China visa application and requirements

                    China Visa

China Visa

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COVID-19 / Health Insurance for travel to China
Any China visa issued prior to March 28th, 2020 is currently invalid for entry into China.

VisaHQ has been assisting with China visas across the world throughout the pandemic. The process has changed from what was normally followed pre-pandemic. Applicants are required to obtain specific approval for their essential travel to China. You will need to contact the entity or company you will be visiting in China to coordinate issuance of a specific visa approval letter/ invitation letter, called a PU letter. This will need to be issued by the Provincial Foreign Affairs Office in China. This will then need to be coordinated with the appropriate embassy/ consulate or visa center where the applicant is located. Once this has been done VisaHQ can then process your application.

Additionally, if you hold a valid residence permit stamp in your passport that was issued prior to March 28th 2020 and that expired after this date you can now apply for a new visa to reenter China as long as you plan to resume your employment/residency there and have documentation supporting this. No PU letter will be required for this process.

Feel free to reach out to our support teams for more info on how we can assist with your travels to China.

Select the type of China tourist visa (l) application:

and send the following documents to VisaHQ:

Chinese visa application form. For online orders, please download, print and sign China visa application, prepared by our system under your account. Application MUST be typed. Handwritten applications will not be accepted by the Embassy. Application forms cannot be double sided, please print on one side.
Original, signed United States of America passport with at least 6 months of remaining validity and at least 2 consecutive blank visa pages.
Passport-type photograph: 1. Photo must be 33mm wide and 48mm tall. Please see photo guidelines here.
Driver's license. Copy of driver's license or state issued ID.
Itinerary. Copy of round trip tickets or detailed itinerary for the duration of the trip (Applicant's name must be on itinerary).
Health Declaration Form. Please complete one copy of the Health Declaration Form and provide it with the rest of your application documents.
Tourist invitation. If your travel is being organized by a tour group in China, an official signed and stamped Invitation Letter for Tourist issued by Duly Authorized Tourism Unit in China can be used in place of the hotel reservation.
Business Support Letter (soft copy acceptable). If working for an NGO, non-profit organization or Government a letter from the employer in the United States. The letter should be printed on company letterhead stationery, addressed to "The Consulate of China, Visa Section", and signed by a senior manager. The letter should indicate the nature of the trip to China, have a job title and a job description.
Previous visa copy. If you no longer have possession of your previous Chinese visa you may include a letter to the Chinese consulate explaining when and where you received your previous visa and how the passport and visa were lost. The issuance of a new visa will be at the discretion of the consulate.
According to the October 30th announcement from the Civil Aviation Administration, the General Administration of Customs, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, all passengers who are flying from the United States to China must provide negative COVID-19 tests and an anti-body test issued within 48 hours before boarding any initial flight and within 48 hours of boarding any transit flight to China, starting on November 6th, 2020.

China Entry Guidelines and COVID Testing Procedure
Details are as follows:

1. In order to reduce cross-border transmission of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of passengers, starting from 0:00 on November 6, 2020 Pacific Time, all Chinese and foreign passengers bound for China will be required to take nucleic acid and IgM anti-body tests and apply for a green health code with the "HS" mark or a certified health declaration form before boarding the flight. The specific requirements are as follows:

I. Test Requirements

1. Passengers bound for China via direct flights must take nucleic acid and IgM anti-body tests at a testing institution in the U.S. within 48 hours before boarding. Upon receiving the certificates of negative results of both tests, they need to submit them to the Chinese Embassy/Consulates (based on the consular district of the testing place) and apply for a green health code with the "HS" mark or a certified health declaration form.

2. Passengers bound for China via connecting flights must take nucleic acid and IgM anti-body tests in the U.S. within 48 hours before boarding, and then take both tests a second time in their last transit country within 48 hours before boarding the plane to China. Passengers must apply from the Chinese Embassies/Consulates in BOTH countries (the U.S. and the last transit country) for green health codes with the "HS" mark or certified health declaration forms with their certificates of negative results of both tests.

