Aliens’ Administration (Catalogue)

Updated: 2010-03-18

  I. Port Visa
  1. Reasons for applying for port visa
  Aliens may apply for visas to port visa agencies authorized by the Ministry of Public Security in case of an urgent need to travel to China for the following reasons:
  1) Being invited at short notice by the Chinese side to attend a trade fair in China;
  2) Being invited to China to enter a bid or to formally sign an economic or trade contract;
  3) Coming to China under contract for supervision over export shipment, import commodity inspection or check on the completion of a contract;
  4) Being invited to install equipment or make rush repairs;
  5) Coming to China at the request of the Chinese side for settling claims;
  6) Being invited to China for scientific or technological consulting services;
  7) A last-minute replacement or addition, approved by the Chinese side, to a delegation or group that has been invited and has already obtained visas for traveling to China;
  8) For visiting a patient in a critical condition or making funeral arrangements;
  9) As persons in immediate transit who, because of force majeure, are unable to leave China by the original aircraft within 24 hours or have to leave China by other means of transport;
  10) As other invitees who really do not have enough time to apply for visas to the above-mentioned Chinese agencies abroad but hold letters or telegrams from designated competent authorities approving the application for visas at port visa agencies.
  2. Port visa application procedure
  1) Aliens holding letters or telegrams from authorized organizations in China and ordinary passports issued by countries that have diplomatic relations or official trade contacts with China may apply for port visas. Foreign correspondents and aliens holding diplomatic, service, official, special, and ordinary passports cannot apply for port visas. Aliens holding ordinary passports issued by countries that have neither diplomatic relations nor official trade contacts with China cannot apply for port visas. 
  2) Aliens working in wholly-owned foreign enterprises, offices of foreign enterprises in China and their invitees should submit written request to the port visa organs accredited by the exit-and-entry department of the local public security organ in advance (usually 3 days ahead). And they should also submit registration certificates, representative certificates for the offices of foreign enterprises in China, or business licenses, certificates of approval, etc. and fill in application forms for port visas. They will obtain “approval number” issued by the exit-and-entry department upon approval. Aliens can apply for port visas using the “approval number”.
  3) Aliens who don’t have invitation letters or telegrams from authorized organizations but have those from non-authorized organizations, in applying for port visas in case of an urgent need to come to China, should go through formalities afterwards as required, and can be issued port visas if their circumstances prove to be really special by local port visa agencies.
  3. Validity period of port visas
  1) Visa F: valid for six months at most;
  2) Visa L: valid for three months at most;
  3) Visa G: valid for one month at most and the duration of stay shall not exceed 10 days.
  All types of visas are generally valid only once.
  4. Temporary entry permit
  II. Visa
  1. Agencies handling the application
  Chinese diplomatic missions, consular posts or other foreign-based agencies authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall be the Chinese Government’s agencies overseas to handle aliens’ applications for entry and transit.
  The Ministry of Public Security, its authorized local public security organs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its authorized local foreign affairs departments shall be the Chinese Government’s agencies in China to handle aliens’ applications for entry, transit, residence or travel.
  Chinese diplomatic missions, consular posts or other foreign-based agencies issue diplomatic, courtesy, service and ordinary visas; The Ministry of Public Security and its authorized local public security organs issue ordinary visas; and the local foreign affairs organs authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issue diplomatic, courtesy and service visas.
  2. Types of visa
  In accordance with their status and the types of passports they hold, different aliens coming to China shall be issued diplomatic, courtesy, service or ordinary visas respectively.
  Diplomatic visas are generally issued to diplomatic passport holders who are diplomats, consular officers, senior government officials and their accompanying family members and the people upon notice from Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Service visas are generally issued to service passport holders working in the foreign embassies and consulates in China, laissez passers (blue cover) holders working in the organizations of the United Nations in China and their accompanying family members, aliens who come to China temporarily for service or transit with service passports, official passports, special passports or United Nations laissez passers (blue cover) and their accompanying family members, and the members not holding diplomatic passports of foreign delegations of party or government officials invited by the Chinese Government for a visit. Courtesy visas are generally issued to the former heads of state, heads of government, speakers of the House, heads of the Supreme Court, ministers of foreign affairs, former ambassadors to China and other senior officials, dignitaries and their accompanying family members, and those the visa agencies think appropriate. Ordinary visas are generally issued to aliens holding ordinary passports. Chinese diplomatic missions or consular posts handle diplomatic, courtesy, official and ordinary visas; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its authorized local foreign affairs offices handle diplomatic, courtesy and service visas; and the Ministry of Public Security and its authorized local public security organs handle ordinary visas.
