Chinese VISA application: A complete guide (updated July 2015)

Chinese VISA

This article is a complete guide to getting a Chinese VISA. Keep reading to find out the answers to the following questions:

Do I need a Chinese VISA?

Yes, generally speaking, you do. However there are several exceptions. You don’t need a VISA if:

  • You hold a passport from Singapore, Brunei or Japan and you’re staying in China for less than 15 days.

How long does it take to get a VISA?

If you have all the necessary documents and hold a passport with at least six months validity and two blank pages, it should take between one (if you apply for the rush service) to four working days to get a Chinese VISA.

The best time to apply for a Chinese VISA is between two months and fifteen days before your departure. You can’t apply for your VISA too early because if you don’t use it, the VISA will expire after 90 days (or 180 days, in some cases), starting from the day you obtained it.

How much does it cost?

The price varies from 30 to 140 USD depending on your nationality, the type of VISA and the number of entries.

Usually it’s cheaper for European people, whereas American people are usually required to pay the full fee of 140 USD.

Where can I get a Chinese VISA?

In many countries, you must apply through the CVASC (Chinese VISA Application Service Center).

However, if in your country there is no CVASC (click on the link above to see the complete list), you shall still apply at the Chinese Consular Office that serves your province. This is also the case of people living in USA (you can click here to see where you shall apply if you are a US resident).

People that are already traveling or working in Asia may also apply in Hong Kong (at the moment, only through an agency, as applying for a VISA at the consular office is only possible for Hong Kong residents). Click here to read our guide to getting a Chinese VISA in Hong Kong.

Keep in mind that the government may abruptly decide to restrict or change VISA requirements in any moment, just like they did in 2008 (before the Olympic Games in Beijing) and in 2013. I don’t want to scare you; just be prepared to deal with the unforeseen.

In practice, you can also apply in other countries, but do so at your own risk, as it’s possible (probable?) that your application will be rejected. It also depends on your passport: Italian and German people, for example, seem to experience much fewer problems than French and American people. It usually depends on how good (or bad) the relationship between China and your country is. Since July 2013, even in Hong Kong, they have started to reject a lot of applications. Click here for the details.

China tourist visa

What are the different types of Chinese VISAs (and the requirements for getting them)?

The basic requirements for getting a Chinese VISA are a passport with at least six months validity and two blank pages, a recent 2×2 square inch photo and an application form.

You can download the application form here (in English), or at the CVASC – or Chinese Consular Office – of your country, if you’re language isn’t English.

Here the complete list of Chinese VISAs (after the table we list the additional requirements for the most common type of VISA):

VISA CategoryDescription
CIssued to foreign crew members of aircraft, trains, and ships, or motor vehicle drivers engaged in cross-border transport activities, or to the accompanying family members of the crew members of the above-mentioned ships.
DIssued to those who intend to reside in China permanently. While in the past getting a D VISA – and thus being able to require a permanent resident permit – was rare, it seems that things are moving forward and the Resident Permit is getting easier to get (although still difficult).
FIssued to those who intend to go to China for exchanges, visits, study tours, and other activities.
GIssued to those who intend to transit through China (however, before applying for a G VISA, I suggest you to verify if you can get a 72 hours VISA exemption).
JIssued to resident foreign journalists of foreign news organizations stationed in China. You shall apply for a J1 VISA if you intend to stay more than 180 days and for a J2 VISA (short-term) if you intend to stay in China less than 180 days.
LIssued to those who intend to go to China as a tourist.
MIssued to those who intend to go to China for commercial and trade activities. Click here to read our complete guide on the M (business) VISA.
QIssued to those who are family members of Chinese citizens or of foreigners with Chinese permanent residence and intend to go to China for family reunion, or to those who intend to go to China for the purpose of foster care. Click here to read our guide on the Q VISA.
RIssued to those who are high-level talents or whose skills are urgently needed in China.
SIssued to those who intend to go to China to visit the foreigners working or studying in China to whom they are spouses, parents, sons or daughters under the age of 18 or parents-in-law, or to those who intend to go to China for other private affairs. Click here to read our guide on the S VISA.
XIssued to those who intend to study in China. You shall apply for a X1 VISA if you intend to stay more than 180 days and for a X2 VISA (short-term) if you intend to stay in China less than 180 days.
ZIssued to those who intend to work in China.

Tourist VISA (or L VISA)

Tourist VISAs are issued to people who want to travel around China or visit their Chinese relatives.

The basic requirements listed above were once usually enough. However, since July 2013, you’re also required to provide a copy of your return trip plane ticket from China and a copy of a Chinese hotel booking for the whole duration of your stay (click here to read our guide on how and where to book an hotel in China).

If you intend to stay at your (foreign) friend’s house, you won’t need a hotel invoice. However, your friend will have to send you an invitation letter that contains their full name, address in China, passport and Resident Permit numbers and signature. I also recommend you get a copy of their passport and resident permit (just to be sure). If your friend is Chinese, you’ll need the invitation letter and a copy of their ID card.

Sometimes, the consular office employee may even ask you for proof of your ability to financially support yourself before accepting your VISA application. Therefore, before going to the VISA office, be sure to ask via email or to call them to be sure of the documents that you need to bring.

The most common tourist VISA is the Single Entry Tourist VISA (that is, you can’t leave China and then enter again with the same VISA) which has a validity of between 30 days. The Double Entry Tourist VISA (2 entries, 30 days each), is also common.

Sometimes, depending on your passport (for US citizens is way easier) and on the mood of the immigration officers, you can also get a longer Multiple Entry Tourist VISA. That means that you are allowed to enter and exit the country as many times as you want.

If you are planning to go to Tibet, be aware that in addition to your VISA, you need a special entry permit issued by the Tibetan Tourist Bureau. Currently, you can only enter Tibet with a travel agency. Click here if you want to learn more on Tibet permits.

Business VISA (or M VISA)

This is the new business VISA and it’s issued to people who come to China for business and trade activities. You are required to provide an “Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Unit” issued by a registered Chinese company or organization.

While many people use Business VISAs to work in China, this is illegal. If you want to legally work in China, you need a Work VISA. Click here to read our complete guide on Business VISAs for China.


The new F VISA is issued to people who come to China for non-business purposes such educational, scientific, cultural, health or sporting reasons. Before July 2013, the F VISA was the same thing as a business VISA.

Also in this case, you need an invitation letter.

Q and S VISA

Q and S VISA are both issued to people that intend to visit their related or friends in China for a period longer than 30 days (for less than 30 days you can simply apply for an L VISA). Click here to read our complete guide to Q and S VISAs.

Student VISA (or X VISA)

If you want to study in China for less than 180 days, you’ll have to apply for an X2 VISA. However, if you want to stay longer, you’ll need an X1 VISA.

You are required to provide a medical certificate (check the details with the CVASC or Chinese Consular Office in your country), the JW201 (or JW202) form issued by the Chinese Ministry of Education and the notice of admission from your school. Your school should obtain these documents and send them to you.

China VISA

Work VISA (or Z VISA)

Holding a Z VISA is the only way to work legally in China.

Be aware that not all employers can get you a Work VISA. For instance, small, private English schools often can’t. This is the main reason for which they often try to convince you to come to China and work under a Tourist or Business VISA.

Do this at your own risk because it’s illegal. If you get caught working with the wrong VISA, you risk paying a fine that ranges between $5,000 and $20,000 and may even end up in prison (from five to fifteen days). Afterwards, you’ll be asked leave the country or, depending on the conditions, will be deported (at your expense). If you’re deported, you won’t be able to get a new Chinese VISA for a period that ranges from one to ten years.

Having said that, many firms and public organizations (universities, for instance) are accredited to employ foreigners and can help you get a work VISA as long as you qualify as a “foreign expert.”

Depending on the field, you may need to prove you have English as first language and hold a Bachelor’s Degree (if you want to teach English) or provide a Ph.D. degree (if, for instance, you want to become a university professor).

The logic behind this rule is the following: you have to prove that you are useful to China by bringing some skills and expertise that the country needs. If you can’t do anything, why should a Chinese company hire you instead of a Chinese person?

So, if your employer is accredited to employ foreigners and you qualify as a foreign expert, your employer can apply for your Work Permit (also called a Foreign Expert Certificate or other things depending on your field of expertise).

On top of the Work Permit, in order to apply for the VISA, you should also provide a medical certificate (check the details with the Chinese embassy in your country), an “Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Unit” or “Confirmation Letter of Invitation” (your employer should get the letter for you), and a clean criminal record check issued by your country.

The work VISA will also allows you to bring your wife, husband or children to China. They will only need to provide a marriage or birth certification. However, you wife can’t legally work unless she gets her own Z VISA.

What VISAs must be transformed into a Resident Permit once I enter China and how to do so?

Be aware that Z, X1, Q1, S1 and J1 VISA are only valid for for 30 days starting from the day you entered in China. Then you should transform it in a Temporary Resident Permit at the at the PSB (Public Security Bureau Entry and Exit Administration Office). Your employer/school should help you to do so, at least in the case of Z and X1 VISAs.

In order to get the Resident Permit, which must be renewed each year, you will have to provide a bunch of documents and an Health Certificate issued by China Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau or HK public hospitals.

