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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.  


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
  • do i need a transit visa? just spend some few ours at the airport and connect flight

    Asked By Emmanuel (Ghana) | Mar. 14, 2018 04:10
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  • I'm Filipino and I have Chinese Residence permit. I would like to invite my 17 years old sister to visit us for 6 months period. Can she apply directly s2 visa or she should first apply tourist visa for short visit and then go back to Philippines and apply S2 visa?Is there any other visa what she could apply?

    Asked By Filipino (Philippines) | Mar. 03, 2018 17:48
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  • My baby was born on November 10th. in Beijing china. we registered him in our Embassy and applied for pasport. while applying, we came to know about citizenship number mistake in our marriage certificate. it had to be corrected or else baby's pasport can not be made. so we had to change everything by scratch. applied for new marriage certificate, new identify card. all this process took more than 3 months. we could not go to exit entry administration. my baby's pasport is still under process. what to do ? what exit entry people will say ? please help

    Asked By armina (Pakistan) | Feb. 19, 2018 16:16
    1 AnswerAnswer Question
  • Asked By Mayang (Philippines) | Feb. 17, 2018 19:25
    1 AnswerAnswer Question
  • I have lived in Barcelona for 18 months and have the nie and social security number. I need a visa to go to china for a 10 day holiday to see a friend living there. can i get a visa via the chinese embassy in barcelona or do i have to go to the embassy in Madrid?Any help appreciatedRegards Manav

    Asked By manav kochhar (Spain) | Feb. 13, 2018 07:25
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