How do I apply for a visa to China

For a trip to China you need a visa to enter the country. An “on arrival” visa is generally not issued at a Chinese border. You have to apply for the visa yourself or on behalf of an agency. Due to frequent changes in the application procedure, we recommend that you use an agency. This is slightly more expensive than filing your own application, but it saves you a lot of work and time. We are happy to assist you with agency recommendations. However, if you want to take this into your own hands, we will explain everything you need to know about applying for a Chinese tourist visa.

Tourist visas – how and where to apply

The Chinese authorities differentiate between a short-term stay (up to 180 days – tourist visa) and a long-term stay (from 180 days). The Chinese tourist visa can be applied for a maximum of three months before entry – no longer. For example, if the entry is to take place on September 15th, the visa can only be applied for from June 15th. This rule does not apply to visas of other categories, such as business visas. This can be requested six months before entry.

The Steps for applying a Chinese tourist visa:

  • STEP 1: Prepare your visa application including necessary supporting documents accordingly.
  • STEP 2: Submit your application to the Visa Office of Chinese Embassy/ Consulate General based on your State of residence
  • STEP 3: Pay the visa application fee at the Visa Office and pick up your visa.

Beside the visa application form we show you which documents are required to apply a Chinese visa:

  • Passport –  with at least six months of remaining validity and blank visa pages & one Copy of it
  • Photo
  • Proof of legal stay or residence status (applicable to non-U.S. citizens)

You must provide the original and photocopy of your valid certificates or visa of stay, residence, employment or student status, or other valid certificates of legal staying provided by the relevant authorities of the country where you are currently staying.

  • Photocopy of previous Chinese visas
  • Documents showing the itinerary including air ticket booking record (round trip) and proof of a hotel reservation, etc. or an invitation letter issued by a relevant entity or individual in China.
  • After a booking has been made with us, but no longer than three months before entering China, we will send out pro forma hotel reservations on request, which required for the visa application.
We recommend applying for a visa with the correct validity period in advance and choosing an extension as the last option, because the problem is that your passport has to be handed in to the authorities for up to about a week and you will not change your hotel during this time
, can still buy train or bus tickets.
No, because Tibet is officially an administrative unit of the People’s Republic of China, but an autonomous region. To travel to Tibet, the China visa is not enough.
You also need a special permit which is issued by the tourist office in Lhasa (the Tibetan capital). Should you decide to travel to Tibet, we can easily apply for all the necessary Tibet permits for you.