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Chinese Visa Application Requirements (Updated in April, 2023)

China is a popular destination for travelers from all around the world. However, before you can embark on your journey, it is important to understand the requirements for a Chinese visa application. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the application process smoothly.

Visa Types

There are various types of visas available for travelers visiting China. Each type of visa has its own specific requirements. Some common visa types include:

  • C-Visa: For crew members.
  • D-Visa: For permanent residents.
  • F-Visa: For business or non-commercial exchanges.
  • G-Visa: For transit through China.
  • J1/J2-Visa: For journalists.
  • L-Visa: For tourists.
  • M-Visa: For business and trade activities.
  • Q1-Visa: For family reunion.
  • Q2-Visa: For family visits.
  • R-Visa: For high-level foreign talents.
  • S1-Visa: For family members joining a work or study visa holder.
  • S2-Visa: For family visits for a short period.
  • X1-Visa: For long-term study.
  • X2-Visa: For short-term study.
  • Z-Visa: For employment.
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Each visa type requires specific supporting documents, which we will detail in the following sections.

Basic Documents

Regardless of the visa type, there are a few basic documents that you will need to provide for your Chinese visa application:

  1. Visa Application Form and Confirmation Form of Online Visa Application: Fill out the China Visa Application Form online through the China Online Visa Application website. For underage applicants, the forms can be filled by parents on behalf of the children.
  2. Passport: Your original passport, with at least six months of remaining validity and blank visa pages. Also, include a photocopy of the passport’s bio-data page.
  3. Photo: Provide a recent colored ID photo with a white background, facing forward, and without headwear.
  4. Proof of legal stay or residence status: This requirement applies to non-Samoa passport holders applying for a Chinese visa in Samoa.
  5. Original and Photocopy of Previous Chinese Passport and Naturalization Certificate: If applicable, submit the original and photocopy of your previous Chinese passport and the photocopy of your naturalization certificate. Additionally, if the name on your current passport is different from the previous one, you must provide an official document of name change.
  6. Additional Documents for Children Born in Samoa with Chinese Descent: If you are a child born in Samoa with Samoan citizenship and Chinese descent applying for a Chinese visa for the first time, you must also submit the original and photocopy of your birth certificate, as well as the photocopy of your parents’ passports and permanent residence permits.

All paper copies of the application documents should be submitted to the Chinese Embassy in Samoa.

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Supporting Documents Based on Visa Category and Purposes of Travel

Depending on the visa category and the purpose of your travel, you will need to provide additional supporting documents. Here are some examples:

C-Visa

If you are applying for a C-Visa, which is for crew members, you will need to provide a letter of guarantee issued by a foreign transport company or an invitation letter issued by a relevant entity in China.

D-Visa

For a D-Visa, which is for permanent residents, you must submit the original and photocopy of the Confirmation Form for Foreigners Permanent Residence Status issued by the Ministry of Public Security of China.

F-Visa

Applying for an F-Visa, which is for business or non-commercial exchanges? You will need an invitation letter issued by a relevant entity or individual in China. The invitation letter should include information on the applicant, the planned visit, and the inviting entity or individual.

G-Visa

If you are applying for a G-Visa for transit through China, you must provide an onward air, train, or ship ticket with a confirmed date to the destination country or region.

J1/J2-Visa

Journalists applying for J1/J2-Visas should refer to the requirements of the competent authority.

L-Visa

For an L-Visa, which is for tourists, you need to submit documents showing your itinerary, such as an air ticket booking record (round trip) and proof of a hotel reservation. Alternatively, you can provide an invitation letter issued by a relevant entity or individual in China. If the invitation letter is issued by an individual, include photocopies of their Chinese ID.

M-Visa

Applying for an M-Visa for business and trade activities? You will need to provide documents related to the commercial activity issued by a trade partner in China, a trade fair invitation, or other invitation letters issued by a relevant entity.

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Q1-Visa

For a Q1-Visa, which is for family reunion, you will need an invitation letter issued by a Chinese citizen or a foreign citizen with a Chinese permanent residence permit. The invitation letter should include information about the applicant, the visit, and the inviting individual. Additionally, you must provide photocopies of the inviting individual’s Chinese ID or foreign passport and permanent residence permit. If you are applying for foster care, there are specific documents required, such as foster entrustment notarization and certification of the relationship between parents or guardians and children.

Q2-Visa

If you are applying for a Q2-Visa for family visits, you must provide an invitation letter from a Chinese citizen or a foreign citizen with a Chinese permanent residence permit. The invitation letter should include information about the applicant, the visit, and the inviting individual. Photocopies of both sides of the inviting individual’s Chinese ID or foreign passport and permanent residence permit are also required.

R-Visa

For an R-Visa, a photocopy of the Confirmation Letter for High Level Foreign Talents is required.

S1-Visa

If you are a family member joining a work or study visa holder, you will need an invitation letter from the inviting individual, along with photocopies of their passport and residence permit. Additionally, provide original and photocopies of certification showing the relationship between the applicants and the inviting individual.

S2-Visa

For a short-term family visit, you must provide an invitation letter from the inviting individual, along with photocopies of their passport and residence permit. Photocopies of certification showing the relationship between the applicants and the inviting individual are also required.

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X1-Visa

Applying for an X1-Visa for long-term study? You must submit the original and photocopy of the Admission Letter issued by the school or entity in China, as well as the original and photocopy of “Visa Application for Study in China” (Form JW201 or Form JW202).

X2-Visa

If you are applying for an X2-Visa for short-term study, provide the original and photocopy of the Admission Notice issued by the school or entity in China.

Z-Visa

For a Z-Visa, which is for employment, you need to provide the Notice for the Work Permit for Foreigners.

Special Reminder

Here are a few important things to keep in mind when submitting your Chinese visa application:

  1. The invitation letter may be in the form of a fax, photocopy, or computer printout, but the consular officer may require the original invitation letter.
  2. The consular officer may require additional proof documents, supplementary materials, or an interview with the applicant.
  3. The consular officer has the authority to decide whether or not to issue the visa, as well as its validity, duration of stay, and number of entries, based on the specific conditions of the applicant.

FAQs

Q: How long does it take to process a Chinese visa application?
A: The processing time can vary depending on the type of visa and your specific circumstances. It is recommended to submit your application well in advance of your intended travel date.

Q: Can I apply for a Chinese visa online?
A: No, currently, you cannot apply for a Chinese visa online. You must submit your application in person at the Chinese Embassy or Consulate.

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Q: Is it possible to extend a Chinese visa?
A: Yes, it is possible to extend your Chinese visa in certain circumstances. You will need to consult the relevant authorities and provide the necessary documents to support your extension request.

Conclusion

Now that you are familiar with the requirements for a Chinese visa application, you can begin preparing the necessary documents for your trip to China. Remember to carefully review the specific requirements based on your visa type and purpose of travel. Should you have any further questions or need assistance, please consult the official website of iBlog here. Safe travels and enjoy your time in China!

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