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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
  • Asked By kumar (india) | Jan. 03, 2018 19:40
    1 AnswerAnswer Question
  • My work permit in Shanghai was approved in September, B category, but the Z visa notification letter had expired for unforeseen delays. I applied for Zvisa at the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam Hanoi, but their computer systems were down for almost 2 months, after that I tried again, the queuing outside the Embassy took me 5 days to get in, by that time it was already too late. Is there a way to renew or extend the notification letter so I can apply again?Thank you

    Asked By Chuck (France) | Jan. 03, 2018 05:30
    1 AnswerAnswer Question
  • My friend apply working permit visa to work for macau how long before it may approve he applied last december 29. 2017

    Asked By Gerlie (Hongkong) | Jan. 03, 2018 05:13
    1 AnswerAnswer Question
  • Hi im novie im a Filipino it is ok to get married in China using an tourists visa (L) because my boyfriend said the L visa is not allowed to get married and they will refuse it

    Asked By novie (Philippines) | Dec. 18, 2017 08:14
    1 AnswerAnswer Question
  • I am a 20 year old Indian national currently studying in Japan. I am planning to visit Hong Kong and have to apply for the PAR form. What should I put as my residential address in the form? Should it be my indian address ( same as passport) or should it be my current temporary address in Japan? please advise.

    Asked By Aarushi (India) | Dec. 08, 2017 04:18
    1 AnswerAnswer Question
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