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Chinese Visa
August 28, 2013

Chinese Visa

Visa Application Guidelines

1. Basic Documents

2. Supporting Documents

Documents Required for U.S.-Born Children with Chinese Descent

Hong Kong Visa/Entry Permit

Macao Visas

Frequently Asked Questions about Visa

Chinese Visa

A visa is a travel document issued by authorized government agencies to foreign citizens applying to enter, exit from or transit through the host country's territory based on the host country's laws and regulations.

In accordance with international law and practice, any sovereign state is entitled to decide on whether or not to allow a foreign citizen to enter or exit from its territory, and whether to issue a visa, decline a visa application or to cancel an issued visa in accordance with its national laws.

Chinese consular officials are entitled to decide on the type, number of entries, validity and duration of each stay of a visa to be issued based on Chinese laws and regulations. Consular officials reserve the right to decline a visa application or revoke an issued visa.

1. Visa is required for a foreign citizen to visit China

Foreign citizens must obtain a Chinese visa before entry into China, with the exception of visa-free entry based on relevant agreements or regulations.

Please check the validity of your visa before traveling to China. If the visa has expired or the number of entries is not enough, you must apply for a new visa.

2. Visa Types

Chinese visas fall into four types: diplomatic visa, courtesy visa, service visa and ordinary visa. Ordinary visas are further divided into the following categories:

Visa Categories

Description of Visa

C

Issued to foreign crew members of means of international transportation, including aircraft, trains and ships, or motor vehicle drivers engaged in cross-border transport activities, or to the accompanying family members of the crew members of the above-mentioned ships.

D

Issued to those who intend to reside in China permanently.

F

Issued to those who intend to go to China for exchanges, visits, study tours and other activities.

G

Issued to those who intend to transit through China.

J1

Issued to resident foreign journalists of foreign news organizations stationed in China. The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days.

J2

Issued to foreign journalists who intend to go to China for short-term news coverage. The intended duration of stay in China is no more than 180 days.

L

Issued to those who intend to go to China as a tourist.

M

Issued to those who intend to go to China for commercial and trade activities.

Q1

Issued to those who are family members of Chinese citizens or of foreigners with Chinese permanent residence and intend to go to China for family reunion, or to those who intend to go to China for the purpose of foster care. The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days.

"Family members" refers to spouses, parents, sons, daughters, spouses of sons or daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandsons, granddaughters and parents-in-law.

Q2

Issued to those who intend to visit their relatives who are Chinese citizens residing in China or foreigners with permanent residence in China. The intended duration of stay in China is no more than 180 days.

R

Issued to those who are high-level talents or whose skills are urgently needed in China.

S1

Issued to those who intend to go to China to visit the foreigners working or studying in China to whom they are spouses, parents, sons or daughters under the age of 18 or parents-in-law, or to those who intend to go to China for other private affairs. The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days.

S2

Issued to those who intend to visit their family members who are foreigners working or studying in China, or to those who intend to go to China for other private matters. The intended duration of stay in China is no more than 180 days.

"Family members" refers to spouses, parents, sons, daughters, spouses of sons or daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandsons, granddaughters and parents-in-law.

X1

Issued to those who intend to study in China for a period of more than 180 days.

X2

Issued to those who intend to study in China for a period of no more than 180 days.

Z

Issued to those who intend to work in China.

3. Validity, Number of Entries and Duration of Each Stay of Chinese Visa

1) Visa Validity ("Enter Before") means that the visa is valid, or can be used for entry into China from the date of issue to the "Enter Before" date indicated on the visa (Beijing Time). If a visa has unused entries, the bearer can enter China by 24:00 (Beijing Time) of the expiration date.

2) "Entries" refers to the number of times the bearer is permitted to enter China during the validity of a visa.

A visa becomes invalid if there are no entries left, or there are entries left but the visa validity expires. If a visa becomes invalid, its bearer must apply for a new visa before entering China. Traveling with an invalid visa to China will result in refusal of entry.

3) "Duration of Each Stay" refers to the maximum number of days the visa bearer is permitted to stay in China each time, which is calculated from the date of entry into China.

A foreign citizen who overstays the end date of his/her authorized stay in China without going through extension formalities is subject to fines and other penalties for violation of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Control of the Entry and Exit of Aliens and its Detailed Rules for Implementation. If a visa bearer to stay in China longer than the duration of stay allowed on the visa, approval must be obtained from local public security authorities above the county level before the duration of stay expires. Approval of an extension of stay may or may not be granted. Please check the website of the local public security authorities in China for more information. Chinese Embassies and Consulates overseas are not authorized to extend a visa.

A bearer of a Work (Z) Visa, Student (X) Visa, Permanent Resident (D) Visa, Family Reunion Resident (Q1) Visa, Private Affairs Resident (S1) Visa or Resident Journalist (J-1) Visa must apply for a residence permit at the local public security authorities within 30 days of entry into China. Members of foreign diplomatic or consular missions in China must apply for a residence permit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or local foreign affairs departments within 30 days of entry into China.

