How To Apply For a Chinese Visa

The process of getting a Chinese visa can be quite a hassle, especially for people who are not familiar with all visa procedures.

This is really important to have in mind because the Republic of China is a country with really strict visa rules! Any inaccurate information in your China visa application form, such as spelling errors, wrong passport numbers, or invalid addresses may lead to your visa being rejected. 

Therefore we created this in-depth guide and in it, you will find everything you need to know about Chinese visas and how to apply.

Check if you need a visa for China

Chinese visa is an official document, issued by the visa authorities of the People’s Republic of China. This document allows you to stay in the Republic of China for a specific period of time. It is required for every traveler in the world, except if:

    1. you are in direct transit through China (24h,72h, or 144h are allowed depending on your passport) 
    2. you only wish to visit Hainan, Shanghai, and Pearl River Delta
    3. you are a citizen of Singapore, Brunei, or Japan
    4. you are a holder of a Valid APEC Business Travel Card
    5. you are a holder of PRC Foreigner’s Permanent Residence Card
    6. you are a holder of Residence Permit for Foreigners
    7. you are a citizen of any foreign country China reached or signed a bilateral agreement with. Please see the List of Agreements on Visa Exemption signed between China and foreign countries for more information.

 

If none of these exceptions apply to you, you will need a visa to travel to China. If still not sure, you can check your travel requirements by using Viselio Entry Monitor. You can also get informed in detail about China COVID-19 entry rules.

Chinese visa types

There are 16 major types of Chinese visas, that are marked with Chinese phonetic letters: L, M, F, Z, X1, X2, S1, S2, Q1, Q2, C, J-1, J-2, G, D, and R. Each one of them comes with different requirements. Therefore it is important to determine what type of visa you need before applying. 

The most required visas are:

  • Chinese tourist visa (L visa) – issued to those who are traveling to China for sightseeing, or visiting family members or friends, or for any other personal affairs. It can be a single entry (90 days) or a double-entry (180 days). This means the holder of the visa shall enter China no later than 90 days or 180 days from the date of issue, otherwise, the visa will be expired. The duration of stay of an “L” visa is 30 days, which means the holder of the visa may stay in China for up to 30 days from the date of entry.
  • Chinese business visa (M visa) – issued to those who intend to go to China for commercial and trade activities. It is usually issued as a multiple entry visa and for up to 60 days stay per visit. For this visa, a business invitation is mandatory

There’s also a Chinese visa on arrival (VOA) that allows you to enter China without a visa, provided that you immediately apply for a visa on arrival at the entry ports. However, you should have in mind that Chinese visas on arrival are very rare and are given only in special circumstances. They are possible to get only if you:

  • have proof of your emergency from a Chinese organization 
  • your travel is business-related to a letter in your possession, that is explaining your urgent situation and why you didn’t have time to apply for a regular visa. This applies to the citizens of countries that have diplomatic or trade relations with China. However, it does not apply to citizens of the United States and France. 
  • are a traveler who due to force majeure is unable to leave China

When making a decision on what visa you should apply for to travel to China, consider the following:

  • Purpose of your trip –  if you’re planning for a vacation, apply for a tourist visa. If you’re going to China for work, apply for a business visa. Make sure to be transparent in your travel intentions
  • Visa price – make sure you know the real cost of the visa you want to apply for and if it fits your budget.
  • Visa processing time it’s great that you’re excited about your trip and you want to get your visa ASAP, but there are certain processing time protocols. Make sure you check what processing time works for you the best.
  • Period of stay the visa allows – deportation and travel bans are not pleasant experiences, so make sure you acquire the proper information on how long you can stay in China with a travel visa of your choice.   
  • Number of entries the visa allows – this is important to know regarding the number of times you will be permitted to enter China within your visa’s validity.

 

Please know that you can not visit Tibet with a Chinese visa, but there might be a possibility you can visit Hong Kong. In case you find yourself traveling from Hong Kong to China, specifically to Shenzhen, you are not obliged to apply for a regular China visa as there is a special Shenzhen visa for cases like these.                    

