How do I get a tourist visa for China?


Most foreign travelers who enter China for tourism purposes need a tourist visa. However, some countries benefit visa exemptions. If you want to know whether you have such an exception, see “the visa-free policies of China”. In the following, we will learn about China tourist visa application, costs to be paid, visa duration, and the visa extension process.


What is the China tourist visa?

The tourist visa is issued as a single entry, and its length is 30 days. Citizens of Canada, the US, the UK, and Argentina can obtain a 10-year tourist visa with multiple entries. In cases of a group trip to China, there is no need to get individual permission. A group tour visa has been defined for this purpose. In this condition, all you have to do is provide your information to the travel agency; then they do the rest. If you want to travel to China individually, you must follow the instruction below.


What are the China tourist visa requirements?

Applicants for a Chinese tourist visa must provide the following documents:

  • A passport: The passport must be valid for at least six months and have blank pages. It is also required to provide a copy of the passport.
  • China Tourist Visa Application Form: This form must be completed carefully. If the section does not apply to you, you must write N/A in the blank. If the information entered in the form is not accurate and complete, the application’s processing time may be extended, or the application may be rejected.
  • Applicant’s photo: The photo must be in color and white background. The photo must be attached to the application form.
  • Documents related to travel plan: Documents such as round-trip tickets and hotel reservations must be provided. If you are unable to purchase a non-refundable ticket before obtaining a visa, you can contact the travel agency to reserve a flight for you. The travel agency allows you to change or cancel your trip later. If you intend to stay in China with your relatives or friends, you must show a signed invitation stating your name, your relationship with the host, your address, and the period of your stay. Otherwise, you must provide hotel confirmation of residency for at least three nights. In this confirmation, your name as a guest, your hotel address, and length of stay must be specified. Hotel and flight information must be official; otherwise, the visa application will be rejected.
  • If you have been invited to China by person or entity, it is mandatory to provide an invitation letter containing the following information:
    • Applicant information such as name, gender, date of birth
    • Travel schedule including arrival date and departure from China or places of visit
    • Inviter information such as name, contact information, address, etc
  • Other documents for China tourist visa application:
    • Proof of residency status is required for those who are not applying in their country of citizenship.
    • In some cases, the applicants need to submit a letter from his employer containing the following information:
      • Name and contact number of the employer
      • Applicant’s income statement
      • Bank statement for the past six months
    • Applicants who intend to travel to Tibet have to apply for Tibet Travel Permit, which is issued through the Tourism Bureau of Tibet Autonomous Region in travel agencies.
    • Applicants aged 18 and under must provide the following documents:
      1. Photocopy of the applicant’s birth certificate  as well as a copy of both parents’ passports
      2. One of the parents should sign the form of application.
      3. If parents do not apply for a visa at the same time, the minor applicant must provide notarized consent from his/her parents.


What is the application process for a China tourist visa?

The documents mentioned in the previous section must be sent to one of the following centers in-person:

  • Chinese embassies
  • Chinese consulates
  • Chinese Diplomatic Missions
  • China Visa Application Centers

Family members, friends, travel agencies, and visa agencies can also submit documents on behalf of you. An appointment arrangement is not required for China tourist visa. Most emailed applications are rejected in embassies. However, in countries where there are Chinese visa application centers, requests can be sent by post or online via their official website.

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

The processing time of the documents is about four working days. If the applicant pays more, the processing time will be shorter.

  • Express service: Those who want their application to be processed within 2 to 3 working days must pay an additional USD 20.
  • Rush service:  Those who want their application to be processed on the same day must pay an additional USD 30.


How much does China tourist visa cost?

The application fee for a China tourist visa is the same as other Chinese visas. The cost of applying for a Chinese visa varies from country to country. The embassies can provide detailed guidance in this regard. If you want to know about the application fee of Chinese visas in different countries, see “the china Visa Fees”.


How long can a Chinese tourist visa holder stay in this country?

Holders of a tourist visa are allowed to stay in the country for up to 3 months.


How to extend a Chinese tourist visa?

If you need to stay longer than defined on your visa, you must apply seven days before your tourist visa expires. The visa extension process is performed at the local Exit and Entry Administration of China. To renew the China tourist visa, you must provide the following documents:

  • Passport
  • Visa application form along with a color photo attached to the form
  • Travel itinerary
  • Registration of temporary residence

If your visa renewal is approved, you will not be allowed to stay longer than the original stay duration on your visa.


Let’s sum up …

In this article, we have reviewed the answers to the most frequently asked questions about China tourist visa. On the Visa Library website, you can learn about other Chinese 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.

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