3. For passengers transiting in the U.S. before flying to China, please note that currently tests are not available in most American airports. Passengers are recommended to use caution when choosing to transit in the U.S. If there is a need to do so, please check in advance about the U.S. entry restrictions for foreigners, apply for a U.S. visa if necessary, take the nucleic acid and IgM anti-body tests a second time after entering the U.S., and present the certificates of negative results to the Chinese Embassy/Consulates in the U.S. to apply for a green health code with the "HS" mark or a certified health declaration form. If the requirement for boarding is not met, there will be a high risk of getting stranded at the airport or even being sent back to the point of departure.

II. Chinese Passengers Applying for Green Health Code with the "HS" Mark

Chinese passengers must upload to the WeChat Health Code app the pictures of their negative nucleic acid and IgM anti-body tests results, which will be examined and verified by the Chinese Embassy/Consulates in U.S. Then they will receive the green health code with the "HS" mark. Passengers must present the green code within its validity period to the airlines flying directly to China before boarding.

III. Foreign Passengers Applying for Certified Health Declaration Form

Foreign passengers must email the scanned copies of their negative results of the nucleic acid and IgM anti-body tests along with their passport information page and the signed health declaration form to the Chinese Embassy/Consulates (based on the consular district of the testing place), which will examine and verify the above information and email the certified health declaration form back to the passenger. Passengers are advised to print the form out and present it within its validity period to the airlines flying directly to China before boarding.

Where to submit (for foreign passengers):

Embassy in the United States (temporarily in charge of the consular district of the Consulate General in Houston):

Consulate General in New York:

Consulate General in San Francisco:

Consulate General in Los Angeles: Please click here to submit online

Consulate General in Chicago:

IV. Reminders

Please read the requirements carefully and follow them accordingly. Failure to obtain the green health code with the "HS" mark or a certified health declaration form with negative nucleic acid and IgM anti-body tests results means you do not qualify for boarding the flight to China and will have to change your itinerary.

For the convenience of getting tested, the Chinese Embassy/Consulates in the U.S. have not designated or authorized testing institutions. Please inquire of the testing institutions about the testing methods, report content, average time to deliver results and test prices.

If you choose to go to China via connecting flights, you need to test twice. As tests are not available in the transit zones of major airports in transit countries, please use caution when choosing to fly to China via connecting flights. Passengers are advised to consult the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in the transit country about the latest policies on nucleic acid and IgM anti-body tests and entry requirements, and apply for a visa if necessary, to avoid getting stranded in the transit countries due to denial of entry or failure to get valid health code or health declaration form.

International airports in the U.S. seldom have rapid testing capabilities. The testing institutions in U.S. the are scattered, and the time needed to deliver results is not guaranteed. Please use caution if considering transiting in the U.S.

This Notice will take effect on 0:00 on November 6, 2020 Pacific Time. Applications submitted before that will be reviewed according to the requirements of the Notice on September 4. In case of any inconsistency between this Notice and the previous ones on health code, nucleic acid tests or other requirements, this Notice shall prevail.

The Chinese Embassy/Consulates in the U.S. once again recommend travelers avoid all nonessential travels considering the infection risks and travel costs of international travels at this time. Please minimize visits to public spaces and facilities after testing, and take good personal protection to avoid infection.

There has recently been a sharp increase of imported COVID-19 cases from the United States in China. Most of them can be traced to infection in transit, while a few are related to faulty operations of intermediary agencies and laboratories or to passengers' nonobservance of home quarantine requirements after testing. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) counted a total of nearly 17 million confirmed cases in the United States by December 18, and another 1.2 million to 2.3 million new cases are expected to be reported every week in early January 2021. To protect the health and safety of passengers and aircrew, and prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 in China, the Chinese embassy and consulates in the United States once again recommend travelers avoid all nonessential and non-urgent travels. Passengers who have urgent need of travel please follow the test guidelines and requirements listed below:

I. Starting from 0:00 on December 23, 2020 Pacific Time, IgM serum antibody test must be performed by medical professionals through venous blood sampling, and the test report should include the following terms: Serum, IgM, Venous, etc. Finger-prick blood testing is no longer accepted. The report also needs to clearly state testing methods, including: (1) Colloidal gold; (2) Chemiluminescence; (3) Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; (4) Others, please specify.

II. Starting from 0:00 on December 23, 2020 Pacific Time, nucleic acid rt-PCR test report should include such terms as NAAT, RT-PCR, and specify sampling method, including: (1) Pharyngeal swab; (2) Nasopharyngeal swab; (3). Others, please specify.

