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How to apply China Visa?

How to apply China Visa?

Regular tourist visa application

Required documents:

1. A valid passport. Your passport must still be valid for at least another 6-months before you enter China. This means that if your passport would hypothetically expire on January 1st, 2025 then you can still use it for your application at any time before June 1st, 2024. However, after June 1st, 2024, you will first need to renew your passport.

2. A completed Visa application form. (The application form can be downloaded from your Chinese embassy’s website. Depending on what country you reside in, you might find an item called “Serial number of invitation letter of the authorized organization”. If you don’t have an invitation letter or if your invitation letter does not have a serial number, then you may skip this item.)

3. A recent passport-type photograph (head and shoulders only, frontal view, with a white background, approximately 2-inches x 2-inches).

4. A round-trip plane ticket and proof of a hotel reservation, OR an invitation letter. An invitation letter can replace the plane ticket and hotel booking if you are planning to stay with friends or family who already live in China and therefore cannot provide a hotel reservation, or if your trip is being organized by an authorized travel agency from within China.

Once you have these documents, you may then submit your application yourself to the Visa Office of your country’s Chinese embassy or consulate, or to a China Visa Application Service Center (also called CVASC). (For applicants in the U.S., we recommend they use VisaHQ, who provide a fast, efficient service at a very competitive price.)

The last step is to go to the place where you applied for your Chinese visa, pay the processing fee and collect your visa. Applications normally take four working days to process, but a one-day rush is available for extreme emergencies, pending a consular officer’s approval.

Please note that since 2018, Visa applicants from more and more countries have had to apply in person and have their fingerprints collected.

For people in Hong Kong, you can acquire a visa through one of two ways:

1. Apply in person at the Chinese Visa Office — economical, but time-consuming.
2. Apply with a visa agency — more expensive, but much more convenient and time-saving.

72-hour or 144-hour visa-free transit

A temporary 72-hour or 144-hour visa-free transit can be obtained, and offers great convenience if you have a layover in China.

Nationals of 53 countries can enjoy the 72-Hour and 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit policies:

1. 29 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvian, Lithuanian, Luxembourg, Maltese, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and The United Kingdom.

2. 10 Asian countries: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia–Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Monaco, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Ukraine.

3. 6 American countries: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, and The United States.

3. 2 Oceanic countries: Australia and New Zealand.

4. 6 Asian countries: Brunei, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Qatar, and The United Arab Emirates.

Required documents to obtain a temporary 72-Hour or 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit:

1. A valid passport.

2. A ticket out of China (the 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit policy only accepts plane tickets, while the 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit policy accepts plane, ship, and train tickets) with a confirmed seat for a third country or region (Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, etc.). You must book the outgoing ticket before arriving in China, and the third country or region cannot be the same as the country you departed from.

3. Completed Arrival and Departure Cards.

4. Visa for a third country or region, if necessary.

Details of the 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit policy

Generally speaking, the 72-hour limit is calculated starting from 12:00 a.m. after your arrival, except at the Beijing Capital International Airport, where the 72-hours starts from the scheduled arrival time of the flight.
For example: if you enter Shanghai at 6:00 a.m. on April 1st, then your stay starts from 12:00 a.m. on April 2nd, and you can stay until 11:59 p.m. on April 4th. (So hypothetically you could actually stay longer than 72-hours with suitable flights.) However, some airports may calculate the 72-hours according to their own regulations, so please check in advance.
You can enjoy the 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit policy in the following cities: Beijing, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Guangzhou, Guilin, Hangzhou, Harbin, Kunming, Nanjing, Shanghai, Shenyang, Tianjin, Wuhan, and Xi’an.
You must not leave the city area (prefecture or municipality) during the 72-hours, except for Changsha, from which you are allowed to travel to anywhere in the Guangdong Province.

Transit without a visa (TWOV) in five easy steps:

1.When you are checking in, inform the airline of your intention to TWOV and collect your outgoing ticket.

2.Fill in the arrival and departure cards (available from the airline).

3.Upon arrival, find the counter dedicated to apply for the 72-hour TWOV. (If successful, your passport will be stamped with a 72-hour or 144-hour visa-free permit stamp, showing the date you arrived and when you must leave by.)

4.Claim your luggage, go through customs, and exit the airport as normal.

5.Leave on your planned flight (or apply for a visa to stay longer).

Details of 144-Hour Visa Free Transit policy

The method of calculating the 144-hour TWOV is the same as the 72-hour TWOV. However, the 144-hour TWOV is only available in the following provinces or cities:

a. Shanghai, Jiangsu, and the Zhejiang Area

1. Shanghai: Hongqiao Airport, Pudong Airport, Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal, Shanghai Railway Station, and the Wusong Passenger Transport Center.

2. Jiangsu – Nanjing: Nanjing Lukou Airport

3. Zhejiang – Hangzhou: Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport

4. Zhejiang – Ningbo: Lishe International Airport

5. You can enter and leave from any of the above ports and travel around Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang.

b. Beijing, Tianjin, and the Hebei Area

1. Beijing: Capital International Airport, Beijing West Railway Station

Note that the Beijing Railway Station and the Beijing West Railway Station are two different railway stations. Beijing Railway Station is NOT a permitted port for the 144-hour visa-free policy. So you cannot enjoy this policy if you take the following international trains, which use the Beijing Railway Station: K23: Beijing to Ulaanbaatar, K3 and K19: Beijing to Moscow.

2. Tianjin: Binhai International Airport, Tianjin International Cruise Home Port

3. Hubei: Zhengding International Airport, Qinhuangdao Port

c. Other cities: Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Jieyang, Chengdu (allowed to travel in Chengdu and to 10 surrounding prefectures), Dalian, Shenyang, Xi’an (limited to Xi’an and Xianyang cities), Chongqing, Xiamen (local air and sea ports), Kunming, Wuhan, Qingdao (travel permitted throughout the entire Shandong Province).
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