Join now
Log in Join

China Visas Explained – Types of Chinese Visas and (Shanghai)

Anyone traveling to China for the first time may find getting a China visa a little daunting with the nine visa types to choose from. Here, you’ll find information that will answer the common questions many people asked about China visa such as, “How to get a visa in China”, “Which visa do I need in China” and “What type of visas exist in China”.
What type of visas exist in China?

If you are planning to travel to China, you will need to get the right visa based on the purpose of your visit. There are currently nine types of visas being issued for anyone traveling to China. The nine types of visas are the tourist visa, business visa, student visa, crew member visa, journalist visa, transit visa, residence visa and the work visa.
Each of these visas has a letter to represent it. Below is an explanation for each of the visa categories.

Tourist Visas in China

First is the tourist visa, which is known as the L visa. This visa is issued to those who are planning to visit China for holiday or personal travel. This visa will last from 30 to 90 days for both single and double entries. If you want to come in and out a few times you will have to pay extra!

Student Visas in China

Next is the student visa, which is the X visa (do not ask for an XXX visa, I tried, they don’t find it funny). This visa is issued to foreigners of other countries who is visiting China for education purposes. This visa is also used by students who are visiting China for temporary work such as internships or just pretending to get very drunk whilst ‘studying Mandarin’.

Transit Visas in China

The third type of visa is the Transit visa, known as the G visa. This visa is needed for anyone who is traveling to another place but is making a transit in China.
Crew Member Visas in China
The fourth visa is the Crew member visa which known as the C visa. This visa is for anyone who is part international aviation such as pilots. Family of this visa holder will also be offered this visa type.

Want to Live Permanently In China? There’s a Visa for That Too!

For anyone who is immigrating to China and are there to stay permanently, they will need to apply for a Residence visa, which is the D visa.
Starting a Foreign Franchise in China?

As a country that has been attracting many investors, there has been an increase of foreign and multinational companies starting their franchise in China. If you are going to China for business purposes, then you are required to get the F visa.

The Benefits of a Visa Agent for Work Visas in China

China has been attracting lots of foreign workers and have also been offering a lot of employment opportunities for foreigners. If you are employed by a company in China, then you may need to get your work permit and also apply for the Z visa. This can be complicated and sometimes risky if you try to do it yourself as not all companies sort out your visa (or sort it out well).

If you are a business with foreign workers who need visas it is best to go to an agent who knows the ins and outs of the labour bureau’s regulations and will guide you throughout the process to ensure you get the visa the first time around. If you try to do it yourself (and keep in mind many forms, particularly from the labour bureau, are in Chinese) you could end up wasting a lot of time, money and even worse – be denied entry permanently if you end up submitting contradictory information.

How To Apply For Your Chinese Visa

For holiday visas it is easy and relatively risk free. You can download the application form online, print and fill it out. Just be sure you take the address of where you are staying with you. If you are staying with a friend they will often require a letter and a copy of your friend’s rental contract to prove you can stay at the address specified. Then all you have to do is take the documentation to your local Chinese Embassy.

For work visas there a variety of forms and pre-approvals you need to get. This can be a total nightmare for someone who is not Chinese and does not know how the labour bureau operates. An agent will inform you as to where an government approved hospital can administer and admissible health check. They will help match your past work experience (you need at least 2 years and references in you same / similar line of work) verifying your experience. If you’re self employed, your visa agent will assist you in creating the right documentation for this too. They will go to the labour bureau’s offices in China for you, collect the original documents and approvals you need, collate your information and get it processed in a faster and more risk free fashion.

If you need a work visa you can contact me at Bstarts Visas who are work visa specialists – best of all, if you do not get your visa for any reason the service is free so there’s no risk.

If you have any questions please go to Protected content or email me at jonathan. Protected content