How Do I Apply For A Chinese Entry Visa?

U.S. citizens planning to travel to China must obtain a Chinese Entry Visa before arriving in China. Requirements for U.S. citizens attempting to obtain a Chinese Entry Visa differ from citizens of other countries, so it’s essential to ensure you fully understand the application process.

Who Needs A Chinese Entry Visa?

All U.S. citizens are required to obtain a Chinese Entry Visa before arriving in China. With the exception of the 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit Program, landing visas are unavailable on arrival in China. Lack of a proper entry visa will result in deportation and possible detention.

What Kind Of Visa Should I Apply For?

There are four kinds of Chinese Entry visas: diplomatic visa, courtesy visa, service visa, and ordinary visa. Ordinary visas are further divided into 12 sub-types or 16 categories.

You should apply for the most appropriate visa for travel to China. The length of validity and allowed activities vary depending on the kind of visa. More information about visas is available on the Chinese Embassy website.

Where Should I Apply?

U.S. citizens are required to apply for a visa at a Chinese Embassy or Consulate General based on their State of residence. You don’t need to appear in person unless required by a consular officer.

After signing the completed forms and preparing the necessary supporting documents, applications may be submitted by a friend or visa processing agency. An appointment is not required, and applications are not accepted by mail.

Required Documents And Processing Fees

Required documents and processing fees vary depending on the visa you are applying for. A full list of required documents and processing fees is available on the Chinese Embassy website.

How Long Does The Visa Application Process Take?

Applications are usually processed within four days, though the embassy recommends applying at least one month in advance. An express service is available for an additional fee.

What Is the 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit Program?

The 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit Program is a system that allows air passengers from 53 countries, including the U.S., to transit and stays for up to 72 hours in 18 China cities without a visa.

Passengers require an onward ticket to a third country departing within 72 hours and are required to depart from the same airport they arrived at. Passengers can apply for the program on arrival at the airport in cities participating in the program.

Further Warnings

A valid Chinese Entry Visa is not a guarantee to enter China. The decision on whether or not you will be allowed to enter China is made at the port of entry by the Chinese Border Control Authority in accordance with Chinese Laws and Regulations.

Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the intended date of arrival and must have at least two blank pages.