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Visa services In China

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.

Visa categories

There are various types of visas that one can apply to allow entry to mainland China, the kind of visa needed will depend on the purpose of the visit. The various categories of visas are:

Tourist Visa – L which is issued to those whose intention is touring and visiting various places for leisure and excursion. One will need a flight and hotel confirmation to get this type of visa, the duration for this visa is normally 1 to 2 months.

Business Visa – M IS issued to those who have an intention of entering China for trade and commercial purposes, like a tourist visa it allows one to stay for 1 to 2 months.

Non Commerce Visa, Class F is issued to those who are entering China for non-commercial activities such as research, scientific, study, cultural exchange purposes; it allows the visitor to stay for up to three months.

Work Visa –Z is for those who are coming to China for employment purposes, working permit or employment license will be required to get this Visa

Study Visa – X1 /X2 is issued to those who are seeking to enter China to study. X1 is issued to those who are coming to China for short courses, lasting up to six months while X2 is for those who intend to study for more than six months.

Other types of visas include the Private Visa S1 and S2 for those who intend to live with a family member, Family visa and Group visa.


How to apply

It is a requirement for those who are entering Mainland China to have a Visa, the kind of Visa that you will be given will depend on the purpose of visit. It is important to familiarize yourself with the specifications in each country, for example starting November 2014 the consulates around United States introduced a new policy for issuing of 10 years for those who hold a US passport.

It is important to note that one can only apply for a Visa through the embassy, consulate or an appointed agent. The applicant has to present himself or herself in person at one of the three issuance points. The applicant should also ensure that the passport has a validity of at least fifteen months and has at least 2 blank pages.

There might be some delays in processing of Visa; therefore one should make sure that there is enough time for processing of the travel document.

You need to fill in the application documents; they can be obtained online or through visiting the embassy, consulate or the appointed agent. It is important to note that no mailing is allowed and there is no need for an appointment. An interview will be required at some point and the applicant will be charged a fee for the processing of the document.

Student Visa

There are two categories of Student Visa, X1 and X2, X1 category is for those students who intend to stay in China for a period of less than six months while X2 is for those who intend to be in China for a period of more than six months.

The requirements for getting this type of Visa are:

A valid passport which must be at least 6 months before expiry and has blank pages for affixing of Visa, a photocopy of the same and a photo page must also be availed at the time of application.

The applicant needs to fill in the application form, affix colour photo which has a full face and bare head and against a white or light background.

One must also produce a proof of residence or basically legal stay if one is applying in a country which he or she is not a citizen, other document which should be produced for this type of an applicant include the original and copy of the valid visa of the stay in the residence country as well as a student or employment status

You will also be required to submit the admission letter

To allow the processing, it is advisable that a student who is intending to travel to China applies some days before the actual day of travel to ensure there are no delays, as at times the high number of applications lead to delays which can inconvenience the student.

Tourist Visa

Tourist Visa, L is issued to those people who intend to visit China for the purposes of sight-seeing and touring. To get this kind of Visa one must show proof that they have a flight ticket which in this case should be a return ticket. Other forms of travel confirmation are also allowed in case somebody does not intend to fly. One will also be required to produce hotel reservation document. One can also produce a letter of invitation from a relevant entity within China; this invitation should have the full details of the application, information regarding the planned visit such as the day the visitor will arrive, the departure date, the placed to be visited and other relevant information. The information of the inviting entity should also be included in the applicant invitation document; such details will include the name and contact. This type of a Visa allows a visitor to be in the country for a limited period of time, the duration normally ranges between thirty to sixty days. To get this type of a Visa one must apply normally through the embassy, consulate or an appointed agent. Single, double and multiple entries are all available for this class of visitors.

Business Visa (F/ M)

People who have an intention to enter China for commercial and trade purposes will be required to get a Visa prior to their travel. Business Visa is in two categories, Class M and F. Business Visa –M is issued to visitors who are coming in for trade and commercial activities. It is normally issued for single, double and multiple entries. It can be given up to a period of ten years. Normally this class of Visa is valid for a short period, between 30 and 60 days, the number of days given will depend of the given Chinese Consulate where the Visa is applied from.
Before the introduction of Business Visa M, F visa was used for commerce visits, this is no longer the case since the introduction of Non Commerce Visa F. F Visa is now issued to visitors who are coming in for non-commerce purposes, these are people who are visiting China with an intention to carry out research, conduct a lecture, carry out scientific studies, cultural exchange or basically a study tour which cannot be described as a tourist activity. Unlike other Visas, F Visa is issued for single and double entry. The validity of this visa is one month to three months, depending on the issuing consulate.

Working Visa (Z)

Visa Z is issued to those who have an intention of entering China for employment purposes. This Visa is issued to the visitors who have been offered an employment place in China. It is worth noting that one cannot be issued this type of Visa if they have not obtained an employment position. To prove this, the applicant may be required to produce a working permit which is issued by the government. In some circumstances, the applicant may be required to produce the employment license. This visa is only issued for single entry. Upon getting the Visa, the visitors coming in to work in China will be required within 30 days to register, apply for residence permit. The residence permit can be obtained from the police station or what is normally known as the Public Security Bureau. It is also important to note that depending with the type of profession, one may be required to produce additional documents, for example people coming in as journalist will be required to produce an official letter which is issued by the media company where the journalist works, the applicant should also contact the press section at the embassy, consulate or the relevant press bodies in China, this should be done in advance to enable the completion of the necessary approvals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I required to have a visa to enter China as a student?

Yes to be allowed to enter China a student, you need a Student Visa

Where do I apply for a student Visa?

You can apply for a student Visa at the Chinese Embassy, consulate or from an appointed agent in your area.

If I intend to travel to China for a short course do I still need a Visa?

Yes you will still need to apply for a Visa; there are normally two classes of Student Visa, X1 and X2. If you intend to be in China for a period less than six months, you need to apply for X1.

What Kind of Visa do I need if I intend to be China for more than six months?

You will need an X2 Visa if your studies will be more than six months.

What are the requirements for application of the China Visa?

To apply for a student Visa you will need to produce an admission letter and a valid passport. If you are applying from a country where you are resident, you need to produce documents which show you are legally in the country.

How long does it take for the student Visa to be processed?

The duration will normally be determined by the workload at the embassy or consulate, it normally takes four days but the period may be longer when there are many applicants, therefore it is important to apply well in advance to make sure that your travel and reporting in your university is not affected

Do I need to travel to the embassy or consulate to get the Visa?

The embassy or consulates do not accept mailing applications, they require the applicant to appear in person, and one can also apply through an agent. At some point one will be interviewed therefore it is mandatory to be at the embassy or consulate at the time of application.


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