We’ve covered this topic in detail on our free e-Book “Find a Job and Live in China.” You can download it by subscribing to our newsletter on the form located on the top-right corner of this page.

Chinese Visa Application

How do I read a Chinese VISA?

With respect to the image above:

  • 1. Visa Category: For instance, L VISA is a touristic VISA while Z VISA is a working VISA (see the table above for reading the explanations of each category);
  • 2. Expiration Date: You must enter China before this date or the VISA will expire;
  • 3. Issue Date: This is the date on which the VISA was released. As you can see, the VISA on the photo had a validity of six months (from 29 May to 29 November);
  • 4. Full Name: Your full name;
  • 5. Date of Birth: Your date of birth;
  • 6. Number of Entries: The number of times that you can enter and exit China with the same VISA. “1” means that you have a single entry VISA; that is once you exit China the first time the VISA becomes invalid (going to Hong Kong or Macau counts as an exit); “2” means that you can entry and exit China twice before the VISA becomes invalid; “M” means that you can enter and exit China as many times as you want, as long as your VISA is still valid and you don’t overstay it (see point 7);
  • 7. Duration of Each Stay: The number of days that you can stay in China after each entry; if for instance you have a double entry VISA with duration of each stay equal to 30 days, you must exit China within 30 days after your first entry; afterwards you can enter China a second time (you must enter before the date of expiration) and you can stay for other 30 days. Notice that for VISA that require a Resident Permit (Z, X1, Q1, S1, J1), the duration is often 000. This means that you have 30 days starting from the date of entry to apply for your Resident Permit; if you fail to do so, the VISA will expire;
  • 8. Place of Issue: The place where the VISA was issue;
  • 9. Passport Number: Your passport number.

Can I extend/change my VISA once I entered China?

Yes, you can require to extend or change your VISA at the PSB (Public Security Bureau Entry and Exit Administration Office) at least 7 days before the date of expiration of your VISA. However, there is no guarantee whatsoever that the PSB will accept your VISA extension or change request (they’ll decide case by case, according to your nationality, your situation and the documents you’ll provide).

What happens if I overstay my VISA?

The law states that for illegal residence of aliens, warning shall be given; in serious cases, a penalty of 500 Yuan per day shall be imposed on illegal residence, not to exceed a total of 10,000 Yuan, or detention period shall be between 5 and 15 days.

As usual, Chinese law are somewhat vague and it’s difficult to assess what a “serious case” is. Our suggestion is to avoid any overstay and always exit the country before the VISA expires.

[Photo Credits (Creative Commons License):,,]


  1. Tom says

    The last time I applied for a China visa in London UK I as usual applied for a multi entry and was told I could not have one – they would apply for 90 days but maybe I could only have a 30 day one.
    So I got a 90 day one and when that time was nearly up I went to Hong Kong to get another .
    Junction of Nathan road and Pekin Road there is a CTS office were I was going but this building has two entrances and I ended up on the 4th floor with another visa agent – Their service was wonderful
    I filled in some basic details on a form they gave me – one page – on turning it over they said “Do not fill part in we do that. They then took my photo, I paid and was told to come back the day after tomorrow.
    My new visa was not the same colour as all my previous ones. It was issued in Shenzhen and not Hong Kong. On going through the China immigration in Shenzhen the guy said “Huh a temporary visa” but it was for the 90 days I needed.
    This agent also offered a multi-entry one but at that time I did not need that .
    I will not bother with the visa situation in the Uk where the form wants you to buy your air ticket before application – want the names and contact details of any friends you have in China – needs to know which hotel you will use – needs to know if you are married – needs a complete itinerary of your travel plans. I feel like saying ” is this a joke”.

    When I first got a China Visa 1995 form was about two pages – now I think it is five.

    This for us from the Uk may be a bit of “tit for tat” as the form the Chinese have to fill up for a UK visa is ( or was until recently ) in english and the Chinese apparently have to be fingerprinted.
    = How daft can you get.

    So my advice is apply in Hong Kong – go to corner of Nathan Road / Pekin Road, Kowloon Entrance is on Peking Road chose the entrance on the right when facing the building – office is on 4th floor – exit lift turn left and left again if my memory is correct.

    If you want one the same day CTS can do that for you.

    • Furio Fu says

      Hey Tom,

      thanks for sharing your experience. Yes, at the moment it seems indeed easier to get your VISA in Hong Kong than in Europe. However my experience with China tells me that rules may change fast.

      I’ll try to keep the article updated, hopefully with the help of readers like you : )

  2. says

    American citizens should use an agency, such as Travisa (, to avoid delays and hassles. If you think that another trip to China may occur in the near future, ask for a one-year multiple entry visa. The price is the same, regardless of number of entries and visa duration. A 30-day single entry visa costs the same as a one year multiple entry visa – last year I paid $145 for a one year multi-entry visa.
    Use an agency. Thanks for the article – very informative.

    • Furio says

      Hey Will,

      this make sense to American citizens because the costs for you are higher (Italians pay 50 USD for a single entry VISA while American 130 USD, if I remember well).

      So yeah, I think I will add it on the article, especially for Americans hehe

  3. says

    Both my personal and professional experience has been mixed when visiting the China consulate in New York City. Personally I have never used an agency and depending on the lines the wait can take 30 to 90 minutes.

    Last check which was (2) weeks ago they where only issuing 6 month visas. However this is seldom to change by a case to case basis or other events.

    A few tips I would add:
    1 – If applying for travel to Tibet – Do NOT mention this at all during your application process.

    2 – If you need to extend your Tourist (L) or Business (F) visa you can easily accomplish this at a local police stations. In most cities there is a specific office that process these requests.

    3 – If you are looking for support with Travel to Tibet please feel free to contact me as I work with a Lonely Planet listed Travel Agency.

    Thanks Again for a very helpful article.


    • Furio says

      Hey Harley,

      thanks for the tips. About F VISA extension, for how long do you think you can extend it from within China? This may be a useful info for a lot of readers

      • says

        Welcome Furio,

        In most cases I would expect it can be extended 3 months. Just depends on the current situation in China. Last year it was harder with the change of leadership. However this year it is expected to be more relaxed.

        Hope this helps your reader.

  4. Oti says

    I want to see my boyfriend family at china but still confused. I am from jakarta, indonesia. Do you have idea what to do because i want to stay in there 2month. They are lived hunan , changsha

  5. Tom says

    This October in Hong Kong I was only been able to obtain a 30 day single entry visa which for one who has recently had 90 day entries is not much use.I went to your favourite agent and they confirmed this situation. This one was issued in Hong Kong and not Shenzhen like my 90 day one I got from an agent about a year ago – see my previous comment.

    Now in Zhuhai as it is close for a monthly trip to Hong Kong and I think it is a nicer place that Shenzhen.

    30 days limits me from taking on a flat for my stay which I have done for the past three years.

    I think I might look at Taiwan 90 days and no visa required

    • Furio Fu says

      Hi, in the Italian version of the website there were a lot of comments concerning VISAs in Hong Kong.

      I learned that from now on if you spend too much time in China with tourists/business VISA they won’t grant you anymore longterm VISAs in HK. You actually were lucky cause many people are getting 7 or 14 days VISA.

      Yup, Taiwan seems a good option. I’m in Thailand now but I’m considering to move to Taipei in 2014.

      p.s. I just updated the article on HK VISAs if you’re interested on knowing the details:

  6. maria says


    I know you need to prove 2 years post-graduate experience, but does anyone know what if you work as a freelance?
    Do you prepare a employment certificate for yourself?


    • says

      Hi Maria,

      From conversations I have had with TEFL teachers, it is really not possible to come to China ‘legally’ and be a freelancer. You cannot prepare your own certificate as you must be sponsored by a business.

      I know that many overseas students that come to China to study Chinese, have part time teaching jobs. However if you are looking to be a full time freelancer and be more legit, you would need to look to opening up a business in China.

      Hope this is helpful.


      • furio says

        Hey Harley,

        thanks for stepping in,


        for sure you can’t work in China as a “freelancer.” This is actually true on any country of the world. Thailand is the “freelancers and small biz heaven” because you can get a Tourist Visa and renew it without limitations (as was for China in the past).

        I understood Maria’s question was more about the “two years of previous experience” in order to get a Z VISA and legally work as English teacher in China.

        It’s fucked up because the only thing you could do is to:

        1) Prove you have a business (a limited company biz license 2 years old, for instance)

        2) Prove that this business is on the language niche

        However if you want a Z VISA on second/third Chinese cities you don’t need to years of previous experience on teaching English. As far as I know you only need that in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and maybe Tianjin (they are damn picky haha)

        • says


          No worries.

          Either way it is much harder to get a job in many cities now without the experience. I would say your list of Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, etc. could be expanded. I know that within Chengdu the ministry that reviews CV’s to determine if they get a Z or not has been more restrictive.

          Given the economic situation and more people wanting to work here, they are applying more scrutiny to the visa applicants. That is unless someone has a good relationship, then all bets are off.


          • maria says

            Hi again!

            I still have the same question and yes you understood right. I don’t want to work as freelance but I have worked most time as freelance, I have my own business and I don’t have 2 years of experience in an office. I got an offer recenttly for a job,so I would like to know how I should prove my experience in order to get visa z.

