Chinese Visa Application Process

How to Apply for a China Visa

Applying for a Chinese visa is usually fairly easy and quick. The key is to find out what exactly you will need to provide in the visa application. With that information, you can submit the application package either in person, or through a friend or agent. If approved, you will receive your passport back with the visa attached within 1 - 7 days.

  • Find the Chinese Embassy, Consulate or Visa Office that has consular jurisdiction over your place of residence;
  • Contact the office (preferrably online, since customer service by phone may not be available) and figure out what documents you need to provide based on the type of Chinese visa you are applying for;
  • Gather your supporting documents including passport, photo, visa application form(s), etc.;
  • Deliver your application package to the Embassy, Consulate or Visa Office. Appointment is not required. You may do so youself, or designate a friend or travel/visa agent;
  • Do not mail your visa application to any consular office;
  • Your receipt will indicate when your visa will be available, usually within a few days;
  • On or after the specified pick-up date, you or another person on your behalf may go to the visa office and pick up your passort with visa, using the receipt.

Chinese Visa Processing Time:

Your Chinese visa, if approved, is usually available within a week. Express service is also available for a fee.

  • Regular Service: 4 business days
  • Express Service: 2 - 3 business days for additional $20 per visa
  • Rush Service: 1 business day for additional $30 per visa (applications submitted before 12 noon may be picked up on the same day)

Chinese consular offices are usually very busy and long lines are to be expected. Arrive early if you plan to apply for a visa in person.

Chinese Visa Application Fees

  • Visa application fee schedule changes from time to time;
  • There is no visa issuance fee for American citizens, meaning that visa application fees are equivalent to what U.S. charges Chinese citizens for similar visas. For other countries, however, the principle of reciprocity may apply;
  • Visa, MasterCard, Money Order, Cashier's Checks or Company Checks are accepted. No cash or personal checks;
Chinese Visa Application Fees (Partial List, Subject to Change)
Number of Entries U.S. Citizens (USD) Citizens of other Countries (USD)
Single Entry $140 $30
Double Entries $140 $45
Multiple Entries for 6 Months $140 $60
Multiple Entries for 12 Months $140 $90
Multiple Entries for 24 Months $140 n/a