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.