            Thank you both again!

          • Furio Fu says


            there is no fixed rule… Personally, they accepted my Ph.D. degree; for teachers, they accept a letter from a school they worked beforehand, etc.

            It also depends on the province, not all provinces enforce the “2 years experience” clause.

            If you only worked as a freelancer all your life I have no idea. Be creative, find out if your work can be seen as some kind of specialty and prove the 2 years with taxes reports etc.

            The law seems to be quite open on this matter and, at the end, it will come down on how strong is the organization that wants to hire you and how badly they want to hire you.

      • says

        My girlfriend from Guangzhou n we are planing to get married on this May,2015. My inquire is, what type o documents I need to present on the day of marriage registration? And what type of documents my girlfriend should present? I have been going to China with L visa n each time I stay 30days n this time I m planning to apply for six month mutruple entry visa? As I m frequently traveling there n staying long each time, is there any possibpossibility to deport me or refuse my visa application?

          • Razib says

            Hello bro, Thx for your info, I am facing some new problem. Last year when I came to China, I asked embassy can I extand my L visa after I enter in China, Embassy people told me I can’t, but when I came n tried, I really did extanded for 30days. at the 1st time I was granted S2 visa but latter they refuse to give me S2 visa with my girl friend’s inviation n issued me a L visa instead. When I went back to my country to Bangladesh, I applied for visa agian with my girl friend’s paper n got L visa but when I used same paper this time n applie for visa, they refused me and didn’t issue me visa and latter I had to spend money really high n got visa through an agent. I would like to know that why all these confusion. Each time I go n find some new things. This time I am in Guangzhou and I want to get married with my gf but I had some problem with my single certificate n I sent it back to my country to fix it. but the problem is, I spent long time with my gf family n etended my visa once for 30days. is there anyway to extand it one more time?

          • Furio Fu says


            I have no idea! The application of the Visa law depends on your nationality, situation, and past Chinese Visas on your passport. Get in touch with Foverer Bright Travel in Hong Kong to see if they can help you

  7. MARGARET says

    Consular office in Chicago is brutal. If you have one item incomplete or inaccurate according to their standards you are sent away without guidance as to why the form is wrong. Also, once an error is found you are summarily rejected, they do not read through the entire form to identify other corrections that may be needed. Some people were saying they were sent away five times to make corrections to the form. And, of course, since the corrections are made online, you cannot do the corrections on the spot. Finally, I saw a post that someone got their Visa upon entry in Hong Kong. I believe this is no longer possible.

  8. Carlos says

    Hi furio
    how about when you do not have a local embassy in your country.
    I am from honduras ,we dont have embassy or consulate
    I submitted all the docuement in shenzhen,china ,now I am in Hong kong
    my invitation letter is ready.
    can I get it in HK ?

    • furio says

      Hola Carlos,

      it all depends on the relationship between China and Honduras. As an example, for French people get the VISA is more difficult cause the Chinese government didn’t like some declaration made by the French government. I have no experience with Honduras passport but on principle you shall be ok in HK.

      • Carlos says

        Thanks for your reply.
        I am thinking in two options ask the hong kong immigration office if they can or not.
        or go directly to chinese the embassy and simply try.

        Regards to all.

  9. santiago says

    Hi Furio
    do you know,if is possible to get a new visa ,after been deported.
    I overstay 46 days ,I pay the fine and get the 10 days visa to out china.
    Many agents offer me one year visa very high price USD 2000 or 4000.
    I want to do the right thing after deal with the police and been interview for not friedly chinese.
    nobody will want more problems.

    Hope you can give me some suggestions.

    I am from mexico I do not tell you excuse about my overstay ,I only forget ,my fault.
    sorry very silly mistake.become a BIG PROBLEM.


  10. Tim says

    Hello I hold an X student visa issued in Kunming City in Yunnan Province (will expire on July 2014).
    I just got married to a chinese citizen in Wenzhou. Now I would like to know if I can change my Current X visa to Q Visa in Wenzhou ? Or do I need to cancel my X visa and get an L tourist visa first in Kunming then go to Wenzhou change it to a Q one ?
    From what I understand is that if I want to apply while I am in China I can only get the Q2 visa and if I want the Q1 visa I will need to apply from my home country is that right ?
    Thank you.

    • Sborto Zhou says

      Hi Tim it seems that if you want to obtain the resident permit as a relative of Chinese citizen, you should enter china with a Q1 visa first. I’ll suggest you to ask an visa agency in HK if they can get you the Q1 visa. You’ll find the contact details of one of the best agencies in HK in our post about get a visa in HK.

    • Jean says

      Hi Tim, I have the same experience. Just go to Exit and Entry Administration Bureau in Wenzhou and apply for a Q visa, just make sure you have all the requirements needed. The officers will advise you when to apply for a Q visa (since your current visa will expire on July 2014) and they will be the one to decide whether to give you a Q1 or Q2 (but they usually issue Q1 for spouse of Chinese nationals) so you need not go back to your home country.

      I did the same thing this month. I got married in Xi’an last March 2014 and my visa expired April 12. The officer advised me to apply for a Q visa on April 9. My husband and I was interviewed a week after that. Then they issued me a Q1 and I was able to picked it up yesterday.

      • samad says

        Hope you are doing great mate. you have mentioned the great information.

        i am having the same problem. i’m pakistani and i am holding the student visa and seeking for Q1. i am married here and my wife is Chinese. my visa will expire in September but i want to switch it from now. For this my wife called the local PSB and they said that i have to exit the country.i really don’t know what to do.

        Another i was planning to go to Malaysia to get my visa from there as it’s cheap to fly there. but after contacting the Chinese embassy in KL. their reply was that Non-Malaysian citizens who don’t hold long term Malaysian visa student or working cannot apply for chinese visa from here.

        can we apply from any country or just the home country?
        My email is ([email protected]) please contact me if you wanna give me some advice and help me out.

  11. zain says

    I am applying for a Z Visa through the Chinese embassy in Bangkok, however I will have to fly to China from South Africa. Is there any rule which prohibits applying for a Visa in one country but showing a flight to China from a different country?

  12. Abel says


    I would like to ask something…

    So I will move to Shanghai for work soon as an IT Engineer and just wondering if I could also teach english as a sideline?

    Since im from the philippines, english is our 2nd language and i also have a minor on it and also taught english language to japanese people before.

    Any idea if it is legal to do that? even private tutoring?


    • Furio Fu says

      Hi, I don’t think that’s 100% legal because you’re getting your resident permit as an engineer. It may be possible but in order to do it LEGALLY you shall discuss with an accountant (cause you’ll have to declare your income and pay taxes).


    I visited China on “M” category visa for two times,unfortunately i need to extend my stay to 26 days for two times.
    Now i applied for Multiple entry visa from Chinese embassy-New Delhi (India),three times they have rejected stating that “Can not confirm purpose of visiting China”.I want to know when i again should apply, is there any time frame to resubmit the visa application,if i again submit whether they will accept or reject?

    Please help.

  14. Leah says

    We have all the documentation to apply for our z visa, but we need a health screening. The form says to go to a public hospital, but public hospitals we contacted don’t know anything about it. Any advice from someone who has been through the process? Thanks in advance!

    • Furio Fu says

      Hi, are you still in your country or already in China? If this is the screening BEFORE applying for the VISA then you need blood examinations (in order to exclude sickness such as AIDS, Hepatitis and so on) and Chest X-Ray (in order to exclude tuberculosis). You shall also go to your doctor and get a general screening: basically he shall visit you and sign a document (you can download it from the website of the Chinese Consular Office in your country)

  15. Dmitry says

    Hi Furio,
    I would like to seek for your advice. Soon I’ll have to leave China due to the expiration of the extention of my L visa (L type 60 days + extention of L 30 days = 90 days) and leave my wife alone. We tried to do dependency visa but due to unknown reasons her eymployer is not supportive.
    So, I am planning to go to HK… but there is a question:
    What type of visa I can apply for that will grant me another month or so and will be surely given? The reason I need this particular number is because I am expecting a job that offeres Z visa.
    P.S. Could you attach the list of docs for the particular types of visa you might suggest?
    Thank you so much!

  16. Ghida Ruzz says

    Hello :)
    I would like to ask which visa do I apply if I am going to China to do an internship (where my home university has sent me) in Beijing.
    I need something that does not take time since I should be traveling in 2 weeks.
    First they told me i needed JW202, but then since im not applying to “study”; im applying for an internship (for 6 months). Now, i got informed i need a government invitation ?? I have requested it from the hosting company, but I am not sure I understood which form this is. How long does it take for the hosting company to obtain such a document?
    Thank you in advance.

    • Furio Fu says


      it depends on the company and on its relationship with the local government. I don’t think 2 weeks is enough time. Also, if you do a M visa instead of a Z visa a letter of invitation from the company may be enough. You shall ask them.

  17. jesse says

    I am leaving China on the 27th August as my L visa expires on the 30th August. I am going to Italy. I have an Irish passport. Can I can a Chinese visa while in Italy to come back to China or does it have to be the country that issued my passport – Ireland?

