Any foreigner who is coming to Mainland China is required to have a Chinese Visa , this document should be acquired in advance. The kind of Visa that one should apply for is mainly determined by the purpose of travel.
For a visitor to apply for a visa he or she should appear in person in the embassy or consulate, the visa issuance offices do not accept email applications. Applications can also be done through the authorized agencies; all the student need to do is present in person in one of these three places. Whether you choose a consulate, embassy or an authorized agent depends on what is available in your area. One of the requirement is to have an actual, this for the purposes of affixing the visa. In most cases you will be required to have a full page which is blank as this is where the visa will be affixed. China is one of the countries which require visa to be affixed on the blank pages, which are those which do not have other stamps.
When it comes to photo specifications, the agency or consulate will require a full face frontal which must have a white or off white background. This kind of a photo can be obtained from professional photographers; they will give a high resolution picture which is printed in a special paper.