China visa requirements

There are specific requirements for each type of Chinese visa, however, the following is required in most cases:

    1. a valid passport that has at least 6 months of remaining validity from the date you applied for a visa, or at the time of entering China, or from your visa expiration date. These conditions depend on the country you are applying from. Your passport also needs to have at least two blank pages, one for the visa and the other one for entry and exit stamps.
    2. correctly filled out the visa application form containing your signature. Again, have in mind that any inaccurate information in your China visa application form, such as spelling errors, wrong passport numbers, or invalid addresses, may lead to your visa being rejected
    3. all applicants must provide their biometrics (fingerprints). You are obligated to personally come to Visa Application Service Center with the necessary visa documentation, to provide fingerprints. This step is not possible to avoid, unless you are:
    • an applicant under the age of 14 or over the age of 70;
    • applying for a new Chinese visa and have already been fingerprinted during a Chinese visa application within the last five years at the same Chinese Embassy, Consulate General (same Visa Application Service Center) using the same passports;
    • an applicant who lost all ten fingers or any similar case that makes fingerprints collection physically impossible
    1. your recent photo
    2. copy of your round-trip airline ticket
    3. hotel reservation
    4. if you are applying for a business visa, you will need a China business invitation.  

Chinese visa photo requirements

Here are useful tips on how to take a perfect visa (biometric) photo on your own.

  • required dimensions for digital photo: horizontal pixels 354 – 420 pixels, vertical pixels 472 – 560 pixels
  • required dimensions for paper (printed) photo: 33mm×48mm (width×height)/about 1.3×1.9 inches, head width is 15mm-22mm, height (chin to the top of head) is 28mm-33mm, head to the upper edge is between 3mm-5mm; 2-3 photos per person
  • it must not be older than 6 months
  • the background should be light and monochrome (white background is the best or very light grey)
  • it must be a clear frontal view of your face (you must look directly into the camera), with a neutral facial expression (no smile)
  • no headgear (hats, uniform, sunglasses or similar head accessorize). The only headgear that is allowed is for religious reasons
  • no hair that’s covering your face or bangs on your forehead
  • have your eyes open (don’t narrow your eyes, don’t look down or on the side) pupils and irises must be visible
  • if you wear eyeglasses, your eyes should be clearly visible, so please do not use tinted lenses. Reflection in the eyeglasses should also be avoided.

How to apply for a Chinese visa in Switzerland

All Swiss citizens require a visa to travel to China. They must apply for a visa directly at the Chinese Visa Application Service Center in Bern. This visa application center is officially in charge of issuing visas by the Chinese Embassy.

If you want to do it on your own, the visa application process goes as follow:

    1. You need to gather the right information on what documentation you need (by browsing their website or via phone call)
    2. You need to collect physically all the necessary documentation
    3. You need to provide 2x recent photos
    4. You need to fill out the visa application form directly on their website
    5. You need to print out all documentation and provide a signature where indicated
    6. You need to pay a visa fee (and provide a printed proof of your payment)
    7. You need to book an appointment at the Chinese Visa Application Service Center
    8. You need to go there and submit your visa documentation in-person 
    9. You need to provide your biometrics in person
    10. After your visa is approved (or denied), you need to go to the visa center again to pick up your passport, or you can ask them to send it to you by post

 

As you can see, the whole process is quite a hassle, especially if you are not from the Bern area. Collecting documentation, filing out of form, embassy visits during the workdays, biometrics, etc. – all this can take a lot of your time and money. And even then there is a high possibility of omission during the filling and collecting of documentation, which can lead to your visa being denied.

APPLY ONLINE FOR YOUR CHINESE VISA!

An easier way to apply for your China visa in Switzerland is by using Viselio online visa application form. 

The whole visa application process is automated and fully secured! It will take a couple of minutes of your time, and you don’t have to worry about long embassy lines, documentation omission, or passport pickup – your visa will be delivered to your home address.

