Most visitors, whether for sightseeing or business purpose, need to apply for a China visa in advance, except that they are eligible for the visa exemption policies. Generally speaking, required documents for China visa application include passport, application form, a recently-taken bareheaded photo, round-trip tickets, travel itinerary and others as required by the Chinese embassy or consulate. The cost varies in different countries. For US citizens, it takes 140 dollars to apply for a China visa.
Before working out your China travel plan, it’s necessary to check whether you are covered by the visa-free policies of China.
Some countries, like Japan, Singapore, and Brunei, have reached a 15-day visa-free entry agreement with China, so their citizens don’t need China visa as long as the stay is not longer than 15 days. For a majority of foreign visitors from other countries, the visa is a must, even if you hold a US, UK, or Canadian passport which has many privileges.
However, if you meet the requirements, you may still enjoy a visa-free travel by taking advantage of favorable visa-free schemes. Currently, visa-free transit facilities ranging from 24 to 144 hours have been adopted in quite a number of China’s major tourist destinations including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hangzhou, enabling tourists to take a short tour in China.
|144-hour visa-free transit||For 53 countries||Available in Beijing, Tianjin, Shijiazhuang, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Dalian, and Shenyang|
|72-hour visa-free transit||For 53 countries||Available in major Chinese cities including Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai|
|24-hour Direct Transit||For almost all countries||Available in most China ports|
If wishing to take a longer in-depth tour, a China visa should be obtained.
Step 1: Collect all documents you need, including a passport valid for at least six months and with blank pages and a fully type-written China visa application form glued with your recently-taken bareheaded photo. If applying for a tourist visa, round-trip tickets and hotel bookings are required as well. If you have booked a tour from a China agency, it will issue you an invitation letter, which will be of great help to smooth the process.
Step 2: Submit all documents to the Chinese embassy or consulate, or Chinese Visa Application Service Center (CVASC) by yourself or through an agency. In a few embassies and CVASCs, mail applications are acceptable but with extra charges.
Step 3: Collect your passport and visa on the date shown on the pick-up slip and pay the fee.
China visa fee is determined by factors such as your nationality, required number of entries, and whether you use express services. Here is a price schedule for your reference.
|China Travel Visa Types||US Citizens||Canadian Citizens||UK Citizens||Australian Citizens|
|Single Entry||USD 140||CAD 142||GBP 151||AUD 109.5|
|Double Entries||USD 140||CAD 142||GBP 151||AUD 139.5|
|Multi Entries for 6 Months||USD 140||CAD 142||GBP 151||AUD 169.5|
|Multi Entries for 12 Months or Longer||USD 140||CAD 142||GBP 151||AUD 229.5|