of covering the travelling expenses in China, and when necessary, provide the air, train or ship tickets to the destination country/region after leaving China. For the applicants who come to China to visit relatives, some applicants are required to provide invitation letters from their relatives in China.

Visas for groups are not issued on the passports, but on a separate paper, which requires the group members to enter and exit the Chinese border together.

Nationals traveling to Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions(SAR), in tour groups organized by travel agencies registered in the above-mentioned SARs, are exempted from visa requirements for a period of not exceeding 6 days, when entering into the following Chinese mainland cities: Guangzhong, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jinangmen, Zhaoqing, Huizhou, etc. The premise is that the traveler shall have the citizenship of a country that has diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, and the traveler is carrying an ordinary passport.

F Visa: Issued to an applicant who is invited to China for conference, research, lecture, business, scientific-technological and cultural exchanges or short-term studies or intern practice for a period of no more than six months.

X Visa: Issued to an applicant who comes to China for the purpose of studying or intern practice for more than six months.

Z Visa: Issued to an applicant who is to take up a post or employment in China, and his/her accompanying family members, and who is to conduct commercial performance in China.

G Visa: Issued to those who transit through China.

C Visa: Issued to crewmembers on international aviation, navigation and land transportation missions and family members accompanying them.

J Visa: Issued to foreign journalists. J Visa is subdivided into J-1 Visa and J-2 Visa. J-1 Visa is issued to a foreign resident correspondent in China. J-2 Visa is issued to a foreign correspondent on temporary short term news report mission in China.

D Visa: Issued to applicant who is to reside permanently in China.

Duration to process a China visa:
The regular visa processing time is 4 working days. Express service takes 1 working day. For express service, additional fees of $15 (GBP10) per person for 1 working day processing, or $10 (GBP6) per person for 2-3 working days processing will be charged. For the same day service, the applications must be submitted before 11:00 am.

 

What to know before applying for a China visa

1) When planning your trip, do not make the mistake of thinking your travel agent or the airline will be able to tell you if you need a visa. Make sure you find out for yourself. You can find out if you need a visa by going to the U.S. State Department website: http://travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html, there is a lot of terrific information to be found here including notes for Americans on safety and security overseas.

2) Make sure your passport has at least 4-6 blank pages, your visa won't need that many but many of the consulates require at least two blank pages; this is an easy excuse for them to give you a hard time. If you need more pages they're easy to get through the National passport processing office. You can find information the process on the State Department's website.

3) Make sure your passport isn't going to expire for a while. The passport's expiration date must be greater than six months from the date of entry for the visa you are applying for. If your passport does not meet the requirements, you must renew your passport.

4) Your visa application. This is where you really need the assistance of a good travel visa service. You'll find that many of the visa applications are quite confusing. There are language usage differences that may have you scratching your head. If you are not sure, ask, do not guess, errors on forms can be costly.

5) Passport photographs. This is one I had a particularly difficult time getting my boss to do. Go to your post office or perhaps you have a drug store or photo processing store that takes passport photographs, get them, and if you are traveling a lot get a lot of extra photos. Most often you are required to submit two passport photographs with your visa application. You may get away with only providing one, you may get away with submitting a digital you took and printed on photo paper. It's not worth the risk. Get the extra photos.

6) Include your travel itinerary. Most applications require you include your travel plans as proof of entrance and exit dates. This would be the itinerary you get with your tickets or from the airline/travel agent.

7) Make sure you make copies of everything you send the consulate or visa travel service. This doesn't include your passport of course, but it's a good idea to make a copy of the first page in your passport just for your records. You will be sending your passport with your visa application and other paperwork.

8) Include a copy of your driver's license. This isn't a hard and fast rule, but just good policy. A lot of times a country may require this but neglect to mention or they may decide they want more identification information. This is a "Just in Case" preventative measure.

9) Do not forget the fee. If you are using a visa travel service, most likely you can simply provide your credit card number. If you are not, you will most likely have to provide a check for their fee as most of the consulates do not take credit cards.

10) A key challenge is the decision to appear at the embassy or consulate or simply overnight your application and materials to the appropriate place. In many cases, there won't be an option as the embassy or consulate is too far to travel to. If you are doing this on your own and are able, it may be prudent to go to the embassy or consulate yourself. Base your decision dependent on your time and patience level.