APPLY NOW

How to apply for a Chinese visa in Germany

All German citizens require a visa to travel to China. They must apply for a visa directly at the Chinese Visa Application Service Center in Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, or Duesseldorf. These visa application centers are officially in charge of issuing visas by the Chinese Embassy.

If you want to do it on your own, the visa application process goes as follow:

    1. You need to gather the right information on what documentation you need (by browsing their website or via phone call)
    2. You need to collect physically all the necessary documentation
    3. You need to provide 2x recent photos
    4. You need to fill out the visa application form directly on their website
    5. You need to print out all documentation and provide a signature where indicated
    6. You need to pay a visa fee (and provide a printed proof of your payment)
    7. You need to book an appointment at the Chinese Visa Application Service Center
    8. You need to go there and submit your visa documentation in-person 
    9. You need to provide your biometrics in person
    10. After your visa is approved (or denied), you need to go back to pick up your passport, or you can ask them to send it to you by post

 

As you can see, the whole process is quite a hassle… Collecting documentation, filing out of form, embassy visits during the workdays, biometrics, etc. – all this can take a lot of your time and money. And even then there is a high possibility of omission during the filling and collecting of documentation, which can lead to your visa being denied.

APPLY ONLINE FOR YOUR CHINESE VISA!

An easier way to apply for your China visa in Germany is by using Viselio online visa application form. 

The whole visa application process is automated and fully secured! It will take a couple of minutes of your time, and you don’t have to worry about long embassy lines, documentation omission, or passport pickup – your visa will be delivered to your home address.

APPLY NOW

How to apply for a Chinese visa in Austria

All Austrian citizens require a visa to travel to China. They must apply for a visa directly at the China Visa Application Center in Vienna. This visa application center is officially in charge of issuing visas by the Chinese Embassy.

If you want to do it on your own, the visa application process goes as follow:

    1. You need to gather the right information on what documentation you need (by browsing their website or via phone call)
    2. You need to collect physically all the necessary documentation
    3. You need to provide 2x recent photos
    4. You need to fill out the visa application form directly on their website
    5. You need to print out all documentation and provide a signature where indicated
    6. You need to pay a visa fee (and provide a printed proof of your payment)
    7. You need to book an appointment at the China Visa Application Center
    8. You need to go there and submit your visa documentation in-person 
    9. You need to provide your biometrics in person
    10. After your visa is approved (or denied), you need to go back to pick up your passport, or you can ask them to send it to you by post

 

As you can see, the whole process is quite a hassle, especially if you are not from the Vienna area. Collecting documentation, filing out of form, embassy visits during the workdays, biometrics, etc. – all this can take a lot of your time and money. And even then there is a high possibility of omission during the filling and collecting of documentation, which can lead to your visa being denied.

APPLY ONLINE FOR YOUR CHINESE VISA!

An easier way to apply for your China visa in Austria is by using Viselio online visa application form. 

The whole visa application process is automated and fully secured! It will take a couple of minutes of your time, and you don’t have to worry about long embassy lines, documentation omission, or passport pickup – your visa will be delivered to your home address.

APPLY NOW

How to apply for a Chinese visa in France

All French citizens require a visa to travel to China. They must apply for a visa in one of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Paris or at the Chinese Visa Application Service Center in Marseille, Strasbourg, or Lyons. These visa application centers are officially in charge of issuing visas by the Chinese Embassy.

The visa application process goes as follow:

    1. You need to gather the right information on what documentation you need (by browsing their website or via phone call)
    2. You need to collect physically all the necessary documentation
    3. You need to provide 2x recent photos
    4. You need to fill out the visa application form directly on their website
    5. You need to print out all documentation and provide a signature where indicated
    6. You need to pay a visa fee (and provide a printed proof of your payment)
    7. You need to book an appointment at the Chinese Embassy/Visa Application Center
    8. You need to go there and submit your visa documentation in-person 
    9. You need to provide your biometrics in person
    10. After your visa is approved (or denied), you need to go back to pick up your passport, or you can ask them to send it to you by post

 

As you can see, the whole process is quite a hassle… Collecting documentation, filing out of form, embassy visits during the workdays, biometrics, etc. – all this can take a lot of your time and money. And even then there is a high possibility of omission during the filling and collecting of documentation, which can lead to your visa being denied.

