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Frequently Asked Questions about China Visa

 

Below are some frequently asked questions and answers about Chinese visa. If you know something we should add to this, kindly let us know.

 
     
General Questions up
What is a visa?  
Do I need a visa for China?  
I will only transit in China for 24 hours. Do I need visa?  
How to obtain a China visa?  
Do I need to send my physical passport?  
Why must I have a full blank visa page in my passport?  
Can a visa be issued on a blank amendment page at the back of my passport?  
What is the requirement of the photo?  
How should I send you my passport and other materials?  
How will my passport and visa be shipped back to me?  
How does the status tracking system work?  
Will any of the information I submit to you be sold or disclosed to others?  
   
Visa Type, Number of Entries, Validity and Duration of Stay up
What type of visa do I need?  
What is the difference between a tourist L visa and a private S visa?  
How long can I stay in China for each entry? Can I extend my stay in China while I am there?  
I am going to mainland China first, then to Hong Kong (or Macao) and back to mainland China again. Will single entry visa suffice?  
I applied for single entry visa. Now I changed travel plan and I need to enter China twice, Is it possible to change the visa to double entry and just pay the extra amount.  
We recently applied our Visa. Our application said we would only be visiting Beijing (section 2.5), can we change our plan now and take a side trip to Shanghai?  
I'm traveling to Beijing for business and then plan on staying for a few extra days and doing the tourist thing, then travel to 1 or 2 other cities for sightseeing. Will a single entry business visa suffice or will I need a separate business and tourist visa?  
My visa says "Enter Before" 30SEP2014, "Duration of Stay" 90, can I use this visa for trip arriving China on Sep 20 and departing on Oct 15, 2014 or do I have to leave before Sep 30?  
If I leave China for a short time and re-enter, does my visa term re-set to day 1 upon re-entry? Or, does my term continue from the first day I enter China on a visa?  
Am I able to be issued 2 years visa?  
     
When to Apply, Processing Time, Service Level up
When to apply for visa?  
Are the Chinese Embassy or Consulates open on the weekends and Holidays?  
When do you begin processing my application?  
Does the processing time include shipping time?  
Are you able to process the passport and visa at the same time?  
   
Question about Payment up
What are the fees involving visa processing?  
What forms of payment does VisaRite accept?  
Can I include the payment combined as one payment for multiple applications?  
Do I need to pay for the shipping fees for all the applications included in the package?  
The credit card form doesn't’t allow enough digits for my American Express?  
If my application is rejected by embassy or consulate, is the consular fee refundable?  
   
Non US Passport Holders or US Passport Holder Living Abroad up
I am not a U. S. citizen. Can you still process my application?  
I am a US citizen or permanent resident of the US currently living abroad. Can you still assist me?  
Can I mail my passport from China to the US in order to apply for a new China visa?  
   
Work Visa, Student Visa  
I will be needing to enter China multiple times, is it possible to get a Z Visa that can allow me to do this? up
Will you be needing me to mail in the original Visa Notice and Work Permit, and if so will they be returned to me after you have finished processing the Visa?
 
I recently received my Student X Visa for China. However, I noticed that the "duration of stay" listed on the visa is 000 days. I assume that this means my length of stay is indefinite, but I wanted to make sure. Is this correct, or was this a typo?  
I recently received my Work Visa Z Visa for China. However, I noticed that the "duration of stay" listed on the visa is 000 days. Is this correct, or was this a typo?  
What visa should Work or Student Visa applicant's family apply for?  
Can I apply for a tourist (business) visa and change to work visa later on?  
   
Other FAQs  
FAQs Regarding New Requirement for China Tourist (L), Private (S), Family (Q) visa Application  
FAQs Regarding New Requirement for China Business (F/M) Visa Application  
Common mistakes to avoid on China Visa Application Form V2013  
     

 

What is a visa?  
  is a privilege, not a right. A visa is an authorized permission issued by the Embassy or Consulates of a country that permits a foreign traveler to visit that country. Most visas are stamped or affixed into the traveler's passport. Visas are issued with specific limitations regarding purpose of visit, length of stay, validity of visa, etc. It is the traveler's responsibility to obtain necessary visas before he/she travels abroad. A traveler must follow very respective guidelines and procedures established by Embassy or Consulates of a country when applying for the appropriate visa.  
 
