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China Visa / Visas Master Thread (all you need to know)

China Visa / Visas Master Thread (all you need to know)

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Old Jun 21, 17, 5:29 am   -   Wikipost
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Visa Information for the People's Republic of China (PRC, Mainland China)
Main source: Visa Page - Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States of America (external website)

Important: China's visa terms and conditions changed effective 12 Nov 2014 as far as duration, and 1 July 2013 for requirements and procedures. Do not rely on information posted prior to that date.

Note new FT thread regarding up to ten year visa duration: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/china...ov-2014-a.html

The PRC allows certain foreigners to transit China without a visa if they will be exiting the country within 24, 72 or 144 hours provided various other conditions are met. Please see the separate China 24, 72, and 144 hour Transit Without Visa ("TWOV") rules master thread and Wikipost for detailed rules and discussion.

The best source of current visa and travel document requirements is IATA'S TIMATIC, as that is what the airlines rely upon to determine whether they will permit you to fly. Star Alliance provides a free, easy-to-use TIMATIC tool to help you identify your exact requirements based on nationality, residency and specific itinerary. The SkyTeam alliance website contains a link which also allows you free use of TIMATIC, including good printouts of the information.

Note that posts made prior to 1 July 2013 have been archived, but are still available for reference at China Visa / Visas Master Thread (ARCHIVED). The old FAQ: Visa-Free Transit / TWOV thread is also closed but available for reference.

China Forum Ambassadors: moondog----------anacapamalibu----------jiejie----------mnredfox
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Old Jun 30, 13, 12:40 pm
  #1  
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China Visa / Visas Master Thread (all you need to know)

The day has come. Awaits the news.
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Old Jun 30, 13, 12:41 pm
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Since tomorrow is July 1, anyone heard any new procedures or processes for obtaining the visa?
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Old Jun 30, 13, 7:00 pm
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I just checked the Chinese embassy site in Australia... as well as the china visa service offices in SYD/MEL (all visas must be processed through the visa service in Australia) and there is no mention of the new rules. it is 10am there already.

so maybe a transition period?
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Old Jul 1, 13, 8:51 am
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Nothing has changed on the DC embassy's site either.

There were a couple of small changes announced in China Daily today having to do with work/residence permits but nothing that would affect ordinary business travelers. Perhaps the rumors flying around were a bit overblown?
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Old Jul 1, 13, 3:27 pm
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Originally Posted by gailwynand View Post
Nothing has changed on the DC embassy's site either.

There were a couple of small changes announced in China Daily today having to do with work/residence permits but nothing that would affect ordinary business travelers. Perhaps the rumors flying around were a bit overblown?
Give it more time. There definitely will be a change for ordinary business travelers, as there is now a new visa category "M" which will replace the F for those coming for commercial purposes. The "F" visa will remain for more strictly-defined non-commercial purposes such as scientific and cultural exchange. Or perhaps some will qualify for the new and interesting "R" visa based on some sort of perceived and desired foreigner talent...which will come in a short- and a long-term version.

And I suggest that for your information sources, you cast your net wider than the official embassy websites and the China Daily!
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Old Jul 3, 13, 9:56 am
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My 19 yr old son & I applied for single entry L visa good for 3 months at the DC PRC Visa office on June 27, 2013. Received multiple entry L visa good for 1 year today. Pleasant surprise!!
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Old Jul 3, 13, 11:06 pm
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Picked up my visa on Monday from the Houston consulate. Heard some people talking about "some new rules" as they were walking out of the embassy but didn't bother asking them what had changed. Regardless, I was issued a multi entry L visa for a year at 60 days each.
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Old Jul 4, 13, 12:16 am
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Applied last week (sent on monday via fedex) for a 2 year multiple f visa in Chicago through my china visa. I provided copies of 4 previous 1 year f visa's . I have never been successful getting a 2 year and I was still issued a 1 year f multiple entry with 90 days per entry. I received it back today with standard processing.

I wonder how much more difficult it is to get the two year visa or if the visa service companies don't want to push it because it will increase their revenue to have you applying every year.
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Old Jul 4, 13, 12:34 am
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Originally Posted by hoops7k View Post
Applied last week (sent on monday via fedex) for a 2 year multiple f visa in Chicago through my china visa. I provided copies of 4 previous 1 year f visa's . I have never been successful getting a 2 year and I was still issued a 1 year f multiple entry with 90 days per entry. I received it back today with standard processing.

I wonder how much more difficult it is to get the two year visa or if the visa service companies don't want to push it because it will increase their revenue to have you applying every year.
The agencies want to sell them because they can charge more money. The problem is that very few can guarantee success. I believe DC is still the best consulate on this front.
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Old Jul 4, 13, 12:02 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
The agencies want to sell them because they can charge more money. The problem is that very few can guarantee success. I believe DC is still the best consulate on this front.
Since I have to go through Chicago I guess I am stuck in the one year loop. I have never had success with Houston before the consular jurisdiction rule and Chicago.
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Old Jul 4, 13, 3:43 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
The agencies want to sell them because they can charge more money. The problem is that very few can guarantee success. I believe DC is still the best consulate on this front.
DC is apparently no longer an option except for applicants residing in the coverage area (or can come up with an address in same): Atlantic seaboard DC, MD, DE, VA, WV, KY, TN, NC, SC and some (mid)western states: ND, SD, NE, MT, WY, ID, UT.
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Old Jul 15, 13, 3:42 pm
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Does China require 6 months' validity on a passport for entry (i.e., at the time of entry)?

I already have a double entry visa, with one entry left, but may be arriving about 5 months and 3 weeks before passport expiry.

Also, I assume that with a double-entry visa, so long as I enter before the visa's expiration date I'm okay, and I can stay past the expiry date--yes?
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Old Jul 15, 13, 6:51 pm
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Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
Does China require 6 months' validity on a passport for entry (i.e., at the time of entry)?

I already have a double entry visa, with one entry left, but may be arriving about 5 months and 3 weeks before passport expiry.

Also, I assume that with a double-entry visa, so long as I enter before the visa's expiration date I'm okay, and I can stay past the expiry date--yes?
I can't answer the 5 months and three weeks, but on point two, you are correct.

you can enter until midnight on the date printed on the visa (doesn't have to be the day before) and you can stay for the time permitted on the visa. (as you know, your day of arrival and departure each count as one day towards your limit).
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Old Jul 15, 13, 8:15 pm
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Originally Posted by LHR/MEL/Europe FF View Post
you can enter until midnight on the date printed on the visa (doesn't have to be the day before) and you can stay for the time permitted on the visa. (as you know, your day of arrival and departure each count as one day towards your limit).
This actually depends on how the visa is worded. If your visa's "expiration date" says "enter before," your understanding is correct; if it says "valid until," then you must both enter and leave before the date indicated.

The latter type is no longer as common as it once was, at least for visas issued in the US, but they do still exist and it's worth checking to be sure, especially if you picked up your visa somewhere in Asia.
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Old Jul 15, 13, 8:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Scifience View Post
This actually depends on how the visa is worded. If your visa's "expiration date" says "enter before," your understanding is correct; if it says "valid until," then you must both enter and leave before the date indicated.

The latter type is no longer as common as it once was, at least for visas issued in the US, but they do still exist and it's worth checking to be sure, especially if you picked up your visa somewhere in Asia.
In my case it does say "enter before", although I would depart anyway by the date. (It's 30 days in my case)

Anyone know if I get a new passport I can use the visa in the old passport (which won't have expired but will have been cancelled)?
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