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Frequently Asked Questions about Chinese Visa
 

Q1: What's a Chinese Visa?

Chinese visa is a permit issued by visa authorities of China in accordance with the laws and regulations of China to a foreign citizen for entry into, exit from or transmit through the territory of China. The Chinese Visa Authorities issue Diplomatic Visa, Courtesy Visa, Service Visa or Ordinary Visa to a foreign citizen according to his or her status, purpose of visit and type of passport.

Q2: China's Visa Authorities

(1) Chinese diplomatic missions, consular posts, Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Macao Special Administrative Region, and other resident organizations authorized buy the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are responsible for handling visa applications by foreign citizens for entry into and transit through mainland China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China.

(2) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the local foreign affairs offices authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are responsible for issuance, change and extension of diplomatic and official visas and for issuance of residence permit to holders of diplomatic and official visas.

(3) The Ministry of Public Security and the local public security bureaus authorized by the Ministry of Public Security are responsible for inspection on entry and exit of foreigners, issuance of visas at the port of entry, extension and change of ordinary visas, and issuance of residence permit to holders of ordinary visas, who are already in China.

(4) The Immigration Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is responsible for matters relating to foreigners' entry into and exit from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Its Website Address: http://www.immd.gov.hk

(5) Macao Public Security Police Force Immigration Service. Unless visa exempted according to bilateral agreements, a foreigner may apply for a visa to enter Macao upon arrival at the Port of Entry.

Website Address of the Macao Public Security Police Force: http://www.fsm.gov.mo/psp/cht/main.html

Q3: Types of a Chinese visa

Chinese visas fall into four types: diplomatic visa, courtesy visa, service visa and ordinary visa. Ordinary visa is further divided into the following 9 categories each marked with a letter:

(1) Tourist and family visit visa (L-visa) is issued to a foreign citizen who comes to China for tourist purpose, family visit or other personal affairs.

(2) Business Visa (F-visa) is issued to a foreign citizen who is invited into China for visit, research, lecture, business, exchanges in the fields of science, technology, education, culture and sports, or attending various kinds of trade fairs or exhibitions, or short-term study, intern practice for a period of less than 6 months.

(3) Student Visa (X-visa) is issued to foreign citizen who comes to China for the purpose of study or advanced study for a period of six or more months.

(4) Work Visa (Z-visa) is issued to a foreign citizen who comes to China to work and his or her accompanying family members, or to give commercial performances in China.

(5) Transit Visa (G-visa) is issued to a foreign citizen who is to transit through China on his or her way to a third country (or region).

(6) Crew Visa (C-visa) is issued to crew member performing his/her duties on board an international train, or on an international airline, to a sailor on board an international ocean-liner or freighter, and also to their accompanying family members.

(7) Journalist Visa (J-visa) is issued to foreign journalists. J-visa has two categories: J-1 visa and J-2 visa. J-1 visa is issued to resident foreign journalists in China and their accompanying spouses and under-age children, J-2 visa to foreign journalists who visit China for temporary news coverage.

(8) Permanent Residence Visa (D-visa) is issued to a foreign citizen who has been approved by China's Public Security Authority to reside in China permanently.

Q4: Period of Validity, Number of Entry, Duration of Stay of a Visa

I. Period of validity of a visa

The period of validity of a visa refers to the period of validity of the visa itself. The holder of a visa is eligible to enter China at any time prior to the expiry of its period of validity (allowed to enter China even before the 24th hour of the last date of its period of validity), so long as the entries granted on the visa have not been used up.

A visa becomes effective from the date of issuance. The visa automatically becomes invalid once its period of validity expires regardless of whether its entries are used up or not.

Chinese embassies and consulates general do not extend the period of validity of an issued visa. Holder of an issued visa should apply for a new visa if he or she intends to visit China after the expiry of the issued visa. Foreigners holding an expired visa shall be refused entry into China. Make sure the visa is valid before you set off for Chian.

II. Number of Entry of a Visa

The number of entry on a visa refers to the number of times the visa holder is permitted to enter China within the visa's period of validity. When the entries are all used up, the visa is not valid anymore. Even if there are still unused entries, the visa is not valid either if its period of validity has already expired. In either case, the visa holder should apply for a new visa if he or she intends to visit China again.

You shall be refuse entry into China if you hold a visa with entries already used up.

III. Duration of Stay of a Visa

Duration of stay of a visa refers to the longest period the visa holder is allowed to stay in China from the date of entry into China on each visit.

After entry into China, a foreign citizen who needs to stay in China longer than the duration of stay on the visa must apply for an extension of stay at a Local Public Security Bureau before the expiry of the duration of stay on the visa. This does not necessarily mean your application for the extension of stay will for certain be approved. The applicant shall bear any consequences arising therefore.

Overstay in China violate the laws and regulations of China on control of the entry and exit of foreigners, and could be fined or punished with other penalties.

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