How to Apply for a China Visa

Written by Sally Guo Updated Mar. 7, 2024
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From December 1, 2023, until November 30, 2024, ordinary passport holders of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Malaysia can benefit from a 15-day visa-free entry to China Mainland.

From March 14, 2024, until November 30, 2024, ordinary passport holders of Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg can benefit from a 15-day visa-free entry to China Mainland.

This applies to purposes such as tourism, business, transit, and visiting friends and relatives in China.

How to apply for a China visa? What documents are needed for a China visa application? Where to download a China Visa Application Form? Check this visa application guide and get your China visa efficiently.

When to Apply for a China Visa?

It is recommended to apply for a China visa one or two months before your departure date.

But do not get it too early because China visas are usually valid for only three months from the date of issue.

What Type of China Visa Do I Need?

China offers several types of visas, including tourist visas, business visas, work visas, etc. 

If you plan to go on a vacation in China, apply for a Tourist Visa (L Visa).

Read the China Visa Guide to find out which type of visa is appropriate for your trip, based on the purpose of your visit. 

What Documents Are Required for Getting a China Visa?

Once you have determined the type of visa you need, you will need to gather the required documents. 

1. A Valid Passport

Original signed passport with at least six months validity and blank visa pages, and a copy of the passport's data page and the photo page if it is separate.

2. A Completed Visa Application Form

The China visa application form can be downloaded from the China embassy website of your country or our website. You need to complete it by computer, print and sign it. 

3. A Recent Passport-Style Photograph

You need to prepare a recently taken color photo (bare-head, full face) against a light background of the size of 48mm×33mm.

4. Proof of Legal Entry or Residence Status (applicable to applicants who apply for visas outside their country of nationality)

If you are not applying for the China visa in the country of your citizenship, you need to provide proof of legal stay, residence, work, or study in your current location, as well as a copy of the document.

5. Original Chinese Passport or China Visa (applicable to former Chinese citizens who have acquired foreign nationality)

If you are applying for a China visa for the first time, you need to provide the original Chinese passport and a copy of the passport's information page.

If you have obtained a China visa before and are now applying with a new foreign passport, you need to provide a copy of the foreign passport's information page and the previously obtained China visa (if the name on the new passport is different from that on the original passport, you also need to provide an official document proving the name change).

6. Additional Supporting Documents for China Tourist Visa (L Visa)

Documents showing the itinerary including a round-trip air ticket booking record and proof of a hotel reservation, etc., or an invitation letter issued by a Chinese individual or entity. We can provide you with the invitation letter if you book a tour with us, just contact us.

The invitation letter should include the following information:


Consulate officers may require applicants to provide additional documents or supplementary materials or may request an interview with the applicant based on the situation if necessary.

The consular officer will decide whether or not to grant a visa and allow validity, duration of stay, and number of entries based on the individual application.

Where to Submit the Application and Collect My Chinese Visa?

You may submit the application to Chinese embassies or consulates, or China Visa Application Service Centers (also called CVASC) if they are operating in your country.

If necessary, applicants need to go to the embassy or consulate to have a personal interview, sign application materials, or have their fingerprints collected. 

How Long Does It Take to Get a China Visa?

The processing time for obtaining a China visa typically varies depending on the type of visa and the consulate/embassy handling the application.

Generally, it takes about 4-5 business days for regular visa processing if all the correct documents are turned in. However, expedited services may be available for an additional fee and can take as little as 1-2 business days.

How much is the China visa application fee?

Entries U.S. Citizen Canada Citizen Non-U.S. Citizen
Single USD 140 CAD 100 USD 30
Double USD 140 CAD 100 USD 45
6 Months Multiple USD 140 CAD 100 USD 60
12 Months Multiple USD 140 CAD 100 USD 90


How to Renew or Extend My China Visa?

You cannot renew or extend your China visa once your visa application is processed and approved.

If you have entered China, you can apply to the local Exit and Entry Administration under the Public Security Authority for a change in visa type or an extension of stay or validity.

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