China Student Visa: How to Apply, Requirements, Cost, Extension


China is the third-largest country in the world in terms of the student population. The country has some of the most prestigious universities in the world with outstanding achievements. So every year, many students from all over the world seek admission from Chinese universities. In this article, we are going to provide tips for people who are looking for a China student visa. In the following, we will discuss issues such as the application process, its cost, how to extend a student visa, and other details.

What is China Student Visa?

All international students who intend to continue their studies in China must obtain a student visa or X visa. This visa is divided into two subcategories: X1 and X2.

  • X1 visa: It is a long-term visa and is issued to students who intend to stay in China for more than six months. If you want to pursue your education in undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate degrees, you can apply for this visa. This visa is a multiple-entry and is valid for up to 5 years.
  • X2 visa: It is a short-term visa issued for study programs with less than six months. Applicants for language programs and short training courses can apply for this student visa. Unlike the X1 visa, this one is issued as a single entry.

What are the requirements of a China student visa?

The applicant must provide the following requirements:

  • A valid passport and a photo: The visa must be valid for at least six months from the date of application. The passport must also have blank pages to enter the visa. The applicant’s photo must have been taken during the last six months. The applicant’s photo must be in color, and the full face must be visible.
  • China student visa application form: The applicant must complete this form. You can download the sample form on the Chinese Embassy website.
  • The admission letter: Once a Chinese university admits a student, a letter of acceptance is issued that you will need when applying for a student visa.
  • JW201 or JW202 Form: The forms, known as foreign student visa application forms, are issued by the Ministry of Education in China. Your university in China will provide you a copy of these forms. Form JW201 is for students who want to receive a scholarship from the China government. Form JW202 is issued to students who fund their studies.
  • Payment receipt: The application fee for a China student visa is about $ 66, which must be paid by the applicant. You must keep your payment receipt and present it as part of your pre-visa documents.
  • The applicant must prove that he will return to his home country after graduation. During the interview, the immigration officer may also review documents related to your accommodation in China.
  • Physical examination record: Students over the age of 19 must undergo some medical examinations and submit their results to the embassy. This requirement only applies to X1 visa applicants.
  • Language requirements: This item is not defined for student visa applicants, but the university may require a language test result for admission. Depending on the studying program, you may need a certificate in English or Mandarin.

How to petition for a China student visa?

Before applying, you should check if the institution offers its courses in Mandarin or English. In some cases, you need to take a language exam. Remember to apply for a visa a few months before the start of the semester.

You must submit your application through consulates, embassies, as well as Chinese Visa Application Centers (CVACs) in person. Emailed applications for embassies and consulates are usually rejected, but Chinese Visa Application Centers accept these requests. Many Chinese embassies entrust the early stages of visa application to private companies called Chinese Visa Application Centers. CVACs are for applicants from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and European Union countries. Relatives, friends, or travel agencies can also apply on your behalf.

Most embassies and consulates do not require the appointment. However, if you are required to apply at the CVASC, you may need to make an online appointment through the website of CVASC.

Infographic China Student Visa: How to Apply, Requirements, Cost, Extension

What questions might be asked in the interview?

In an interview for a China student visa, the Immigration Officer examines your motivation for choosing China, your intention to return home after graduation, and how to pay for your education. Some of the most frequently asked questions in student interviews are:

  • Why did you choose China to continue your education?
  • What is your major?
  • Isn’t the course or field in which you received admission offered in your own country?
  • Will you continue your studies in China after receiving this degree?
  • Where did you get your last degree?
  • At which university do you intend to continue your studies?
  • How many universities have you applied for? (Both admits and rejects)
  • Can you mention the names of some of your professors?
  • Have you received a scholarship?
  • How will you cover your tuition fees?
  • What is your plan?

How long does it take to assess the documents and issue a student visa?

The processing time for a China student visa is about a week. However, it is rational that you apply for a visa three months before the start of the semester.

How much does the China student visa cost?

The application fee for a China student visa is the same as other Chinese visas. The cost of applying for a student visa varies from country to country. The embassies can provide detailed guidance in this regard.

How to extend a student visa?

X1 visa holders must first apply for a Temporary Residence Permit from the local Exit and Entry Administration during 30 days upon entry into China. The permission is valid for up to 5 years. The following documents must be submitted for a Temporary Residence Permit in China:

  • Passport
  • photo
  • Admission letter
  • JW201 or JW202 form
  •  Physical Examination Record
  •  A registration of accommodation

Students are allowed to travel into and out of China freely under this permission. After completing the program, the student must go to the local Exit and Entry Administration to revoke the Temporary Residence Permit and apply for a 30-day tourist visa to avoid possible problems.

Holders of X2 visa are allowed to stay in China as indicated on the visa and do not need to obtain a Temporary Residence Permit. They must renew their visa 30 days before the expiration date and go to the local Exit and Entry Administration.

Can a China student visa holder work in China?

Holders of an X visa are not allowed to work in China. However, part-time work and out-of-university internships are permitted. To have a part-time job, a student must submit a Consent Letter from the university where he is enrolled. Besides, he must obtain a Certification from the company where he will be hired. Applicants must then go to the local police station to have their visa marked with Part-time work.

Can a student visa holder bring his family to China?

X1 visa holders can bring their spouses and children to China under the S1 visa.

Let’s sum up…

In this article, we have reviewed the China student visa application process, requirements, costs, and other details. On the Visa Library website, you can learn about other China visas as well as ways to immigrate to other countries. In case you have some experience, please write it down in the comment section. Your comments let the readers choose better and avoid mistakes. Conveying your experiences in comments is a great help for applicants.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 2

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.


  1. Roman_k says:

    I want to study for my master’s in China. What type of visa should I apply for?

    • Support says:

      Hello there. For long-term stays which last more than six months, you are going to need an X1 visa.

  2. Bojing says:

    It’s long time I’m looking for a way to bring along my family. Thanks for introducing the S1 visa.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.