There are several types of visas for China travel. This article will introduce you to the different types that are offered and the application form that you need to use to get them.
Types of Chinese Visas
The types of visas to China can be categorized according to either the purpose of your trip or the validity and number of entries.
There are eight different Chinese visas each represented by a letter of the alphabet. For example, travelers who travel to China for tourism will apply for an L visa. Those who go to engage in business will apply for an F visa. Crew visas are represented by the letter C, work visas by the letter Z, student visas by the letter X and resident visas by the letter D.
Foreign correspondents should apply for either a J-1 or J-2 visa depending on whether they intend to stay long-term or short-term respectively.
The Chinese consular services offer single-entry, double-entry and multiple-entry visas. Validity for single-entry or double-entry visas can be either 90 days or 180 days. Those who apply for a multiple-entry visa have the option of a validity of 6 months, 12 months or 24 months. The last can only be obtain with special permission and is not offered on the application form.
The Chinese Visa Application Form
There is only one application form that can be used for every type of visa. It is only two pages long and is divided into seven sections. The first section requests personal information such as full name, date of birth, passport number and occupation. You will complete Section 2 with information about your visit to China. It is here that you choose the type of visa you want, the intended number of entries and validity.
Section 3 asks six questions about your health condition and Section 4 is reserved for contact information. Section 5 is for any special declarations you want to make and Section 6 is only necessary if the form is completed by a third party. Finally, Section 7 is where you sign and date the application.
It is very important that you complete the application form correctly and legibly. Any errors can cause delays in the process or, even, rejection of your request. A recent passport-style photo that is a full face, front view with a light background should be affixed to the application.
The Chinese government recommends that applicants submit their applications one month before their departure dates. However, they do offer express (2-3 business days) and same day rush processing services. All you need to do is make the request and pay an additional fee. Note, applications sent by mail are not accepted.