Chinese Travel Visas

China is a unique and popular tourist destination in its own right, but its key location makes it one of the busiest transit hubs in the world. Whether you’re planning to travel to China, or want to know how to make the most of your lay over time on your journey, we have all of the information you’ll need regarding a visit visa.

A large proportion of citizenships will require a tourist visa to enter Chinese territory, which includes those on cruise ships; even if you don’t plan to disembark the ship, you must have a valid tourist visa. It’s important to have your full itinerary ready, along with the details of where you plan to stay once you’re in the country.

There are a range of documents required in order to apply for your tourist visa, which must be done and successfully issued before you travel. Transit visas are available on-arrival for those who are simply making a transfer to another flight in China but wish to leave the airport for a period of time. Strict rules apply to what you can do and where you can go, however, so make sure you take note of these.

To find out more about the visa types available and which best suits your needs, check out our range of articles below. If you still need assistance with your documentation, or figuring our what you need, our team of visa specialists can help. Use our live chat function or one of the methods on our Contact Us page.

China Visas FAQs

  • You are able to stay with friends or family in China, however they must provide a letter inviting you to stay with them, which contains the information about themselves as a host and your reason for the visit. If you place an order with us to check your visa application documentation, we will provide templates to suit your personal requirements along with a guide on how to complete them.
  • This depends on your citizenship, but the majority of citizens will not need a pre-travel visa for these administrative regions of China. You are able to complete a visa-on-arrival if you are from the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand and many other origin countries.
  • No, this is not possible. A transit visa will only be issued to you on arrival in China if you have documents to prove that you have onward travel pre-booked to a third party country. This means that you must travel from your origin country, to China, and then on to a different country. If you intent to travel to China and then return to the original country, you will require a full Chinese tourist visa.
  • This entirely depends on the region in which you are transiting. Each region has it’s own guidelines on how long you are able to stay in China before your transit visa expires, as well as where you are able to travel whilst you are there. If you intend to apply for this visa type when you arrive, it is very important that you are completely clear on the restrictions, as if you overstay the visa or travel out of the allocated zones, you could face a fine or even a travel ban to the country in the future.

  • You are usually able to extend a tourist visa for up to 1 month, though dependant on where you are, the process can sometimes be lengthy and require additional paperwork to be provided. It is not impossible however, it’s just important that you have the necessary evidence ready and try and plan ahead where possible.

  • Usually, you will have to attend the Chinese Visa Centre personally to make the application. This is because China is one of the destinations where biometrics are taken as part of your visa processing. This involves a photograph being taken as well as your fingerprints. It is possible for someone to check your documents and complete the application online on your behalf, but you must personally attend in order for the visa to be issued. There are some exceptions to this rule if the individual is a child or over a certain age.