How do I get a visa for China?

Obtenir un Visa pour la Chine

Planning a trip to China? Here are the formalities you need to complete to obtain your visa for China.

China is a vast country that many people dream of visiting. There’s the Great Wall, of course, but there’s more to the Middle Kingdom than that. China is also the Summer Palace in Beijing, the Terracotta Army in Xi’an, magnificent rice paddies, the Tiger Leaping Gorge, Canton and its gastronomy, etc. To discover all the country’s treasures, you’ll need to take a few steps to obtain a tourist visa. It’s time-consuming, of course, but considering the beauty of this country, it’s well worth the effort. Here are the steps you need to take to obtain your visa for China.

Do I need a visa to travel to China?

Visa obligatoire pour la Chine

Yes, as soon as you cross the Chinese border, you are obliged to apply for a tourist visa for China. However, there are a few exceptions depending on the territory. Macau and Hong Kong, which belong to the People’s Republic of China, and Taiwan, a state claimed by the Chinese, have specific formalities.

You don’t need a visa to enter these regions, provided your stay does not exceed 90 days. If you wish to visit Tibet, an autonomous region of China, you must pass through China. However, you don’t need an additional visa – a Chinese visa will suffice.

What type of visa should I choose for China?

There are two ways to obtain a tourist visa for China. If you are between 14 and 71 years of age, you must take a fingerprint at a Chinese center. No fingerprinting is required if you are younger or older, or if you have already done this on the same passport within the last 5 years.

There are 4 Chinese visa centers in France:

  • Paris;
  • Marseille ;
  • Lyon ;
  • Strasbourg.

You can apply for a multi-entry or single-entry visa.

What is the validity of a visa for China?

The single-entry visa for China is valid for 90 days and allows entry for a maximum of 30 days. The multi-entry visa is valid for 180 days.

How much does a visa for China cost?

Prix visa pour le Canada

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Vitaliy Krasovskiy

For your Chinese visa, you will have to pay an Embassy fee of €126. In Paris and Marseille, you can apply for a China visa as a matter of urgency, this time at a cost of €171.

What documents do I need to obtain a tourist visa for China?

Passeport de la République Française

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Gaelfphoto

In addition to the fingerprints required to obtain your visa, if you’re between 14 and 71 years old, you’ll need to gather a number of documents, listed below.

A passport

You must present your original passport with at least two blank pages. The passport must be valid for 6 months at the time of application (9 months for a multi-entry visa). You must also provide a photocopy of the page containing your identity and photo.

A form

You must complete your form online and print out all 8 pages, then sign the first and last pages and take them to the visa center.

A passport photo

You must provide a photo measuring 48 mm x 33 mm. It must be recent and in color on a light background. This photo must be uploaded. If you can’t, bring it with you to your appointment at the China visa center.

Your old passport

If you’ve ever held a Chinese passport, you’ll need to bring it with you for your first visa application, along with a photocopy of the identity page. If you have already had a visa for China, you must also bring a copy of the passport page on which it appears.

Your round-trip ticket

You must present a return ticket for your trip to China.

A hotel reservation

The Chinese visa center will also ask you for a hotel reservation or a letter of invitation, as well as a photocopy of the passport, residence permit or identity card of the person writing the letter. The letter of invitation must include specific information: identity of the guest, visit schedule, arrival and departure dates, identity of the person writing the letter of invitation.

Travel insurance certificate

China is one of the countries where travel insurance is compulsory.

Proof of employment, income or studies

Depending on your situation, you will need to provide proof of this.

Specific documents for minors under 18

For minors, a birth certificate or record of birth is required, as well as a declaration from the parents authorizing them to travel with them. An original and a photocopy of each parent’s identity card are also required.

How do I fill in the visa application form for China?

Remplir un formulaire

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Filling in the form is rather tedious (remember that it consists of 8 pages). Here’s what you need to know:

  • The city chosen for the impression ;
  • Personal information ;
  • Type of visa required ;
  • Information about your business and income ;
  • Educational background and languages spoken ;
  • Applicant’s address ;
  • Marital status of applicant’s parents and children ;
  • Planning your stay (dates, locations, etc.) ;
  • Previous trips and visas obtained ;
  • Various information about your life.

When should you apply for a visa to China?

A visa for China can be obtained in 6 or 7 working days (2 or 3 for express applications in Paris and Marseille). It is valid for 3 months for a stay of 30 days, so you can apply one month before departure without any worries.

Do I need insurance to travel in China?

Remplir le formulaire d'assurance voyage

Photo credit: Shutterstock – 279photo Studio

Yes, China is one of the countries where travel insurance has long been compulsory. As a minimum, you must take out cover for medical expenses, hospitalization and repatriation.

All you need to do is compare travel insurance policies to find one that suits your needs. Ask your insurer about the cost of consultations and hospitalization in China, to find out which contract will provide you with optimum coverage. You will then receive a travel insurance certificate that you can present when applying for a visa to China.

E-visa in China: how does it work?

You can apply for a tourist e-Visa for China. However, this request can only be made for a minimum of two people. This is for French, Belgian and Swiss nationals under the age of 80. For this visa, you need to go through Rapide Visa, which will direct you to a ministry in China. The visa will be sent from China 13 days before your departure, so you’ll receive it around 10 days before you leave. This solution avoids the need to go to a visa center for fingerprinting, which is a serious advantage when you live far from one.

Do I need a visa for China for a stopover?

You don’t need a visa during a stopover or transit if you stay in the international zone of the airport. The same applies if you leave the international zone and comply with the following rules:

  • Transit time may not exceed 72 hours or 144 hours, depending on the city;
  • You don’t leave the transit city;
  • You are making an international stopover on a direct flight between two different countries.

Where can I get a visa for China?

To obtain a visa for China, you have a choice. First, you can go to the Chinese embassy.

Another solution is to use a specialized visa agency like RapideVisa, which will take care of all your visa formalities without you having to travel.