Most of the times, Chinese Visa is confusing since there are so many types of visa that you need to understand before applying. With this post, Dalian Laowai is trying to break down all the visa types in China that applied for foreigners.

C VISA FOR FOREIGN CREW MEMBERS

The Chinese mainland C Visa is issued to foreign crew members (eg. those working on aircraft, trains and ships), or motor vehicle drivers engaged in cross-border transport activities, or to their accompanying family members.

D VISA FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCE (CHINESE GREEN CARD)

The D visa (or “China Green Card”) is issued to those who intend to reside in China permanently. It’s basically a visa that, while continuing to acknowledge you as a foreign passport holder, allows you to enter and leave China freely, staying for as long as you wish, and working as you wish.

According to a regulation issued in 2012, green card holders are supposed to enjoy the same benefits as Chinese citizens, from employment and investment to housing, social insurance, and even education for their children.

F VISA FOR “NON-COMMERCIAL”VISITS

China’s F Visas are issued to people who are visiting the Chinese mainland for the purpose of exchanges, study tours and similar activities. Note that this is not the same as the L Visa, aka the “Tourist Visa”.

G VISA FOR TRANSIT

The G Visa is a 72-hour visa issued to those who intend to transit through China using air, land and sea routes. Citizens of certain countries are allowed to apply for a 72-hour visa exemption once in China if flying into and out of certain cities’ airports; everyone else must apply for a G Visa before coming to the country.

J VISAS FOR JOURNALISTS

The Chinese visa system offers two different kinds of journalism visa depending on the length of stay intended by the journalist and the nature of their employment

J1 visa for long-term journalists

This is issued to resident foreign journalists working for foreign news organizations, and intending to stay for over 180 days

J2 Visa for short-term journalists

Issued to foreign journalists who intend to visit China to report for a period of up to 180 days.

L VISA FOR TOURISTS

The “Tourism Visa” is issued to tourists and other people visiting China for leisure or personal reasons (eg.to visit a family member – although the Q and S visas can be used for that purpose if the stay is to be a particularly long one)

M VISA FOR BUSINESS PEOPLE

The M visa is issued to those who intend to go to China for commercial and trade activities.

Q VISAS FOR SPOUSES AND FAMILY MEMBERS OF CHINESE PERMANENT RESIDENTS/ CITIZENS

Q Visas are issued to the spouses and family members of either Chinese citizens or foreigners with Chinese permanent residence who want to go to China for a family reunion or for the purposes of foster care. There are two kinds, depending on how long the person intends to stay in China. If the person on the mainland is actually a foreigner who is in China to work or study and has a residence permit, then their spouse or relatives should apply using an S Visa.

Q1 Visa for spouses and family members (long-term stay)

To apply for a Q1 Visa, the intended duration of stay in China must exceed 180 days. “Family members” refers to spouses, parents, sons, daughters, spouses of sons or daughters,brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandsons, granddaughters and parents-in-law. Note that the more distant the relatives you are visiting, the more limited your stay may be; this is at the discretion of the visa officer.

Q2 Visa for spouses and family members (short-term visit)

For a Q2 Visa, the intended duration of stay in China must not exceed 180 days. Note that the more distant the relatives you are visiting, the more limited your stay maybe; this is at the discretion of the visa officer. The visa can be applied for from within China.

R VISA FOR SOMEONE WHOSE SKILLS ARE IN DEMAND (THE 1,000 TALENT PLAN)

The 1,000 Talent Plan of Foreign Experts, also known as the National Recruitment Program of Global Experts, is a scheme set up by the Chinese government to encourage high-end foreign talent to relocate to China to work on long-term or short-term programs across the country, in management or research positions. It is a sub-set of awider ’1,000 Talent Plan’ that also includes incentives for ethnically Chinese people (including Chinese nationals working abroad or outside the mainland) to work in the country

S VISAS FOR SPOUSES AND FAMILY MEMBERS OF FOREIGNERS WORKING OR STUDYING IN CHINA

S Visas are issued to those who intend to go to China to visit foreign relatives (spouses, parents, sons or daughters under the age of 18, or parents-in-law) who are working or studying in China, or who intend to go to China for other private affairs. There are two kinds, depending on how long the person intends to stay in China. If the person on the mainland is actually a Chinese citizen or a foreigner with a permanent residency permit, then their spouse or relatives should apply using a Q Visa.

