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Chinese Visa Application Frequently Asked Questions

 

  1. What is a Chinese Visa ?

  2. Do I need a Chinese Visa ?

  3. What is the difference between a Chinese tourist and business visa?

  4. How long does it take to obtain a Chinese visa ?

  5. How long is a Chinese visa valid ?

  6. I am going to mainland China, then to Hong Kong and back to mainland China for one night. Does it mean that I must have a double-entry Chinese visa?

  7. Do I need any shots before entering China?

  8. I travel to China frequently. How do I get a multiple entry Chinese visa?

 


What is a Chinese Visa?

A Chinese visa is a stamp or endorsement placed by officials of a China on a passport that allows the bearer to visit China.  Chinese visas are obtained through a visa service from the local consulates of China.  "Visit" is further defined as the reason for entry, usually business, tourist or transitory.  There are over 270 countries that offer visas and literally thousands of different types of visas available based upon country, type of visit, and length of visit.

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Do I need a Chinese visa?

If you are traveling to mainland China, whether for business or tourism, you require a Chinese visa to be obtained from a consulate in advance of your trip. You are exempt from this requirement if you travel and stay only in Hong Kong or Macao for less than 30 days.

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What is the difference between a Chinese tourist and business visa?

Chinese visas are issued according to the purpose of the trip; either tourism or business activities. In general, "tourist" visas are issued specifically for the purpose of travel for pleasure, while a "business" visa generally permits a traveler to engage in normal business-related activities (sales meetings, visiting a factory, negotiating agreements, etc.)

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How long does it take to obtain a Chinese visa?

The answer varies depending upon the service you choose.  The consulate fee included in your application indicates to the Consulate the level of expediency you are requesting.  We offer 3 levels:

  • Same Day - The day we receive your application, we submit your application into the consulate and we receive your passport back with the visa that same day.  Shipping time via Fedex Priority Overnight means you'll get your visa then next morning.  Same-Day delivery is available on a limited basis if required.

  • Rush Service - The day we receive your application, we submit your application into the consulate and we receive your passport back the next afternoon. Shipping time via Fedex Priority Overnight means you'll get your visa the 3rd business day from when we receive your application (i.e. we get your package Monday morning; you'll get the visa back in your hands on Wednesday).

  • Standard Service - The day we receive your application, we submit your application into the consulate and we receive your passport back five business days later. Shipping time via Fedex Priority Overnight means you'll get your visa the 6rd business day from when we receive your application (i.e. we get your package Monday morning; you'll get the visa back in your hands the following Monday).

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How long is a China visa valid?

A Single and Double entry China visa is good for 90 days from issuance. Within 90 days (please note the time difference between China and the U.S.) you can enter China. And from the date of your entrance, you can stay in China for 30 days (the duration period is written in the visa label).

A Multiple entry China visa (Business Only) is good for 6 months from issuance.  Within 180 days (please note the time difference between China and the U.S.) you can enter China. And from the date of your entrance, you can stay in China for 30 days (the duration period is written in the visa label). 

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I am going to mainland China, then to Hong Kong and back to mainland China for one night.  Does this mean I must have a double-entry visa?

Absolutely. Double-entry visa means you can enter into mainland of China twice within 90 days. Since you are going to the mainland of China twice, you must have a double-entry visa. Although being part of China, Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region.

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Do I need any shots before entering China?

None are required, although you might check with your doctor for recommendations.

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I travel to China frequently.  How do I obtain a multiple entry visa?

Multiple entry visas are granted for business purpose only.  You'll need to ask your business partners in China to contact the local government office to issue an invitation. The invitation has to be issued by the Foreign Ministry of Affairs and should be sufficient for the embassy or consulate to issue the visa.  However; issuance of a multiple entry visa is at the discretion of the consulate and having a invitation from the Foreign Ministry does not guarantee issuance of the multiple entry visa.

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How do I read a China visa?

Above is a typical China visa.  The visa is stamped on a blank page within your passport supplied to us.  Some areas to note :

A:  Category of the visa (L means a tourist visa, F means a business visa)

B: Number of Entries.  In this case, this visa is a double entry (2).  Other choices would be single (1), or multiple (M).

C. Duration of Stay.  In this case, the applicant has 30 days to stay in China before they are required to leave.  Values could be 30, 90, 120 or 180 depending upon your needs.

D. Entry Dates.  In this case, the applicant must enter before Nov 18, 2004.  The visa was issued on May 18, 2004.

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