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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
  • Hi Sir, I vinay otwani living in nagpurI camed mumbai to make my work visa for china. Here i collected the documents and applying it but for Medical certificate no one is helping me please suggest me how to make it Or from which hospital.Is it compulaory to make from mumbai, And from which hospital of mumbai? Or else i can make from nagpur also? Please help me im here frm few days but no one is helping me i saw your number and mail id online I contacted also but no one is responding proper. Please reply to my mail as earliest possible I hope you understand my problem Thanks & Best RegardsVinay Otwani

    Asked By vinay (India) | Mar. 17, 2017 10:12
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  • I and my family of 4 are travelling to China in April 2017. We applied in early March for a visa. I and my daughter were given 10 year multi entry visas, while my wife and son were given only 3 month, single entry visas. This created an issue for my wife and son.After entering China, we will be taking a Royal Caribbean cruise to Japan and return to China for a flight home that same day. This will require a reentry into China. My family and I are all U.S. citizens, all born in New York, and have valid passports. My wife's passport expires in 2018, while my son's expires in 2026. We have sent emails to the NYC consulate to try to explain and rectify the matter but have had no response. Can anyone recommend another way to rectify the issue or appeal the two visas?

    Asked By albert colon (USA) | Mar. 14, 2017 08:18
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  • HiI came into China five years ago on a work visa, all legit, I had the residence permit renewed for 4 years and then last year I changed to a spousal residence permit. The reason I changed was that a previous employer screwed me over and didn't give release papers. So, I applied for the spouse permit and it was fine. Now, my visa is just about to finish and I applied to renew the residence permit but it got refused, not sure why. I applied through an agency to ensure it would go well but there was a problem. I am thinking because either the purpose of visit changed while I was in China or maybe because the previous employer has caused a problem? Still, can't be sure. I am worried now because I have a lot of people telling me I can go to HK and do a visa run there and it will be fine but I am thinking, I don't want to waste more time and money on a whim. I feel it would be safer to return to home country and reapply for the visa there. Any advice? Thanks

    Asked By stephen | Mar. 08, 2017 04:57
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  • 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
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