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Note: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu adopted a 72-hour visa-free policy in 2013, which allows visitors from some countries to stop over in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong Province and Chengdu up to 72 hours without applying a visa. Visitors are required to hold the visa and connecting air tickets to a third country. A transit stay permit will be granted upon their arrival in the Beijing Capital Airport, Shanghai Pudong Airport, Shanghai Hongqiong Airport, Guangzhou Baiyun Airport and Chengdu Shuangliu Ariport, and the 72 hours starts to be counted from the moment. 

From January 1st, 2014, Shenyang and Dalian also adopt the policy for visitors arriving at Shenyang Taoxian Airport and Dalian International Airport. The countries enjoying free-visa transit increase to 51.

The 51 countries are: Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.


A visa is the remark, annotation or seal of approval on a legal and valid passport or other travel credentials of a foreign or domestic citizen, which is issued by the international representative of a sovereign government, an Embassy or Consulate. It is a necessary legal requirement indicating that you are permitted to enter and exit that country's frontier, also we may say, it is an annotating-like proof of legal entry.

All the countries in the world have their own special organizations for visa issuing. Generally speaking, the organizations for issuing the passport and visa are the same one for a country. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the embassies/consulates or the specially-authorized organizations stationed abroad are all the legitimate organs for issuing the visa.

The immigration offices or police stations also are the issuing organizations in some countries. The official responsibility of the visa issuing organizations is to issue, cancel or refuse a visa application, or announce the invalidity of all visas issued.  

 Types

Based on different reasons of entering or departing the country, visas are generally divided into 6 categories: departure, entry, transit, and again-entry  visa, visa for leaving first and then reentering, for entering first and then leaving.

Some countries (regions), according to different purposes for entry, classify the visa into many kinds like the diplomatic, official, immigrant, non- immigrant, courteous reception, tourist, work, study and business visas as well as the household visa and so on.

Now, there are four categories of visa are issued in China: the diplomatic, courteous reception, official business and standard visa.  

 Four Kinds of Visa  

 Countertendency Visa: It is issued by immigration organizations or departments who are responsible for the management of entering and/or leaving a country, is a kind of proof of approval to issue a visa to the applicant. After the applicant is issued a countertendency visa, he still need to visit the embassies or consulates of his target country stationed abroad to transact the visa. Some countries stipulate that the applicant can handle the visa upon arrival at the port of his destination country.

 Transit Visa: If you need to stop over a third country via any transportation vehicle on your way to your target country, a transit visa is required. Some countries stipulated that if the duration of stay doesn't exceed 24 hours or other defined period of time when passing through here as the transit country, no visa is required (but going out from the airport is not allowed). But in some countries, it is required  no matter how long you will stay or whether you leave the airport or not. As with other visas, it also has the period of validity and duration.

 Visa on Arrival: If the applicant can not directly obtain the visa in his own country, upon arrival at the port of his target country by holding a passport and the entry permit issued by his own country, a visa will be issued. However, the applicants should pay great attention as there are only a few countries that will issue visa on arrival.

 Visa in Paper Form: Visa on a separate document, and not affixed to a passport has the same function and validity as a visa in a passport. The difference is that it is on a special-purpose paper outside the passport, which must be used in conjunction with the passport. The photos on both of the two should be consistent with each other. 

Questions & Answers on China Visa
  • Hello there,I am a British national currently in Japan on a tourist visa. I'd like to visit China and am wondering if it would be possible to apply for a Chinese tourist visa whilst in Osaka. Is this something that British nationals are able to do as non-residents of Japan? Also, if anyone has a rough idea of the costs/length of time it takes to do this then that information would be useful too.Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    Asked By BenA (United Kingdom) | Feb. 19, 2017 21:56
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  • We will be attending a wedding in Fuzhou and to Shanghai and nearby places for tour. We are from Kuching, Sarawak.

    Asked By Nancy Ting Ai Ming (Malaysia) | Feb. 19, 2017 19:32
    1 AnswerAnswer Question
  • hello! I am in the process of completing visa applications for a trip to China in May. While answering the question about "close family members" and their occupations, it occurred to me that the fact that my son is in the US army may be an issue. He is NOT going on the trip with us. I want to be honest on the application. Could this close family connection to an active duty American soldier be reason enough to deny our visas? Is there a way to list his occupation that would be honest but not alarming to the Chinese Embassy? (I've debated listing it as "army" "soldier" and "radar tech" so far). Thank you for any advice!!

    Asked By amy (usa) | Feb. 19, 2017 14:17
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  • Dear sir/mam,i m going to Hongkong from tourist visa by Nepal.so after reaching there if i get job can i do job in hongkong legally as nepalese. hoping for positive response as soon as possible.Thanks.

    Asked By Om (Nepal) | Feb. 03, 2017 22:15
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  • Can you please tell me if i have to show any funds for stay in Hong Kong and Macau in hard cash. I usually carry cash in my cards. Can you please answer my question as i am planning for HK and Macau visit during first week of March.

    Asked By Viswesh (India) | Jan. 28, 2017 08:14
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