Up
 

Do I need a visa for China?

 
  Americans or Canadians traveling to Mainland China, whether for business or pleasure, require a visa, which should be obtained in advance. You are exempt from this requirement if you travel and stay only in Hong Kong or Macao for less than 90 days.  
 
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I will only transit in China for 24 hours. Do I need visa?  
  Passport holders of 51 countries including US may enjoy 72-hours visa-free transit via Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Chengdu, Dalian, Shenyang and Xi'an airport. Passenger must travel by air, have valid passport or travel documents as well as the confirmed flight ticket onward to the third country or region and valid visa (if required). Other restriction may apply.  
 
Up
 
How to obtain a China visa?  
 

The Chinese Embassy and Consulates do not accept mail-in applications. Applicants for visas are requested to appear at the Consulate in person or apply through an authorized visa agency.

VisaRite Service is authorized by the Chinese Consulate to handle China visa service. We can process visa application on your behalf no matter where you live. We server residents in all 50 state. We have clients all over the U.S.

 
 
See Comments & Feedbacks from our clients
 
 
Up
 
Do I need to send my physical passport?  
  Yes. it is required to send your actual passport. The Embassy/Consulate needs your passport in order to affix or stamp your visa onto it.
 
 
Up
 
Why must I have full blank visa pages in my passport?  
  China visas are affixed in your passport on the pages specifically marked for them, and countries require that visa stamps be placed on those pages that do not contain any other stamps.  
 
Up
 
Can a visa be issued on a blank amendment page at the back of my passport?  
  No, amendment pages at the back of passports are specifically for changes and endorsements to a passport after initial issuance. Embassies and Consulates generally refuse to issue visa to amendment pages.  
 
Up
 
What is the requirement of the photo?  
  The Consulate and passport agency require passport type photo i.e. full face frontal, 2" x 2", with white or off-white background. You can obtain this type of photo anywhere that advertises "passport photo" service. If you print your own photo, it must be high resolution and needs to be printed on special photo paper. Cutout from personal photograph is not acceptable. Please paper clip the photo to the application form.  
 
Up
 
How should I send you my passport and other materials?  
  We highly recommend that you use a traceable courier service to send your passport and valuable documents such as FedEx, UPS, DHL or United States Postal Service Express Mail, registered or certified mail. Regular mail is not recommended.  
 
Up
 
How will my passport and visa be shipped back to me?  
  We will use FedEx for return. FedEx is most reliable according to our experience.  
 
Up
 
How does the status tracking system work?  
  Simply enter the passport number and names as directed on our website to obtain an instant status of your application.  
 
Up
 
Will any of the information I submit to you be sold or disclosed to others?  
  No. Information about you provided to us stays with us. We will not disclose or sell your information to third party for any reason or under any circumstance. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information.  
 
Up
 
If my application is rejected by embassy or consulate, is the consular fee refundable?  
  No. Embassy or Consulates do not refund consular fees under any circumstance.  
 
Up
 
What type of visa do I need?  
  Visas are issued with specific type relevant to the purpose of visit. The most popular types include tourist, business, student, work, crew, private and family visa. You may also select number of entries such as single entry, double entry or multiple entry ("entry" means number of trips).  
 
Up
 
What is the difference between a tourist L visa and a private S visa?  
  Visas are issued to permit entry into a country for a specific purpose: to allow travel for tourism, or to visit family and friends. In general, "tourist" visas are issued specifically for the purpose of tourism, while a "private" visa generally permits a traveler to visit family or friends. You need provide supporting paperwork according to the purpose of your visit.  
 
Up
 
How long can I stay in China for each entry? Can I extend my stay in China while I am there? ?  
  With regular tourist or business visa, you can now normally stay 30 -60 days for each entry. If you need to stay longer while you are in China, please contact with the visa office of the local Public Security Bureau to file for an extension. Do not overstay.  
 
Up
 
I am going to mainland China first, then to Hong Kong (or Macao) and back to mainland China again. Will single entry visa suffice?  
  No! You need to apply for a double entry visa in this case. Because, Hong Kong and Macao are Special Administrative Regions. Once you go there from mainland China, you are considered to exit China mainland already. Therefore you need another visa to go back in.  
 
