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Chinese Visa Types - General Information

Chinese visa is a permit issued to a foreigner by the Chinese visa authorities for entry into, exit from or transit through the Chinese territory. The Chinese visa authorities may issue an ordinary, diplomatic, courtesy, or service visa to a foreigner according to his identity, purpose of visit to China and passport type.

Below is an introduction to the ordinary visa . The ordinary visas consist of eight sub-categories, which are marked with Chinese phonetic letters (F, X, D, Z, L, G, C, J-1 and J-2 respectively); those for foreign students are marked F or X.

Visa F: Issued to aliens invited to China for a period of no more than six months for the purpose of a: visit, study or lecture, business tour, scientific-technological and cultural exchange, short-term refresher course, or job-training. To apply for Visa F, the invitation letter from the inviting unit or the visa notification letter from the authorized unit is required.

Visa X: Issued to aliens who come to China for a period of six months or more for the purpose of: study, advanced studies, or job-training. To apply for Visa X, certificates from the receiving unit and the competent authority concerned are required, i.e., Application Form for Overseas Students to China (JW201 Form or JW202 Form), Admission Notice and Physical Examination Record for Foreigners.

Visa D: Issued to aliens who are to reside permanently in China. A permanent residence confirmation form shall be required for the application of Visa D. The applicant shall apply to obtain this form himself or through his designated relatives in China from the exit-and-entry department of the public security bureau in the city or county where he wants to reside.

Visa Z: Issued to aliens who are to take up posts or employment in China, and to their accompanying family members. To apply for a Visa Z, an Employment License of the People's Republic of China for Foreigners (which could be obtained by the employer in China from the provincial or municipal labor authorities) and a visa notification letter issued by an authorized organization or company is required.

Visa L: Issued to aliens who come to China for sightseeing, visiting relatives or other private purposes. In principle, the tourist applicant shall evidence his/her financial capability to cover traveling expenses in China. Applicants who come to China to visit relatives may be required to provide invitation letters from their relatives in China.

Visa G: Issued to aliens who transit through China. The applicants are required to show valid visas and on-going tickets to the heading countries/regions.

Visa C: Issued to train attendants, air crewmembers and seamen operating international services, and to their accompanying family members. To apply for a visa C, relevant documents are to be provided in accordance with bilateral agreements or regulations, from the Chinese side.

Visa J-1: Issued to foreign resident correspondents in China.

Visa J-2: Issued to foreign correspondents who make short trip to China on reporting tasks. The applicants for J-1 and J-2 visas are required to provide a certificate issued by the competent Chinese authorities.

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