Chinese Visa
                Basic Requirements 
Regardless of the purpose or length of your trip to China, you will require a Chinese visa to gain entry.  The four primary visa types are as follows:
  • Diplomatic
  • Courtesy
  • Service
  • Ordinary 
However, the Ordinary Visa also consists of eight sub-categories.  These sub-categories can broadly be defined by their purpose, with some visa classes intended for tourism and travel to China, other visa classes intended for business visitors to China and another visa class for permanent migrants to China.
These visa sub-categories are all distinguished by the following letters: L, G, F, X, Z, C, J, and D.
Processing Times
When applying for a Chinese visa, please consider that processing times are subject to change, and fees are dependent on the visa class.  However, applications will generally be processed within 4 working days.
Chinese Tourist Visas 
L Visa
Issued to an applicant who comes to China for tourist purposes, family visiting or other personal affairs. The L Visa is the Chinese visa most tourists will use to travel to the country for any period of time. Immigration for the purpose of tourism is possible under two types of tourist Chinese visa, for either single entry, or double entry.
The maximum duration of a tourist visa for China is a period of 3 months. In all cases, candidates must travel to China within three months of being granted entry clearance.
G Visa
Issued to those who transit through China. These are for visitors who will be travelling through China for a very short period of time, essentially acting as an airport transit visa for passage through China.  However, travellers will also have to show that they have sufficient entry clearance for their destination after China too.
Please note: A copy of the Hotel Confirmation and a copy of the Travel tickets is required when applying for Business or Tourist visas.
Chinese Business Visas
F Visa
Issued to an applicant who is invited to China for conference, research, lecture, business, scientific-technological and cultural exchanges or short-term studies or intern practice for a period of no more than 6 months.
Applicants for a business visa will need to provide evidence of their invitation, in the form of a letter/fax from a Chinese governmental department or government-authorised company. For a multiple-entry visa, the invitation letter must be original.
A single or double-entry visa is usually valid for entry within three months from the date of issue. Multi-entry visas are normally valid for six months and only issued according to official invitation letters for business visitors.
X Visa
Issued to an applicant who comes to China for the purpose of studying or intern practice for more than 6 months.
Z Visa
Issued to an applicant who is to take up a post or employment in China, and his/her accompanying family members, and who is to conduct commercial performance in China.
C Visa
Issued to crewmembers on international aviation, navigation and land transportation missions and family members accompanying them.
J Visa
Issued to foreign journalists. J Visa is subdivided into J-1 Visa and J-2 Visa. J-1 Visa is issued to a foreign resident correspondent in China. J-2 Visa is issued to a foreign correspondent on temporary short term news report mission in China.
Please note: A copy of the Hotel Confirmation and a copy of the Travel tickets is required when applying for Business or Tourist visas.
Permanent Chinese Visa
D Visa
Issued to applicants for permanent residency in China, the D Visa can only be applied for while onshore in China. Being granted the D Visa makes you eligible for long-term or indefinite stay to live and work in China.
Chinese Embassy Information
Embassy Of The People’s Republic Of China
31 Portland Place
London
W1B 1QDTelephone:  020 7631 1430
Fax:  020 7436 9178
Website:  www.chinese-embassy.org.uk
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