How to Get a Visa to China

A visa for travel to China by US citizens costs $130. The type of visa needed depends on the reason for your visit. To apply, you'll need a passport valid for at least the next six months and a 2x2, passport-style photo. Applications by mail are not accepted. You must apply in person at a Chinese embassy or consulate, or pay a visa service to deliver the necessary documents for you.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Things You'll Need:
  • Passport valid for at least the next six months 2x2 passport-style photo
  • Passport valid for at least the next six months
  • 2x2 passport-style photo
Step 1

If you are traveling to China as a tourist, you will need a tourist visa. A tourist visa is good for 90 days from the date of issue and allows you to enter China once and stay for up to 30 days.

Step 2

Business travelers need a business visa. Business visas can be good for single, double or multiple entries into China and may be valid for up to 12 months. The maximum stay is 30 days.

Step 3

You'll need a student visa if you're planning to study in China. You must have a letter of admission from the school. Student visas are good for up to 12 months and allow multiple entries into the country.

Step 4

If you're moving to China to work, you'll need a work visa. Within 30 days of your arrival, you must apply for a Residence Permit, which will allow you multiple entries.

Step 5

Your visa should be ready in about five working days, unless you have requested rush or express service. Pick it up in person or have it mailed to you.

Laura Hageman has written varied articles on real estate to entertainment topics for the past three years. Hageman wrote a romantic comedy novel entitled Her Desire listed on She has written for Web sites such as CurrentForeclosures and Triond over the course of 7 years. Hageman holds a Bachelor's degree in Arts.