III. In order to prevent infection from long-distance travel after testing, passengers traveling to China must get their samples for the nucleic acid rt-PCR and IgM serum antibody tests collected at the departure city and vicinity of their direct flight to China. The specific arrangements are as follows.

1. At present, direct flights from the United States to China fly from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Detroit and Dallas.

2. Passengers must allow for the time to take pharyngeal or nasopharyngeal swabs, venous blood and other sampling in the departure city and vicinity of their flight and wait in place for the test results before the flight. Upon receiving the reports, passengers should upload them immediately to apply for the health code for boarding.

3. Collected samples must be tested at a laboratory institution that is on the list released by the Chinese embassy and consulates. Please have prior confirmation with your sample collecting institution whether the samples are tested in such a laboratory. The list of laboratories will be announced soon and it will be adjusted from time to time. Please pay close attention to the notices and reminders on the websites of the Chinese embassy and consulates.

4. When applying for the health code, flight itinerary and proof of sampling at flight departure city and vicinity (such as clinic report, letter of proof, sampling-site photos or receipts, etc.) should be uploaded alongside with test reports and other materials. If the system does not have a special upload window for flight itinerary and proof of sampling city, please upload them in the window for submitting test reports.

5. Starting from 0:00 on December 23, 2020 Pacific Time, the Chinese embassy and consulates in the United States will only accept test results from the laboratories on the list, and they will be reviewed in conjunction with flight itinerary, sampling city, etc.

6. The airlines are only required to check the health code for international flights to China, but if your flight contains a domestic leg, there is a possibility that some airlines have additional requirements or their staff have different understanding as to checking the code. Please check with your airlines in advance or choose not to go to your international departure city via connecting flights.

IV. The Chinese embassy and consulates will verify the authenticity of test results with sample collecting and testing institutions. Passengers are advised to agree to disclosure of relevant information by the institutions to the Chinese embassy and consulates, including test results.

V. Passengers are strongly recommended to take personal protection very seriously to avoid infection in travel to the departure city and during the stay before departure. Please minimize public contact after testing. Some states have put in domestic travel restrictions or stay-at-home order, passengers are advised to inquire about local regulations in advance and comply.

VI. In case of any inconsistency between this Notice and the previous ones, this one shall prevail.
Additional Required Documents for Recently Naturalized Citizens
Previous Passport. Your previous non-US passport..

Naturalization Certificate. A copy of the naturalization certificate.

Additional required documents for minors
Application form. The application form must be signed by both parents.

Birth certificate. A copy of the applicant's birth certificate.

Parents' passport copies. A copy of the information pages of both parents' signed passports.

When applying for a child with Chinese parents, the applicant must also provide proof of parents' status in the United States.
Additional requirements for applicants born in China, Hong Kong, Macau, or Taiwan
Chinese name. The applicant's name written in Chinese characters.

Proof of name change. If the applicant's name has changed since birth, please provide a copy of the court order or marriage certificate showing the name change.

Green Card. Copy of applicant's old Green Card(s).

Previous visa. Copy of a previously issued Chinese visa or copy of the information page from your Chinese, Hong Kong, Macau, or Taiwanese passport. Note: If your old passport has not been canceled, you will be required to submit the original passport with your application.
Additional requirements for Chinese applicants adopted by American parents
Chinese passport. Applicant's ORIGINAL Chinese passport.

Proof of name change. If the applicant's name has changed since birth, please provide a copy of the court order or marriage certificate showing the name change.

Parents' passports. Clear passport information page copies of both American parents.

Certificate of adoption. A notarized certificate of adoption.

Birth certificate. A copy of applicant's birth certificate (usually from U.S).
Information for persons of Tibetan origin
You must make a personal appearance at the Chinese Visa Application Service Center to process your visa if you are a person of Tibetan origin. The Visa Application Service Center will require additional documents in order to process your visa and VisaHQ is unable to assist in these procedures.
Persons with occupation related to government, NGOs, and media
Applicants with these occupations must submit a letter from their employer stating their job description and purpose of visit to China. The visa processing time may be extended to 8-10 business days for these applicants.