    • Sborto Zhou says

      Theoretically you should go where your residence is, said that, it is possible that having a EU passport they may allow you to apply in an other EU country but it’s difficult.

  18. Fahan says


    I am staying in shenzhen on Q1 visa at the moment but now i have got an offer from a company work as an international trader for them. My question is how can i transfer my Q1 visa to Z visa? As i have got 2 years residence permit and i have my wife and kids and both of them are chinese by nationality and we are living in china. Do i need to go back to my country to get the Z visa ?


    • Furio Fu says

      It’s not easy,

      but you may get it without going back to your country as somebody did it last summer (see comments on this thread). I believe it will depend on a) your nationality b) the relationship between your firm and the local immigration officiers.

  19. Mary says

    I will apply for z visa here in the Philippines. I already have invitation letter and employment permit. Im wondering if i aply for single entry, can i go out and enter again in shanghai? Since i will only aply for single entry of z visa?
    Thank you.

    • Christian says

      Hi, Mary,
      It makes sense to enter once on the Z-visa, then apply for the Temporary Residency Permit (as is required within 15-30 days). As a USA citizen with a China Temporary Residency Permit, I was able to enter and exit many times. I can not confirm, however, that this is also true for Filipinos.

    • Sborto Zhou says

      You can go out from Shanghai if you don’t go outside mainland China. If you go to Hong Kong, Macao or an other country you will lose your visa.

  20. Fahan says


    I am holding Q1 VISA for 2 years at the moment but i want to go to Hongkong for traveling .. is it possible for me to get Hongkong visa from shenzhen as i am permanently living in china..and how long the it will take to get a Honkong tourist visa if i apply from shenzhen?

    Thanx :)

    • Christian says

      Mary, I wish you the best of luck. Also thanks to Sborto Zhou and his colleague FF. They are two dudes who I hope to meet in person sometime.

      I forgot to mention that I know many Filipino(a) men and women on a “Stuent visa (X1 or X2)” who are also allowed to come and go. Most like to go home for Christmas or Chinese New Year, and they don’t have to apply for any documentation to do so. This is because they have the “Temporary Residency Permit” that I mentioned in my last post.

  21. Jason says

    I am a US citizen of non-chinese descent, married to a Chinese national with US green card and currently holding a Q1 2-year multi-entry visa. We have lived in the US for seven years, traveling back to China for 3-4 weeks annually for pleasure and family reunion. I have never worked in China to date.

    It seems I will go to Shanghai for business with my current company on a 90-day trip, and possibly extended another 90 days. It seems my employer (having entities in US and China) should apply for a Z visa for me. My Q1 visa still has a year and change left on it. Will my Q1 visa be canceled?

    • Jason says

      To clarify: My employment will remain with the US company and I will be paid in US dollars at my US home bank account. And I double checked, it’s a Q2 visa I hold now. I will train Chinese peers and support their adoption of shared technology. Does this actually count as “working” in China if no Chinese employer has me on their payroll? Should I use a different visa than Z type? And will my existing family Q2 visa be canceled?

      • Furio Fu says

        Hi Jason,

        1) you can only hold a VISA, so yes, if you change visa the old one will be canceled.

        2) If you are paid by a US company then I don’t think you need a Z visa because, technically, you aren’t working for a Chinese company nor you get paid in China. Most luckily you need a business visa.

        3) I don’t think you can legally do it on a Q visa.

        • Furio Fu says

          Let me explain this a bit better:

          A Z (work) visa is required if a foreign national has a labor relationship with a PRC work unit. In addition, a foreigner with a foreign labor contract and foreign source of remuneration will need a Z (work) visa if engaged in work-like activities for 3 months or more.

          So it looks like you may need a Z VISA, unless you follow under this case: “not including foreign engineers and technicians and experts implementing a technology transfer agreement” (which accordingly to your comment could be your situation, it’s not so clear to me).

          • Jason says

            To follow up, I submitted an M work visa application along with my passport bearing my existing Q2 90-day multi-entry visa. The application was returned by the San Francisco consulate with a verbal statement to the visa agency that I already hold a valid visa so they didn’t need to issue me a new one, and they did not collect the visa application fee either. Just in case this turned out to not be true, I carried all of the documentation about my visa attempt with me to China, and upon entering Shanghai customs I checked “business” on my entry/exit form and submitted my passport with the Q2 visa. The customs officer stamped my passport without batting an eye and let me in.

  22. Jo says

    Guys in guangzhou is still possible to get a 1 year business visa , 90 days stay, multiple entrance. Just got mine this week! :-D
    As far as I know they just issue 14 days visa in Hong Kong …it’s getting tough live in china without a proper employment :-(

    • kristina says


      i would really appreciate if you find time to respond in my complicated question :D
      im planning to go to shenzhen on tourist visa. and then i was thinking to get a business visa in HK. but since everybody is saying that in Hk is very hard to get a business visa, or even to extend L visa, i was wondering would it be possible to get my business visa in guangzhou*(i would be staying in shenzhen)? if yes, can you please name the agency or the place where you got it. and how much did it cost.
      thank you in advance and sorry for my english.
      if anyone else knows beside JO, please feel free to comment.

        • kristina says


          it is not possible for me to get a working visa, first because i come from Montenegro, and obviously i am not a native speaker. and second, my ba degree does not have to do with english at all. that is why i am looking for other options.

          I wanted to inform you what I found out (I hope they are not lying), the business visas will not be issued in the next 14 days (minimum), because of the ongoing goverment session about visas, and they are waiting for the answer what will be the conditions to obtaing the business visa.

        • kristina says

          somehow im not finding anything in this post that says FBT (mentioned in the post)!
          could you please be more specific. i might have gone blind and confused from reading 100 blogs daily about china and chinese visas lol.
          thank you in advance

  23. Aga Kahn says


    I have been accepted into Nottingham University Ningbo China, however they have a non refundable deposit fee of 10,000 which I have to pay in order to be issued a JW202 form for X1 Visa. I would like to know what are the chances of getting a student visa for China for a Pakistani national?, considering we have good ties with China in terms of trade etc….My only concern is If the visa gets rejected I will lose a lot of money.

    • Furio Fu says

      Hi Aga,

      generally speaking, if you have the original letter of invitation and you are able to pass the medical examination, you shall be fine. Then I’m not from Pakistan so I don’t know much about your specific situation

  24. Donnie says

    Hello. Ur thread has been really helpful. I am an American on tourist visa and recently found a job who wi be giving me a z visa. However I have a few questions. 1st. Is it possible to apply in Hk? I read another post that said it is possible if your company specifies that it will be applied in Hk? Or maybe if I use an agent?

    2nd. Is it possible to send my documents abroad while staying in Hk as i don’t want to book the ticket during peak travel seasons.

    If u have any information that would help, it would be appreciated greatly. Thanks a lot


    • Furio Fu says

      1. Sometimes it’s possible to apply in Hong Kong. However it depends on many factors such as who is hiring you, where they are hiring you (regulations in Shanghai may be different than regulations in Beijing) and what is your nationality

      2. What kind of documents you want to send? I don’t understand this question

  25. Tutuz says

    hello everyone.
    I’m applying a business F visa in my country (i hold an Indonesian Passport). I have the invitation letter with the complete details of the company such as address, signature, name, financial cover etc. When i went to the Visa Center, they found it pretty rare to apply for this type of visa so they require another documents :
    1. Invitation Letter in Chinese Language
    2. A scan of Inviter’s ID (shenfenzheng)
    3. China Company Business License (they ask for the real one to be sent by post and a scan of it while waiting the mail delivered)
    4. A letter from local company which i work for.
    I told china company to provide these docs and he said this case is rare too bc he has never experience this, like they usually just provide invitation letter. Anyway i managed to provide those docs except Business License bc china company refused to give me that and its impossible to send the actual license by post. Then visa center tell me they can’t grant me the visa if i can’t provide the license and they said my type of visa is supposed to be M visa not F visa because i’m going for business purpose. I tried to explain to them that i can’t provide the license and my purpose of visit is not for trading, but they’re so hard to deal with. They give me another time to provide the complete documents, until now they’re still waiting for me. There’s hope though.
    Does anybody ever experience this case? What kind of documents usually need to provide when applying F visa except invitation letter?
    also, as you said it is possible to apply visa in HK, would it be easier if i go to HK and apply from there?
    Any suggestion would be much appreciated. :)

  26. Kristin says

    Is it possible to renew my student visa by having a friend take my passport to the psb or hire a visa service company, even though I am out of China?

    • Furio Fu says

      You can’t renew an X visa. You can only renew your resident permit, as far as I know.

      I’m not sure if it’s possible without being physically in China. I never heard of anybody doing this and I don’t think it’s allowed.

      • Kristin says

        yes i meant the residence permit from the student visa. ive never heard of it either, but i havent been able to find anything that says its not possible.

  27. Narelle says

    How far in advance can you extend your Z visa/residence permit? Mine runs out in May but I’m planning on leaving China for 3 months from the beginning of March, whilst I am on maternity leave. My visa would have run out before I will get back.
    Do you know if it is possible to either a. extend my Z visa before I leave China in March, b. somehow do it from the UK? or even c. FedEx my passport back to my office in China in early May so they can do they extension for me :/

    Be great if you could help me find a solution to this problem!

