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China Visa — Who Needs One and How to Get it

Your Chinese visa during the coronavirus epidemic (UPDATED 12 Mar): China National Immigration Administration announced on 12 Mar that, during the epidemic prevention and control period, the period of stay of foreigners in China may be extended automatically for two months. Within the extended period, there is no need to go through the extension procedure anymore, and you can still stay in China legally or leave the country normally.

This page covers the basic things that China tourists need to know about China visas and links to further information: 

  • 1. Do I need a China visa?
  • 2. How to visit China without a visa?
  • 3. Which type of visa to apply?
  • 4. How do I apply?
China Visa

What Is a China Visa?

A China visa is a travel authorization document usually required by China for entering its borders, which is issued by a Chinese embassy or consulate, affixed in your passport.

There are several different types of visas, each of which afford the bearer different rights in the host country.

Who Needs a China Visa?

Usually most foreigners traveling to mainland China, whether for business or pleasure, require a visa. It's very difficult to obtain a China port visa at the Chinese border entry points. However some cities and regions of China are visa free in certain circumstances.  See Do I Need a Visa to Visit China? (How to Visit Without a Visa)

Holders of ordinary passports issued by the following 17 countries do not need a visa to enter China as long as their trip does not last longer than the visa-free period listed below.

  • 90 days: Bosnia and Herzegovina, San Marino
  • 60 days: Mauritius
  • 30 days: Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Ecuador, Fiji, Grenada, Qatar, Serbia, Seychelles, Tonga, United Arab Emirates
  • 15 days: Brunei, Japan, Singapore

Good news: Travellers enter China at selected cities with China Highlights can benefit from our "Hassle-Free Visa". Provide us a photo of your passport and we will handle your visas. Click to see details

How to Visit China without a Visa?

72-hour visa-free transit24/72/144-hour visa-free transit policies are available in China.

Direct flight transit without leaving the airport doesn't require a visa, and then there are special areas of China with visa-free policies. 

Tourists holding ordinary passports of Singapore, Brunei and Japan are allowed to enter China for up to 15 days without visas for tourism or family/friend visits.

What Types of Visa Should I Apply?

Generally speaking, visitors traveling to mainland China require a China visa, which should be obtained in advance. The type of visa you should apply for depends on your reasons for traveling.

China Visa

How Do I Apply for a China Visa?

It is usually recommended that you apply for the visa one or two months before the intended travel. When you have the required items ready, submit the application at the appropriate visa office of China embassy/consulate-general, or Visa Application Center in your country.

See our step by step guide, including the information as below:

Enjoy a hassle-free tour with us.Enjoy a hassle-free tour with us.

Tailor-Making a China Tour

China Highlights is your China tour tailor-making expert. See the recommended tours below for inspiration:

As an alterative to customizing the recommended tours linked above to meet your individual requirements, we can help you tailor-make a tour according to your interests and requirements.