Knowing the China visa validity for any visa you wish to apply for before submitting your application is very important. This is because no two Chinese visas have the same validity. Visas are also issued as single, double or multiple entry visas, with the latter commanding a longer validity than the other two. Below, we review the different Chinese visas and their validities, so you know how long the Visa will remain active.
Visas And Their Validity
Transit Visa: Transit visas are issued to travellers travelling to a third country through China. This short-term Visa is valid for three months and allows the holder to stay in the country for up to 7 days. This means that once it is issued to you, it remains valid for the next 90 days. Once it exceeds 90 days, you can’t use it anymore.
Tourist Visa: Tourists and fun seekers looking for a perfect getaway can visit China on a tourist visa.
This Visa is issued as single, double or multiple entries, as the case may be. Most tourist visas are valid for 6 months and allow the holder to stay in China for 30-90 days, but the ten-year multiple-entry version allows users to visit the country several times for 90 days per visit.
Study Visa: International students admitted into academic institutions in China will require a study visa to pursue their interests. There are two types of study visas; the X1 Visa for those coming to study in Chinese schools for more than 6 months and the X2 Visa for those studying for less than 6 months. The X1 version may be issued as a single entry or multiple entry Visa and is valid for up to 5 years, while X2 is issued as a single entry visa and valid for 1 year.
Private Visa: Those who have family members studying or working in China may visit them if they have a Private Visa, regardless of whether their relative is a Chinese citizen or a foreigner who is a permanent resident. This Visa is for immediate family members; under Chinese law, only spouses, parents, children under 18, and parents-in-law fall under this category. To get this Visa, you need to prove kinship using a birth certificate, marriage certificate or other means of verification. Private visas are segmented into S1 and S2; the S1 Visa allows for visits of more than 180 days, but they must register with the Public Security Bureau within 30 days of their arrival. As for the S2, holders can only stay for 30-90 days. S1 is issued as a single entry visa, while S2 is issued as a multiple entry Chinese visa and is valid for 10 years.
Family Visa: Also known as the Q1 Visa, it is for Chinese descendants or foreigners married to Chinese citizens. It may also be issued to family members of foreigners or Chinese citizens. It is subdivided into Q1 and Q2; the Q1 allows the holder to stay for more than 180 days, but they must apply for permanent residency within 30 days of their arrival in China, while the Q2 visa is for 120 days per visit is valid for 10 years.
Crew Visa: There is a special crew visa for crew members working for companies operating within China’s border. The employer is responsible for applying for this Visa on behalf of their staff, and it is required for an airline, shipping companies, logistic companies and train service providers. It is issued as a multiple-entry visa and is valid for 5 years.
Group Visa: This is a special visa issued to travel and tour companies operating in China.
Rather than apply for individual visas for each tourist, the company applies for a group visa for five persons per group. Furthermore, the Visa is issued as a spreadsheet and not on separate passports. There must also include special notification letters from the China Travel Service head office, the Chinese National Tourism Bureau, China Youth Travel Service and the China International Travel Service. These letters are used to process the Visa. This valid visa is valid for 3 months.
It is a crime to overstay beyond the number of days allowed under whichever Visa you hold. Once the maximum number of days has been exceeded, the Visa becomes invalid, so ensure you depart the country on or before the last day. If, for any reason, you may remain longer than the days of grace allowed, do well to visit the immigration office to apply for an extension. Lastly, set a reminder once you arrive so you know when your China visa validity is drawing to a close. Those who overstay will be sanctioned by the Chinese government and made to pay a fine, deported or face jail time.