Obtaining a Visa for China
Obtaining a Visa for ChinaUpdated on Tuesday 19th April 2016
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Individuals need to obtain a visa for China if traveling for business or tourism. These documents are also necessary for those who want to work in China. Foreign citizens must obtain a visa before entering into the country and applications can be made at Chinese embassies, consulates and other institutions empowered by the Ministry of China to issue visas.
If you want to travel to China for business, employment or tourism purposes, our law firm in China can help you know everything about applying for a visa.
Types of visas in China
There are four types of visas in China:
- diplomatic visa;
- courtesy visa;
- service visa;
- ordinary visa (subdivided into several categories).
The validity period of the Chinese visa starts from the date of issue and the document can be used until the “Enter Before” date inscribed on it (local Chinese time). The visa can also have a number of entries: the number of time the holder is allowed to enter the country during the validity period. The visa must be renewed after its expiration date. Any individual who travels with an expired or invalid visa will not be allowed to enter the country.
Categories of ordinary visas in China
Ordinary visas are subdivided into categories based on the purpose of the visit:
- C visa: foreign crew member who work for import and export businesses on trains, ships, aircrafts and their accompanying family members;
- D visa: foreigners who want to become permanent residents in China;
- F visa: exchange visits, study tours, non-business activities;
- J1: foreign journalists, if the duration of the stay exceeds 180 days;
- J2: foreign journalists, if the duration of the stay does not exceed 180 days;
- L visa: foreigners who visit the country as tourists;
- M visa: commercial and trade activities;
- Q1: family members of Chinese citizens who travel with the purpose of family reunion and the duration exceeds 180 days;
- Q2: foreigners who visit their relatives who are Chinese residents and do not stay for more than 180 days.
- R: high-level talented foreigners or whose skills are needed in China;
- S1: visiting foreigners working or studying in China;
- S2: visiting family members who are working or studying in China;
- X1: study in China for more than 180 days;
- X2: study in China for no more than 180 days;
- Z: foreigners who want to work in China.
A valid passport is needed for any visa application, regardless of its type. Certain visas exemptions allow foreigners to enter China without a visa. Our Chinese attorneys can tell you more about the situation in which the exemption applies.
If you want to open a company in China and need help with visa formalities or would like to know more about the legislation for foreign investments, you can contact our law firm in China.