China tourist visa (l) fees for citizens of United States of America

Multiple entry
  • Validity: up to 10 years
  • Processing: 5 business days
  • Total cost: 239.00 
    China visa help
    Cost calculation
    Embassy fee: 140.00 Processing: 99.00: 0.00 Total cost: 239.00
China visa for citizens of United States of America is required. For more information please contact the nearest China embassy.

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Frequently Asked Questions about China visa

  • Do I need a visa to visit China's mainland?
    Foreign citizens generally need a visa to visit China's mainland with the exception of visa-free entry according to relevant agreements and regulations. (See Exemption of visa for more information.)
  • I am a U.S. citizen, can I apply for a Chinese visa at the port of entry?
    U.S. citizens must obtain a visa before arrival in China. You are not eligible for a landing visa.
  • I have received my visa, but there will be a change in my trip plan. Do I need to apply for a change of the visa type or validity?
    Once your visa application is processed and approved, you will not be able to change a visa type or validity unless you request the visa be voided by the Visa Office and apply and pay for a new one. If you have entered China, you should apply to the local Public Security authority for a change in visa type or an extension of stay or validity. Your application will be considered by the Public Security authority in accordance with relevant Chinese Laws and Regulations.
  • I get a new passport, but I have a valid Chinese visa in my old passport. Can I travel with both passports to China without applying for a new visa?
    Yes, you may travel with both passports provided that your visa is still valid and the personal details including your name, sex, date of birth and nationality on both passports are exactly the same.
  • I have received my visa. Is there a guarantee that I will be allowed to enter China?
    A visa is not a guarantee to enter China. The decision on whether or not you will be allowed to enter China is made at a port of entry by Chinese Border Control authority in accordance with Chinese Laws and Regulations.
  • Consulate in Beijing
    Location No. 55 An Jia Lou Lu,
    100600, Beijing, China
    Phone +86-10-8531-3000
    Fax +86-10-8531-4200
  • Consulate in Chengdu
    Location 4 Lingshiguan Lu
    610041, Chengdu, Sichuan China
    Phone +86-28-8558-3992
    Fax +86-28-8558-3520
  • Consulate in Guangzhou
    Location Huaxia Road, Zhujiang New Town,
    (near Exit B1 of the Zhujiang New Town
    subway station, Line 3 and Line 5)
    Tianhe District, 510623, Guangzhou, China
    Phone +86-20-3814-5000
  • Consulate in Shanghai
    Location 1469 Huai Hai Zhong Lu,
    200031, Shanghai, China
    Phone +86-21-8011-2200
  • Consulate in Shenyang
    Location 52, 14th Wei Road, Heping District,
    110003, Shenyang, China
    Phone +86-24-2322-1198
    Fax +86-24-2322-2374
  • Consulate in Wuhan
    Location New World International Trade Tower I,
    No. 568, Jianshe Avenue, Hankou
    430022, Wuhan, China
    Phone +86-27-8555-7791
    Fax +86-27-8555-7761

United States of America Embassy list in China

China Customs

Import Regulations Export Regulations Health and Security Contact Customs Authorities
The following items can be imported into the country if visiting for less than 6 months.

