China Visa and Passport Requirements
|Passport required||Return ticket required||Visa Required|
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.
Foreign nationals are advised to carry their passports at all times particularly 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 a Tibet Travel Permit issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau. Applicants also need to show their Chinese visa.
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 (21 days for German nationals) 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).
Please also see the transit section below to find out about visa-free transit in China.
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
How much you would pay for a visa to China depends on your nationality.
If you're applying for a visa to China from the UK, the following fees apply:
• British: £151 for single and multiple-entry (regular service) or £182 for single and multiple-entry (express service).
• American: £174 for single and multiple-entry (regular service) or £205 for single and multiple-entry (express service).
• Canadian: £125 for single and multiple-entry (regular service) or £156 for single and multiple-entry (express service).
• Other nationalities (apart from American, Argentinian, Brazilian, British, Canadian, Israeli, Polish, Romanian and Serbian), the cost is £94 for single entry (regular service) and £125 for single entry (express service).
If you're applying for a visa to China from the USA, the following fees apply:
• American: USD$140 for single and multiple-entry (regular service) and USD$160 for single and multiple-entry (express service).
Single-entry visas are normally valid for three months, double-entry for six months, and multiple-entry either 12 or 24 months.
As of 2018, nationals from 53 countries can visit certain parts of China without a visa for up to 144 hours (six days) if you're transiting through Beijing, Hebei, Jiangsu, Liaoning, Shanghai, Tianjin and Zhejiang. The key point is you must depart China within 144 hours (six days) for another international destination.
Example 1: if you are flying from New York to Beijing and onwards to Singapore within 144 hours (six days), you can visit Beijing without a visa.
Example 2: if you are flying from London to Shanghai and back to London after five days, you must apply for a visa as you do not transit in China.
The 53 countries whose citizens can take advantage of this 144-hour visa-free transit include: Albania, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea (South), Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Macedonia (FYROM), Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and Ukraine.
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.
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.
Our visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing,
We strongly recommend that you verify critical information unique to your trip with the relevant embassy before travel.
Embassies and tourist offices
British Embassy in China
Telephone: 0(10) 5192 4000 ; 0(10) 8529 6600 (consular section).
Address: Jian Guo Men Wai, 11 Guang Hua Lu, Beijing, ,
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).
Address: NW, 3505 International Place, Washington, DC, 20008,
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).
Address: , 49-51 Portland Place, London, W1B 1JL,
Mon-Fri 0900-1200 and 1400-1700.
Browse our Video Guides