4. Visa-free Entry

A foreign citizen can enter China without a visa under any one of the following circumstances:

1) Direct Transit

A foreign citizen who is transiting through China by air is exempted from a visa if he/she will stay only in the airport for no more than 24 hours and has a valid connecting ticket with confirmed seating on an international flight.

Citizens with passport or other international travel document, confirmed interline ticket and valid visa to the third country or region (if required) of the following 51 countries , can apply to stay in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu,Chongqing, Shenyang, Dalian and Xi'an without visa for 72 hours on direct transit via Beijing Capital Airport, Shanghai Pudong Airport or Hongqiao Airport, Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, Chengdu Shuangliu Airport, Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport, Shenyang Taoxian International Airport, Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport and Xi'an Xianyang International Airport. The 51 countries are: Albania, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.

2) Visiting the Pearl River Delta or Hainan Island

A. A foreign citizen holding an ordinary passport issued by any country with diplomatic relations with China is exempted from a visa if he or she is already in Hong Kong or Macao and joins a tourist group organized by a travel agency, which is registered in Hong Kong or Macao, for a visit to the Pearl River Delta region (including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen, Zhaoqing and Huizhou) and his/her stay is no more than 6 days.

B. A foreign citizen holding an ordinary passport issued by any of the following countries is exempted from a visa if he or she joins a tourist group (of 5 or more persons) organized by an international travel agency registered in Hainan with the approval of China National Tourism Administration to visit Hainan Province and his/her stay is no more than 15 days: Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the U.K., Ukraine and the U.S.

Citizens of Germany, Republic of Korea and Russia may join an international tourist group (of 2 or more persons) and can stay up to 21 days.

3) Citizens of Singapore, Brunei and Japan

A citizen of Singapore, Brunei or Japan with an ordinary passport is exempted from a visa if he/she visits China's mainland for tourism purpose, business, or meeting with friends or relatives, enters China through ports open to foreigners, and stays for no more than 15 days.

However, a visa is required for citizens of these three countries under any of the following circumstances:

A. An ordinary passport holder visits China for tourism purpose, business, or meeting with friends or relatives, and stays for more than 15 days.

B. An ordinary passport holder visits China for the purpose of study, work, permanent residency, official visits and news coverage.

C. A Japanese citizen travels with a diplomatic or official passport.

4) Holders of Valid APEC Business Travel Card

The APEC Business Travel Card is a substitute of a multiple-entry visa valid for 3 years. A card holder who presents a valid passport of the same person at the same time can enter China multiple times during the validity of the card for a stay of no more than 2 months each time.

5) Foreigner's Permanent Residence Card Holders

6) Holders of Residence Permit for Foreigners issued by the Ministry of Public Security

Foreign citizens entering China for the purpose of study or employment or as resident foreign journalists must apply for a residence permit at local public security authorities within 30 days of entry into China. Permit holders may stay in China and enter or exit China multiple times without the need of a visa during the validity period of the permit.

7) Bilateral Agreement

Based on bilateral agreements signed or reached between China and foreign countries, foreign citizens of some countries who meet certain requirements may visit China without a visa. Please see the list of agreements on visa exemption signed between China and foreign countries for more information.

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Visa Application Guidelines

Here are the documents you shall prepare before submission of visa application:

1. Basic Documents

(1) Passport

Original passport with at least six months of remaining validity and blank visa pages, and a photocopy of the passport's data page and the photo page if it is separate

(2) Visa Application Form and Photo

One completed Visa Application Form with a recently-taken color passport photo (bare-head, full face) against a light background attached

(3) Proof of legal stay or residence status (applicable to those not applying for the visa in their country of citizenship)

If you are not applying for the visa in the country of your citizenship, you must provide the original and photocopy of your valid or visa of stay, residence, employment or student status of the country where you are currently staying.

(4) Photocopy of previous Chinese passports or previous Chinese visas (applicable to those who were Chinese citizens and have obtained foreign citizenship)

If you are applying for a Chinese visa for the first time, you should provide your previous Chinese passport and a photocopy of its data page.

If you have obtained Chinese visas before and want to apply for a Chinese visa with a renewed foreign passport that does not contain any Chinese visa, you should present the photocopy of the previous passport's data page and the photo page if it is separate, as well as the previous Chinese visa page. (If your name on the current passport differs from that on the previous one, you must provide an official document of name change.)

2. Supporting Documents

C Visa

(1) A letter of guarantee issued by a foreign transport company or an invitation letter issued by a relevant entity in China

(2) Crew members of the following 11 airline companies may apply for multiple-entry C Visa valid for two years: United Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, American Airlines, UPS, Federal Express, Polar Air Cargo, Evergreen Air Cargo, Kalitta Air Inc., Southern Air Inc. and World Airways Inc.

(3) The Chinese Consulates General will issue single-entry or double-entry visas or multiple-entry visas valid for 6 months for crew members of other airline companies on a case-by-case basis.

D Visa

The original and photocopy of the Confirmation Form for Foreigners Permanent Residence Status issued by the Ministry of Public Security of China

We kindly remind you that:

Holders of D Visa shall, within 30 days from the date of their entry, apply to the exit/entry administrations of public security organs under local people's governments at or above the county level in the proposed places of residence for foreigners' residence permits.

