How to get a Chinese visa

Plan your China tour? Any foreign passport holders require a visa in advance of travel to China. An “L” Visa is issued to foreigners who comes to China for travel or visiting family members.

There is no visa-on-arrival provision except in extraordinary cases. Chinese visa policy is strictly enforced, and a penalty of RMB 500 per day is imposed for overstaying.

Visa Types
Basically there are four kinds of visa most frequently issued:

L Visa–Tourist visa. Issued for visiting China, sightseeing, family visits or other private matters.

F Visa–Visit visa. Issued to those coming to China to conduct business (giving a lecture, undertaking research…)

Z Visa–Work Visa. Issued for the holder to work full-time in China.

X Visa–Student visa. Issued to those coming to China to study for longer than 6 months.

Where to apply for your China visa
You are mainly requested to go to the Chinese embassy ( or consulate ) in your home country for visa application in person or use a visa service as well as visa agents.

1) First search the official website of the Chinese embassy in your home country or local visa agents.
2) Study the requirements for the visa application.
3) Contact Chinese embassy by email or on phone.
4) Prepare for personal documents for the application.
5) Pay the visa fee and wait for your Chinese visa.

Official visa service web:

How to apply for Chinese tourist visa
To get Chinese tourist visa, you must offer the documents below to the Chinese embassy or consulate in your home country, a visa agent. Your valid passport which must have at least six (6) months of remaining validity with at least two visa pages.

1) China bound air-tickets
2) China Hotel confirmation
3) Tour Confirmation letter from a local travel agency in China
4) Other requirements

Visa renewal or Extension
The agency in charge of visa matters inside China is the Public Security Bureau (PSB). If you lose your passport in China, or you are going to extend your , you should turn to the PSB.

Please visa renewal, please contact the Entry & Exit Administration of the Public Security Bureau if you have more questions.
Add: 2 Andingmen Dongdajie, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Tel: +86 10 84020101

72-Hour Visa Free Stay in Beijing and other major cities in China
At the time of my writing, transit passengers from 53 designated countries are entitled to spending up to  72 or 144 hours visa free transit stay separately in the 9 cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Dalian, Guilin, Shenyang and Xian in China.

The transit passengers from 53 countries with visas and plane tickets to a third country are allowed to transit through one of the cities mentioned above for a visa-free stay of up to 72 or 144 hours.

The 144-hour visa-free transit allows you for a sufficient time to visit Beijing, or Tianjin and Hebei per your travel request. For more information Beijing tours, Tianjin tour and Hebei tour, please check out the following links:

Beijing Layover tour
Beijing Tour Packages

Tianjin Tour
Tianjin Cruise Port Transfer & Tour

Hebei Tour
Shijiazhuang Tour
Chengde Tour
Zhangjiakou Tour
Qinhuangdao Tour

Further Readings

Beijing 144 Hours Free Visa Transit.

Any questions, just drop a line.


16 thoughts on “How to get a Chinese visa

  1. steve roiall ,

    As far as I know, there are totally 26 countries that don’t need visa when traveling Sanya for a certain period of time on an organized tour. Please check with the cruise staff or any tour leaders on the ship. Have a nice time in Sanya.

  2. Dear Tan,

    Shanghai is a large city in China. To visit Shanghai, you need to have a China visa.

  3. Hello Tan,

    You either go to a local travel agent or Chinese embassy to apply for a China visa.

  4. hello…i want ask about extend my china visa,last time extend china visa in macao giving only 7 days,and i am renew in ningbo giving 0ne month.and now i want extend visa in beijing can possible or not.because i am open company in china ningbo not yet company will be ok one month later,but my china visa will be expiry on 2014/05/08,mean on 8 may will be finish my visa.
    i am from indonesia.

  5. Hello Heni,

    Please contact The PSB Office in Beijing
    Tel: 010-84020101
    Add: No.02, Andingmen Dong Dajie, Beijing
    Subway: next to the subway station of Yonghegong (Lama Temple)

  6. I’m in China for about 24 days, in SYdney only gave us visa with 2 entries only!!!! Have to go to Shanghai, then go to Hong Kong, back to Beiging , then Hong Kong, my two entries have already gone!!!! There is a place at Hong Kong airport that I can renew or obtain another visa due from Hong Kong will go again to Shanghai.
    Thank you for your assistance

  7. Hello Wilson,

    As far as I know, you are unable to get a Chinese visa inside Hong Kong Airport. Basically you need to go to China Travel Service in Hong Kong for the China visa.

    Just a kind reminder that if you are an Australian citizen, and if you are going to fly from Hong Kong to Shanghai,then continue to fly to Sydney or a third country, you are eligible for up to 72 hours visa-free stay in Shanghai.

    Just for your reference. Have a good luck!

  8. hi – my husband and I are US Citizens and we are traveling from the Philippines to Beijing, arriving in Beijing at noon on 11/3/16 then to Hongkong departing at 9 AM on 11/6/16 then back to the Philippines on 11/9/2016. Do we need to apply for a Chinese visa or are we eligible to use the 72 hours visa free stay in Beijing?

    Thanks for your help.

  9. Hi Elena,

    In your case, you are eligible to use the 72 hours visa free stay in Beijing. But when you arrive at Beijing airport, you still need to go to the 72-hour visa-free counter to get the permit to enter Beijing.

    For more information, please check out the link below:

    Have a good time in Beijing.

  10. Hello!
    I am British citizen and I am travelling from Manila Philippines to Beijing before going back to United Kingdom, Do I qualify for 72hours Visa free visit or Do I need to get a visa.

    Thank you,

  11. I am a Canadian (holding a valid Can. passport) who wishes to travel to Beijing in April of 2020. Specifically, I wish to travel by air from Kathmandu (Nepal) to the airport in Beijing (where I will spend a few days visiting the Great Wall, etc.) before flying back to Toronto.

    Upon arrival in the customs area at the airport in Beijing, I would like to apply for a 144-hour transit visa. Would this be possible with my itinerary? Am I correct in assuming that with such a 144-hour visa that I will not be able to travel to the city of Xi’an during my stay?

    Any information would be greatly appreciated…

    George B. Schaut

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.