How to Get a China Travel Visa

By Jack Yang / August 30, 2019
From the bustling city of Shanghai to the sprawling Great Wall in Beijing, China is a country that should be added to your travel itinerary. But before you venture over to the far east, you’ll need to first figure out if you need a visa to enter.

Do I Need a Visa for China?

Yes – all US citizens are required to obtain a visa before entering mainland China. Tourists, business travelers, permanent workers, and students must all apply to get China travel visa. Your visa validity length, number of allowed entries, and processing time will depend on the type of visa you apply for. And besides the China visa, citizens also required to have a valid passport with at least six months validity.

How Do I Get a China Visa?

The process for getting a China visa is fairly straightforward. First, you will need to decide which visa to apply for. For example, if you are visiting China for the purpose of tourism, then you need to apply for the L visa. After you fill out your visa application, you will then need to submit it to the Chinese embassy or consulate in your country. In the US, the main embassy is in Washington DC, while the other five consulates are in Chicago, Houston, New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

What if I Don’t Live Near a China Embassy or Consulate?

If you live too far away from the embassy or consulate, or if you’re unable to apply in person, then you can use a visa courier service. The courier service will help with the application process and even visit the embassy or consulate on your behalf. Once the embassy approves your visa, the service will pick it up and mail it directly to your home, no matter where you live in the US. On average, the processing time to get a Chinese visa is roughly seven to ten business days. If you need your visa faster, you can apply for expedited processing. That means you can get your visa in just one or two days!

What are the China Tourist Visa Requirements?

When you apply for your visa, you will need to submit the following documents and pieces of information. Along with your passport and visa application, you will also need to include your itinerary plans. This is usually a copy of your hotel reservation or invitation letter from a friend or family member that you plan to visit. And if you’re applying for rush service, you will also need to show your flights or travel agency arrangements. Finally, you will need to include one passport-style photograph and the visa fee. And if you’re using a courier service, you will also need to pay the service fee along with the cost of the visa. US citizens can apply for a 3 month, 6 month, 1 year or 10-year visa. These visas will come with single, double or multiple entries. The number of entries dictate the number of times you are allowed to enter the country. As you can see, applying for a China visa has never been easier. You’ll be on your way to eating dumplings and exploring the bamboo forests in no time!
About the author

Jack Yang

Hey! We're Jack and Liu and we're on a mission to explore all the historical wonders of the world! You can call it luck, fate, coincidence, a sign... Whatever you like to call it, our stories started separately before merging into one beautiful experience. Before our paths crossed, we were both just random individuals, traveling the world, visiting historical monuments and ruins, imagining how those landscapes looked like centuries ago. Then, Beijing happened, we met, we fell in love, we found each other. Our love story starts in Beijing where we met one rainy day whilst exploring the magical city. Two months later, we dropped everything, quit our jobs and went to travel the world together. We are both big history nerds and love to geek out by playing stupid historical guessing games together... We are China Geeks! Travel the world with us as we history-our-way around the world!