Applying for a China visa can be a complex and difficult experience, with as many questions as there are requirements. To make things a bit simpler, we’ve compiled a Chinese visa FAQ list with common mistakes and often-overlooked information our teachers have experienced while applying for their visas.
How much does a China visa cost?
The processing fee for U.S. citizens is $140. For citizens of other countries, the fee will vary depending on how many entries you want and the duration of your visa.
How long does the Chinese visa process take?
Short answer: 4 business days.
Long answer: you can pay an extra $20 for rush service (2-3 business days) or in emergency cases only may pay $30 for a visa within 24 hours.
*Note: this does not include shipping time if you are using a processing company to send in your application.
What type of Chinese visa do I need?
To legally work in China, you must apply for a Z visa.
What are the required documents for a Chinese Z visa?
We have a Chinese Z Visa Checklist for you!
Do I need to get documents authenticated?
New rules regarding foreigners coming to work in China may require you to authenticate documents with your Chinese Consulate/Embassy, including:
- A criminal background check (not one downloaded offline, but one from your local police station)
- Diploma or highest degree earned
- Marriage license
- Birth certificates of children (if bring dependents to China)
Read our 3 Steps to Document Authentication for a China Visa blog for instructions on how to get your documents correctly authenticated.
Does it matter which Chinese Embassy I go to?
Yes—your China visa application must be turned in to your corresponding consulate or embassy.
Can I mail my entire visa application?
No—your entire application must be handed to your consulate in person (mail-in service was suspended November 2015).
BUT, only in certain cases will a consulate/embassy require you personally to hand in your application (please call your local consulate/embassy to be sure). You can have a friend turn it in for you, or you can mail your application to a visa processing company, who will hand it in for you.
Do I need a new passport?
If your passport will expire within a year and a half of applying for a visa, or if you do not have at least 3 empty visa pages in your passport, you will need a new passport before applying for a Chinese visa.
U.S. citizens: the last three pages of your passport are not considered visa pages and will not count; and if your passport will expire in 2017 it is strongly advised to get your passport renewed ASAP.
Is cash ok?
No—the only forms of payment accepted are:
- Credit card (Visa or Mastercard only)
- Money order
- Cashier’s check
- Company check
Checks should be made to “Chinese Embassy” (if applying in D.C.) or “Chinese Consulate in (name of city where you are applying)”.
cover image via travel weekly-asia.com
Any other questions? Please comment below with any Chinese Z visa related questions you still have.