    • Furio Fu says

      Hi Narelle,

      I’m afraid you can’t do so: you can’t renew it before it expires (well, maybe 2 days before, but certainly not 2 months) and you can’t let it expires or you’ll need to start over again. The only solution is to be in China around the period of expiration

  28. Susan Lee says

    I will be traveling to Tibet, Kathmandu and Bhutan via Chengdu as a tourist. I know on the China visa application not to mention Tibet. Should I just say staying Chengdu overnight than flying to Kathmandu? What kind of documentation might the consulate ask for? I am US citizen.

  29. Susan Lee says

    I have an agent and will ask the question. I was wondering if anyone have had any experience so we know what to expect.

  30. BS.RAWAT says

    Hi, I am from India and my age is 39. One of a agent advised me to go to China through Study Visa and learn Chinese for 1 year. And told me that I can work there during my studies. Can anybody tell me whether I can get part time or full time job over there and how many hrs a day. Being a fresher/I don’t know chinese how much money normally I can earn in a month?

    • Furio Fu says


      if you get a X1 student VISA (1 year) you can legally work part-time as long as the University gives you the permit. I have no idea of your skills so I can’t tell you how much money you can make! It really depends on the job

  31. BS.RAWAT says

    One more question i really want to ask if you please help!

    agent tole me that after spending 6 month I can get some business visa from China to Australia easily. As I have already made a try from India(PR) but didn’t get success ! . 1 of my friend is in Australia..and want me to be there with him!

      • BS.RAWAG says

        Hi, I already discussed you earlier. Need more help please!

        Actually, I have got a study visa from india to china for language course-chines.

        Consultant told me to go there and while language studies I can do the part time.

        As I am HR professional and have around 4-6 yrs of experience in HR/Admin but in India.

        So, could you please tell me what kind of job I can get in China while study.

        As I am coming there for 1 year Chines course in SINGYANG.

        Please guide me would it be a good step for me. As I want to settle down in China only, later.


        • Furio Fu says

          Nobody can tell you “what job you can get”. Just look for job offers and send your CV to the one you are interested on.

        • Sborto Zhou says

          The type of part time job you can get while studying depend on the university or school you are studying.

  32. Aneta says

    Dear Furio,

    I am supposed to go for an internship to China. I was told that it is quite common, that interns apply for visa F or M. First, I got a job by AIESEC and I was supposed to work in Langfang (close to Beijing) in a 5* hotel. There was a problem that the HR couldnt manage me an Invitation letter of duly authorized unit. The police told her its too long for business (6 months).

    Now I am applying for internship in Shenzhen, also a 5* hotel. Do you think there might be the same problem? I am from the Czech republic and 2 of my friends are already interns in China with visa F and M. We have quite good relations, I would say, with China. I only need to know if you think there will be further problems or if the regulations are not going to be so strict, due to international enviroment of Shenzhen.

    Thank you for your answer!


  33. Daweilaoshi says

    Dear Furio,

    Do you happen to know how much money a Chinese employer must pay the Chinese government in order to get the “Working Permit from the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, P.R.C.” that I will send in when/if I apply for my Z visa so I can legally work in the country?

    My reason for asking: last week I received the Working Permit (and my invitation letter) from China. However, due to an unexpected family situation I might not be able to go. I want to offer to reimburse my tentative employer, who is also a close personal friend, for at least part of his expenses if things do not work out.

  34. Adri says

    Advice for a Colombian national having trouble renewing a year-long M visa to work in China.
    Seems Hong Kong isn’t issuing visas past 30, 90 days.

    Is it true it’s easier to go outside of the country (say Cambodia) and apply at a Chinese consulate there rather than in Hong Kong


    • Furio Fu says


      I think Hong Kong it’s your best bet. Call/Email Forever Bright Travel Agency and see what they say to you

  35. Anet says

    Dear Furio,

    Is it true that there has been some policy changes since March 2015 about visas to China? Because I need the Invitation letter of duly authorized unit to apply for visa F/M, but my HR told me that the new policy says that only company can apply for this letter, not individuals.

    Is that so?
    And if yes, what do you think I should do? Im about to have an internship but I apply for visa without dully invitation letter.


    • Furio Fu says

      Hi Anet,

      I don’t think this is a new policy; as far as I know it has always be this way: if you want a business VISA, a company shall invite you!

      • Anet says

        Really? Maybe I wrote it wrong.. I meant that I should be employeed in a company and that the chinese company has to invite the company in my country, not me as an individual.. Is it still the same?

        I think it should be, right??

        Thank you so much for your answer!

        • Furio Fu says

          Yes, this could be possible. You shall call the Chinese consular office in your country to see what they accept

  36. Susan Schamp says

    I am a British citizen living in China. I don’t work at the moment and so am included on my husband’s Z-visa. In August I will start work and so need to get my own work permit (Z-visa). Do I have to go to the UK to apply for this or can I make this change in China?

    • Furio Fu says

      Hello Susan,

      the law states that you have to go back to UK. However, we heard of many people that were able to get their Z VISA in Hong Kong. It seems that the way they managed to do so was to have a Letter of Invitation that clearly states that they would apply in Hong Kong.

      However, be aware that there are no guarantee that you’ll also be able to get a Z VISA in HK. The safest way is to go back to UK

  37. Tami says

    Hi all,
    I am currently staying in China with M visa /coordinating some issues with the local office of our company – not paid / employed by the local office/, my visas are valid for 30 days only, I need to stay in Shanghai for 2 more months – local police refused to extend my visas. I am wondering, is going to Hong Kong and requesting the Travel visa the solution? Or what would you suggest? exp. is in 2 weeks.

    appreciate your help !

    • Furio Fu says


      going to Hong Kong and requesting an M or L visa could work, but it’s not sure you’ll get it. My advice is to get an invitation letter form your company and ask for an M visa.

  38. hly says

    Hi, I have business M visa already but due to some changes I will not be able to go to China within the dates given. If the visa is not used will it affect me next time when I apply for china visa?

  39. Sonia says

    Hi, I’m hoping you can answer my question. I have a temporary residence permit ending on June 29, but I want to stay until July 7. What is the best way to do that?

  40. Luca says

    Ciao Furio , in gennaio 2015 sono stato assunto da una compagnia cinese, io avevo già il mio visto z con scadenza a fine dicembre 2015.

    loro senza dirmi niente mi hanno cancellato il vecchio visto e ora e 4 mesi che mi propinano scuse di ogni genere per non fornirmi il nuovo.

    io voglio rassegnare le mie dimissioni ma come posso fare a sistemare il visto? loro sono obbligati a rifarmene uno nuovo oppure no?


    • Furio Fu says


      in teoria sono loro a rischiare di più se ti fanno lavorare senza visto Z… però anche tu stai rischiando quindi io eviterei un’azione legale. Dimissioni OK, però se vuoi stare in Cina prima dovresti trovarti un altro lavoro!

  41. Rafae says


    I wanted to ask a question I had tuberculosis 7 years ago and now i am totally cured, havnt had it ever since. I wanted to confirm will china give me a temperary residance as a student in china if I apply. Please let me know?

    Thank you

    • Furio Fu says


      I can’t answer to this question. It will be up to the doctor that check your chest x-ray to decide!

  42. manu says

    I would like know, is it possible to get a z visa without degree,if the company willing to provide necessary documents. Or can I get it with a diploma which is done through distance education(not fake) . What options I have? Please help me with it, I have a good job offer in a manufacturing company in their foreign trade department.

    • Furio Fu says

      Hello, I guess a degree is a degree, even if it’s done through distance education! So it may be possible to get the Z visa. You shall discuss the details with the company that wants to hire you, they are the ones that will have to prepare all the documents for your visa!

  43. Paul says

    Hi, I want to travel from Beijing to Delhi via Tibet and Nepal. Several websites state you should not mention travelling to tibet/lhasa, however I will only have a flight ticket into China and will not be able show an exit route.
    Any guidance welcome. Thank you

    • Furio Fu says

      A possible way to solve the problem is to buy a flight ticket Shanghai-Hong Kong (which shall cost around 50-70 USD). Some agencies also allow you to book the flight and then delete the booking.

  44. NJ lover says

    Dear sir
    I over stayed my L visa over 1 year (367 days) in China. In 2014 December I turned myself into police, and they put me 40 days in detention ( will never forget those days) . When I got out I had 7 days visa with remark : permitted to stay until 25th Jan (other) and 停留(stay) on the top, close to the headline in bracket .and the police escort me to airport directly. I don’t have any other remarks or deportation stamps in my passport . Now I want to go back to China and my friend can provide me z visa and can work in his company . But I’m afraid I might get rejected from getting z visa because of that bad record in China, there is no excuse for what I have done. If anyone has experience or know a solutions for this please tell me. Thank you so much.

    • Furio Fu says


      I’m sorry but I have no experience with it neither. You may try and see if they give the VISA to you!

  45. sheraz says

    hi, i am sheraz.
    i am a student of medical in china, i am from Pakistan , i came back in January 2015 from china and my visa expired in march but i didnt go back so i called my university and they sending me visa now. so i want to know that now i have to do the same process like the first time i did for visa. like have to do medical test. bcz i heared that till 6 months we can apply for visa without medical test. so guide me that is important to do medical test again or not?