F Visa

An invitation letter issued by a relevant entity or individual in China

The invitation should contain:

(1) Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)

(2) Information on the planned visit (purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, relations between the applicant and the inviting entity or individual, financial source for expenditures)

(3) Information on the inviting entity or individual (name, contact telephone number, address, official stamp, signature of the legal representative or the inviting individual)

G Visa

An onward air (train or ship) ticket with confirmed date and seat to the destination country or region

J1 Visa

Visa Notification Letter issued by the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and an official letter issued by the media organization for which the journalist works.

Applicants should contact the press section of the Consulate General in advance and complete relevant formalities.

We kindly remind you that:

Holders of J1 Visa shall, within 30 days from the date of their entry, apply to the exit/entry administrations of public security organs under local people's governments at or above the county level in the proposed places of residence for foreigners' residence permits.

J2 Visa

Visa Notification Letter issued by the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China or other authorized units in China and an official letter issued by the media organization for which the journalist works.

Applicants should contact the press section of the Consulate General in advance and complete the required formalities.

L Visa

Documents showing the itinerary including air ticket booking record (round trip) and proof of a hotel reservation, etc. or an invitation letter issued by a relevant entity or individual in China. The invitation letter should contain:

(1) Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)

(2) Information on the planned visit (arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, etc.)

(3) Information on the inviting entity or individual (name, contact telephone number, address, official stamp, signature of the legal representative or the inviting individual)

M Visa

Documents on the commercial activity issued by a trade partner in China, or trade fair invitation relevant entity or individual

The invitation letter should contain:

(1) Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)

(2) Information on the planned visit (purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, relations between the applicant and the inviting entity or individual, financial source for expenditures)

(3) Information on the inviting entity or individual (name, contact telephone number, address, official stamp, signature of the legal representative or the inviting individual)

Q1 Visa

For family reunion, the following documents are required:

(1) An invitation letter issued by a Chinese citizen or a foreign citizen with a Chinese permanent residence permit who lives in China

The invitation letter should contain:

(a) Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)

(b) Information on the visit ( purpose of visit, intended arrival date, place(s) of intended residence, intended duration of residence, relations between the applicant and the inviting individual, financial source for expenditures)

(c) Information on the inviting individual (name, contact telephone number, address, official stamp, signature of legal representative or the inviting individual, etc.)

(2) Photocopy of Chinese ID of the inviting individual or foreign passport and permanent residence permit.

Original and photocopy of certification (marriage certificate, birth certificate, certification of kinship issued by Public Security Bureau or notarized certification of kinship) showing the relationship of family members between applicant and inviting individual.

"Family members" refers to spouses, parents, sons, daughters, spouses of sons or daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandsons, granddaughters and parents-in-law.

For foster care, the following documents are required:

(1) Foster entrustment notarization issued by Chinese Embassies/Consulates General in foreign countries or Foster Care Power of Attorney notarized and authenticated in the country of residence or in China

(2) Original and photocopy of the consignor's passport(s), as well as the original and photocopy of certification (marriage certificate, birth certificate, certification of kinship issued by Public Security Bureau or notarized certification of kinship) showing the relationship between parents and children.

(3) A letter of consent on foster care issued by the trustee living in China who has agreed to provide foster care services and a photocopy of the ID of the trustee.

(4) A photocopy of the certificate indicating the permanent residence status abroad of the parent(s) when the child was born, provided that either or both parents of the child are Chinese citizens.

We kindly remind you that:

Holders of Q1 Visa shall, within 30 days from the date of their entry, apply to the exit/entry administrations of public security organs under local people's governments at or above the county level in the proposed places of residence for foreigners' residence permits.

Q2 Visa

(1) An invitation letter by a Chinese citizen or a foreign citizen with a Chinese permanent residence permit who lives in China

The invitation letter should contain:

(a) Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)

(b) Information on the visit (purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, relations between the applicant and the inviting individual, financial source for expenditures)

(c) Information on the inviting individual (name, contact number, address, signature etc.)

(2) Photocopy of Chinese ID or foreign passport and permanent residence permit of the inviting individual

R Visa

The applicant should submit relevant certification in accordance with relevant regulations, and meet the relevant requirements of the competent authorities of the Chinese government on high-level talents and individualnel with special skills urgently needed by China.

S1 Visa

(1) An invitation letter from the inviting individual (a foreigner who stays or resides in China for work or studies) which contains:

(a) Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)

(b) Information on the visit (purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place of intended residence, relations between the applicant and the inviting individual, financial source for expenditures, etc.)

(c) Information on the inviting individual (name, contact telephone number, address, signature, etc.)

(2) A photocopy of the inviting individual's passport and residence permit

(3) Original and photocopy of certification (marriage certificate, birth certificate, certification of kinship issued by Public Security Bureau or notarized certification of kinship) showing the relationship of immediate family members between applicants and inviting individual.

"Immediate family members" refers to spouses, parents, sons or daughters under the age of 18, parents-in-law.

We kindly remind you that:

Holders of S1 Visa shall, within 30 days from the date of their entry, apply to the exit/entry administrations of public security organs under local people's governments at or above the county level in the proposed places of residence for foreigners' residence permits.

