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Home China Travel Guide China Visa Application Requirements: a Complete Guide for Foreigners

China Visa Application Requirements: a Complete Guide for Foreigners

Usually, foreigners must apply for a Chinese visa before setting out a visit or tour to China. Applicants not familiar with the application procedure may follow the guidelines on How to Get a Visa for China. The most disturbing part of the application should be materials organization. What kinds of documents should be prepared based on China visa application requirements?

Generally, applicants are required to show basic documents such as the passport and China visa application form, as well as other supporting materials according to the type of visa he/she is applying for.

Chinese Visa
Chinese Visa

Basic Documents for China Visa Application

  • Passport:
  1. Original passport with at least 6 months of remaining validity and blank visa pages
  2. A photocopy of the personal information page
  • China visa application form& a full-faced, bareheaded photo:
  1. Complete the Chinese visa application form at http://cova.cs.mfa.gov.cn. Print out the form and sign it at specified locations.
  2. Photo requirements for China visa application:
  3. A color photo (size: 48x33mm) taken within 6 months and with a light background.
  4. Facial features should be complete and clearly visible. Tinted or thick-framed glasses are not allowed. Accessories like hats or headscarves are also forbidden to wear, except for religious reasons.
  • Proof of legal stay and residence (for applicants applying in a third country)
  • Previous China passport or China visa (for applicants used to hold Chinese citizenship):
  1. If you apply for a Chinese visa for the first time, you need to provide the original of the previous China passport and a photocopy of the personal information page, as well as the permanent residency in foreign countries and naturalization paper;
  2. If you have obtained a visa to China before and are applying with a new foreign passport, you should submit photocopies of the personal information page on the previous foreign passport and previous Chinese visa.

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Supporting Documents of Major Chinese Visa Types

1. China Tourist Visa (L-Visa):

Itinerary materials like booking records of round-trip air tickets and hotel reservations; or an invitation letter issued by units or individuals in China.

The invitation letter must include the following contents based on China visa requirements:

  • Personal information of the invitee: name, gender, birth date…
  • Detailed visiting schedule: arrival and departure dates, places to visit, accommodation arrangements…
  • Information of the inviting unit or individual: name of the organization or individual, telephone number, address, seal of the organization/signature of the legal representative or individual…

2. China Student Visa (X-Visa):

  • The original and a photocopy of the admission letter issued by educational institutes in China
  • For the X1 visa (a long-term study of more than 180 days): the original and a photocopy of the “visa application for study in China”

3. China Business Visa (M-Visa):

An invitation letter from trade partners in China, such as commercial activity documents, trade fair invitations…

The invitation letter should contain the following contents according to China visa requirements:

  • Personal information of the invitee: name, gender, birth date…
  • Detailed visiting schedule: the purpose of the visit, arrival, and departure dates, places to stay, relations with the inviting unit or individual, source of expenses during the visit…
  • Information of the inviting unit or individual: name of the organization or individual, telephone number, address, seal of the organization/signature of the legal representative or individual…
China Business Visa
China Business Visa

4. China Family Reunion Visa (Q-Visa):

1. An invitation letter issued by a Chinese citizen or a foreign citizen with permanent residence status in China;

The invitation letter should contain the following contents to meet China visa requirements:

  • Personal information of the invitee: name, gender, birth date…
  • Detailed visiting schedule: purpose of the visit, intended arrival dates, intended residential place, intended duration of the stay, relationship with the inviter, source of expenses during the visit…
  • Information of the inviter: name, telephone number, address, signature.

2. Photocopies of the front and back of the Chinese inviter’s identity card, or photocopies of the foreign inviter’s passport and permanent residence permit;

3. For the Q1 visa (a long-term stay of more than 180 days): the original and photocopies of the kinship certificate: marriage license, birth certificate, or notarized kinship certificate issued by the public security station

5. China Work Visa (Z-Visa)

Applicants should provide one of the following documents according to China visa requirements:

  • “Employment permit for foreigners” issued by Chinese government departments for human resources and social security
  • “Permit for foreign experts working in China” issued by the Bureau of Foreign Experts Affairs
  • “Registration certificate of resident representative offices” for foreign enterprises issued by the Chinese Administrative Department for Industry and Commerce
  • Instrument of ratification for commercial performances issued by Chinese authorities for cultural administration, or employment confirmation for foreign cultural centers in China
  • “Invitation letter for foreigners to engage in offshore oil operations in the People’s Republic of China” issued by China National Offshore Oil Corporation

6. China Permanent Residence Visa (D-Visa)

The original and photocopies of the status-of-residence confirmation form issued by the Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China

7. China Non-Commercial Visit Visa (F-Visa)

An invitation letter from a relevant unit or individual with the following contents:

  • Personal information of the invitee: name, gender, birth date…
  • Detailed visiting schedule: the purpose of the visit, arrival, and departure dates, places to visit, relations with the inviting unit or individual, source of expenses during the visit…
  • Information of the inviting unit or individual: name of the organization or individual, telephone number, address, seal of the organization/signature of the legal representative or individual…

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Special Tips for China Visa Application Documents Preparation

  1. Applicants shall fill in the information on the visa application form truly and correctly, and be responsible for the authenticity of all the application documents;
  2. Invitation letters can be in faxed copy, photocopy, or printed copy, any of which is acceptable according to China visa application requirements. When necessary, applicants may be required to provide the original letter;
  3. Additional documents may be requested by the consular officers, depending on the circumstances.

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