1, Why do Chinese visas have different types and categories?
A visa is the basis for the activities the holder may engage in while in China. In light of China’s laws and regulations, Consular Officers make the decision on what type of visa to issue to an applicant based on the applicant’s personal status and purpose for visiting China.
2, What is the relationship between the duration of stay and period of validity of a visa?
Duration of stay refers to the longest period the visa holder is allowed to stay in China from the date of entry into China on each visit.
The holder of a visa is eligible to enter China at any time prior to the expiry of its period of validity (allowed to enter China even before the 24:00 hour of the last date of its period of validity) provided that the granted entries on the visa have not been used up. Duration of stay is no longer useful once the period of validity expires.
3, How do I extend the duration of stay of a Chinese visa?
Some types of visas may be extended. You may apply for extension of the duration of stay of your visa at a local public security authority at the county level and above before the expiration of your stay. Overstay will violate the law of China and will result in punishment.
4, What would be the best time for me to apply for a Chinese visa?
It is advisable that you apply for a visa one month in advance of your intended date of entry into China, and do not apply 3 months earlier than your intended date of entry. Your visa might expire before your intended departure date for China if you apply too early; but if you apply too late, you might not be able to obtain a visa in time for your scheduled departure. For instance, if you plan to enter China on July 1, the best time for you to submit your visa application is the early of June. If you need express service or rush service, you will be required to pay an extra visa fee plus express service fee or rush service fee.
5, Where do I apply for a Chinese visa?
If you are ordinary passport holders of your own country, please submit your application to the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre. However, Holders of diplomatic and service (official) passports or applicants eligible for applying for China’s diplomatic, courtesy, and service visas, and applicants applying for a visa /entry permit to the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Region of China should still apply directly to the Chinese Embassy.
6, Can I apply for a visa online?
For the time being, you cannot apply for a visa through the Internet, however you can complete your application form online.
7, I want to tour China by driving my own vehicle; what type of visa should I apply for?
You should apply for a L-visa for a special tour. A special tour includes: mountain climbing, self-driving, hiking, cycling, horse-riding, hot air balloon, or other expeditions. You need to provide a visa notification issued by China National Tourism Administration or the tourism administration of related province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government.
8, What type of visa should I apply for?
It depends on the purpose of your visit. Please see the section “A Brief Introduction to Chinese Visas”. It is up to the consular official to decide on the type of visa to be issued.
9, How long in advance should I apply for a visa?
It is advised that you submit the application one month in advance of your planned date of entry. Application made too early may cause the expiry of the visa and you won’t be able to use it in the end, but if you submit an application too late, there might not be enough time for the application to be processed.