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Chinese Visa FAQ

American citizens apply Chinese visa

1. Do I have to apply for a visa when traveling to China?

Foreign visitors entering mainland China must apply for a visa, with the exception of those who are entitled to visa-free policy. Please see more detailed information

2. Which type of visa do I need to apply for?

If you intend to travel to China, then you need to apply for a tourist visa (also known as L visa).

3. How do I decide the number of entries when applying for a visa?

If you only intend to visit such cities as Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai during your stay in mainland China, then you simply need to apply for a single entry; if you intend to visit the mainland and then head to Hong Kong or Macau and finally back to the mainland, you need to apply for a double entry; if you enter the mainland twice or more through Hong Kong, Macau or other countries, then you need to apply for multiple entries.

4. What are the procedures for applying for a visa?

You need to apply to the Chinese Embassy, Consulates General or the Chinese Visa Application Service Center in your country. Take your basic application materials with you, and the visa application invitation letter that our company will have sent you. Before you go you should telephone to confirm all the materials they require and to check the time schedule for your application.

5. Where should I apply to?

Generally speaking, you should apply to the Chinese Embassy or Consulates General in your country; or you may entrust a travel agency, visa agency or a third party to make an application for you. Foreign visitors from the following 15 countries should apply to the Chinese Visa Application Service Center: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

6. When is the appropriate time to apply for a visa?

One month before visiting China. An earlier application may mean it expires too soon, while a later one may be subject to delay and cause you difficulties.

7. What materials will I need when applying for a visa?

Please visit for more detailed information

8. How can I obtain an invitation letter for my visa application? And what if my application is declined?

Our company will send you a legitimate invitation letter for your Tourist Visa Application as soon as you have paid for your tour. You need to print the letter out and take it with you along with other required materials to the institutions receiving visa applications (Please see the requirements on the letter for more references). If you have not booked a China Land Tour Package from us, then you need to be aware that a separately issued invitation letter is not allowed in China. We cannot guarantee that your application will be approved, nor can we be held accountable for that. If your visa application is denied repeatedly by the Chinese Embassy or Consulates General in your country, which makes your package impossible, we will refund you after we have deducted the amount of fees for the invitation letter; the service fees our company deducts are 100 USD.

9. How soon can I obtain a visa after the application?

It usually takes 4 working days to obtain a visa (the processing time differs according to individual cases). If necessary, you can choose the express service (3 working days) or rush/urgent service (2 working days), but extra fees will be charged for such special services. The Chinese Embassy and Consulates General in your country need to approve express or urgent requests, and do not guarantee that you can successfully apply for them. You should go to the issuing place to collect your visa on time. If you do not collect your visa within 90 days from the issue date, the visa will be considered unclaimed.

10. Can I apply for a visa by mail?

Will the Chinese Embassy or Consulates General send back the passports and visa by mail? Most Embassies and Consulates General neither accept visa applications by mail nor provide the service of sending back passports. The Chinese Visa Application Service Centers do accept visa applications by mail from the places over which they exercise jurisdiction (currently available in 15 countries). Applicants must attend an interview if required by the embassy or consulates general.

11. How should I handle the situation where I cannot apply for a visa in person?

If you are genuinely unable to apply for a visa in person in a country where this is required, then your only choice is to entrust a travel agency, visa agency or third party to apply on your behalf. The Embassy and Consulates General will not be held accountable for any problems that may arise as a result. Furthermore, the applicant must attend an interview if required by the Embassy or Consulates General. If you entrust others to apply for your visa, please ask for information concerning the materials required for entrustment.

12. Do I have to apply for a separate visa if I intend to visit Hong Kong?

Currently, foreign visitors from 224 countries may enjoy Hong Kong's visa-free policy. You need to know whether your country is entitled to such a policy. If you need to apply for a Hong Kong visa, please see more details.

13. Do I have to apply for a separate visa if I intend to visit Macau?

Currently, foreign visitors from 74 countries may enjoy Macau's visa-free policy. You need to know whether your country is entitled to such a policy. If you need to apply for a Macau visa, please see more details.

14. Do I have to apply for a separate visa if I intend to visit Tibet?

Foreign visitors do not have to apply for a separate visa when visiting Tibet as it is an integral part of China. They simply need to apply for Tibet Travel Permit. Please see the introduction to Tibet Travel Permit for more references.

15. Can I apply for a visa in Hong Kong? And how to apply?

You can apply for a visa in Hong Kong. Please see more details.

16. Having arrived in Hong Kong, do I have to apply for a visa for entering the economic zones in Guangdong Province?

Please see more details.

17. In which cities can I enjoy 72-hour visa-free policy?

Please see 72-hour visa-free transit policy for references.

18. What if I lose my passport in China?

We strongly recommend you make several copies of important documents such as your passport and green card before you go to China. If you lose your passport, you should inform your travel consultant in the first place. The team headed by your travel consultant will assist you in handling the situation.

(1) You should report to the local Chinese police station as soon as possible.

(2) Next, apply to the Chinese Embassy or Consulates General in your country for a new passport and other travel documents.

(3) Then go to the local Chinese Police Station to apply for a new exit permit. Or you can go to the Immigration Department to apply for a visa after getting your new passport.

19. How long will my visa be valid for?

When does it take effect and when does it expire? A tourist visa is valid for 90 days from the date of issue, With the exception of specific explanations, a visa takes into effect from the date of issue and not the date of entry to China. A visa expires in any of the following situations:

(1) 24 hours (China Standard Time) after the specified date on the column "enter before".

(2) The number of entries has been run out.

(3) The visa is revoked or canceled by the Chinese authorities.

(4) Other legal situations.

20. How long can I stay in China if I have a Chinese visa?

Usually, you may stay in China for 30 days if you have a Chinese visa.

21. How to apply for a visa extension?

(1) Visa holders should go to the local police station at or above the county level (please consult the local police station for more detailed information) to apply for an extension within the duration of stay specified in your visa. Be prepared for a rejection.

(2) Provide your passport and visa.

(3) Fill in an extension form.

(4) State clearly the reasons for an extension. Our tour guide and travel consultant will assist you in applying for a visa extension.

21. If my visa expires during my stay in China, can I continue to stay in China?

Even though your visa expires, you may continue to stay in China only within the duration of stay specified in the visa.