  46. Leah says

    I was wondering if anyone knows about obtaining a Chinese visa while living as a temporary resident in another country.
    I am American, and I have received a Chinese visa in the past- from an embassy in America.
    I now live in Japan on a student visa and have my own temporary residence card. If I am to apply for a Chinese visa here, will it be a problem, since I am not Japanese?

    • Furio Fu says

      In theory, you shall apply in US. In practice, many people were able to apply successfully in another country. However, the letter of invitation must specify that you intend to apply for the Chinese VISA in Japan

  47. Mike says

    Hi! I applied for L visa and was granted 10 year multiple entry M visa… weird… is there any problem with entering with an M visa for a tourist visit?

  48. Mmme says


    I’m French, working for a French company that will detach me to China for at least 12 months to manage engineers detached from my company, to interface with a Chinese fabrication yard for a construction contract between them and my company.

    My company shall obtain a as visa for me.
    I have a French 2 year degree in Physics, that I completed with bachelor-level courses (validated by certificates). So technically, not holding a 3 year degree.

    I must also say I have a 14 year uninterrupted carrier, and hold currently a management position in my Company.

    Question is: is there a possibility China refuses my Z visa because of the degree or will the need and/or my experience prevail ?

    Note that I’m not “stealing” a position from a Chinese person since I’ll go back to France once fabrication is finished and that this position is supplementary (and again, only for the time of the fabrication).
    Plus: I’ll be paid in € in France on my French bank account by my Fremch Company.

    Thanks a lot for your explanations.

    • Furio Fu says

      I don’t think Chinese VISA officials will know your French degree lasted 2 years instead of 3. This would require a ton of research and I doubt they ever run such a controls. So, I don’t see this as a problem, especially if you have 14 years of experience.

      I do have another question for you: Does your French company has a branch in China? I ask because only a chinese entity can sponsor a working VISA for you.

      • Mmme says

        Thanks for your feedback.
        I’ve requested the chamber of commerce also and all they can say is that the z visa being linked to the work permit, it has no link with protecting Chinese people employment or not, and that they (of course) cannot say what my experience and/or the willingness of my company could bring.
        As of today, it would rather be a NO from them on the basis that a rule is a rule.

        My company already sent around 100 people with z visa in China (meaning they settled the scheme necessary to have foreign people work in China), but I have no idea if such a case already occurred, so I’m a bit lost. Quite, actually.

        I could ask my company directly on their experience / feeling about all this but somehow I wonder if I’d better not leave them launch the process to gain more weight in the battle SHOULD this impediment occur.

  49. kendal says

    Hi Furio,

    I’m currently applying for a Chinese tourist visa in London.

    I will be in China for 26 days and have booked the flights and 30% of itinerary for this. However I will then travel elsewhere before stopping in Singapore for 3 months (on their tourist visa), whilst I am based there I would like to potentially return to China, but I have no specific plans booked yet to do so.

    Can I apply for a double-entry visa without details of the the second entry booked?

    (I don’t want to miss an opportunity to go back to China whilst I’m in Asia but at the same time don’t want to jeopardise my chances of getting my visa)

    I read your great article about getting visa in HK, but if I can get a double-entry here in the UK I’d rather do that if possible.

    Many Thanks

    • Furio Fu says

      Hello, I never heard that you need specific plans for your second entry. I’d definitely apply for a 2 entry VISA and see if I can get it.

      • kendal says

        Thanks Furio,

        I’ll try for a double entry visa then. Do you know of people who’ve been successful for double without details of second trip?

        I’m just slightly concerned about it being declined and not having enough time to get a single entry. (I guess I could always try re-route to HK to get one last minute if problems)

        Thanks again

        • Furio Fu says

          Yes, it’s quite normal. Just remember to book hotels for the 30% of the whole period. So, if you are applying for a 60 days double entry L visa, book hotels for 20 days.

          • kendal says

            Hi Furio,

            Thanks again, just an updated question…

            So my wife and I tried to apply for Double Entry 60 Day Tourist Visa in London. She is going out beforehand for a 3 week Mandarin course in Yangshuo, then I plan on coming out when she’s finished and travelling around together for a month. We bought all our flights (London – KL – Guilin | Chengdu – KL London) and reserved all our accommodation.

            We both work in television production, which I thought might be awkward… at our appointment the visa centre in London said because we work in media we would only be granted a Single Entry 30 Day Tourist Visa! So we didn’t submit our application as although it’d be okay for me it wouldn’t for my wife – after her language course she would only have a couple days left on her visa.

            We probably can’t go back to the visa centre here again with a different job title in the application and try again. I just wondered what our options are?

            – I thought maybe we could both get the Single Entry 30 Day Visa, and my wife could do a visa run to Hong Kong after her language course and get a new visa? I could fly in to Hong Kong and and we travel to China from there. Would she likely be granted another Single Entry 30 Day Visa having just left China?

            – We could try and pay an agency/ visa service here to process it with different job titles for us for the Double Entry 60 Day Tourist Visa again and avoid going to the actual visa centre?

            I’m not sure what other option we might have, or if you could help in any way.

            Thanks again

          • Furio Fu says


            I can’t answer to these questions: Visa in Hong Kong may be granted or not, you can’t be sure. I’d probably try with an agency in UK myself and see if I can get a 2 entry visa right away

  50. Razib says

    Hi, I would like to get some info about visa extension. I came with L visa then I extended it twice. I brought my unmarried certificate along with me in order to get married with my fiance, later on I sent my unmarried certificate to embassy in order to be notarized but they said I had some problem with my certificate and asked to do it all over again and what took almost two month n this is what made me extend my visa twice. Now finally I got my unmarried certificate what I sent to embassy for notarization but embassy asked for 7 to 10 working days for notarization but my visa will be finished within next 5days. In this condition, without going back to my country, is there any way to extend my visa? someone told me to go to a laywer and ask to appeal to court but is it going to work? Pls if anyone knows about it without going back.

      • Razib says

        I tried for HK visa, Agent asked for my bank account in China what I don’t have. I tried it n it didn’t work. I would be kind if u can suggest me if there is a any way to extend it without going back。If you know any laywer or any other way except going back, I would be thankful for it.

  51. Sandra says

    Thanks for some really usefull information!
    I have just one question:
    Is it possible in any way to get at Tourist visa double entry to China without an exit ticket? I´m from Sweden by the way if it makes any difference.
    I´m going to backpack and don´t want to set to many dates and bookings.
    Have a great day!

    • Furio Fu says

      Yes, with the right agency is certainly possible. I think what they do is just to book a flight for you, get the visa and then cancel the flight.

  52. Paul Tram says

    My brother-in-law is taking my children, ages 13 and 16, all are US citizens, to China. Can they they get the L visa at Hong Kong airport? Do my children need other documents to apply, ie, birth cert., my and my wife’s documents etc? Thank you in advance.

    • Sborto Zhou says

      Hi Paul if your children are traveling to Hong Kong only they can get the Hong Kong Visa upon-arrival probably only with a authorization letter from you (it’s better if you give them a copy of the birth certificate and both parents passport). If they are going to China Mainland it’s better they get the L visa in your country.

  53. Jacque says

    I have just finished a contract and after 3 years I would like to switch my visa to a tourist visa and travel a little bit before I figure out what to do next.This has been very helpful but l am scared that I will be denied.
    I have several questions.
    First one- is it possible to do this in Shanghai. If not, I understand I will have to go to Hong Kong and do this.
    I have been in China for 3 years and I would like to get the 10 year visa ( I have an American passport). This way I can go in and out of China. I am not sure what I will be doing in the future.
    Do you think I might come into some issues because I have stayed for such a long time. I do not have a plane ticket leaving China. Should I get one?

    Any additional information would be great!


    • Furio Fu says

      Hello Jacque,

      if you had a regular resident permit and you were working in China, I don’t think you’ll have any issue. Yes, the easiest way is to apply for the VISA in HK

  54. Rick says

    hello. I;m form the UK and I will be doing some trekking and mountaineering in china for 3-4 months in the coming weeks. just wondering why the China consulate in London gave me a three month single entry visa and required to leave the country every 30 days???!! surely that does not make sense!!! Nonetheless I think it is too much of a hassle to leave every month, so considering not leaving….only until just before my visa expires. Has anyone does this before? If so what happened when you left China before the expiry date?

    urgent reply and help much appreciated thx guys.

    • Furio Fu says


      cause this is how longterm tourist visa work. You are considering not leaving? Overstaying your VISA for 2 months? Reconsider it. If you overstay your visa they will may you pay a fine for every day of overstay. If you overstay too long, they put you on jail.

      • Rick says

        hi furio. i meant if they give me a three month single entry visa, I’ll stay for 3 months without leaving. They can’t surely put me jail if I stay within 3 months for what i paid for. I have no intention of staying over 3 months , should be ok right?

        • Furio Fu says

          No, it’s not right at all! If your visa states you shall go out every 30 days, then you must go out every 30 days. This is what you are paying for.

      • Rick says

        Also, I got a single entry visa, so if I leave the freakin country after 30 days then my 3 month visa is useless. Furio, can you explain wtf is going on?