APPLY ONLINE FOR YOUR CHINESE VISA!

An easier way to apply for your China visa in France is by using Viselio online visa application form. 

The whole visa application process is automated and fully secured! It will take a couple of minutes of your time, and you don’t have to worry about long embassy lines, documentation omission, or passport pickup – your visa will be delivered to your home address.

APPLY NOW

How to apply for a Chinese visa in UK

All UK citizens require a visa to travel to China. They must apply for a visa in the Chinese Visa Application Service Center in London. This visa application center is officially in charge of issuing visas by the Chinese Embassy.

The visa application process goes as follow:

    1. You need to gather the right information on what documentation you need (by browsing their website or via phone call)
    2. You need to collect physically all the necessary documentation
    3. You need to provide 2x recent photos
    4. You need to fill out the visa application form directly on their website
    5. You need to print out all documentation and provide a signature where indicated
    6. You need to pay a visa fee (and provide a printed proof of your payment)
    7. You need to book an appointment at the Chinese Visa Application Service Center
    8. You need to go there and submit your visa documentation in-person 
    9. You need to provide your biometrics in person
    10. After your visa is approved (or denied), you need to go back to pick up your passport, or you can ask them to send it to you by post

 

As you can see, the whole process is quite a hassle, especially if you are not from the London area. Collecting documentation, filing out of form, embassy visits during the workdays, biometrics, etc. – all this can take a lot of your time and money. And even then there is a high possibility of omission during the filling and collecting of documentation, which can lead to your visa being denied.

APPLY ONLINE FOR YOUR CHINESE VISA!

An easier way to apply for your China visa in the UK is by using Viselio online visa application form. 

The whole visa application process is automated and fully secured! It will take a couple of minutes of your time, and you don’t have to worry about long embassy lines, documentation omission, or passport pickup – your visa will be delivered to your home address.

APPLY NOW

How to apply for a Chinese visa in Sweden

All citizens of Sweden require a visa to travel to China. They must apply for a visa directly in the China Visa Application Service Center in Stockholm. This visa application center is officially in charge of issuing visas by the Chinese Embassy.

The visa application process goes as follow:

    1. You need to gather the right information on what documentation you need (by browsing their website or via phone call)
    2. You need to collect physically all the necessary documentation
    3. You need to provide 2x recent photos
    4. You need to fill out the visa application form directly on their website
    5. You need to print out all documentation and provide a signature where indicated
    6. You need to pay a visa fee (and provide a printed proof of your payment)
    7. You need to book an appointment at the China Visa Application Service Center
    8. You need to go there and submit your visa documentation in-person 
    9. You need to provide your biometrics in person
    10. After your visa is approved (or denied), you need to go back to pick up your passport, or you can ask them to send it to you by post

 

As you can see, the whole process is quite a hassle, especially if you are not from the Stockholm area. Collecting documentation, filing out of form, embassy visits during the workdays, biometrics, etc. – all this can take a lot of your time and money. And even then there is a high possibility of omission during the filling and collecting of documentation, which can lead to your visa being denied.

APPLY ONLINE FOR YOUR CHINESE VISA!

An easier way to apply for your China visa in Sweden is by using Viselio online visa application form. 

The whole visa application process is automated and fully secured! It will take a couple of minutes of your time, and you don’t have to worry about long embassy lines, documentation omission, or passport pickup – your visa will be delivered to your home address.

APPLY NOW

How to apply for a Chinese visa in Netherlands

All citizens of the Netherlands require a visa to travel to China. They must apply for their travel visa directly at the Chinese Visa Application Service Center in the Hague. This visa application center is officially in charge of issuing visas by the Chinese Embassy.

