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China Visa FAQ

Who is eligible for a 10-year visa?

All US passport holders can apply for a 10-year multiple entry visa in the following categories: tourist (L), business (M), and family visit (Q2 & S2). US passport holders who apply for a student visa (X) will get 5 years. 10-year visas are not available to non-US citizens.

How long can I stay in China on a 10-year visa?

For 10-year multiple entry visas, the duration of stay (the number of days you can stay in China per entry) is 60 days for L & M visas; 90 days for S2 visa and 120 days for Q2 visa.

Can I still get a 10-year visa if I need longer stays in China?

If you wish to stay longer than what is allowed under a 10-year visa (60 days for L & M, 90 days for S2, 120 days for Q2), you must make a special request and provide documents showing reasons for such a request. It will then be handled on a case-by-case basis by the visa officer. Please keep in mind that such requests may complicate your application, which include longer processing time and/or receiving a 1-2 year visa instead of 10 years.

Can I work in China with a 10-year visa?

No. The 10-year visa is for short term tourist or business visits only. If you want to work in China, you must obtain a work visa.

Does it cost more to get a 10-year visa?

No. The cost of 10-year visa is the same as other shorter term visas for US citizens.

Does it take longer to get a 10-year visa?

No. The processing time remains the same. CVSC has 4 levels of service, regular (6+ business days), express (4-5 business days), rush (2-3 business days) and emergency (24 hours).

Are there any special requirements for a 10-year visa?

No. The requirements for a 10-year visa are the same as that of a 1 year visa. Our website,, always has up to date information. You can check requirements by visiting our site.

My passport expires in less than 10 years. Can I still get the 10-year visa?

Yes. You can get a 10-year visa as long as your passport is valid for more than one year. Once you get a 10-year visa, you can travel on this passport even after it expires, provided it is used together with a valid new US passport bearing the same name, sex, date of birth and place of birth. If any changes are made to the above mentioned information on the new passport, you must apply for a new visa.

I'm going to China for a scientific conference. Can I get a 10-year visa?

No. As mentioned earlier, 10-year visas are only available in the L, M, Q2 and S2 categories. Among them M visa is for business people going to China for business and trade purpose. People who visit China for cultural and educational exchanges and academic conferences are granted F visas, which is generally good for 6 months or 1 year.

The Chinese Visa Application Form does not have a 10-year option. What do I do?

You can make a request for a 10-year visa on the Chinese Visa Application Form. On Section 2.2, you can choose "Other" and write "10 Years" in the blank space.

I just received a Chinese visa that is good for 1 year. Can I have it changed to 10 years for no additional fees?

No. The Chinese Embassy will not issue a new visa if your current visa has more than 3 months of validity remaining. You should use your current visa and apply for a new one when the current visa expires, at which time you will be able to get a 10-year visa as long as you apply for an L, M, Q2 or S2 visa.

For the 10-year visa, do I need to provide invitation letter and flight/hotel reservation each time I enter China?

No. You will only need to provide an invitation letter and flight/hotel reservation when you submit your application for a visa. Once you receive your 10-year visa, you will be able to enter China with no additional supporting documents for the next 10 years. You only need to travel with your passport with a valid visa in it.

How long does it take to process a Chinese visa?

The regular turnaround time for Chinese visa application is 7-8 business days, including overnight shipping. We also offer 24-hour emergency service, 2-3 day rush service and 4-5 day express service.

When is the best time to apply for my Chinese visa?

The best time to apply for your Chinese visa is 1-2 months before your travel date. However, if you are running short on time, we can process your visa in 1 business day. For example, if you overnight your application to us on Monday, you can have it back in your hand on Wednesday with our same-day rush service.

How long is a Chinese visa valid for?

The validity of a Chinese visa can be anywhere from 3-24 months depending on the type of visa you request. Normally a single entry visa is valid for 3 months, a double entry visa for 6 months, a multiple entry visa for 6, 12 or 24 months. The validity of a visa starts from date of issue, and applicant needs to enter China before the expiration date listed on the visa.

How long can I stay in China with a Chinese visa?

The time you could actually stay in China, or "duration of stay after entry" is usually 30-90 days per entry. Generally speaking, the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco issues 30-day visas, Houston 60 and Chicago 90. If you wish to get more than 30 or 60 days, you must write 90 days on the Chinese Visa Application Form. Please be reminded that the Chinese Consulate has the final say on the number of days you receive for your visa regardless of your request.

