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Types of Chinese Visas

Updated: 2014-01-21

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Types of Chinese Visas

There are four categories of China visas: diplomatic visa, courtesy visa, service visa and ordinary visa.

The ordinary visa category is further divided into the following eight categories:

(1) The tourist and family visit visa (L-visa) is issued to foreign nationals who come to China for the purpose of tourism, a family visit or other personal matters.

(2) A Business Visa (F-visa) is issued to foreign nationals who are invited to China for a visit, for research, lectures, business, exchanges in the fields of science, technology, education, culture and sports, or to attend various kinds of trade fairs or exhibitions, for short-term study, or for an internship for a maximum of six months.

(3) A Student Visa (X-visa) is issued to foreign nationals who come to China for the purpose of study or an internship lasting over six months.

(4) A Work Visa (Z-visa) is issued to foreign nationals who come to China to work, to give commercial performances, or to engage in an academic exchange - and it is also issued to their accompanying family members.

(5) A Transit Visa (G-visa) is issued to foreign nationals who expect to transit through China on their way to a third country or region and to stay in China for more than 24 hours.

(6) A Crew Visa(C-visa) is issued to foreign nationals who are crew members of international train companies or an international airliner, and also to crew members of international ocean-liners or freighters.

(7) A Journalist Visa (J-visa) is issued to foreign journalists, and there are two categories: J-1 visa and J-2 visa. The J-1 visa is issued to resident foreign journalists in China and their accompanying spouses and underage children, and the J-2 visa is issued to foreign journalists who visit China for short-term news coverage.

(8) A Permanent Residence Visa (D-visa) is issued to foreign nationals who have received approval from the Chinese public security authorities to reside in China permanently.

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