IETF 79 - Visa Information

Beijing, People's Republic of China
November 7-12, 2010

Note that the content below is provided for your information. Always please check with Chinese Embassy in your country for the most up-to-date information.

Please see below for information about entering China from various countries. There are two primary types of visas: business (F) and tourist (L). The application requirements for each are detailed below, but the main difference is that you do not require a formal letter of invitation from a Chinese organization to obtain a tourist visa. However, a tourist visa is appropriate only if you intend to spend some time either before or after the meeting sightseeing in China. If that is the case, the tourist visa is considered easier to obtain and is therefore recommended. Once a visa (tourist or business) is obtained, you will need to enter China within 1-3 months.

You may want to consider using a visa service company to help you get your visa.

Note that travelers from Finland, France and Korea will be required to show proof of hotel and flight arrangements when applying for a business (F) visa.

Table of Contents


Visa Service Companies

There are a number of visa service companies that can help you obtain your visa. The list below is not complete and is provided for information purposes only.

NOTE: Rates listed below reflect visa company service fees only. Total cost of visas includes service fees, consular fees established by and paid to the appropriate consular office for your country of travel and shipping fees for the return of your completed documentation.

  • CIBT
    • Business, Tourist, Transit, Work Permit visas: $85.00 per visa
    • Rush Surcharge (4-7 business days processing): $67.00 per visa ($152 total)
    • Emergency Surcharge (1-3 business days processing): $134.00 per visa ($219 total)
  • A Briggs Passport & Visa Expeditors
    • Non-Rush $55.00
    • Rush $135.00
    • Emergency $175.00
  • Peninsula Visa & Passport Service
    • Visa (Business or Tourist from San Francisco Consulates)
      • 3-5 days: $125.00
      • 24 hour: $200.00
      • Same day expedite service: $250.00
    • Visa (Business or Tourist from Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Houston, Chicago or Dallas Consulates): $125.00
  • Chinese Visa Service Center
    • Standard Service (4-day processing): $43 per visa
    • Express Service (2-3 day processing): $79 per visa
    • Rush Service (1-day processing): $109 per visa

Canada

The following documents should be submitted when applying for Chinese visa:

  1. Passport with at least 6 months remaining validity and available blank pages for visa;
  2. One properly completed visa application form, which could be obtained from the Chinese Embassy or Consulate-General in person, or by mail with a pre-paid return envelope, or be downloaded from the following website: www.chinaembassycanada.org.
  3. A recent passport-size color photo with white background stuck on the visa application form;
  4. Other relevant documents for different types of visa:

(1) for Business "F" visa: an official invitation letter from the authorized Chinese government departments, companies or institutions.

Types of Visa Fees

1-Entry 2-Entry 6-month Multiple 12-Month Multiple
50CAD 75 CAD 100 CAD 150 CAD

Visa processing takes 4 working days. For special cases, rush service may be available, but applicants are requested to submit their applications before 11:00 AM and need to pay the extra rush service fee. The rush service fees are rated as following:

  • $50 Canadian Dollars per person for the same day service;
  • $35 Canadian Dollars per person for the second or third day service.

Finland

General Requirements for Applying for a Visa:

  1. One fully completed visa application form (please download from: http://fi.china-embassy.org/eng/lsfw/downloadforms);
  2. One recent passport-sized photograph (colour or black & white);
  3. A valid original passport with blank pages and at least 6 months validity;

Business (or short-term study) visa--type F:

  1. Copy of flight tickets or travel itinerary;
  2. Letter of invitation from a company or institution in China, or a Visa Notification Form issued by an authorized unit in China (Visa notification form refers to the form of visa notification issued by the Chinese government departments, companies and social organizations authorized by the Chinese Foreign Ministry. For detailed information, please consult the foreign affairs office of the province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government where your host is located).
  3. Applicants holding passports other than Finnish passports should provide his/her original (and a copy of) residence or work permit which should be valid for at least half a year (except for those who are visa or permit exempt for residing or working in Finland).

Applicants could come in person or through a third party (e.g. travel agencies) to apply for the Chinese visa. It normally takes 4 working days to process the application. Requests for express service can be rejected. Visa is normally not issued on the same day unless the same-day air ticket is presented.


France

Travelers should plan to apply for a visa approximately three weeks before traveling.


Germany


Japan

Basic Requirements

  1. A valid passport with enough blank pages.
  2. Certificate of alien registration (to the aliens who have the visa with the period of more than half a year in Japan)
  3. One recently taken, bareheaded, full-faced photo.

Visit or Business Visa (F)

For visit or business visa, an invitation letter from the relevant state departments of the PRC, local government above the level of township, relevant companies, business entities or non-profit governmental organizations is necessary for the application.