S1 Visa for long-term family visits

For an S1 Visa, the intended duration of stay in China must exceed 180 days.

S2 Visa for long-term family visit

For an S2 visa, the intended duration of stay in China must be no more than 180 days.

X VISAS FOR STUDENTS

X Visas are issued to those who intend to go to China to to study. There are two kinds, depending on how long the person intends to stay in China

X1 Visa for long-term students

Issued to those who intend to study in China for a period of more than 180 days.

X2 Visa for short-term students

Issued to those who intend to study in China for a period of no more than 180 days.

Z VISA FOR WORKERS

The Z Visa is issued to those who intend to work in China.

DIPLOMATIC AND SERVICES VISA

These visas are issued to foreign government officials, as well as the staff of diplomatic missions and the United Nations who are travelling to China for official business or accreditation

  • Information from dalianlaowai(http://www.dalianlaowai.com/wx_content/Types-of-Visa-in-Mainland-China.html)

Shenzhen Day Trip
Shenzhen is just across the border in mainland China. The main reason for going to Shenzen is to shop!

Goods in Shenzhen are cheaper than Hong Kong because that is where most of them come from. Getting to Shenzen is not hard using the MTR/KCR transport system in Hong Kong. A 5 day visa can issued at the border for most nationalities. Warning: USA passport holders cannot get a visa at the border.

Lo Wu Crossing
Firstly you need to buy a ticket to Lo Wu. Lo Wu is on the East Rail Line so if you are joining it from the MTR you will only be able to buy a single. It is about 30 minutes travel from the island.

At Lo Wu you will cross the border. Once you have exited Hong Kong you will need to get your visa. The visa’s are issued upstairs, it is a biggish area but keep following the crowds and you will see an escalator going up. Once upstairs you need to fill in the visa application and take a ticket from the ticket machine and wait for your number. If you are doing this at the weekend or over a holiday this can mean a long wait!

Lok Ma Chau Crossing
To alleviate immigration the border crossing traffic at Lo Wu, a second border checkpoint is available for crossing at Lok Ma Chau on the Lok Ma Chau Spur MTR line. Like passengers travelling to Lo Wu, the Lok Ma Chu station and area is restricted to passengers with a permit or a passport and visa to mainland China.

Visa Fees
The visa must be paid for in Rimimbi(Chinese currency) for those eligible for visa upon arrivals at the borders For others, visas should be arranged in Hong Kong prior to attempting to cross the border into mainland China.

Visa fee (Update valid on 31st of May 2014)

5 day tourist visa fee is 168 RMB. Exceptions are following countries that have different fee: Armenia 420 RMB, Ethiopia 487 RMB, Angola 681 RMB, Congo 747 RMB, Gabon 512 RMB, Cameroon 480 RMB, Cote Divoire 737 RMB, Moldova 455 RMB, Ukraine 409 RMB, U.K. 304 RMB, Panama 579 RMB, Brazil 369 RMB, Bolivia 414 RMB, Ecuador 414 RMB, U.S.A. 956 RMB, Venezuela 585 RMB, Chile 429 RMB, Romania 512 RMB, Russia 393 RMB, Mexico 371 RMB, Poland 475 RMB, Bulgaria 504 RMB, Montenegro 160 RMB. Tourists from remaining countries pay 168 RMB.

The fee can be paid in RMB or you can pay by credit card – this has been confirmed in Lo-Wu crossing.

Visa Process (at the border)

Once your number comes up the process is very fast and you will have your visa in about 5-10 minutes. Go down stairs and go through Chinese immigration. Again there could be a queue here depending if you go on a weekend or holiday.

You have to fill simple form (takes less than one minute), indicate what type of visa you are applying for and it’s issued within few minutes. Very simple process, some officers speaks English without major problem and on top of it they were really friendly in my case. Please do not forget to fill entry/exit form when crossing border afterwards. You can get this form as well in same visa office.

-Above from (https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel-g294217-c125197/Hong-Kong:China:Day…)