S2-Visa

For visiting family members for a short period, the following documents are required:

(1) An invitation letter issued by the inviting individual (a foreigner who stays or resides in China for work or studies) which contains:

(a) Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)

(b) Information on the visit (purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, relations between the applicant and the inviting individual, financial source for expenditures, etc.)

(c) Information on the inviting individual (name, contact telephone number, address, signature, etc.)

(2) A photocopy of the inviting individual's (a foreigner who stays or lives in China for work or studies) passport and residence permit

(3) Photocopy of certification (marriage certificate, birth certificate or notarized certification of kinship) showing the relationship of family members between the applicant and the inviting individual.

"Family members" refers to spouses, parents, sons, daughters, spouses of sons or daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandsons, granddaughters and parents-in-law.

For private affairs, documentation identifying the nature of the private affairs should be provided as required by the consular officer.

X1-Visa

(1) Original and photocopy of the Admission Letter issued by a school or other entities in China.

(2) Original and photocopy of "Visa Application for Study in China" (Form JW201 or Form JW202).

We kindly remind you that:

Holders of X1 Visa shall, within 30 days from the date of their entry, apply to the exit/entry administrations of public security organs under local people's governments at or above the county level in the proposed places of residence for foreigners' residence permits.

X2-Visa

Original and photocopy of Admission Notice issued by a school or other entities in China

Z-Visa

One of the following documents:

(1) Foreigners Employment Permit of the People's Republic of China issued by Chinese government authorities for Human Resources and Social Security, as well as Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Entity or Confirmation Letter of Invitation issued by relevant Chinese entities.

(2) Permit for Foreign Experts Working in China issued by the State Bureau of Foreign Experts as well as Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Entity or Confirmation Letter of Invitation issued by relevant Chinese entities.

(3) Registration Certificate of Resident Representative Offices of enterprises of foreign countries(regions) issued by Chinese authorities of industrial and commercial administration, as well as Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Entity or Confirmation Letter of Invitation issued by relevant Chinese entities as well as Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Entity or Confirmation Letter of Invitation issued by relevant Chinese entities.

(4) An approval document for commercial performances issued by the Chinese government authorities for cultural affairs or Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Entity or Confirmation Letter of Invitation issued by relevant Foreign Affairs Office of provincial governments of China.

(5)Letter of Invitation to Foreigners for Offshore Petroleum Operations in China issued by China National Offshore Oil Corporation

We kindly remind you that:

Holders of Z Visa shall, within 30 days from the date of their entry, apply to the exit/entry administrations of public security organs under local people's governments at or above the county level in the proposed places of residence for foreigners' residence permits.

3. Special Reminder

(1) The invitation letter may be in the form of fax, photocopy or computer printout, but the consular officer may require the applicant to submit the original of the invitation letter.

(2) If necessary, the consular officer may require the applicant to provide other documents or supplementary materials, or require an interview with the applicant.

(3) The consular officer will decide on whether or not to issue the visa and on its validity, duration of stay and number of entries in light of specific conditions of the applicant.

(4) According to China-U.S. Agreement on Mutual Granting of Multiple-Entry Visas Valid for One Year to Business and Tourist Travelers, the U.S. citizens may apply for a single-entry or double-entry, or a multiple-entry "F"/"L"/"M" visa valid for half a year or one year.

(5) If you are a U.S.-born child with one or two Chinese parents, and apply for a Chinese visa for the first time, please read Documentations Required for U.S.-Born Children with Chinese Descent.

(6) The Consulates General reserve the right of interpretation in case of changes to the information above.

4. How to apply

(1) Locate the Visa Office of the Embassy / Consulate General which holds consular jurisdiction over the state in which you reside. You may either submit your application in person, or you may entrust someone else or a travel/visa agent to submit your application at the visa office.

(2) If necessary, the applicant should go to the Embassy/Consulate-General for an interview or verification of the signature on application documents upon notification by the Embassy/Consulate-General.

(3) Mailed applications are not accepted.

(4). No appointment is required.

5. Processing Time

Regular service: Visas can be obtained on the fourth business day.

Express service: No express service provided unless emergency. Express service needs approval of consular officials, and extra fees may apply.

6. Visa Fees and Payment

(1) Visa fees for regular service

Number of Entry

U.S. Citizens

Citizens of Third Countries

Single Entry

$140

$30

Double Entries

$140

$45

Multiple Entries for 6 Months

$140

$60

Multiple Entries for 12 Months or more

$140

$90

Note: Visa fees for certain third countries may vary from the list above based on reciprocal agreements.

(2) Express service: An additional fee of $20 per visa will be charged.

(3) Same-day rush service: An additional fee of $30 per visa will be charged.

(4) Please pay by money order, cashier's check, Visa or Master card. Cash or personal/corporate check is not accepted. Please make cashier's checks or money order payable to "Chinese Consulate General".

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Documents Required for U.S.-Born Children with Chinese Descent

If one or two of his/her parents are foreign citizens or have foreign permanent residence right (e.g. U.S. permanent resident card), the child shall apply for a Chinese visa before travelling to China.

