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Chinese Visa Types

Types of Chinese Visas.

Chinese Visa Types
Chinese Visa

Almost all foreign nationals need to apply for a visa when planning to visit mainland China. Only citizens from Singapore, Brunei and Japan do not need visas if they visit mainland for tourism, business, or meeting with friends or relatives and intend to stay for no more than 15 days.

The kind of visa you will be issued by the Chinese consular in your home country will depend on the major purpose of your trip to China.

If you intend to stay longer than the initial duration period, you have to apply for a residence permit at the local public security authorities within 30 days of entry into China.

Chinese Visa Types and categories

Before you decide to apply for a Chinese visa, it is helpful to know the category of visa you’re applying for. Chinese visas fall into four types: diplomatic visa, courtesy visa, service visa and ordinary visa.

Diplomatic Visa: Just as the name goes, this type of visa is issued to diplomats or government officials on diplomatic missions. It is issued to bearers of diplomatic passports only.

Courtesy Visa: This type of visa is issued to diplomatic passport holder traveling to China on private purposes (not on diplomatic missions).

Service Visa:  This is also another type of diplomatic related visa that can only be obtained through an official government channel.

Ordinary Visa: The Ordinary visa is issued to a foreign citizen holding an ordinary passport. It has a total of 16 categories. The following visa categories and their purpose/description came into effects as of September 1, 2013.

Visa Categories Description of Visa
C Issued to foreign crew members of means of international transportation, including aircraft, trains and ships, or motor vehicle drivers engaged in cross-border transport activities, or to the accompanying family members of the crew members of the above-mentioned ships.
D Issued to those who intend to reside in China permanently.
F Issued to those who intend to go to China for exchanges, visits, study tours and other activities.
G Issued to those who intend to transit through China.
J1 Issued to resident foreign journalists of foreign news organizations stationed in China. The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days.
J2 Issued to foreign journalists who intend to go to China for short-term news coverage. The intended duration of stay in China is no more than 180 days.
L Issued to those who intend to go to China as a tourist.
M Issued to those who intend to go to China for commercial and trade activities.
Q1 Issued to those who are family members of Chinese citizens or of foreigners with Chinese permanent residence and intend to go to China for family reunion, or to those who intend to go to China for the purpose of foster care. The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days.”Family members” refers to spouses, parents, sons, daughters, spouses of sons or daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandsons, granddaughters and parents-in-law.
Q2 Issued to those who intend to visit their relatives who are Chinese citizens residing in China or foreigners with permanent residence in China. The intended duration of stay in China is no more than 180 days.
R Issued to those who are high-level talents or whose skills are urgently needed in China.
S1 Issued to those who intend to go to China to visit the foreigners working or studying in China to whom they are spouses, parents, sons or daughters under the age of 18 or parents-in-law, or to those who intend to go to China for other private affairs. The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days.
S2 Issued to those who intend to visit their family members who are foreigners working or studying in China, or to those who intend to go to China for other private matters. The intended duration of stay in China is no more than 180 days. “Family members” refers to spouses, parents, sons, daughters, spouses of sons or daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandsons, granddaughters and parents-in-law.
X1 Issued to those who intend to study in China for a period of more than 180 days.
X2 Issued to those who intend to study in China for a period of no more than 180 days.
Z Issued to those who intend to work in China.