Pick-Up Visa and Visa Fee

Normally visa may be picked up on the fourth working day since the date of the application. You can ask express service by paying extra fee. The rush fee is ¥3000 for the next-day and the third-day pick-up. With the receipt, visa can be picked up in person or by someone entrusted.

Visa fee (Japanese Yen)

  single-entry double-entry six-month multiple-entry one-year multiple-entry
Japanese citizens 3000 5000 6000 10000
American citizens 15000 15000 15000 15000
Citizens of other countries 4000 6000 8000 12000

Korea

Visa Requirements

  • A valid passport with enough blank pages.
  • Visa Notification Form issued by an authorized unit in China
  • Copy of flight tickets
  • One recently taken, bareheaded, full-faced photo,
  • One business card
  • Hotel reservation confirmation

Working Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Notice on changes of individual visa application methods in Consular Section (August 23rd, 2007)

This is the translation of the original document in English; for standard content, please refer to the Chinese version.

  1. From September 1st, 2007, the Consular Section of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Korea (ROK) will no longer accept foreigners’ individual applications for Chinese visas of travel, business, study, work, transit and so on. Instead, citizens of ROK and other foreigners in ROK have to apply for Chinese visa (visas to China’s Hong Kong are not included) through travel agencies designated by the Consular Section of the Chinese Embassy.
  2. The Consular Section of the Chinese Embassy will continue to accept the following individual visa applications (visa applicants can also apply for visas through the designated travel agencies):
    1. Diplomatic, service passport holder of ROK
    2. Ordinary passport holder with note verbal issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of ROK
    3. Members and their relatives of other countries’ diplomatic missions, international institutions and international organizations to ROK
    4. Correspondent visa applicants
  3. The Consular Section of the Chinese Embassy cautiously reminds visa applicants to pay attention to the following items:
    1. For those who apply for China’s Hong Kong visas or to apply both visas to Chinese mainland and China’s Hong Kong, the applicants still have to come to the Consular Section of the Chinese Embassy to apply for visas.
    2. The service fees (visa fees charged by the Consular Section are not included) for each visa charged by the designated travel agencies (the service means to apply and receive visa on behalf of the applicant) must not exceed 20,000 won.

If applicants find out any designated travel agency infringes the above rules on service fees, they can send e-mail (consulate_korea@mfa.gov.cn) or fax us (02-755-0469) to lodge a complaint (complaints by phone or face to face are not accepted). The complainant should write down clearly the real name, gender, date of birth, nationality, passport number, phone number of the applicant as well as the application date, the name of the travel agency and the details regarding the infringement. The Consular Section of the Chinese Embassy will fully investigate the case and deal seriously with the relevant travel agency. Please notice that complaints against non-designated travel agencies are not accepted.

Enclosed herewith are:


Netherlands

A. All applicants are required to submit the following documents:

  1. A valid original passport. There must be blank visa pages in the passport. Pages for endorsements or amendments can not be used as a visa page. The passport should be valid for at least 6 months;
  2. One completed Chinese Visa Application Form signed by the applicant. Children's application form can be signed by their parents or guardians;
  3. One recent passport photograph affixed to the visa application form. Life photos, copied photos and digital photos printed on ordinary paper are not acceptable.

2. F visa (for business)

F-visa is issued to a foreign citizen who is invited to 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 no more than 6 months.

(1) Documents mentioned in part A;

(2) Visa Notification Form. (Visa notification form refers to the form of visa notification issued by the Chinese government departments, companies and social organizations authorized by the Chinese Foreign Ministry. For detailed information, please consult the foreign affairs office of the province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government where your host is located).

  1. Applications by post are not accepted. Applicants should submit their applications in person or entrust a third party to submit their applications on their behalf to the visa office of Chinese Embassy in the Netherlands. Appointments are not required. Interviews may be required by the visa officer if necessary. Visa may be refused without detailed explanation.
  2. The office hour of the Consular section is Monday to Friday, 9:00-12:00 (except holidays). To shorten your waiting time, please come to apply as early as possible in the busy season (April to October).
  3. In principle, the normal visa processing time is 4 working days. The applicants should be responsible for all the consequences if they could not provide necessary and appropriate application materials. Applicants should provide with additional documents other than those mentioned above upon the request of visa officer.
  4. Same-day expedited service is only available before 10 o'clock and under certain conditions. The applicants could ask for the expedited service of picking up the visas and other documents in 2 or 3 working days.
  5. Applicants should check the issued visa upon collection and if necessary raise any queries at the same time. If there is no immediate query relating to the issued visa, the applicant is held responsible under any circumstances thereafter.

Sweden

F Visa: Issued to a foreigner who is invited to China for a visit, an investigation, a lecture, to do business, scientific-technological and culture exchanges, short-term advanced studies or intern practice for a period of no more than six months.

