The Non-Business (F) Visa (also known as the Noncommercial Visa) is the visa needed for any venture or activity in China that does not fall under the scope of any other visa category, i.e. not tourism, personal visits, business, employment, study, journalism, diplomatic, etc. This may include research/investigative missions and exchanges, cultural activities, lectures/forums, and other non-business activities.
The Non-Business Visa is normally issued as a single-entry, with a 30-day duration. If certain situations require a longer stay, you will need to clearly state the reason during application and provide any proof you can to support your claim.
Who Needs It?
Anyone planning to take part in noncommercial ventures inside that do not constitute either travel or business, may need this visa. Note that you are not legally allowed to participate in any kind of official business, work, employment, or receive any salaries during the visit under this visa.
How to Apply?
Step 1: Prepare All the Necessary Documents
As with any type of Chinese Visa, there are specific documentsthat need to be handed over during application:
- A valid passport with at least 6 months left, and at least one empty visa-page left.
- Photocopies of the passport main-information page, and other pages containing any previous Chinese visas or entry-stamps.
- 2 x recent passport-style photos
- Official Invitation Letter
You will be required to present an invitation letter issued by the relevant parties partaking in the activity you will be attending.
For more details on this requirement, click here.
- Finally, a filled out China visa application form (which can be downloaded from the Chinese embassy website or from our website). This form should be fully filled-in in advance (typed and printed), and with no fields left empty (type “n/a” if not applicable).
Once you have all of these documents ready, you may continue in the application process.
Step 2: Submit the Application
Gather all your prepared documents (Preferably in an organized file/folder), and head over to the nearest Chinese Embassy, Consulate, orChinese Visa Application Service Center (CVASC).
Some countries’ citizens may be allowed to mail-in submissions, or to send an agent to submit the application on their behalf. Normally, however, it is best to do submissions in-person, as consular officers may want to ask questions about the trip. As of 2018, citizens of some countries are required to be present during in the application for biometric finger-print collection.
Be sure to check with your local Chinese Embassy/Consulate regarding the submission times and other specifications, as they are always country-specific!
Step 3: Wait, Pickup and Pay
If you have submitted all of the requirements successfully, then your visa is most-likely on the way! You will leave your passport at the Consulate/Embassy, and pick it up on the assigned date (usually within a week), depending on the type of processing service you use. Click here for full information on China visa processing time*(link china visa processing time page)
On the pickup date, you may head over to the same location where you applied, and pick up your passport with the Chinese visa. The fees for the visa are usually paid on the pickup date.
China Visa Costs
The cost for obtaining a Chinese visa depends on many things, such as your nationality, and the type of processing service you choose. Visa costs are usually calculated based on number of entries, and duration of validity of the visa. The specific costs can normally be found on the official Chinese consular website of your country, but in any case, always come prepared with extra cash during application.
For more information regarding China visa costs, click here!