DON'T FORGET YOUR VISA
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To enter the People's Republic of China, a Visa is required, whatever your nationality is (even for Chinese citizens!).
To obtain this visa, you must fill in the form (which can be downloaded here and bring it with all the required files to the Chinese Embassy or Consulate-General in your area.
However, if visiting the Chinese Embassy or Consulate is not convenient or possible for you, there are some visa agencies that can handle the visa process for a fee. Please notice that e-mail applications cannot be accepted: you must send the form and all the required files physically.
You can obtain your visa in 7 working days, or pay an additional fee to receive it in 1 or 2 working days if necessary.
Particularities for Hong Kong and Macao
Hong Kong and Macau are not exactly parts of People's Republic of China. Consequently, a visa is required to enter these areas. However, if your visa is a double or a multiple entries visa, your stay in a Special Administrative Region will count as leaving the territory but will not prevent you from coming back to China.
Concerning Tibet, a normal visa is not sufficient. Tibet being an autonomous province, you need to obtain an entry permit, which a travel agency can provide you. Remember you can only go to Tibet through an organized travel, with a touristic group.
Different Visa types
- Touristic Visa (L): tourism, family or friends visits, private business;
- Business Visa (F): friend visit, investigation, commercial business, cultural or scientific exchanges, study or internship for less than 6 months;
- Study Visa (X) study, long-stay internships (more than 6 months);
- Professional Visa (Z) : long-stay work (more than 6 months);
- Transit Visa (G) : transit in China to other destinations;
- Accompanying children Visa : when you travel with under-majority children, you must mention it on the same Visa Application form and join an identity photograph for each of them.
Touristic visas are usually valid for 3 months. You can apply for a double entry visa, which means that you can enter China, go and visit another destination, and enter China again.
For the other visa types, their duration of validity and the number of entries are defined on the letter of invitation.
Simple or double entries visa
The different entries must be done within the duration of validity of the Visa. You will then be able to stay from 30 to 90 days according to the consulate's decision.
A double entry Visa allows you to leave China and to come back without needing another Visa.
However, the second entry must be done during the duration of validity of your Visa.
For example, let's say you have got a double entry Visa for a duration of 90 days. On the 85th day, you want to go to Hong Kong, which is considered as leaving China. You will then be able to come back in China during the duration of validity of your Visa and stay 90 days.
Multiple entries visa
The duration of the stay can vary from 30 to 90 days for a touristic Visa and from 330 to 60 days for a business Visa.
The multiple entries Visa works the same way as the double entry one: the different entries can only be done during the duration of validity. Be cautious!
Documents to be furnished
For all Visa types
- The official application form from the embassy of China, with an identity photograph (4.5x3.5 centimetres);
- Your passport, which must be valid at least 6 months after the end of your Visa, and which must comport 2 face-to-face pages free from any inscription;
- -Plane tickets back and forth.
For touristic Visa
(In addition to previous requirements)
- Invitation letter from friend or family in China;
- ID and work certificate of the person inviting you;
- In certain cases, financial certificate.
For business visa
(In addition to previous requirements)
- Official letter of invitation from a competent Chinese authority, and its photocopy;
- - The JW201 or JW202 form, delivered by the competent Chinese authority and its photocopy (short study or internship);
- Accommodation booking.