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China Tourist Visa

A Brief Introduction to Tourist Visa
A tourist visa, issued to aliens who come to china for sightseeing and visiting relatives, is marked with "L" in the many kinds of Chinese visas. Visa L is characterized by a short duration of stay, usually 30 days, no more than 90 days, and could not be extended upon expiration. Group visa, another kind of tourist visa, is applied by foreigner traveling in tour groups. Group visa is not issued on the passports, but on a separate paper, which requires the group members enter and exit the Chinese border together. From Nov.15th 2000, aliens traveling to Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions(SAR) in tour groups organized by travel agencies registered in the above-mentioned SARs are exempted from visa requirements for a period of not exceeding 6 days when entering into the following Chinese mainland cities: Guangzhong, Shenzhen, zhuhai, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jinangmen, Zhaoqing, Huizhou etc.. The premise is that the traveler shall have the citizenship of a country having diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China and carrying an ordinary passport.

Traveling in China requires a tourism visa (L). L Visa is sub-divided into two kinds: group visa and individual visa. If you are a part of a group, the tour operator will often obtain it. Group visas will usually be issued for groups with at least 5, and the guide accompanying your group will keep the visas.


An Individual traveler can apply for one at any Chinese embassy or consulates, and the procedure is usually straightforward. China has its embassies and consulates in most western and many other countries. You can either get an application form in person at the embassy or consulate or download one by visiting the website of Chinese embassies in the foreign countries.


After fully and accurately completed your application, you submit it to the nearest Chinese consulate and embassies, either in person or by mail. A standard 30-day, single-entry visa from most Chinese embassies abroad can be issued in three to five working days. Rush processing of 24 hours issue or same-day is also available (additional Embassy fee applies).

Basic Requirements:
1. A completed Visa Application Form. Forms can be obtained by fax from ACCEC Travel.
2. Two 2" X 2" photos showing applicant's full front face.
3. Current Passport that is valid for a minimum of six months from the date of travel. The passport must also have a more than two blank visa pages.


Passport requirements:
A) There must be at least one totally blank page in the passport. Pages for endorsements or amendments cannot be used as a visa page.
B) Single or double entry visa requires a passport valid for at least 6 months. For multiple entry visas, a passport should be valid for at least 9 Months. Accompanying person using the same passport
The photo of the accompanying person using the same passport should be affixed to the form. The full visa fee will apply.

When apply for a tourism visa, some extra documents are required sometimes besides the basic general requirements:

1) For individual tourism visa, a letter of confirmation of the tour arrangement made by a travel agency in China or letter of reservation of hotel in China is required.

2) For group tourist visas, a confirmation letter from a provincial tourist bureau or a government-authorized Chinese travel agency; a name list of the whole group in triplicate and one copy of the information page of each passport are required.

Foreigners from countries which have visa agreements with China are treated in accordance with these agreements.

Visitors who want to Tibet need to acquire the consent of the Tourism Administration of the Tibet Autonomous Region or any one of its foreign representative offices.


Foreigners requesting to visit Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Xiamen and other Special Economic Zones may apply directly to visa authorities in these zones for tourist visas. Foreign tourist groups from Hong Kong for a 72-hour visit to the Shenzhen.

Special Economic Zone are exempt from entry visas.

Tourist visas are usually valid for three months, but can be extended for an extra month at the Foreigners Section of the Public Security Bureau. Passports must be valid for at least six months before you travel to China.


The overseas Chinese visa authorities are Chinese embassies, consulates, visa offices, the consular department of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in HKSAR, and other agencies abroad authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China. If a foreigner intends to enter into, exit from or transit through the Chinese territory, he shall apply to the above-mentioned Chinese visa authorities for a Chinese visa. For further information, please consult the nearest Chinese visa authorities.

Questions & Comments

  • neelam shah on April 1, 2011, 10:16 pm

    we are indians and a family of four and coming for a family tour on 16th april 2011.we are going to stay shenzhen for 2 nights, so is the shenzhen visa compulsory to take from india or will we get the shenzhen visa on arrival?

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