Chinese visa is a permit issued by visa authorities of China in accordance with the laws and regulations of China to a foreign citizen for entry into, exit from or transit through the territory of China. The Chinese visa authorities issue diplomatic visa, courtesy visa, service visa or ordinary visa to a foreign citizen according to his or her status, purpose of visit and type of passport.
Types of China visa
Chinese visas fall into four types: Diplomatic visa, Courtesy visa, Service visa and Ordinary visa. Ordinary visa is further divided into the following eight categories each marked with a letter:
- (1) Tourist and family visit visa (L-visa) is issued to a foreign citizen who comes to China for tourist purpose, family visit or other personal affairs.
- (2) Business Visa (F-visa) is issued to a foreign citizen who is invited to China for visit, research, lecture, business, exchanges in the fields of science, technology, education, culture and sports, or attending various kinds of trade fairs or exhibitions, or short-term study, intern practice for a period of less than six months.
- (3) Student Visa (X-visa) is issued to a foreign citizen who comes to China for the purpose of study, advanced study or intern practice for a period of six or more months.
- (4) Work Visa (Z-visa) is issued to a foreign citizen who comes to China to work and his or her accompanying family members, or to give commercial performances, implement aid or cooperative projects in China.
- (5) Transit Visa (G-visa) is issued to a foreign citizen who is to transit through China on his or her way to a third country (or region).
- (6) Crew Visa (C-visa) is issued to a crew member performing his/her duties on board an international train, or on an international airliner, or to a sailor on board an international ocean-liner or freighter.
- (7) Journalist Visa (J-visa) is issued to foreign journalists. J-visa has two categories: J-1 visa and J-2 visa. J-1 visa is issued to resident foreign journalists in China and their accompanying spouses and under-age children；J-2 visa to foreign journalists who visit China for temporary news coverage.
- (8) Permanent Residence Visa（D-visa） is issued to a foreign citizen who has been approved by China’s public security authority to reside in China permanently.