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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
  • Firstly is it possible to get my Visa rejected because of overdue photo? If the answer is yes how long do I need to wait to applied another visa? What kind of Visa should I applied for the second time? The same Q2 Visa or another Visa? What document am I supposed to prepared for the second application? I have the invitation letter from my Chinese relative in China already. If they rejected my Visa this time will I get lesser chance if I am willing to apply the China visa again next time?

    Asked By JN (Sinagpore) | Oct. 20, 2017 19:14
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  • I received a telephone call to say that they were 'unable to process' my visa but didn't give me an explanation. My documents have been returned and I am checking them to see if there is something I have incorrectly submitted. Can I reapply straight away?Is this different from 'visa denied'?

    Asked By Alison (UK) | Sep. 15, 2017 05:53
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  • I already have complete documents and yet it was denied, Can I reapply again as soon as possible? Because I don't know what's the reason why I got denied, because my class will start next week in China. Please reply as soon as possible. Thank you.

    Asked By Noemi Labetoria (Philippines) | Sep. 13, 2017 17:01
    1 AnswerAnswer Question
  • I'm Vietnamese but living in Japan, possessing a residence card. Do I need to apply for visa to go to HongKong? Besides, do I need to financially prove? And if so, how much do I need to prove?

    Asked By Minh Chau (Vietnm) | Sep. 10, 2017 21:08
    1 AnswerAnswer Question
  • I am Issah from Ghana. I and several if my colleagues going to the same University this september 2017 have been refused visas. What could be the problem and for how long can we reapply again. Class begins Late September 2017.

    Asked By Issah (Ghana) | Sep. 06, 2017 07:49
    1 AnswerAnswer Question
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