        • Razib Hasan says

          Three months single entry visa means: U have to enter in China within mentioned three month, Once u steped inside China, ur visa will be valied for 30days only unless u extend it from Exit and Entry Bureau.( for example… your visa issued on 01 June 2015 and its valied until 01st September. so it is three months, it means u ust enter in China between 1st June to 01 september. for example after u getting this visa u entered in China on 11th June.. it means u can stay in China 30days only from 11th June the day u enter. if u want to stay more than 30days then u must go to Exit and Entry Bureau to extend your visa). hope it makes u understand.

          • Furio Fu says

            I suspect the same: probably what you really got is a 30 days VISA and 90 days is just the expiration date!

        • Furio Fu says

          Hmmm how this is possible?

          Can you send a photo of your visa to me (furio at saporedicina dot com)?. You can delete your name + VISA number for privacy purpose if you want; I just need to see the VISA general info in order to advice further.

  55. JamStudd says

    Hello, I’m jamaican and I’ve been accepted by a medical University in China….the school is in the process of sorting out the JW202 visa to send to me, however I’m concerned about the difficulty of the visa being approved…. Can you shed some light on this please???

  56. says

    We need an official invitation letter visa to apply for our visiting visa for business, we are from Nigeria,and we are coming in group, so kindly let us know your prices for each person.and how long will it take you to apply and get it the Official Invitation Letter visa for us?
    Best regard
    Mr Imoh

  57. Hassan raza says

    Hi I have obtained X1 visa and its validity is from 18th may till 18th August and my university registration will start on 30th August. My question is I am planing to travel on 15th of August very close to expiry of my visa from Pakistan so will I face any problems on the airports or I am ok to travel I am a bit curious so that’s why asking this question thanks in advance if you can answer it

    • Furio Fu says

      Hello, you shall enter China before 18 August or your VISA will expire! I don’t think that entering the 15 or 17 August is a problem

  58. Stefan says

    Hi! I need to exit China to start a fresh 30 days on my multiple entry business visa. Do both Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau count as leaving China? Is there a minimum amount of days I need to be out?


  59. Elena says


    I have a question related to X1 Visa. I am studying in a university in China and I got and intership in a Chinese company! Part time, no during class time. However the University doesnt allow me to do that. Therefore I am thinking about changing my university. Can I change the university holding the same Visa or at least can I apply for a new one without leaving to my country?

    Than you so much

    • Furio Fu says

      Hello Elena,

      your resident permit is linked to your university; so I’m afraid that if you change university you will have to change resident permit. This in some case may be done without leaving the country; however it’s not sure you’ll be able to do so.

      Why they don’t allow to work part-time? It’s strange! Did you try to explain them you need the money/experience/whatever else? Often Chinese say “it’s impossible” but then, if you dig a bit harder, a solution can be found

  60. Jessica Lastfogel says

    I’m visiting a friend in Beijing who is a U.S. Citizen who works in China. My boyfriend and I have applied for L Visa and checked the S2 box, do you think this correct since we will be staying with him?

    Also, originally I typed “MYSELF” for who is paying for your trip although, I am unemployed and I’m not sure if they notice this will it be a problem? My boyfriend is the one who is actually paying for it but most of the credit cards are in my name…..If you think it will be a problem what other documents will I have to provide?

    • Furio Fu says

      Hello Jessica,

      I don’t think that they will run a credit check on you : )

      As for the type of VISA, I don’t understand. Are you applying for an L or S2 VISA? S2 VISA is a short term visitor VISA, but it’s much easier to just go for a L VISA!

      • Jessica says

        I’m applying for S2, we are visiting are friend (US citizen working in China) and staying at his apartment.

        Another ? I forgot to check on, section 3.8 on China Visa form does not apply to me, so do I really have to put N/A in all nine boxes? Thanks again!

  61. VINAY YADAV says

    I got admission letter from northwestern polytechnic university, Xian and the letter told me to come between 25th of aug to 15 September but today my counselor told foreign office rejected my application for jw202and they need to apply again so today is 6th july and at least it will take one month to come so then can i apply for visa and enter china in my registration period and i got my jw202 last lear also but unfortunately i cant come there due to some problem, does it cause problem and anything else then jw202 medical certificate admission letter and sponsor letter what else the would check

  62. Diana says

    I have z visa but left China before expired. CA I reenter w/o new visa? I plan to return before it and residency permit expirè.!I am foreign expert and husband iß on visa.

    • Sborto Zhou says

      Diana it’s difficult to understand your email if you have a valid resident permit you can enter to China without any problem, but be sure that the company didn’t cancel your working permit when you left.

  63. Thiago says


    I’m going to apply for the M Visa (business visa) and would like to know more about which type of organization can provide me with the invitation letter you mentioned.

    I’m going to China to participate in meetings, discussions and training of a foreigner company which operates in the country. They invited me to go for this proposals and recommended me to take the M visa instead the tourism one, is that correct? Also, I’m from Brazil but I’ll be applying for the Visa here in the U.S where I’m currently living. Any other documents that might be necessary?

    Looking forward for your response,


  64. Bo Liu says


    Great that I found your website and knew many things that I did not know earlier. I am a Chinese citizen and my husband is Austrian. We plan to go back to China but we have no idea whether he can get a z visa or not. He has a master’s degree in English literature and linguistics. And he wants to teach so much. But the point is he is not a native speaker. He never taught German before either. He applied for a teaching position in German in China and they offered him the job but no work permit. If my husband wants to do this job then he has to work under tourist visa as they can only sponsor this type of visa. This is definitely sth that we will never do. But since i read in your article that some universities can help you apply for z visa, is it ok with applicants from non English speaking countries but with professional educational degrees? What about applying for German teaching position in universities even though he has a English master’s degree? Thank you very much in advance!!!!!!!

    Kind regards,

    • Furio Fu says

      Hello Bo,

      it looks difficult to get a position on a University without being a native speaker/having the right degree (although possible). It looks it easier to get the position (and thus the work permit) with a private school (maybe avoiding Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen where often being a native speaker is required). There are not fixed rules though, it’s just a matter of looking hard enough.

      I suggest this long article about teaching English in China (to some extent it also applies to other languages):

  65. Tuscarawas says

    I have a question for you. I studied in China for a year before. I was hired to teach English in China for next year. What I am worried about is that I did not do well my last semester at the school in China. I ended up getting in a fight with classmates at my old university and not doing well. I was wondering if this would keep me from being able to teach English in china. Do I have to have a reference from the old school to teach or does it not relate. Thank you so much.

    • Tuscarawas says

      I just wondered will they call my old school for reference or no? I can get refrences from my school in Ohio that I am a good student there.

    • Sborto Zhou says

      Hi, I don’t think nobody will call your old school if you were only student there, and definitely not the embassy. I imagine that there’s no police record of this fight, if there’s a report, you might have problems.

  66. Aman says

    Hi there,
    I want to ask that can I do study (chinese language or other studies) in China if I hold Q1 visa after married in China ???

  67. Marko says

    Hi Furio,

    I’m currently travelling in China on a tourist visa (L) and would like to extend my stay. I plan to visit Chengdu and apply from there, but I’ve read conflicting information about some of the details.

    According to a hostel in Chengdu, it will cost 160 RMB and take 5 days:

    Is this still the case? I’ve seen 900 RMB / 7 days mentioned elsewhere…


  68. nicole says

    Hi! I’m currently in China with Q1 visa. Is it possible for me to work here without any problems? or Do i still need to get a Z visa? if no, what’s the best thing to do instead of going back to my home country to get a z visa.
    thank you

    • Furio Fu says

      Nicole, you can’t work on a Q1 VISA. You shall get a job, then go to either your country or Hong Kong and require a Z VISA, in order to be able to work legally

  69. Gina says

    Hi, I was born in China, but have American citizenship. I recently got a Q2 visa and used it to visit my family this summer in China. However, I am planning to go back to China this fall semester for study abroad, and was wondering if I could use my Q2 visa for it instead of having to apply for the X visa. I heard that you cannot hold two Chinese visas at once, so if I do apply for a student visa, I will lose my Q2 visa (which is unfortunate, because I just got it). Will I absolutely need a X visa to study in China? Will the school check that, and kick me out if they find me studying in China without a X visa? Or is there someway I can slide through with a Q2 visa?
    Also, is there any chance that they’d deny me a X visa? I already have a JW202 form from a school in China. Thank you.

    • Furio Fu says

      If I was you, I’d go for the X VISA, just in case. Not sure how studying with a Q visa may affect you. You can ask to the university!

  70. Gaurav Vashisth says

    Respected Sir
    I am a graduate person and after 2 months i will get my yoga certificate. I ant to be good yoga teacher for that i am practicing ashtanga yoga from 6 years i can every pose all poses from ashtanga five series . I can do every ashtanga yoga flow i can my yoga pics and i am damn sure that will make you feel amazing. but the problem is i am of 21 so can i working visa to do work in china and my brother in law is also working in Beijing as a yoga teacher so there is any way any platform there where i can show my talent my work my hard work
    Thank you
    Gaurav Vashisth

    • Furio Fu says

      Hello, I have no idea if you qualify for a Z visa. You shall ask to the Chinese Consular Office in your country

  71. Peter says


    Great job, extremely informative article! I just have one question that I can’t seem to find an answer to…
    When you apply for the Z visa in your home country do they require you to do a full battery of medical tests and submit a Physical Examination form along with your Visa application form?

