China Visa and Passport Requirements

Passport required Return ticket required Visa required
Australian Yes Yes Yes
British Yes Yes Yes
Canadian Yes Yes Yes
Other EU Yes Yes Yes
USA Yes Yes Yes

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Passports

To enter China, a passport with at least six months' validity is required by all nationals referred to in the chart above.

To enter Hong Kong, a passport valid for the duration of stay is required by nationals in the chart above.

Passport note

Foreign nationals must carry their passports at all times as police carry out random spot checks; these are more frequent around times of heightened security such as sporting events.

Those wishing to visit Tibet are strongly advised to join a travel group. Individual travellers need an Tibet Travel Permit issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau. Applicants also need to show their Chinese visa.

Visas

Visas are required by all nationals referred to in the chart above to enter China, except:

• All nationals above when visiting Hong Kong or Macau only, in which case visas are not required for varying lengths of stay.

• All nationals above when visiting the Pearl River Delta for up to six days as part of an organised tour group from Hong Kong or Macau.

• Nationals of Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the USA visiting Hainan Province only as part of an approved, organised tourist group for stays of up to 15 days (21 days for German nationals).

Visa note

When making the visa application you will need to submit a detailed itinerary of all places you plan to visit and all hotel bookings (including addresses and phone numbers and dates of arrival and departure).

Business travellers are required to provide an official invitation from the company or institution in China when applying for a visa.

Visitors must register with the Chinese Public Security Bureau within 24 hours of arrival.

Nationals not referred to in the chart above are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements.

Types and cost

Single-entry: £30 (UK nationals), £90 (US nationals), £20 (other nationals).

Double-entry: £45 (UK nationals), £90 (US nationals), £30 (other nationals).

Multiple-entry within six months: £90 (UK nationals), £90 (US nationals), £40 (other nationals).

Multiple-entry within 12 months or more: £180 (UK nationals), £90 (US nationals), £60 (other nationals).

You must also pay a service fee of £36 (standard), £48 (express) or £54 (postal applications).

Validity

Single-entry visas are normally valid for three months, double-entry for six months, and multiple-entry either six, 12 or 24 months.

Transit

A transit visa is not required if staying in the confines of the airport for more than 24 hours. If leaving the airport, a transit visa is required for some nationalities. However, nationals of some countries, including all those listed in the chart above, are exempt for up to 72 hours and are free to visit the cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu. In this case, it is possible to apply for a transit without visa at Beijing Capital International Airport, Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, Pudong International Airport, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and Shuangliu Airport.

Application to

Consulate (or consular section at embassy). Many consulates (including those in the UK) issue visas through the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (www.visaforchina.org) rather than directly through the consulate.

Working days

Visa applications for China should be made one month in advance.

The express service requires three days, and the regular service takes four days. Postal applications are usually processed and returned within 10 working days, if all the documentation is in good order.

Embassies and tourist offices

British Embassy in China
Telephone: 0(10) 5192 4000 ; 0(10) 8529 6600 (consular section). Website: https://www.gov.uk Opening times: Mon-Fri 0830-1200 and 1330-1700.
Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the USA
Telephone: (202) 495 2266 ; (202) 338 6688 (visa section). Website: http://www.china-embassy.org Opening times: Mon-Fri 0900-1730; Mon-Fri 0930-1230 and 1330-1500 (visa section).
Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the UK
Telephone: 020) 7299 4049 ; (020) 7631 1430 (consular section). Website: http://www.chinese-embassy.org.uk Opening times: Mon-Fri 0900-1200 and 1400-1700.
Edited by Jane Duru
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