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China Visa & Extension

China Visa


A Chinese visa is a permit issued by Chinese visa authorities to non-Chinese citizens for entry into, exit from and transit through China. The types of visas can be classified int diplomatic visa, courteous visa, service visa and general visa according to the status and types of passports held by aliens coming to China. Among them, general visas are divided into nine sub-categories, which are respectively marked with Chinese phonetic letters F, L, Z, X, C, J-1, J-2, G, and D.

Visit / Business Visa (F): Issued to those foreigners who are invited to China for visit, research, lecture, business, scientific-technological and cultural exchanges or short-term advanced studies or intern practice for a period of less than six months.

Tourism Visa (L): Issued to those who enter China temporarily for touring, family visiting or other personal affairs (multiple-entry is not granted for this category).

Working Visa (Z): Issued to foreigners who are to take up a post or employment in China, and their accompanying family members.

Study / Student Visa (X): Issued to those who come to China for study or intern practice for a period of six months or above.

Crewmember Visa (C): Issued to crewmembers on international aviation, navigation and land transportation missions and their accompanying family members.

Journalist Visa (J-1): This visa is for journalists who are posted to China for at least one year.

Journalist Visa (J-2): Issued to foreign correspondents on temporary interview mission in China.

Transit Visa (G): Issued to those who transit through China.

Residence Visa (D): Issued to people who are going to live in China permanently.

Visa Categories Entries of Visas / Validity Duration of Stay

Journalist Visa (J-1) Single  / 3 months

Journalist Visa (J-2) Single / 3 months

Study / Student Visa (X) Single /  3 months

Residence Visa (D) Single  / 3 months

Tourist Visa (L) Single / Double   3 months  /  1-60 days

Crewmember Visa (C) Single / Double  3 months / 1- 30 days

Transit Visa (G) Single / Double   3 months / 7 days

Visit / Business Visa (F) Single / Double / Multiple  3 months 6 / 12 months 1-60 days

Validity of Visa: A single entry Chinese visa is valid for 3 months from the date of issue, and a double entry visa is valid for 6 months. A China visa holder must enter China before the expiration date for the visa to remain valid.

Duration of Stay: The duration of stay is specified on a Chinese visa. Chinese visa holders must not stay beyond the specified date without extending their visas. Otherwise, they will be subject to stiff penalties.

Travel Entry Requirements

To enter the People's Republic of China, a citizen from other countries must have a valid country passport and Chinese visa. Visitors arriving without valid passports and Chinese visas are generally not permitted to enter China and may also be subject to fines. Please do not rely on Chinese host organizations claiming to be able to arrange visa issuance upon arrival. Visas are required to transit China, even if one is only changing flights at an airport. Persons transiting China on the way to and from Mongolia or North Korea or who plan to re-enter from the Hong Kong or Macau Special Administrative Regions should be sure to obtain visas allowing multiple entries. Permits are required to visit Tibet as well as many remote areas not normally open to foreigners.

Travelers should note that international flights departing China are routinely overbooked, making reconfirmation of departure reservations and early airport check-in essential. Passengers must pay a RMB 90 airport user fee (approximately $12 US) when departing China on international flights and RMB 50 airport fee (approximately US $7.20) for all domestic flights.


Foreign citizens who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their Chinese visas will be subject to fines and departure delays and may be subject to detention. Please view the tips on how to extend the validation of China visas in China.

In addition to the requirements above, long-term visitors to China may be required to provide evidence of an AIDS test.


Foreign citizens who plan to work in China must obtain a work visa before they begin working. There have recently been a number of cases where foreign citizens who entered on a tourist visa were found to be working without the required visa and consequently asked to depart China after paying a fine. In some cases, employers have asked the foreign citizens to begin working while promising to obtain the work visa. However, in principle, applying for a change of visa while already working is considered a violation of the law.

For information about entry requirements and restricted areas, travelers may consult the Embassy of the People's Republic of China (PRC). For a list of services and frequently asked visa questions and answers, travelers can view the Chinese Embassy's web sites at, or Please see addresses list at the end of the page on China Embassies and Visas.


China Visa Extension

If sometimes you want to stay in China longer than the validation of your visa, you have to apply for a visa extension. It is not very difficult for you to make an application. You just go to the Foreign Affair Desk at local PSB in major city in China.


Visa Extension FAQs


1. China visa extension for a 60 day - multiple entry. Odd situation.... Hello. I have a US passport. I have a 60 day multiple entry visa for China. My situation is this. I entered Shanghai coming from the ferry from Japan on November 18 thinking I would spent time in China at that point, thus activated my visa. I made changes and went to southeast Asia a couple of days after my arrival in China, planning to return after just a few days. Plans changed and I stayed in SE Asia longer. I'm now in Hong Kong and I plan to enter China within the next week. I now have only about 10 days on my visa once I enter China. My question is this. Will I be able to extend it in the PSB in mainland China given that it is a 60 day visa- multiple entry, if so, does anybody know the accurate costs for extension?....OR should I just apply for a new one in Hong Kong and make an extension once the 30 days of the new visa are over? I plan to be in China for about 35 - 40 days, so if the extension on my current visa works out I will be fine with the days and may be able to save a few bucks. Chinese visa for US passports are expensive in HK (or elsewhere).


Answer 1: I would say get a new visa in Hong Kong if you can get a 60 day visa there. If you can only get a 30 day visa in HK then wait until you are in the mainland and go to the PSB and ask for an extension of 40 days. A new visa should cost you around 100 USD. An extension from the PSB on the mainland will cost 100 USD.


Answer 2. So besi...are you saying that each time I go in within the 6 months my visa is valid for, I can stay up to 60 days?? each time??


Yes. If you have a multiple entry visa, they come in three flavors, 30, 60, and 90 days. You have a 60 days one.. So you can enter a "multiple" number of times and stay for as long as 60 days each. Just check your visa expiry; it is printed on your visa.

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