China Visa and China Tourist Visa Questions and Answers
Questions about your China visa?
We can answer some China visa questions, however your local Chinese embassy or Visa Application Centre is the best place for up to date China travel visa information.
Visa-free travel is possible in China – under certain conditions and for certain passport holders.
A number of international Chinese airports – including Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Harbin, Shenyang, Dalian, Xian, Guilin, Kunming, Wuhan, Xiamen, Tianjin, Qingdao and Changsha – offer an application service for 72 hour visa-free layover. Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guangdong also offer a 144-hour visa-free transit policy. Passport holders from certain countries are permitted to stay in China for 72 or 144 hours without a prior visa.
To take advantage of the 72-Hour and 144-Hour Visa Free Transit policy, passengers are required to show the following documents:
- Valid passport
- Visa for the third destination (region ex China)
- Completed arrival / departure card
- Ticket with confirmed seat to the third destinate (region ex China).
After completing the application, passengers are required to stay in the transit city during the following 72 or 144 hours, except in Guangzhou and Hangzhou, where it’s possible to leave the city and visit other places within the province.
Non-resident foreign travellers to China will require a visa if completing a ChinaTours.com tour. Visas are obtained in your country of origin. There are many categories of visa and it is essential that you choose the most appropriate visa category according to the main purpose for your travel to China, such as a tourist visa or a visa for business.
Some travellers may be exempt from requiring a visa. Those who hold a passport from Singapore, Brunei and Japan, are visiting China (mainland) for tourism, business, family reunion, or transit purpose, and whose stay within China does not exceed 15 days are also exempt. If you do not meet the conditions of the China visa exemption policy, you will need to apply for a China visa.
It is recommended to submit your China tourist visa application about one month prior to your planned entry date into China. The application process generally takes three to five working days, however in the event of any unexpected delays, allowing more time for the application would be beneficial.
If the need for a visa is unexpected and urgent, an express service is available at your local China Visa application centre for an additional charge.
Applicants can apply for a China tourist visa at a Chinese Embassy or a Chinese Consulate-General, or the China Visa Application Service Centre (only for an ordinary visa application). Documents can be submitted by post or in person, however, it is wise to check with relevant China visa issuing authorities for accurate information.
When applying for a Chinese tourist visa, applicants must provide the following necessary documentation:
- Original passport with validity of at least 6 months and at least two blank visa pages. A copy of the passport’s data page and the photo page (if it is separate).
- A completed Visa Application Form with genuine and accurate information about the applicant.
- One color Passport-size photo (48mm x 33mm, taken within 6 months, full face, front view against a light background).
- Supporting documents, as required.
- Specific to a China Tourist Visa application is the provision of itinerary documents, including air ticket and hotel reservation, etc. or an invitation letter issued by a relevant entity or individual in China.
The tourist visa application process takes approximately three to five working days to process, providing all required documents are submitted and all information provided is genuine and accurate. If a visa is required urgently, an express service is available at an additional cost.
Still have questions? Send them to us and we’ll be able to guide you in the right direction.
ChinaTours.com does not prepare visa applications for travellers. It is the responsibility of each individual to obtain the China visa that allows them to travel legally while on tour. Questions regarding visas can be answered by your local Chinese embassy, a Chinese Consulate-General, or your local China Visa Application Service Centre.