Entries China-Visa: Beginner’s Guide

China is a powerful nation with some of the most impressive attractions one can ever hope to explore in a single lifetime. In order to explore this country, many tourists must secure a Chinese visa. A better understanding of the process and terms shall enable you to make an informed decision regarding the ideal type of visa you should begin the process for.

Preparation for Entry – Get a Visa

Properly preparing yourself for entry requires you to possess the correct visa for the purpose of your visit. Those who plan to visit for just a short few days may be able to use a tourist L-visa. Those looking to stay for a longer time may use a student, work, or business visa. However, each type of visa has its own limitations and requirements as well as varying length of validity periods.

Types of Visas

Over 2.7 million foreign tourists visited China in 2019, with the majority of visits requiring visas. For starters, business visas are generally issued for those who possess long-term goals in China. To obtain one, applicants must present an invitation letter from a company in mainland China.

In addition to the business visa, others include a student visa. It is for those who want to pursue a degree in the country. Aspiring students must have a letter of admission from a Chinese university in addition to a tuition fee payment receipt and proof of sufficient funds.

Visa Processing Times

Applying for a visa should be done in advance to ensure that it arrives before or during your travel dates. Processing times for different types of visas vary. A business visa typically takes just a week to process, while a student visa often takes a bit longer. It’s also important to make sure that you plan for the duration of your visa when you book your flights.

Important Documents

In addition to being aware of the types of visas and processing times, it’s important to know what documents to prepare when applying for a visa.

  • 2 passport-sized photos taken in the past 6 months.
  • A valid passport.
  • Completed application form.
  • Proof of travel.
  • Payment in the form of cash, credit card or cheque.
  • Invitation letter for business visas.
  • Letter of admission for student visas.

Fees and Expenses

The fees and other expenses vary depending on your nationality and the type of visa you choose. Generally speaking, prices for visa processing range from $110 to $160 for a single entry visa with a short stay in the country. However, other costs may accumulate depending on the purpose of your visit.

Visa Application Tips

Be Prepared

Be frank and honest about the purpose of your travel when providing information in your visa application. Do not hide information that the authorities may view as suspicious. Ensure that you can provide relevant documents such as bank statements or letters of admission to support your claims.

Stay Organized

Keep a folder or file box where you can store relevant documents such as passport, application forms and other documents. Know where to file documents and when. It will help you stay organized and help ensure everything arrives on time.

Proofread Your Work

Any discrepancies such as typos or incorrect information can be costly. Proofread forms and double check them before you submit to make sure everything is correct.


What type of visa can I use for a short stay in China?

The best option for short stay is a tourist L-visa.

Do I need a visa for transit?

You may need a visa for transit depending on the purpose of your trip. Transit visas are issued to certain foreign nationals so they can travel through the northern and eastern provinces of China, with no boarding or disembarking permitted during the trip.

What is a multiple entry visa?

This type of visa allows the holder to enter the country on multiple occasions within a certain period. The duration of the visas may vary, but most are valid for one year.


The process of obtaining a Chinese visa is relatively simple. Still, the timing and preparation involved in applying make it important to plan. Make sure that all the paperwork is ready before applying and that the visa arrives in time. As long as all the requisite documents are submitted and all information is accurate, the visa process should be smooth and pleasant.
Preparing to enter China should start with one crucial item: a visa. With the right type of visa for your purpose and the right documents on hand, visitors can breeze through the process and enjoy their stay in beautiful China.