11) Finally, hire a travel visa service. These services are reasonable, quick and experienced. You do not save money doing it yourself and you certainly don't save hassle. Your travel visa service is there to help you with everything from completing forms to emergency turn-around times. Don't just go with any service. Investigate. I recommend Visa HQ www.visahq.com, for their experience and customer service.


- Visa fee for group visa will be $110 per person.
- Expedited service fees will remain unchanged.


Additional information regarding fees:
Visa fee for Hong Kong and Macao : GBP15 per person.
Group visa fee: GBP24 per person
Same day service: GBP20 per person.
Express Service (1 working day ): GBP15 per person.

Validity of a China visa

A visitor ‘F' visa is valid for up to 6 months, and is usually single-entry.

Student ‘X' visas are valid for up to 12 months, and allow multiple-entries.

If the visa holder needs to stay longer than the duration of stay, he or she should apply for extension of duration to the local public security bureau of China in advance.

 

This information is gotten from China immigration page. Contact the closest Chinese embassy available for more detailed information and updates.

 

China visa interview tips

1. Prepare a “grab bag” of documents frequently requested

Get a clearbook to hold all the documents that embassies usually require and make at least five copies of each of these documents. Usually, the embassy will need to look at the original copy for verification purposes and then just keep a photocopy. Make sure that your photocopies are clear. It will save you the trouble of having to photocopy another clearer copy while at the embassy

Documents to include in this clear book are:

·         Birth certificate (must be certified by the National Statistics Office)

·         Marriage certificate* (if annulled, you will probably need a copy of your Marriage Certificate annotated by the NSO certifying that the marriage was declared null and void.

·         Latest Income Tax Return

·         For business owners, include business permits, business license and (audited) financial statements

·         Photocopies of previous visas you have been issued

·         ID pictures: Different embassies will have different size requirements, so when you have your picture taken, have the picture reproduced in different size dimensions. I suggest you get one picture taken in the standard 2x2 white background and one in the US visa size and Schengen size. (Note that for all visa requirements, both ears must be shown and women should not be wearing earrings.)

·         Proof of income and ownership such as land titles and or car registration documents

Keep all your old passports with other visa stamps as reference. It may not fit in the clear book, but it should be made part of your visa app “grab bag.

2. Keep a list of the countries you’ve visited

Update the list of countries you've visited the way you would update your CV. Many embassies require you to list the countries you have visited within a certain number of years. Some embassies will specify a time frame, some will not, so it is best to start from countries you have visited from 5 years back. Keep a soft copy of this list in your computer and update it each time you travel.

3. Make a checklist of the visa application requirements – and triple check that!

When applying for a Schengen visa via the Italian embassy, for example, a checklist of requirements (which you can download along with the visa application form) is mandatory in the list of documents to be presented to the visa processing center. It is not a standard requirement for all countries, but a checklist is definitely a good thing to have on hand. Make one of your own if your destination country does not require it.

Double and triple check each requirement, line by line if you have to. It will be worth the trouble because there are varying specifications for each country.

Look out for fine print like required payment mode: Is a manager’s check required? Can you pay in Philippine pesos, US dollars or Euros? Tip is to pay in US dollars so you will not be subject to currency fluctuations. Remember to check for exact amount, e.g. if it says $58, bring $58 as some embassies will not offer change.

Double check the location of the visa processing centers as their addresses on the application forms may not be updated.

4. Have a standard template for letters of introduction to consuls

Embassies may require you to prepare a letter to the consul to introduce yourself and state your reason for travel. Make a standard template for this letter of introduction, save on your “Travel Docs” folder and just fill in whenever you need to apply for a visa.

This cover letter should have:

·         Header with your name, contact details and if available, your visa application reference number

·         Reason for travel

·         Duration of stay

·         Mention of other countries you have visited

·         How you will fund your trip

·         Day by day travel itinerary as an attachment

5. Make your travel agent your travel buddy

Find a travel agent you can trust and make him or her your travel buddy. She can act as a semi-one-stop shop and help you book tickets and hotels that you won't have to pay for yet (you will want to wait till you get the visa before paying for a ticket or hotel), and facilitate travel insurance.

 

Hope this post was helpful

 

Question tags

How to apply for a China visa

Requirements to apply for China visa

Cost of a China visa

Duration to process a China visa

China visa interview tips

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