Up
 
I applied for single entry visa. Now I changed travel plan and I need to enter China twice, Is it possible to change the visa to double entry and just pay the extra amount.  
Unfortunately, visa once issued can not be changed. You will have to apply for a new visa. You need to go through the whole visa application process and pay the fee for the new visa again.  
Up
 
We recently applied our China visa. Our application said we would only be visiting Beijing, can we change our plan now and take a side trip to Shanghai?  
  Yes, you are permitted to travel to other cities as well. Information you provided on visa application form is for reference purpose only. You are not limited to cities you listed on the application form.  
     
I'm traveling to Beijing for business and then plan on staying for a few extra days and doing the tourist thing, then travel to 1 or 2 other cities for sightseeing. Will a single entry business visa suffice or will I need a separate business and tourist visa?  
  Business visa won't prevent you from doing sightseeing, no need to apply for a separate tourist visa. As long as you travel within mainland China, you don't need separate entry visa to travel to other cities.  
 
Up
 
My visa says "Enter Before" 30SEP2014, "Duration of Stay" 60, can I use this visa for trip arriving China on Sep 20 and departing on Oct 15, 2014? Or do I have to leave before Sep 30?  
  You can enter China any date before "enter before" date specified on the visa, then stay up to the days specified by "duration of stay". You don't need to leave before Sep 30.
 
 
Up
 
If I leave China for a short time and re-enter, does my visa term re-set to day 1 upon re-entry? Or, does my term continue from the first day I enter China on a visa?  
  Every time you re-enter China, the duration of stay will reset and start from the day of arrival, not from the date of your first entry. You also need to make sure your visa is for multiple entry, not just single entry.
 
 
Up
 
Am I able to be issued 2 years visa?
 
  Multiple entry 2 years visa may be requested, if you work for fortune 500 company (or have joint venture in China) AND have previously been granted 1 year multiple entry visa to China at least 2 times AND have been to China repeatedly in last 12 months. Other requirement is that your passport will not expire within 30 months and have plenty of blank visa pages (no less than 3). Some restriction may apply. Multiple entry 2 years visa is not guaranteed. If you intend to request for 2 years visa, please include a statement to VisaRite that you understand multiple entry 2 years visa is not guaranteed, you will accept whatever Chinese Consulate grants you.  
 
Up
 
When to apply for visa?  
  The best time to apply for your visa is between 30 - 90 days before your departure. Chinese visa is valid immediately once issued, expires in 3 months, 6 months, 12 months respectively, depending on the visa granted.  
 
Up
 
Are the Chinese Embassy or Consulates open on the weekends and Holidays?  
  No. The Embassy and Consulates are closed on the weekends and US national holidays. The Embassy and Consulates will also close to observe Chinese national holidays.  
 
Up
 
When do you begin processing my application?  
  Receiving day is the review day. Processing starts on the next business day of receiving your application. Normally application will be reviewed on the day of arrival and submitted to the Consulate for processing the next business day.  
 
Up
 
Does the processing time include shipping time?  
  No. Shipping or return delivery time should be added to the processing time when determining the total amount of time needed to fulfill your order. Shipping times do not include Saturdays or Sundays unless specified. Deliveries may not be available on some holidays.  
 
Up
 
Are you able to process the passport and visa at the same time?  
 

Yes. You may send both applications together, we will process both then send them back. However, there are two concerns that need to be addressed. 
1) The Visa Application Form needs to show the new passport number, etc. This can be easily resolved by filling out the E-Form version of V2013 form.
2) The Invitation Letter from China, if you apply for F,M,Q,S visa. We will need to email you the new passport number once the passport is ready, then you need to inform the inviter to modify the invitation letter to list the new passport number and email it to us ASAP.

 
 
Up
 
What are the fees involving visa processing?  
  Total cost of visa includes Consular Fees, VisaRite Service Fee and Shipping Fee. Consular fees paid to an embassy or consulate in order to fulfill visa issuance requirements. VisaRite Service Fee is charged for the services performed by VisaRite in facilitating the application. Shipping Fee is for the return of your completed passport, visa and/or other documents.  
 
Up
 
What forms of payment does VisaRite accept?  
  Payment can be made in forms of money order, cashiers check, certified check, company check or cash. Checks and money orders should be payable in US dollars and drawn on a bank in the US. International money orders must be in the form of US dollars. You may also pay by all major credit card. You will receive a receipt with your completed documents.  
 
