FAQs on Chinese visa for US citizens

Are you a resident of USA? Are you intending and planning to visit China for business purpose or for leisure travel? Well, if you are answering in affirmative to the above questions, you will need valid Chinese visa to enter mainland China. The kind of visa you will need depends on the purpose of your visit. When business is the main purpose of your visit, you will need to have a business visa and make the application likewise. The same stands for tourist visa and other kinds of visas.

Acquiring a Chinese visa has been made quite simple now. There are clear and proper guidelines for the same. Still, people have confusions and doubts in their minds regarding the visa acquisition process. In this article, there are many such important questions which people ask regarding Chinese visa and their answers. This will act as a guide for US citizens, who are looking to get China visa for visiting the country for any purpose.

Questions asked while acquiring Chinese visa for US citizens

1. What are the different kinds of Chinese visas which are given to US citizens?
There are innumerable kinds of Chinese visas which are given to US residents intending to visit mainland China. Some of the most common ones include Tourist Visa (L), Business Visa (M), Work Visa (Z), Crew Visa (C), Study Visa (X1/X2), Non-Commercial Visa (F), Long Term Private Visa (S1), Short Term Private Visa (S2) etc. Group Visa and transit visa are also provided to candidates as per their requirements. Application has to be made separately for each kind of visa and the documents needed also vary from one another.

2. There is a valid Chinese visa in the old passport. But I got a new passport. Will I need to apply for a new visa or can I travel with both passports?
It is possible to travel with the visa provided it is valid. And you can travel with both the passports. However, you have to check that all the personal details in both the passports are exactly the same. These include your name, date of birth, sex, nationality and so on.

3. Where should I apply for the Chinese visa? Is it mandatory that I have to appear personally for submitting the application?
Depending on your state of residence, you have to either visit a Chinese embassy or reach the Consulate general for applying the Chinese visa. The visa application form has to be filled up duly and all necessary documents have to be submitted with the same. There is no need for you to go and submit the application personally. Your friend can do it for you or you can seek help from a visa expedite service for the same. However, if the consular officer demands, you have to appear in person. There is no need of any appointment too for application submission.

4. What is approximately the time taken for processing the visa application?
In normal cases, it takes about 4 business day for processing the visa application. However, there are some applications, which take longer processing time. In case it takes longer, you will be notified via phone or by some other means. To be on the safe side, it is recommended to submit the visa application well in advance so that even of it takes long, your travel plans are not hampered.

5. What do I do if I need my visa within a very short span of time?
If you need your visa within a short span of time, you can avail expedite visa service for the same. Availing this service will need you to pay higher charges than normal. Infact you will have to mention that you need your visa within a short span while submitting and the billing is done in that manner. The fee will depend on the urgency of your visa requirement. Same day visa services are also available if needed.

6. What are the documents that I need to submit to get my Chinese visa?
The first thing that you will need is a valid US passport, which should have validity for minimum one year. The second thing is completely filled up, error free visa application form. The third thing is recent photo as per specifications mentioned in the application form. Last but not the least, all kinds of supporting documents depending on the purpose of your trip. Documents for business visa will be different from those of tourist visa etc.

7. Can my visa application be rejected?
Yes, many people think that applying for the visa is equivalent to receiving the visa. But it is not so. There are chances that the visa application might get rejected. Usually there are errors in the visa application form fill up and this is one of the main reasons for rejection. There might be anomalies in the furnished documents or the right kind of photo might not be included. You have to make fresh application once an application is rejected.

8. I lost my passport with China visa in it during my stay in China. What should I do?
In such a situation, you must report the loss of the passport to local public security authority at the earliest and get a written document. With this document, visit the US embassy or consulate in China. You will be guided for applying for a replacement passport or some other kind of valid travel document. Once this is done, you have to go to the local public security authorities again and make application for new entry and exit visa.

9. I am in China for business purpose with valid business Chinese visa. But I will need to extend my stay. The validity of my visa will also expire soon. What should I do?
This is quite a common thing which is seen. Usually you need to leave mainland China once your visa is expired. You have to go back to your country and apply for a visa again. In many cases again, you can apply for visa extension with help from local public security authorities in China.

10. I am in China with Z visa and have got my residence permit as well. Will I be able to leave China and come back to the country as and when I wish?
Your residence permit is there in your passport only like a visa. This residence permit is issued by the local public security authority for entering and leaving China till the validity of residence permit. There is no need of any other visa. Also if you are a holder of Chinese Permanent Resident Card, you will not need a visa for entering China during Permanent Resident Card’s validity.

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