A Chinese visa is a permit issued by Chinese visa authorities to non-Chinese citizens for entry into, exit from and transit through China. American citizens and citizens of most countries are required to obtain a China visa before entering China. There are eight categories of ordinary Chinese visas, which are respectively marked with the letters C, D, F, G, J-1, J-2, L, X and Z.
L Visa: The most popular type of China visa, an L visa is also known as a tourist visa. It is issued to those who visit China for tourist purposes, family visit or other personal matters.
F Visa: Also known as business visa, an F visa is issued to applicants who are invited to China for business, research, lecture, scientific-technological and culture exchanges, short-term advanced studies or intern practice for a period of no more than six months.
Z Visa: A work visa, it is issued to those who are hired by Chinese companies to work or teach in China, and their accompanying family members.
X Visa: A student visa, issued to applicants who go to China for the purpose of study, advanced studies or intern practice for a period of more than six months.
C Visa: Issued to crewmembers on international aviation, navigation and land transportation missions and family members accompanying them on China-bound flight.
G Visa: Issued to those who transit through China. American passport holders must obtain a transit visa to transit through all Chinese airports except Pudong International Airport in Shanghai.
D Visa: Issued to applicant who is to reside permanently in China.
J-1 Visa: Issued to foreign resident correspondents in China.
J-2 Visa: Issued to foreign correspondents on temporary interview missions in China.
Validity of Visa: A single entry Chinese visa is valid for 3 months from the date of issue, and a double entry visa is valid for 6 months. A China visa holder must enter China before the expiration date for the visa to remain valid.
Duration of Stay: The duration of stay is specified on a Chinese visa. Chinese visa holders must not stay beyond the specified date without extending their visas. Otherwise, they will be subject to stiff penalties.
Overseas Chinese Visa Authorities: Foreign citizens can obtain a China visa from Chinese embassies, consulates, visa offices, and the consular department of the office of Chinese Foreign Ministry. For further information, please consult the nearest China visa authorities in your country.