If both of his/her parents are Chinese citizens and have no foreign permanent residence right (e.g. U.S. permanent resident card), the child shall apply for a Chinese travel document before travelling to China (Please read Application Requirements for Chinese Travel Document.)

1. Document Required

(1) First-Time Applicants for Chinese Visa

(a) Passport

Original passport with at least six months of remaining validity and blank visa pages, and a photocopy of the passport's data page and the photo page if it is separate

(b) Visa Application Form and Photo

One completed Visa Application Form with a recently-taken color passport photo (bare-head, full face) against a light background attached

(c) The child's birth certificate

The original and a photocopy of the child's birth certificate

(d) Proof of parents' visa/Residency Status

The original and a photocopy (of the photo/information page) of passports of both of the child's parents, proof of permanent residency of both parents (e.g. U.S. permanent resident card).

(e) Supporting Documents

Deciding the most appropriate visa category and providing the supporting documents (See also "Visa Application Guidelines" 2. Supporting Documents)

(2) Non-First-Time Applicants for Chinese Visa

(a) A photocopy of previous Chinese visa

(b) Basic Documents (Refer to "Visa Application Guidelines" 1. Basic Documents)

(c) Supporting Documents (Refer to"Visa Application Guidelines" 2. Supporting Documents)

2. How to Apply

(1) One or both of the child applicant's parents may submit the application in person, or entrust someone else to submit to the Chinese Consulate General which holds consular jurisdiction over the state in which the child resides. Under usual circumstances, the child does not need to be present for the application. The visa application form signed by one or both of the parents is required.

(2) No appointment is required.

(3) Mailed applications are not accepted.

3. Processing Time

(1) Regular service: Visas can be obtained on the fourth business days.

(2) Express service: Visas can be obtained on the second or third business day (approval required).

(3) Same-day rush service: Visas can be obtained on the same day. (Visas will be granted in the afternoon of the same day if applications are made by 12:00 p.m., for which approval is required.)

4. Visa Fees and Payment

(1) Visa fees for regular service

Number of Entry

U.S. Citizens

Citizens of Third Countries

Single Entry

$140

$30

Double Entries

$140

$45

Multiple Entries for 6 Months

$140

$60

Multiple Entries for 12 Months or more

$140

$90

Note: Visa fees for certain third countries may vary from the list above based on reciprocal agreements.

(2) Express service: An additional fee of $20 per person will be charged.

(3) Same-day rush service: An additional fee of $30 per person will be charged.

(4) Please pay by money order, cashier's check, or Visa/Master Card. Cash or personal/corporate check is not accepted. Please make cashier's checks or money order payable to "Chinese Consulate General".

5. Other Important Information

(1) A parent of the child may fill out and sign the application form on behalf of the child applicant (please read section 4 on the visa application form). Please fill out the visa application form truthfully, completely and clearly. Any false or incomplete statement or failure to write in a clear way may delay the processing of a visa application or result in the refusal of a visa.

(2)Visa officials are entitled to make decisions on the visa application on a case-by-case basis.

(3) The Chinese Consulates General reserve the right of interpretation in case of changes to the information above.

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Hong Kong Visa/Entry Permit

One: Application Guidelines

1. Documents Required

(1) Visa Application Form – Please fill out the visa application form truthfully and completely according to your purpose of visit to Hong Kong.

(2) Photo – Please affix one color photo on the application form. The photo should be recent, front view, in 48mm x33mm size without head covering.

(3) Other documents if deemed necessary by visa officers.

2. Processing Time

For all the visas that should be issued by the Chinese Consulates General:

(1) Regular service: Visas can be obtained on the fourth business day.

(2) Express service: Visas can be obtained on the second or third business day.

(3) Same-day rush service: Visas can be obtained on the same day. (Visas will be granted in the afternoon of the same day if applications are made by 12:00 P.M.)

If an application is required to be referred to the Immigration Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) for processing, it normally takes about a month. Such an application is not eligible for express or rush service.

3. Visa Fees and Payment

(1) Regular service: $30 per person;

(2) Express service: An additional fee of $20 per person will be charged.

(3) Same day rush service: An additional fee of $30 per person will be charged.

(4) For any application that needs to be referred to the HKSAR Immigration Department for processing, apart from the visa fee of $30, an additional $20 of telecom liaison fee should be paid upon submission of the application.

(5) Please pay by money order, cashier's check, Visa or Master Card. Cash or personal/corporate check is not accepted. Please make cashier's checks or money order payable to "Chinese Consulate General".

4. Other Important Information

(1) Please fill out the visa application form truthfully, completely and clearly. Any false, or incomplete statement or failure to write in a clear way may delay the processing of a visa application or result in the refusal of a visa.

(2) Visa officials reserve the right to make decisions on a visa on a case-by-case basis.

(3) The Chinese Consulates General reserve the right of interpretation in case of changes to the information above.

Two: Visiting Hong Kong with a U.S. passport, a Third-Country Passport or an Advance Parole

1. A U.S. citizen holding a U.S. passport may visit the HKSAR without visa for a short visit or tourism purpose and stay in Hong Kong for up to 90 days. But in any of the following cases, the U.S. citizen still needs to apply for a visa at the Chinese Consulates General or the Immigration Department of the Government of the Hong Kong SAR before making the trip.