Do I have to send you my passport? Is it safe to send a passport?

Yes. You will need to send your actual passport, not a copy of it. The Chinese visa is stamped on your passport and will become one of your passport pages. Visa request cannot be processed without your original passport. Because of the importance of your passport, we strongly suggest that you send your application in a secure way, using a traceable courier such as FedEx, UPS, Express Mail or Certified Mail. Please note that certified mail could take 7-10 business days to deliver.

I need Chinese visas for two people. Can I send them in one package? How should I calculate the fees?

When you send in application for more than one person, you can send all applications in one package. If all passports are to be returned to the same address, you need to pay only one FedEx return shipping fee. Chinese Consulate fees and our service fees, however, are charged one per person.

Can I use my own FedEx account number for return shipping?

Yes, you can. To do that, you could either include a prepaid FedEx air bill or write down your FedEx account number on our Order Form. However, we do not accept pre-stamped post office envelopes.

I will travel between Hong Kong and the mainland multiple times. Do I need a multiple-entry visa?

Yes, you do need a multiple-entry visa for that purpose. Each time you enter China from Hong Kong or Macao, you need one entry.

I'm not a US citizen. Can you still process my visa application?

We help citizens of all countries to get a Chinese visa as long as they are legally residing in the United States. Non-US citizens must submit a copy of their green card or valid US visa in addition to their original passport. The green card or visa cannot be expiring in less than 6 months.

Do I need a visa for Hong Kong and Macao?

US citizens as well as citizens of most countries in North America and Europe can visit Hong Kong and Macao without a visa. Citizens of other countries can check the Hong Kong government website to see if you need a visa. You can also call us for information.

I'm going to China on January 1, and my visa expires on January 10. Can I still stay for 30 days?

Yes, you can. As long as you enter China before the expiration date, you can stay for 30 or more days as specified on your visa. The duration of stay starts from the day you enter China.

Do I need to send one check made out to the Chinese consulate and one to your service center? Or can I make one check for the total price?

The Chinese Consulate does not accept payment by check. If you wish to pay with a check, you need to combine the total fees and write one check payable to China Visa Service Center.

My passport expires in 9 months, can I still get a 12-month multiple-entry visa?

No, you can't. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from date of application in order to get a visa. You can get a single or double entry visa if your passport expires in less than 12 months, but more than 6 months. You can only get a 12-month multiple entry visa if your passport is valid for at least 12 months.

I have an American passport and a Canadian passport (or some other non-US passport). I would like the Chinese visa to be issued in my Canadian passport so I can travel on that passport. Will this be possible?

You can only get a Chinese visa on your US passport if you apply in the US. If you wish to have a visa stamped on your non-US passport, you must apply outside the US.

I have been offered a job in China and want my spouse and children to accompany me. What type of visa do my family members need to obtain?

They can get work visas as well. Their names need to appear on the supporting documents you receive from the Chinese employer. Or you can provide a copy of marriage license and the children's birth certificates.

When it says to affix a passport photo, does that mean I must glue or tape the photo to the application?

You can glue, tape or staple the photo. Or you can leave it loose in your package and we will do it for you.

My spouse is a Chinese national. What sort of extended stay visas may I apply for?

You can get a 24-month tourist visa with 90-day duration of stay, or a single entry visa with 180-day duration of stay. You will need to provide a copy of your marriage license and your spouse's Chinese passport and green card.

I am going to China on tourism and have no inviter or relative in China. How do I complete sections 4.7 - 4.10 on the visa application?

You can write N/A or None in those fields. But please do not leave them blank.

I am taking a trip to China and have just realized that all my passport pages are full. Can your company assist in adding pages? If so, what documentation is necessary?

Yes, we can help you add pages to your passport. Please call us at 1-800-799-6560 for detailed instructions .

My US passport is expiring in 4 months, would I be able to get a single entry visa valid for 3 months?

No, you can't. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months, from date of application, in order to receive a visa.

Yes, you can submit a letter from the cruise line stating that you will be working on the cruise ship and that you will not receive a badge until after you board the ship.

You can get a single entry visa if you already have a crew visa on your passport. Most crew members who wish to visit China on tourist visas would get a second passport in order to receive a multiple entry tourist visa.

Category: Personal Finance

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