To apply F visa, you should provide:

  • one completed visa application form
  • one recent photo with size 48m* 33mm (passport photo)
  • valid passport with validity of six months at least
  • invitation letter from Chinese authorities or entities, or notification letter from Chinese authentic authorities.

For visa, notarization, legalization application, if you have fulfilled all the requirements, then,

  • For regular service: Four working days to handle
  • For express service: Two to three working days to handle with extra service fee of 170SEK
  • For rush service: One working day to handle with extra service fee of 250 SEK and the application must be submitted before 11 o'clock sharp in the morning.
  • For mail service: It takes about 10-15 days to handle. Chinese Embassy does not take any responsibilities of any lost, delay, damage of your post during delivery.

United Kingdom

1. Checklist of documents required for application

  1. Original passport remaining to be valid for at least 6 months from the date of application and with sufficient blank visa pages.
  2. One completed visa application form with a recently-taken passport photo stuck on it; all the items on the application form should be completed neatly with genuine information; if the applicant has a Chinese name, the Chinese name should be filled in; false or incomplete information and illegible characters may lead to refusal of a visa.
  3. Letter of invitation from a company or institution in China or Visa Notification Form issued by an authorized unit in China (Visa notification refers to the form of visa notification issued by the Chinese government departments, companies and social organizations authorized by the Chinese Foreign Ministry. For detailed information, please consult the foreign affairs office of the province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government where your host is located).
  4. An applicant holding a passport other than UK passport should provide the original and a copy of his or her permanent residence or work permit which should be valid for at least half a year(except for those who are visa or permit exempt for residing or working in the UK).
  5. Applicants applying for short-term study in China should also provide:
    • A) Admission Notice (original and copy);
    • B) Visa Application for Study in China (Form JW-201/JW-202, original and copy, which indicates the period of study being less than 6 months).

2. Application procedure and processing time

  1. Application procedure

    Book online appointment at the website of Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (CVASC) and then submit application to CVASC. Application without appointment will not be accepted. For more information, please visit www.visaforchina.org.uk . CVASC accepts postal application.

  2. Processing time

    Regular visa processing time is normally 4 working days. For example, applicants lodging applications on Monday will collect the visas on Thursday. Express visa processing time is normally 3 working days. Applicants requesting the express service must lodge visa applications at the CVASC counter before 12:00 noon, Monday to Friday.

3. Important notes

  1. Consular officers may request an applicant to provide additional supporting documents. The applicant should provide this as soon as possible.
  2. Whether a visa is to be issued or not, and what type of visa to be issued shall be decided by Consular officers in the light of China's relevant laws and regulations. Application may be refused without detailed explanation.
  3. The applicant should check all the information of the issued visa upon collection and if necessary raise queries at the same time. If there is no immediate query relating to the issued visa, the applicant is held responsible under any circumstances thereafter.
  4. The visa application form should be fully completed and signed by the applicant upon completion (application for an applicant under 18 years of age should be signed by one of his or her parents). Items which are not applicable should be filled in with N/A.
  5. Please be advised to apply for a visa about one month in advance of the intended date of entry into China. The applicant is held responsible for any consequences resulting from the failure to submit visa application at an appropriate time, which may lead to either the issued visa becoming expired or it would be too late to get a visa before the intended entry date.
  6. Consular officers decide on the visa's period of validity, duration of stay and number of entry in the light of China's laws and regulations.

4. Fees

  1. Please pay on collection.
  2. Chinese Visa Application Service Centre accepts cash or debit card for payment.
  3. Schedule of visa Fees and Service Fees (Unit: British Pound):
Fee Category
Amount
UK Citizen
Third Country Citizen
US Citizen
Visa Fees
Single Entry
30
20
65
Double Entry
45
30
65
Multiple Entries/6 months
60
40
65
Multiple Entries/1 year
90
60
65
Extra fee for third working day collection
15
15
15
Application Service Fees
Regular Service
34.50 (VAT inclusive)
Express Service (third working day collection)
46 (VAT inclusive)

Notes:

  1. Visa Fees are collected on behalf of the Chinese Embassy.
  2. Application Service Fees are charged by the Centre.
  3. The total amount of the fees to be paid by an applicant = visa fees + application service fees.

United States

I. Class of Visa

Tourist (L) Visa (Updated: 23/04/2009)

A tourist (L) visa is issued to an alien who comes to China for sightseeing or visiting family members or friends or for other personal affairs.

Please submit the following materials for your application:


  1. A valid passport as well as a separate copy of its information page: Your valid passport must have at least six (6) months of remaining validity and at least one blank visa page in it.
  2. One completed visa application form, available for download here
  3. Photo: one recent photo of 2x2 square inch (black & white or color is acceptable) glued or stapled on the application form.