(1) The U.S. citizen intends to stay in Hong Kong for more that 90 days;

(2) The U.S. Citizen goes to Hong Kong for employment, permanent residency, performance or exhibition.

(3) The U.S. Citizen goes to Hong Kong for studies, professional training or industrial or commercial training.

2. For information on whether or not a third-country national is required to apply for visa and how to apply, please visit the website of the Immigration Department of the Government of the Hong Kong SAR: http://www.info.gov.hk/immd/.

3. Holder of an advance parole who goes to Hong Kong for tourism purpose, family visit, business meetings or business activities should apply for a Hong Kong visa. A Chinese citizen with an advance parole should apply for a Travel Document of the PRC and an entry permit. The Chinese Consulate General may issue a single-entry, double-entry or multiple-entry visa to the holder of an advance parole on a case-by-case basis. The maximum duration of each stay is 3 months for applicants who were formally Hong Kong residents, or 1 month for other applicants.

Holder of an advance parole who goes to Hong Kong for studies, training, work or permanent residency may submit a Hong Kong visa application directly to the HKSAR Immigration Department, or to the Chinese Consulate General.

Three: Visiting Hong Kong with a Passport/Travel Document of the People's Republic of China

1. Transit through Hong Kong

(1) Holder of a valid passport of the People's Republic of China who travels with a connecting ticket from overseas through Hong Kong to a third country/region may stay in Hong Kong for up to 7 days without a Hong Kong entry permit. If the final destination is China's mainland or Macao, no connecting ticket is required.

Holder of a valid passport of the People's Republic of China who travels with a connecting ticket and a valid visa or document of permanent residency of the destination country/region (e.g. work visa, student visa, permanent resident card) from China's mainland through Hong Kong to a third country/region may stay in Hong Kong for up to 7 days without a Hong Kong entry permit.

(2) Travelers who plan to stay in Hong Kong for more than 7 days must apply for an entry permit. The Chinese Consulate General will issue a single-entry or double-entry permit valid for 3 months with a maximum duration of stay of 30 days each time. U.S. permanent resident card holders who have lived overseas for at least one year can apply for a multiple-entry permit valid for 2 years.

2. Visiting Hong Kong

(1) Chinese citizens going to Hong Kong for short visit (regardless of the passport type) must apply for a Hong Kong entry permit.

(2) Visitors under any of the following circumstances must apply for a Hong Kong entry permit at the HKSAR Immigration department or to the Chinese Consulates General regardless of the length of stay:

(a) The purpose of the trip is to get employment, give performances or hold exhibitions; or to reside permanently;

(b) The purpose of the trip is to study, or receive vocational education or industrial/business training;

(c) The visitor intends to work or reside permanently in Hong Kong.

Please visit the website of the HKSAR Immigration Department (http://www.info.gov.hk/immd/) for more information.

3. Visitors traveling with a Travel Document of the People's Republic of China to visit or transit though Hong Kong must apply for a Hong Kong entry permit.

Four: Hong Kong Residents Going to Hong Kong

No visa or entry permit is required for any holder of the following travel documents:

(1) Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Passport,

(2) Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card,

(3) Hong Kong Certificate of Identity (CI),

(4) Hong Kong Seaman's Identity Book (excluding seamen overstaying temporary shore leave),

(5) British National (Overseas) Passport.

Five: Macao Residents Visiting Hong Kong

1. The following permanent residents of Macao may visit Hong Kong without entry permit for a period up to 180 days:

(1) Permanent residents of Macao holding valid permanent identity cards of Macao and in conformity with general entry regulations;

(2) Holders of Visit Permit for Residents of Macao SAR to HKSAR and proof of permanent resident status in Macao.

2. Holders of Visit Permit for Residents of Macao SAR to HKSAR who are non-permanent residents of Macao may visit Hong Kong without entry permit for up to 30 days.

3. Holders of Macao SAR passports and holders of Macao SAR Travel Permits who travel between Macao SAR and another country/region may transit through Hong Kong for a stay up to 7 days without entry permit, provided that the general entry regulations are met, including possession of valid visas or other entry documents for the destination and confirmed onward tickets.

4. Please visit the website of the HKSAR Immigration Department (http://www.info.gov.hk/immd) for more information.

Six: Taiwan Residents Visiting Hong Kong

1. Holders of valid "Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents" may enter Hong Kong as tourists and stay for up to 7 days without entry permit, provided the general entry regulations are met.

2. Taiwan residents who live in Taiwan should apply for entry permit issued by HKSAR Immigration Department through one of the authorized airline companies or agencies if they intend to visit or transit through Hong Kong and stay there for over 7 days.

3. Taiwan compatriots who live overseas should apply for a Travel Document of the People's Republic of China and a Hong Kong entry permit at the Chinese Consulate General (see Travel Document for more information) if they intend to visit Hong Kong without "Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents". They should also apply for an entry permit which can be single-entry or double-entry valid for 3 months, or multiple-entry valid for one year with a duration of stay up to 14 days each time. Applicants applying for a multiple-entry permit valid for one year must submit proof of U.S. residency (e.g. permanent resident card).

