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Applying for a Chinese visa

General Information
Getting a visa for leisure travel to China is easy and it is usually granted for a one month's stay. For information, you can contact a Chinese embassy or consulate in your country or contact your travel agency. In the North America, you can contact Chinese Embassies in Washington DC, Ottawa or Mexico City, or the consulates in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, or New York, San Francisco, Toronto, or Vancouver.

How to apply
US citizens can stay in Hong Kong without a visa for up to 30 days and 3 months for Canadian citizens. For other passport holders, please inquire your nearest PRC embassy or consulate.

A tourist visa requires an application form, a passport-size photo and a fee depending on visa types. It takes about seven business days for an application to be processed.

Chinese visa categories
To travel, work or visit in China, citizens of all other countries need a visa. Getting a Chinese visa is easy for Western tourists, as you don't need an invitation, for example. The usual tourist single-entry Chinese visa is valid for thirty days and must be used within three months after it was issued. In some cases, it is possible to obtain a visa on arrival to China, but it is recommended to get your visa in advance.

The Chinese visa consists of eight categories, marked with Chinese phonetic letters C, D, F, G, J-1, J-2, L, X and Z.

Chinese visa Categories

L Type Chinese visa: Visa for visitors to China
Chinese L Visa is issued to an alien who comes to China for sightseeing or visiting family members/friends. Usually the validity of a Single Entry or Double Entry L visa is 90 days or 180 days from the date of issue. 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. The Chinese visa officer may extend the Duration of Stay if the applicant needs and requests a stay in China for more than 30 days.

F Type Chinese visa: Visa for doing business in China
F Visa is issued to an alien who is invited to China for a visit, an investigation, a lecture, to do business, scientific-technological and culture exchanges, short-term advanced studies or internship for a period of no more than six months. Usually, the validity of a Single Entry or Double Entry F visa is 90 days or 180 days from the date of issue. The duration of stay of a F 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.

Z Type Chinese visa: Visa for working in China
Z Visa is issued to an alien who comes to China for a post or employment, and his/her accompanying family members. Z visa is valid for one entry, three months. The holder of a Z visa shall go through residential formalities in the local public security department within thirty days of entry into China. Any person suffering from mental disorder, leprosy, AIDS, venereal diseases, contagious tuberculosis or other such infectious diseases shall not be permitted to enter China. Prior to enter Chinese, you have to find an employer for being hired.

X Type Chinese visa: Visa for studying in China
X Visa is issued to an alien who comes to China for study, advanced studies or intern practice for a period of more than six months. An alien who comes to China to study, short-term advanced studies or intern practice for a period of no more than six months shall apply for a F Visa. Generally, X visa is valid for one entry, three months. Foreign citizens may apply multiple entry X visas valid for 12 months. The holder of a X visa must go through residential formalities in the local public security department within thirty days of entry into China.

Chinese Visa Application Forms
Chinese Visa application forms are available in all Chinese embassies or consulates in your country, or on the web site of the embassy or consulate. You can download the forms from these sites.
 



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