How to Get a Chinese Visa in the U.S. as a Non-Citizen of the U.S.

If you live in America but are not a U.S. citizen, getting a Chinese visa involves a few additional steps and considerations. However, the process generally remains the same. Let’s discuss what to consider when applying for a Chinese visa in the U.S. as a Non-citizen and even what to do if you hold dual citizenship in America.

Understanding the Chinese Visa Application Process

The process for applying for a Chinese visa as a non-citizen is generally similar to applying as one, but there are a few differences for non-U.S. citizens. The main differences include your fees, depending on your nationality. The duration of your visa may also be affected.

Determine the Type of Chinese Visa You Need as a non-citizen

The first step is to decide which type of Chinese visa you need. The two most common types of Chinese visa applications are Tourist visas and Business Visas. So, we’ll focus on those two for now.

Requirements for Tourist and Business Visas


Must be valid for at least six months beyond your stay and have at least two blank visa pages. The passport you provide should have no damage.

Visa Application Form

Complete this online or download it from the Chinese embassy/consulate website. 


A recent passport-sized photo of the applicant on a white background.

Proof of Legal Status in the U.S.

As a non-U.S. citizen, provide proof that you are lawfully residing in the U.S. This can be a copy of your green card, visa, or other relevant documents.

Proof of State Residency

You’ll need proof of your current address, like a copy of the front of your driver’s license or a utility bill. The document you provide must show your name exactly as it appears on your passport. Your current address should also be the same one listed on your visa application.

Where You Stay Form

Indicate your current state of residence by filling out the “Where You Stay” form, which you can download here.

For Business Visa Applicants

Provide invitation letters for business visa applicants. They do not have to be original copies; they can be emailed. 

The letter should include: 

  • A sealed invitation letter from your company in China.
  • A letter from your company in America with the same name, travel dates, and purpose.

Submitting Your Application

In Person or By Mail

You can submit your application in person at the Chinese embassy or consulate that has jurisdiction over your residence. Some consulates also accept applications by mail. Ensure you check the specific procedures on the consulate’s website.

Using a Courier Service- China Visa Department

You don’t have to travel to your assigned embassy or consulate to submit your application. Services like the China Visa Department can submit for you! This can be especially convenient if you live far from your assigned Chinese consulate.

A courier service like the China Visa Department is registered with the Chinese embassy/consulate to submit your documents. At the China Visa Department, we provide both online and in-person appointments. We also provide full application guidance and an expedited option!

Pay the Visa Fee

Visa fees for non-U.S. citizens can vary based on nationality and the type of visa. While U.S. citizens might pay a fixed fee, other nationals might face different charges. Check the fee schedule on the Chinese embassy or consulate’s website to find the applicable fee for your nationality.

How Long Will My Chinese Visa Last as a Non-U.S. Citizen Living in the U.S.?

The duration of your visa depends on many factors the Chinese embassy/consulate decides on. Chinese visas can last up to ten years. However, most non-U.S. citizens applying from the U.S. receive a shorter visa duration. Usually, non-citizens are granted the time needed to accomplish the reason for the visa.

Special Considerations for Dual Citizens

If you hold dual citizenship, you must apply for your Chinese visa using your American passport. 

Need Assistance with Your Chinese Visa Application?

Still unsure about the Chinese visa application process for a non-citizen living in the U.S.? If you need help or have questions about the Chinese visa process, call the China Visa Department at (888) 899-9629. We’re here to help you with each step of the application process.

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