The visa application process goes as follow:

    1. You need to gather the right information on what documentation you need (by browsing their website or via phone call)
    2. You need to collect physically all the necessary documentation
    3. You need to provide 2x recent photos
    4. You need to fill out the visa application form directly on their website
    5. You need to print out all documentation and provide a signature where indicated
    6. You need to pay a visa fee (and provide a printed proof of your payment)
    7. You need to book an appointment at the Chinese Visa Application Service Center
    8. You need to go there and submit your visa documentation in-person 
    9. You need to provide your biometrics in person
    10. After your visa is approved (or denied), you need to go back to pick up your passport, or you can ask them to send it to you by post

 

As you can see, the whole process is quite a hassle, especially if you are not from the Hague area. Collecting documentation, filing out of form, embassy visits during the workdays, biometrics, etc. – all this can take a lot of your time and money. And even then there is a high possibility of omission during the filling and collecting of documentation, which can lead to your visa being denied.

APPLY ONLINE FOR YOUR CHINESE VISA!

An easier way to apply for your China visa in the Netherlands is by using Viselio online visa application form. 

The whole visa application process is automated and fully secured! It will take a couple of minutes of your time, and you don’t have to worry about long embassy lines, documentation omission, or passport pickup – your visa will be delivered to your home address.

APPLY NOW

How Viselio handles China visa biometric requirements

Collecting of fingerprints must be done in person and can not be avoided (unless you belong to one of 3 groups of people, mentioned in the ‘China visa requirements’ section above. Without biometrics information (fingerprints and facial scans) your visa application will not be processed. 

To make this high-effort visa process faster, Viselio created three different types of biometric visa services you can choose from:

  1. Viselio “Meet and Greet” – you apply for a Chinese visa by using our online visa application form at https://www.viselio.com/; we do a full checkup of your submitted data and documentation and schedule a meeting for you at the embassy. We will take care of everything else from that point – the only thing you need to do is to appear at the embassy, for 10 minutes long, to leave your fingerprints. Then you can go home, relax and wait for your passport with an approved visa that will be delivered to your doorstep.
  2. Viselio “Book Appointment for You” – you apply for a Chinese visa by using our online visa application form at https://www.viselio.com/; we do a full checkup of your submitted data and documentation and schedule a meeting for you at the embassy, but you attend the meeting at the embassy on your own.
  3. Viselio “Book Appointment Myself” – you apply for a Chinese visa by using our online visa application form at https://www.viselio.com, we do a full checkup of your submitted data and documentation, but you do all the rest of the requirements on your own.

 

All three options will be offered to you at the end of your visa application form and it’s up to you to make the choice you like the best. 

Why use Viselio online visa application form

Visas are a necessary part of the international traveling process. 

But unfortunately, applying for a travel visa can be extremely stressful and sometimes, even an obstacle to your upcoming trip. Many people have a lot of problems with their visa applications, and very frequently they end up having to delay or even worse, cancel their planned trip.

Viselio prevents all possible visa application lapses and documentation oversights – just ask our customers!  We take great pride in the fact that 99,7% of people successfully acquired their travel visas by using our online visa application form.

Because we understand that time is a very precious thing, we have created a visa application system where there is:

  • No waiting in long lines in front of the embassy 
  • No time-consuming paperwork collecting
  • No need for you to physically do anything, except to fill out our online form

The risk of being rejected for your travel visa is reduced with Viselio because we have the experience and knowledge on what documents exactly need to be submitted. Our team of Visa Specialists will double-check for you all your data, to make sure all information is filled out properly.

Besides providing a fully automated visa application service, there are many other benefits that Viselio can provide to each and every client. We also offer COVID-19 testing services for travelers, invitations letters, and other necessary travel documentation. You can read more about our additional services here. Fast, easy, and secure service is of utmost importance to us!

Take the hassle out of bureaucratic application forms and endless visits to embassies. Apply online for your visa with Viselio.

More information

Below you can find helpful answers to the most frequently asked questions about Viselio services. For anything else, our Customer Service Agents are available to you Monday – Friday, from 8 am to 6 pm. You can communicate with them in English, German, or French via email, telephone call, or website chat. 

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