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How Do I Apply For a China Visa? The Five Most Frequently Asked Questions

Interest in travel from the U.S. to China has increased in the last decade. This is due, at least partially, to a number of factors, including the Beijing Summer Olympics and economic factors. American tourists are seeking China visa applications in higher numbers. This guide will answer “How do I apply for a China visa?” and four other frequently asked questions.

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1) How do I apply for a China Visa? This is the number one most frequently asked question. A China Visa is necessary for travel to all parts of China from the United States. Applications can be obtained from most every passport processing agency in America. China visa applications are also available online and from local U.S. Post Offices. Completed application forms and required documentation can be submitted in person or by mail. China visa application forms cannot be submitted electronically.

2) What documentation must accompany my China visa application form? You must submit several documents along with your completed application form. You must send or present a valid U.S. passport. The passport’s expiry date must be greater than six months away from the date of submission. The passport must also have no fewer than two blank visa pages left. If either of these criteria cannot be met then you must apply for a new passport/passport renewal first. You must also submit a passport regulation photo, proof of planned travel to China (a trip itinerary OR a photocopy of airline tickets which shows that the trip is to take place within three months) and confirmation of hotel reservations in China. It’s critical that all of these documents are presented. Omission of one or more will result in rejection of your application. It’s also crucial that you ensure that your china visa application form is filled out entirely. Don’t leave any blanks unfilled, and be sure to sign it in ink.

3) Who is required to fill out a China visa application form? Every U.S. citizen/landed immigrant wishing to travel to China must submit a China visa application. No traveler will be admitted to the country without a China visa. This includes business and pleasure travelers as well as students.

4) How far in advance should I apply for a China visa? You cannot apply any further in advance of your trip than three months. It is highly recommended that you apply no later than three months in advance of your intended departure date. The more time that you can allow for processing of your application the better. This will ensure that even if delays in the mail, at the application center, or at the Chinese consular occur you will still get your China visa in time for your trip. If your trip is unexpected and will be taking place in less than three months, it’s possible to expedite the application process. Expediting fees will apply. Your passport processor has a schedule of these fees.

5) How long is a China visa valid for? Typically a traveler can stay in China up to sixty days after entering the country. If you expect your trip to last longer, you may request a ninety-day visa. These are granted by the Chinese Consulate on a case-by-case basis. You must demonstrate the necessity of staying for more than sixty days to get this extension. However, all travelers must realize that length of stay can be granted at the discretion of the consulate. They reserve the right to restrict the validity of any stay.

“How do I apply for a China visa” and other common questions can be answered by most passport processing agencies. This includes online outlets. You can also address questions to your local Chinese embassy.

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