Additional information for Chinese-American individuals or former China nationals:First time applicants whose former nationality was Chinese, shall write down his Chinese name in the application form and submit his original Chinese passport and the photocopy of the information page of the passport. Applicant who was formerly Chinese and has acquired a new US passport, if there is a Chinese visa in the old passport, shall submit his old US passport or the photocopy of the Chinese visa. Chinese-American child born in US applying for Chinese visa, please see the following site for more information: http://www.china-embassy.org/chn/hzqz/zgqz/t455942.htm (content in Chinese)

Business (F) Visa (Updated: 23/04/2009)

Business Visa (F Visa) is issued to an alien who is invited to China for a visit, an investigation, a lecture, to do business, scientific-technological and culture exchanges, short-term advanced studies or internship for a period of no more than six months.

Please submit the following documents for your application:

  1. A valid passport as well as a copy of its information page: Your valid passport must have at least six (6) months of remaining validity and at least one blank visa page in it.
  2. Application form: One completed Visa Application Form
  3. For Sections 4.7 - 4.10, please use the inviter contact information
  4. Photo: one recent photo of 2x2 squre inch (black & white or color is acceptable) glued or stapled on the application form.
  5. Visa Notifications Form from an authorized Chinese Unit, or invitation letters from the host company, meeting or exhibition organizers in China, or an introduction letter from applicant's US company, etc.

Additional information for Chinese-American individuals or former China nationals:First time applicants whose former nationality was Chinese, shall write down his Chinese name in the application form and submit his original Chinese passport or the photocopy of the information page of the passport. Applicant who was formerly Chinese and has acquired a new US passport, if there is a Chinese visa in the old passport, shall submit his old US passport or the photocopy of the Chinese visa.

About Multiple Visas:

    • US citizens may apply for a Single Entry (valid for 3-6 months), Double Entry (valid for 6 months), Multiple Entry (valid for 6 months or 12 months) "F" Visa as needed.
    • US citizens may apply for a Multiple Entry "F" Visa valid for 24 months, if
      1. they submit documents proving that they have made an investment in China, or have established a collaboration with a Chinese company, e.g. business license, contracts, a letter of appointment, etc.; or
      2. they have been issued "F" visa at least twice times, and shall submit copies of the visas.

II. How to Apply

  1. You may submit the application to the Visa Office of the Embassy or Consulate -General which holds consular jurisdiction over the state where you reside;
  2. If you cannot come personally, you may entrust someone else or a travel/visa agent to submit your applicaion to the visa office of the Embassy or Consulate -General which holds consular jurisdiction over the state where you reside;
    • No appointment is required.
    • Mailed applications are not acceptable and will be refused.
    • Mail back service is available (make sure you read INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLICATION MAIL SERVICE).

III. Processing Time

  1. The regular processing time is 4 working days.  
  2. Express service: 2-3 working days processing, $20 will be charged per visa.  
  3. Same day rush service: emergency business only, with additional fee of $30 for 1 working day processing (applications shall be presented before 12:30pm may be picked up between 2:30pm-3:00pm on the same day).

Ⅳ.Visa Fees

  1. Please pay by Visa, MasterCard, Money Order, Cashier's Check or Company Check. Cash or Personal checks are not acceptable.
  2. Please make the company check, cashier's check or money order payable to Chinese Embassy.
  3. Fee list:
Number of Entry American Citizen of Other Country
Single Entry $130 $30
Double Entry $130 $45
Multiple Entry for 6 Months $130 $60
Multiple Entry for 12 Month $130 $90
Multiple Entry for 24 Months $130 $90

*Visa fees for Romanian passport holders are: $75 for single or double entry, $150 for multiple entry.

Ⅴ. Visa Validity and Duration of Stay

Usually the validity of a Single Entry or Double Entry "L" visa is 90 days or 180 days from the date of issue. This means the holder of the visa shall enter China no later than 90 days or 180 days from the date of issue, otherwise the visa will be expired and is null and void. Normally the duration of stay of a "F" visa is 30 days, which means the holder of the visa may stay in China for up to 30 days from the date of entry. If your estimated stay in China is longer than 30 days, please make it clear in the application form and ask for the Visa Officer's approval when you submit your application.

VI. Additional Information

  1. If the visa application form is not filled out completely, correctly and legibly, your visa application may be delayed or rejected.
  2. Usually applicant submit his visa application one month earlier before his trip.
  3. Visa Officers are empowered to make final decision on the validity,duration of stay and times of entry of a visa and may require the applicants provide relevant documents.
  4. Any person suffering from a mental disorder, leprosy, AIDS, venereal diseases, contagious tuberculosis or other such infectious diseases shall not be permitted to enter China.

All regulations are subject to change without notice.