Going to a new country can be daunting, and when it has numerous kinds of visa, you might be having questions. Here we have tried to simplify it for you.
Tourist Visa (L)
Planning to go to those beautiful places in China for a vacation? Then you should get yourself an L visa. Proof of travel such as flight confirmation and hotel reservation are required. Single-entry, double-entry or multiple-entry are all available for tourists. The duration of stay (each visit) is typically 30-60 days. Multiple-entry up to 10 years is issued to US passport holder.
Business Visa (M)
Business M visa is for those who intend to go to China for commercial and trade purpose. It can be single-entry, double-entry or multiple-entry. M visa can be issued up to 10 years. The duration of stay (each visit) usually is 30-60 days based on particular Chinese Consulate.
Non-Commerce Visa (F)
If you are a scientist or a researcher or going to China for a cultural exchange program, then you will be offered F visa. It is generally issued for single or double entry only. The duration of stay (each visit) usually is 30-90 days.
Work Visa (Z)
Have you been offered a job in China? Congratulations! You need to apply for Z visa. Z visa is issued for single-entry only. You also need A government issued working permit or employment license. Holders of Z Visa have to register and apply for the residence permit in Public Security Bureau (police station) within 30 days from the date of entry. A residence permit is good for multiple entries.
Study Visa (X1/X2)
Issued to those who have been admitted by a Chinese college. Student Visa is sub-divided into X1 and X2. X1 is for international students who come to China for study for more than six months. X2 is for those who come to China with the same purpose but for less than six months. X2 visa is issued for single-entry only while X1 visa is for multiple entries with validity up to 5 years.
Private Visa (S1, Long Term)
S1 visa is for those who intend to go to China to live with the immediate family member working or studying in China or for those who visit China for other private affairs. The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days. "Immediate family members" refers to spouses, parents, sons or daughters under the age of 18 or parents-in-law. Original proof of kinship is required. S1 visa is issued for single-entry only. Holders of S1 visa also need to register and apply for a residence permit within 30 days from the date of entry at the Public Security Bureau (police station). The residence permit stamp allows multiple entries.
Private Visa (S2, Short Term)
It is similar to S1 but with less duration usually for 30-90 days. If you are visiting your family members who are foreigners working or studying in China, or those who intend to go for other private matters such as visiting friends, divorce, inheritance, adoption, marriage or medical services should apply for S2. Proof of kinship is required for visiting family members. S2 visa is usually issued for multiple-entry. Multiple-entry up to 10 years is only issued to US passport holder.
Family Visa (Q1, Long Term)
Q1 visa is for Chinese descendants or foreigners who are spouses of Chinese citizens. Issued to those who are family members of Chinese citizens or foreigners with Chinese permanent residence and intend to go to China for a family reunion, or foster care. The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days. "Family members" refers to spouses, parents, sons, daughters, spouses of sons or daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandsons, granddaughters and parents-in-law. Original proof of kinship is required. An interview may be required. Q1 visa is issued for single-entry only. Holders of Q1 visa also need to apply for a residence permit, within 30 days from the date of entry at the Public Security Bureau (police station). After getting a resident permit, you are entitled to multiple entries.
Family Visa (Q2, Short Term)
Q2 visa is designed for Chinese descendants or foreigners who are spouses of Chinese citizens. It is for the relatives of Chinese citizens residing in China or foreigners with permanent residence status in China. Usually, one is granted up to 120 days per visit and are allowed multiple-entry. Multiple-entry up to 10 years is only issued to US passport holder.
Crew Visa (C)
Issued to foreign crew members utilizing means of international transportation including aircraft, trains, ships, and motor vehicle drivers engaged in cross-border transport activities. Also issued to accompanying family members of crew members. Multiple-entry up to 5 years is only issued to US passport holder.
Group Visa is a particular type of visa that issued to a tourist group which comprises at least five (5) members who must travel together in China. Group Visa is rendered on a separate sheet. One Official Visa Notification Letter from any head office of the China Travel Service (CTS), China International Travel Service (CITS), or China Youth Travel Service (CYTS), or Chinese National Tourism Bureau is required.