If an applicant intends to stay for more than 14 days in Hong Kong, the application will be referred to the Immigration Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for processing.

Please visit the website of the HKSAR Immigration Department (http://www.info.gov.hk/immd/) for more information.

Seven: Contact the HKSAR Immigration Department

Address: Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Tel: (852) 2824 1212

Fax: (852) 2824 1133

Website: http://www.info.gov.hk/immd

The Chinese Consulates General reserve the right of interpretation in case of changes to the information above.

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Macao Visas

1. At present, citizens of 66 countries and regions, such as the U.S., Canada and Portugal, enjoy visa-free entry into Macao Special Administrative Region (Macao SAR) for tourism purpose.

2. Starting from 1 July 2010, holders of ordinary passports and some holders of service passports of Bangladesh, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam are not eligible to apply for a Macao visa upon arrival and must apply for a Macao visa at Chinese diplomatic or consular missions abroad or the Commissioner's Office of China's Foreign Ministry in the Hong Kong SAR before entering Macao SAR.

Holders of diplomatic passports of the six countries above still enjoy visa-free entry into Macao SAR. Members of diplomatic and consular missions of the six countries and representatives of international organizations in China and their family members can apply for a Macao visa upon arrival with their passports and the identification cards of diplomatic or consular officers or administrative and technical staff.

3. Citizens of other countries or regions may apply for a Macao visa at the local Chinese Consulate General, or apply for a visa upon their arrival in Macao.

4. Application Guidelines

(1) Documents Required

(a) Visa Application Form– Please fill out the visa application form truthfully and completely.

(b) Photo – Please affix one color photo on the application form. The photo should be recent, front view, in 48mm x33mm size without head covering.

(c) Other documents deemed necessary by visa officers.

(2) Processing Time

For all the visas that should be issued by the Chinese Consulates General:

(a) Regular service: Visas can be obtained on the fifth business day.

(b) Express service: Visas can be obtained on the third business day.

(c) Rush service: Visas can be obtained on the second business day.

If an application that needs to be referred to the Immigration Department of the Government of the Macao SAR for processing, it normally takes about 10 business days. Such an application is not eligible for express or rush service.

(3) Visa Fees and Payment

(a) Regular service: $30 per person;

(b) Express service: An additional fee of $20 per person will be charged.

(c) Rush service: An additional fee of $30 per person will be charged.

(d) For any application that needs to be referred to the Macao SAR Immigration Department for processing, apart from the visa fee of $30, an additional $20 of telecom liaison fee should be paid upon submission of the application.

(e) Please pay by money order, cashier's check, or Visa/Master Card. Cash or personal/corporate check is not accepted. Please make cashier's checks or money order payable to "Chinese Consulate General".

(4) Other Important Information

(a) Please fill out the visa application form truthfully, completely and clearly. Any false or incomplete statement or failure to write in a clear way may delay the processing of a visa application or result in the refusal of a visa.

(b) Visa officials reserve the right to make decisions on a visa on a case-by-case basis.

(c) Please visit the website of the Macao SAR Public Security Police Force http://www.fsm.gov.mo/ for more information.

5. Contact the Immigration Department of Macao SAR Public Security Police Force

Address: Immigration Department Building Travessa Um do Cais de Pac On, Taipa, Macao

Website: http://www.fsm.gov.mo/

The Chinese Consulates General reserve the right of interpretation in case of changes to the information above.

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Forms for Download

Frequently Asked Questions about Visa

1. Do I need a visa to visit China's mainland?

Answer: Foreign citizens generally need a visa to visit China's mainland with the exception of visa-free entry according to relevant agreements and regulations. (See Chinese Visa for more information.)


2. Where should I apply for a visa?

Answer: You can apply for a visa at a Chinese Embassy or Consulate General.


3. What type of visa should I apply for?

Answer: It depends on the purpose of your trip to China and other factors. See Chinese Visa for more information on the visa types. Consular officers have the final say on the type of visa to be issued.


4. As a U.S. citizen, can I apply for a Chinese visa at the port of entry?

Answer: U.S. citizens must obtain a visa before arrival in China. They cannot apply for a visa at the port of entry.


5. What documents should I submit when I apply for a visa? What are the requirements?

Answer: Necessary materials should be submitted based on the purpose of your trip to China.

See relevant visa regulations for details.


6. How long before my planned trip should I apply for a visa?

Answer: We suggest you submit your visa application a month before your planned trip to China. If you apply for the visa too early, the visa may have expired when you need to use it. If you apply for the visa too late, you may not have enough time to get the visa.


7. How long does it take to get a visa after my application?

Answer: If you have submitted all documents required, it normally takes 4 business days (it varies case by case). If you have a special or emergency situation, you may request express (2 or 3 business days) or rush service (within 24 hours) with an additional fee. Approval for such services may and may not be provided by the Chinese Consulates General.

Applicants should come to get the visas on time. Visas not taken away after 90 days from the day it should be taken away will be deemed abandoned.


