Chinese Entry Visa
To enter China, you will need to apply for a visa. Type of visa depends on the purpose of your visit. Mainly, there are
- Tourist Visa (Category L)
- Business Visa (Category F)
- Work Visa (Category Z) --> The most complicated one
- Student Visa (Category X)
Check out the Chinese embassy or Chinese Consulate nearest to your home for more information and what you may need to obtain a visa. The cost may vary, for example, I have got mine at fee of 35euros for the normal procedure (Approximately 4 working days upto 1 week). In case one needs it urgently, it's also possible with extra fee. For example, 55 euros for an express next-day-visa.
In fact, it's not very difficult to get a tourist visa. China is quite open to toursim, so just prepare the documents, photos and pay the visa fee.
- Category : See above for category.
- Entries : 01(entry) or 02(entries) or M (多)=Multiple
- Duration of each stay ... days after entry: Could be 030 (days), 060 (60days), 090 (90days), etc. "000" means 30 days and you need to get the residence permit as soon as you arrive.
- Enter before : This is end of validity
- Be sure to check your name spelling as well.
If your visa is for 30 days, enter before June 15, 2006. It means, you can arrive any day before June 15,2006 and stay upto 30 days starting from your arrival date.
Unlike other countries' visas,
Chinese visa will be valid from the date you apply for visa, not the date you intend to travel.
For example, if you intend to be in China on June 1, 2006, and would like a 1 month visa
Intended arrival date, June 1, 2006
If apply on May 15, 2006
Visa is valid till June 15, 2006 (Last date to enter China)
(See "enter before")
To obtain the visa in the right timing, check out your country's national holidays and Chinese national holidays, as it might delay your obtention. Normally the Chinese long holidays last 1 whole week.The main and most important long Chinese holidays are :
- Chinese New year or so-called "Spring festival" : around end of January/Beginning of Febuary
- May holidays : May 1-7
- October holidays : October 1-7
Also keep in mind that during these holidays, most airfairs couldbe extremely high and fully booked.
There is another type of visa we could obtain from within China, the appearance is slightly different from this one above. I'll talk about it next time. It's for the renewal, extended stay, and residence permit, etc..