Up
 
Can I include the payment combined as one payment for?  
  Yes, You can write the total amount on one check, money order or credit card payment authorization, no need to send separate checks or money order.  
 
Up
 
Do I need to pay for the shipping fees for all the applications included in the package?  
  No, one shipping fee covers 1 passport. Please add $5 extra shipping fee for each additional passport.  
 
Up
 
The credit card form doesn't allow enough digits for American Express?  
  American Express card has 15 digits. We have a particular payment authorization form designed for American Express.
American Express Payment Authorization Form
 
 
Up
 
If my application is rejected by embassy or consulate, is the consular fee refundable?  
  No. Embassy or Consulates do not always refund consular fee.  
 
Up
 
     
I am not a U. S. citizen. Can you still process my application?  
  Yes, we may help you to obtain the Chinese visa in the US, if you are legal resident or you have a valid long term US visa. You will also need to provide the legal status in the US, such as photocopy of US Green Card or valid US visa such as F, H, L, TN, etc. You may only be able to apply for a single or double entry visa. Other restriction may apply. Policy may change without notice. Please call for details.  
 
Up
 
I am a US citizen currently living abroad. Can you still assist me?  
  China visa policy changed after September 1, 2013, you are supposed to be physically in the US when applying for the China visa. Please call us for options.  
 
Up
 
Can I mail my passport from China to the US in order to apply for a new China visa?  
  China visa has an activating process. You will need to use the visa to enter China in order to activate the visa. On the day of entry, the clock starts to tick and duration of stay starts to accumulate. When you exit China, the immigration officer will count the days you have stayed, it must be within the authorized duration of stay specified on your visa. There might be unpleasant consequence for overstay. In another word, you will need to exit China in order to apply for a new visa. According to Chinese consulate, you are supposed to apply for the visa in your home country, unless for emergency reason. We don't know how much the Chinese Consulate may know your whereabouts when applying for the visa. But question 1.25 on China visa application form "Country or territory where the applicant is located when applying for this visa" will reveal your location.  
 
Up
 
I will be needing to enter China multiple times, is it possible to get a Z Visa that can allow me to do this?  
  Z visa will only be issued as Single Entry. Once you arrive in China within 30, you are required by law to register at designated police station (AKA Public Security Bureau). A Residence Permit will be issued in place of visa. Residence Permit will allow for multiple entry.
 
 
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Will you be needing me to mail in the original copy of Visa Notice and Work Permit, and if so will they be returned to me after you have finished processing the Visa?
 
  Both Foreign Expert Working Permit and Invitation of Duly Authorized Unit need to be original. They won't be returned to you, please make a photocopy for your own record. Some applicants have Alien Employment License (instead of Working Permit), which will be returned.  
 
Up
 
I recently received my Student X Visa for China. However, I noticed that the "duration of stay" listed on the visa is 000 days. I assume that this means my length of stay is indefinite, but I wanted to make sure. Is this correct, or was this a typo?  
  That is not a typo. Duration of Stay listed as 000 means to be determined. It is required by law that you register with local public security bureau with 30 days of arrival. Your student visa will be converted to Residence Permit. Duration of stay will be specified by then. Residence Permit normally allows you exit and enter China multiple times within it's validity.  
 
Up
 
I recently received my Work Visa Z Visa for China. However, I noticed that the "duration of stay" listed on the visa is 000 days. Is this correct, or was this a typo?  
  That is not a typo. Duration of Stay listed as 000 means to be determined. It is required by law that you register with local public security bureau with 30 days of arrival. Your work visa will be converted to Residence Permit. Duration of stay will be specified by then. Residence Permit normally allows you exit and enter China multiple times within it's validity.  
 
Up
 
What visa should Work or Student Visa applicant's family apply for?  
  Z visa or X1 visa holder's spouse and children should apply for S1 visa. Copy of main applicant's supporting paperwork, such as Working Permit and Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Unit (Z visa) OR JW202 and Admission Notice (X1 visa) AND Original proof of Kinship are required. Please refer to S1 visa for details.  
 
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Can I apply for a tourist (business) visa and change to work visa later on?  
  No, you won’t be able to change work type in China. You will need to exit China, then apply for a new visa.  
 
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