  72. Joe says

    I have a question for my wife and I. My wife have a position in Shanghai with her proper working and resident permit. I do have one job in Beijing but can work remotely. We want to be together in day to day life. Is it possible to get a resident permit together and keep my working permit ? Do I have any options to stay as much as I can in shanghai with my wife ? Or my only options are ‘quit’ my job or go and leave Shanghai every weekend which is crazy

    Thanks for the help, I haven’t find any way to solve that .

    • Sborto Zhou says

      In my opinion you have two options, non of the options are quite “legal”:

      1) Keep your work permit and residence in Beijing, but spend most of the time in Shanghai. I think is the best option.
      2) Change your working visa to a family visa associated to your wife working visa. The problem with that is that you can’t work with this visa, so if you keep working for the company in Beijing you may have problems.

  73. Angelique says

    Thanks so much for the info on this site! To anyone who can help, I am currently filling in my application for a Z Visa and I have a quick question about the form. I have been hired to teach English at a Chinese high school. Item 1.15 asks about current occupation and subsequent items ask about current employer info. I am technically unemployed since I resigned from my district in July (once I accepted the position in China). My employment contract in China begins September 1st. Should I put “Unemployed” or “Employed” and if I select “Employed”, should I provide the job information for my most recent USA position, or for the job in China? Any guidance provided would be greatly appreciated!

    • Furio Fu says

      Hello Angelique, there are not such a definitive guidelines for filling out the form. If I was you, I’d definitely put my former employer, especially if you just left

      • Angelique says

        Thanks for the reply. I did just that and it worked out. Picked up my visa Wednesday! I absolutely love this site. I am an English and Spanish teacher who lived in Milan for 4 years. So I feel like I belong here!

  74. Sara Polselli says


    I entered China the 10th of July on a 30 days single entry tourist visa that I obtained in April in Hong Kong.

    I applied for an extension in Kunming. It took 7 working days and will go to collect my passport tomorrow.

    I’ve realised that I would like to stop in China for a while and travel at a much slower pace. But I’ve read that, contrary to the past, it’s not possible to get a second extension anymore. Do you have any information on this?

    What about exiting around the end of my firs extension to a neighbouring country, overland, and apply for a new visa in the neighbouring country? Do you thing I would obtain a new visa? While in HK I met a girl that had gone to HK to get a new visa but they told her that it was difficult because she had already a Chinese visa on her passport. She was working for an NGO, though. Do you have any updated information? Or do you know how to acquire it? The official of the PSB when I applied for the extension told me that it’s not possible to get a second extension. Do you think this is standard across all of China?

    Any recommendation is very much appreciated.


    • Furio Fu says

      Hello Sara,

      nowadays it’s difficult that you’ll get a second extension, although not impossible.

      Same for getting a new visa in Hong Kong or another country. The problem is that many people use travel visa to working illegally, thus since 2013 multiple consecutive travel visa are usually denied.

  75. Alan says

    furio, thinking of getting married to my GF. if i get married in china how long do i get to stay in china for a time? just really curious how it works.

    reply appreciated

    • Furio Fu says

      Hello Alan,

      is your gf Chinese? If the answer is yes, then you can get a resident permit (through a Q1 visa) that you can renew every year. However you cant work with a Q Visa.

      If your gf isn’t Chinese but already got a resident permit (say a working permit), then you can get an S1 visa and then a resident permit that you can renew every year. As for the Q visa, you can’t work.

      We got a whole article on the topic; you find the link above, in this article

  76. Constantin says

    I am a romanian citizen and have been working in Tianjin for 1 year. Previously i also worked in Shanghai.
    My current residence permit expires on september 14 and the company will not extend my working contract.
    They said they can just help me with another 30 days of residence permit extension but i don`t think is possible.
    Could you please help me with some answers?

    1 Can you tell me if is possible to get extend the residence permit with just 30 days? Or it must be minimum of 90 days?
    2 If i get a tourist visa for another 30 days, can i convert it to a residence permit in Shanghai without leaving China?
    3 If keep my Tianjin residence permit can i transfer to Shanghai residence permit and work permit without leaving China?

    Thank you in advance!

    • Furio Fu says


      1. No idea

      2. it’s possible, but quite difficult. The easiest way is to get a Z visa in HK andd then a resident permit.

      3. Yes, if you find a company in Shanghai that sponsor your visa and helps you with all the bureaucreacy involved

  77. abdulmajid says

    Please May you answer my question
    I’m from Syria and I’v got m visa from my country but recently the Chinese government has made new decision thatI cannot extend this visa more than 1 months, so will change to study visa x
    But the embassy wantsmedical check up from China or Syria ,unfortunately now I’m in Turkey and can’t go to Syria because of war , can I change my visa which is (m) to (x) after I arrive to China without go out. Of China again?
    Thanks in advanced

  78. Andrew says


    (This is a great website and has helped me lots but I have two questions!)

    I am a UK citizen with UK passport, I am travelling to Beijing for 1 week, then to Tokyo for 1 week, then Hong Kong for 1 week.

    Is a single entry visa ok (for China), as when I enter Hong Kong I can get a tourist visa then for that part? Or do I need a double entry?

    Secondly, I quit my job in anticipation for my round-the-world holiday. I’m scared that writing unemployed could mean I don’t get a visa? Is this a risk? I have booked my accommodation and flights, and if they ask for my bank statement they’ll see theres plenty in there!

    Thanks in advance


    • Furio Fu says

      Hello Andrew,

      if you can, get a double entry VISA early on so you don’t have to lose time/money in HK. Also, is not sure you’ll get the second toursit VISA

      Yes, putting unemployed is not the best…

      • Andrew says

        Thanks for your reply. Ok I’ll apply for a double entry visa, and perhaps put my former employer down, especially as I only left 2 1/2 months ago. I can’t imagine they’ll call up!!

        Thanks for your help


  79. Claudia says

    I guys! Bit of a weird question here. I’m in China on a 60 L visa with my German passport (I had an invitation letter). I am a dual citizen and also have a Canadian passport, with which I recently found out I could get a 10 year multiple entry L visa with a duration of 60 days each time. Since my visa expires in October, I enquired with FBT as to my chances of getting that on my Canadian passport in Hong Kong. They said of course, but I need an arrival slip into Hong Kong issued to the passport I arrived with. Since I don’t want to arrive with y German passport because I wouldn’t get a Chinese visa on my Canadian one, I have this question:

    Has anyone been to Hong Kong recently and can tell me if, when you exit China and after you get he exit stamp, I could enter Hong Kong afterwards my Canadian passport? If it works the way I think it might (Chinese exit officials stamp the passport holding your current visa), could I technically just show my Canadian passport to the Hong Kong officials when I’m entering?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

    • Furio Fu says

      Hello Claudia,

      I don’t know if it’s possible, I got no experience with double passport.

      Are you arriving by plane to Hong Kong? If yes, at the customs they won’t probably mind whether you are arriving from China, Canada or any other country, so I don’t think that a Canadian passport without Chinese VISA would be a red flag.

      However, if you are crossing the board by foot in Shenzhen, it would be weird that you don’t have any Chinese stamps (in this case they know you’re arriving from China). In this case it could still work, if you explain you have 2 passports…

      Again, mine are just suppositions, I have zero practical experieince with this problem

      • Claudia says

        The tip with the flying in as opposed to overland is great, Furio, I hadn’t thought of that! Thank you!! I’m also going to ask the Canadian embassy here in Beijing on Tuesday and see what they say.

          • Claudia says

            Do you also happen to know if you need to present documents that you have enough money on your bank account to stay in HK without working AND a return ticket out of HK when we arrive at HK immigration at the airport? That is what HK Immigration just emailed me….:/ do they even ask for that?

  80. Claudia says

    Sorry for the typos, my tablet hates me. That was supposed to read *60 day L visa

    Addendum to my post: I would be arriving by way of Guangzhou or Shenzhen, overland, so I would not be flying into Hong Kong, I would probably take the bus or train.

  81. Cameron says


    i am trying to extend my L visa the day it expires. is there any way they will do this? or will i have to leave to hong kong and come back?


  82. steve says

    iam an american citizen going to lebanon to visit my wife. can i apply for tourist visa from there to china?they say on the internet its possible becuas ei get a free visa on arrival in lebanon for 1 month and they siad i showed show this as supporting document. is it fine becuase its going to be stamped on my passprt the visa on arrival in lebanon so it shows iam legally there :)

  83. Mary A Berg says

    I am 61 year old Canadian female ESL teacher with degree and job offer and signed contract in Emeishan City due to start Sept 7 however still awaiting ‘papers’ from China to apply for my work visa. Have forwarded my criminal record check and medical and school tells me ‘no worries’ just takes times to process the forms… any idea how long the process takes on the Chinese side? I have rearranged my flight once already and again have to change it as I don’t yet have my Z visa.
    Any idea how long the process is on the Chinese side? Just a little frustrated! Thanks.

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