  • Tobacco products Cigarettes – 400
    The amount of cigarettes increases to up to 600 if staying more than 6 months
  • Alcoholic beverages – 2 Bottles
    The alcohol limit doubles to 4 bottles if staying over 6 months
  • Reasonable amount of perfume
  • Amongst the items requiring permission to enter China include TV’S, Computers, washing machine and other electrical goods.
  • Cats, dogs and other small animals will require a vaccination prior to being allowed to enter the country
  • Guns and Ammunition
  • Explosives and Explosive Materials
  • Radio Receivers/Transmitters
  • Knives and similar dangerous cutting weapons
  • No information available
  • No information available
  • Arms and Ammunition
  • Explosives and material required to build them.
  • Radio receivers/transmitters
  • Precious jewels and metals – UNLESS previously declared.
  • Pornographic material
  • Beef
  • Sheep/Lamb meat
  • Fruit and certain vegetables – Tomatoes and Red peppers etc
  • Valuable animals, plants and seeds
  • Any written or recorded material which could endanger Chinese national security
Basic health information for travelers to China
  • A yellow fever vaccination is required from all travellers arriving within six days of leaving an infected area.
  • Water should be considered safe in the major cities but should be boiled for safety in the more rural areas. Visitors are advised to check the state of the water before drinking and to stick to bottled water if travelling in more remote parts of the country.
  • Meat, vegetables and other hot meals should be well cooked before being eaten to avoid the risk of disease.
  • There have been intermittent cases of pneumonic plague throughout the country. Hand, foot and mouth diseases have sprung up during the summer months. Parents visiting the country during this period should take care to vaccinate their children prior to flight to avoid the possibility of infection.
  • Rabies is present in large parts of the country. Visitors should avoid contact with wild animals which might contain the infection and to keep small children away from them at all times. If bitten, the wound should be cleaned with plenty of fresh water and checked medically for any signs of infection.
  • Haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome is endemic. Hepatitis A and B are highly endemic in the country and should be vaccinated against.
  • AIDS is present in the country and travellers should take all necessary precautions if engaging in sexual activity. Travellers should avoid swimming in unclean water sources i.e. streams and pools which may contain risks of disease. Tuberculosis and Dengue fever is also present in much of the country.
  • Visitors should check the environmental conditions prior to visiting. Travellers visiting a hot region should take along plenty of sun protection and bottled water. Alternatively, many regions of China involve visiting areas of high altitude and may cause health problems for travellers suffering from heart disease or high blood pressure. Symptoms can include headaches, fatigue and general illness. Travellers suffering these or similar symptoms should rest then move immediately to a lower altitude to avoid additional symptoms and seek medical aid if required.
  • Medical facilities in most major hospitals are excellent although standards may fall slightly in the more rural areas of the country. Medical costs are reasonable but travel and medical insurance is advised.
Basic security information for travelers to China
  • Violent theft in major street markets and in big cities in general is reported to be on the rise with money and passports being the main targets for would be thieves. Travellers should take care of their belongings at all times when travelling around the country and should be careful when visiting the countries clubs and bars.
  • Various cons involving fake cash and over pricing taxis have been reported and visitors should take special care when travelling via taxis in the big cities.
  • Visitors should avoid any scenes of conflict which may occur between the government and protesters. The protesters have the potential to turn violent and travellers are advised to stay well away from any potential scenes of violence and to keep a copy of their passport with them at all times in case of stoppage by the security services. Travellers planning to visit Tibet should check the political and legal situation in the country prior to flying out has there have been continual acts of violence in the region and may be restricted from entry. Taping or taking pictures of protests or government buildings may be confiscated by the security forces.
  • Travellers navigating the country on their own should beware of the risk of encountering thieves and bandits in the more remote parts of the country alongside the sometimes dangerous natural environment. Much of the country exists at a high altitude and visitors should thoroughly check their intended destinations environmental conditions prior to flight.
  • Many regions of the country are subject to a wide variety of natural disasters including Earthquakes, Flooding and Typhoons. In recent years Earthquakes measuring up to 7.1 on the Richter scale have been reported with much additional loss of life and property. Visitors to the country who are caught up in an Earthquake should stay calm and immediately report their situation to the nearest foreign embassy.
  • Parts of central, southern and western China, particularly those bordering the Yangtze River, are vulnerable to flooding and landslides. Roads, houses and other native infrastructure have been badly affected and visitors are advised to avoid these areas where possible and to check for any water based diseases if trapped in the vicinity of the flooding. The tropical cyclone season in China normally runs from May to November and should be avoided. All visitors to the country should check the environment of the region of the country they are planning to visit prior to their flight.
  • There are restrictions on certain religious activities, including preaching and distributing religious materials. The Falun Gong movement is also banned in China. Homosexuality is not formally outlawed in the country but may be frowned upon in public. Some culturally important areas like museums ban photographs from being taken and travellers should ask local sources if uncertain.
Chinese Customs contact information
For further assistance please contact the Chinese Customs authorities directly. They will provide the latest information about customs regulations and export-import procedures.

  • Address No.6 Jianguomennei Avenue
    Dongcheng District
    China 100730
  • Phone +861065194114
  • Visit Website

For additional information about travel restrictions, security warnings, political updates, and basic travel guidelines, please contact the nearest Chinese Embassy.