8. Can I apply for a visa by mail? Could you mail the passport with visa back to me?

Answer: No. The Chinese Consulates General do not accept mailed visa applications, or mail back your application materials, or mail back your passport with the visa on it.

Applicants may entrust others to submit visa applications or get the visas on a voluntary basis, and applicants should take all responsibilities arising there from.


9. I live far away from the Chinese Consulate General. How can I apply for a visa?

Answer: If you like, you may entrust someone else to submit your application at the visa office. The Chinese Consulate General is not responsible for any consequences that may arise in the entrustment process.

If the Consulate requires an interview with the applicant, the applicant must be there in person.


10. Do I need to make an appointment for visa application?

Answer: No. You can visit the visa office anytime during business hours. We suggest you come before 10:30a.m. Applications for the same-day rush service must be submitted before 12:00p.m. Applications submitted after that hour cannot be processed in the same day.


11. What does "Entries" on the visa mean? What should I do if the number of entries on the visa runs out?

Answer: "Entries" refers to the number of times the bearer is permitted to enter China within the validity of a visa. It can be single-entry, double-entry, or multiple-entry. For single-entry and double-entry visas, once the number of entries is used up, the visa becomes invalid, and you need to apply for a new visa to visit China again. A visa also becomes invalid if its validity period expires, regardless of the number of entries left. Visiting China with an invalid visa will result in denial of entry. Therefore, please check your visa's number of entries and make sure you have a valid visa before your departure for China.


12. As a U.S. citizen, I plan to visit Beijing and then spend 7 days in Hong Kong. After that I will visit Guangzhou. How many entries do I need?

Answer: You should apply for a double-entry visa: one entry for going from the U.S. to Beijing, and another for going from Hong Kong to Guangzhou. If you only have a single-entry visa, during your stay in Hong Kong, you should apply for another visa to go to Guangzhou at the Commissioner's Office of China's Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong SAR. With U.S. passport, you do not need a Hong Kong visa for a visit of up to 90 days, but you need a visa to visit China's mainland.


13. When will my visa become valid and when will it expire?

Answer: The validity of a visa starts from the date of issue, unless otherwise indicated on the visa.

A visa expires under any of the following circumstances:

(1) After 24:00 (Beijing Time) of the Enter Before date shown on the visa;

(2) The number of entries is used up;

(3) The visa is revoked or canceled by the Chinese government authorities;

(4) Other circumstances in accordance with Chinese laws.


14. Can I change my trip plan after getting a visa?

Answer: Unless otherwise specified, you can change your trip plan. But you must enter China before your visa expires. The Chinese Consulate General will not be responsible if your visa cannot be used due to changes of your travel plan.


15. What does "Duration of Each Stay" mean? What should I do if I want to stay in China longer than the "Duration of Each Stay" allowed?

Answer: Duration of Each Stay refers to the maximum days the bearer is permitted to stay in China. The duration of stay is calculated from the date of entry into China. Bearer of an ordinary visa should apply for an extension of the duration at the local public security authorities if he/she intends to stay in China longer than the Duration of Each Stay shown on the visa (but the application may or may not be approved).

Bearers of Z, X, J1, Q1, S1 or D visas must apply for a resident permit at the local public security authorities within 30 days of entry into China, or their stay in China will be illegal.

Overstaying a visa in China is a violation of Chinese laws and regulations. The perpetrator is subject to fines and other penalties. Please check the duration of each stay on the visa and make sure you do not overstay your visa in China.


16. Can the validity, duration of each stay and number of entries be changed after I get the visa?

Answer: No, they cannot be changed. Please plan your trip before applying for a visa, and fill out the application form with accurate and complete information. You should check the contents of your visa when you get it. If you want to change your visa, you should submit a new application and pay the visa fee again.


17. What a foreign citizen need to know during his/her stay in China?

Answer: A Foreign citizen in China should comply with Chinese laws and regulations, and should not engage in activities unrelated the purpose of trip specified on your visa application form or not authorized by relevant Chinese government authorities. If a foreigner intends to work in China, he/she must apply for a work permit at competent authorities. Violators of relevant laws and regulations will be punished.


18. Can I enter China after I get the visa?

Answer: You can enter China via Chinese ports open to foreigners after getting the visa. Chinese customs/checkpoint officials reserve the right to allow or deny a visa bearer's entry into China.


19. How do I read a visa correctly?

Answer:


20. I get a new passport, but I have a valid Chinese visa in my old passport. Can I travel with both passports to China without applying for a new visa?

Answer: Yes, you may travel with both passports provided that your visa is still valid and the personal details including your name, sex, date of birth and nationality on both passports are exactly the same.


21. If visa expires during my stay in China, can I continue my stay?

Answer: Although your visa expires, you can still stay in China until the allowed Duration of Each Stay expires.


22. What should I do if I lose my passport during my stay in China?

Answer: You should report the loss to local public security authorities as soon as possible and go to your country's embassy or consulate in China to apply for a new passport or other travel document. After that, you should go to the local public security authorities to apply for a new entry and exit visa.


23. Can I check other applicants' visa application information at the Chinese Consulate General?

Answer: No.

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