  3. Indication of the Chinese phonetic letters on the visas
  Ordinary visas shall be marked with different Chinese phonetic letters and issued to different aliens according to their stated purposes of visit to China:
  l) Visa D to aliens who are to reside permanently in China;
  2) Visa Z to aliens who come to China to take up posts or employment and to their accompanying family members;
  3) Visa X to aliens who come to China for study, advanced studies or job-training for a period of six months or more;
  4) Visa F to aliens who are invited to China on a visit or on a study, lecture or business tour, for scientific-technological or cultural exchanges, for short-term refresher course or for job-training, for a period not more than six months;
  5) Visa L to aliens who come to China for sightseeing, visiting relatives or other private purposes (A group visa may be issued to a group of nine or more aliens on a sightseeing trip to China);
  6) Visa G to aliens passing through China;
  7) Visa C to train attendants, air crew members and seamen operating international services, and to their accompanying family members;
  8) Visa J-1 to resident foreign correspondents in China; visa J-2 to foreign correspondents who make short trip to China on reporting tasks.
  4. Application procedure
  Chinese Government authorities, in accordance with the aliens’ purposes of entry, issue the corresponding visas.
  In applying for visas, aliens shall provide such pertinent information as requested and complete the following procedures:
  1) Present valid passports or replacement certificates;
  2) Fill in visa application forms and submit recently-taken two-inch half-length, bareheaded and full-faced photos;
  3) Submit for examination papers supporting the application for entry into or transit through China.
  5. Documents required for application
  The supporting papers refer to the following:
  1) In application for Visa D, a permanent residence confirmation form, which may be obtained through application by the applicant or by his/her designated relatives in China from the exit-and-entry department of the municipal or county public security bureau at the place of the applicant’s intended residence;
  2) In application for Visa Z, a letter of appointment or employment from the sponsor or employer organization in China or a letter or telegram from an authorized organization;
  3) In application for Visa X, a certificate from the receiving organization or the competent department;
  4) In application for Visa F, a letter or telegram from the authorized organization;
  5) In application for Visa L for a tourist trip in China, a certificate of reception from a Chinese travel service, and, when necessary, plane, train or ship ticket(s) to the country (region) after leaving China;
  6) In application for Visa G, a valid visa for entering the country (region) of destination, or connecting tickets in case such a visa is exempt;
  7) In application for Visa C, relevant certificates in accordance with the agreements concerned;
  8) In application for Visa J-1 and J-2, a certificate from the competent department.
  Aliens who come to China for permanent residence or for residence of one year and upwards shall, in applying for entry visas, submit for examination health certificates issued by health or medical institutions designated by the governments of the countries of their current residence or those issued by health or medical institutions and certified by notarial organs. Health certificates are valid for six months from the date of issuance.
  In case of citizens from CIS countries, Mongolia, DPRK who come to visit relatives in China, Chinese diplomatic missions or consular posts shall issue the visas according to the stamp affixed by the public security organs on the application provided by their Chinese relatives.
  6. Tourist visa for special economic zone (SEZ)
  Tourist visa for SEZs is a special visa issued to aliens who come to Shenzhen and Zhuhai SEZs. Aliens can go directly to Shenzhen or Gongbei port to apply for tourist visa to visa offices of Public Security Administration of Guandong Province in Shenzhen and Gongbei. Applying for this type of visa is a simple process; applicants do not need to fill in visa application forms, nor submit photographs. They only need to fill in the entry card. Aliens holding this type of visa can only stay in Shenzhen and Zhuhai from 3 to 5 days. Aliens who leave Shenzhen or Zhuhai for the mainland should go to the public security bureau of Shenzhen or Zhuhai for ordinary visas.
  7. Visas capable of extension
  1) Visa F, L, G or J-2 issued by Chinese diplomatic missions or consular posts to aliens who need to prolong their stay in China beyond the expiration of their visas;
  2) Visa F, L, or G issued by port visa agencies to aliens who need to prolong their stay in China beyond the expiration of their visas;
  3) Re-entry visas issued by local public security organs to aliens who cannot re-enter within the time prescribed.
  The visas capable of extension mentioned above refer to single or double entry visas. Multiple entry visas cannot be extended and should be reprocessed. Aliens holding multiple entry visas issued by Chinese diplomatic missions or consular posts can apply for an extension of the duration of their stay in China once but the duration of their stay for the next entry should be within the time limit prescribed in the original visas.
  The visas of aliens coming under one of the following categories cannot be extended: those whose period of stay in China is shortened or whose status of residence in China is annulled; individual tourists with inadequate travel expense or aliens visiting their relatives exceed the time limit of their duration of stay without legitimate reasons.
  8. Procedure for visa extension
  Aliens, in application for an extension of their visas, shall complete the following procedures:
  1) Submit valid passports, visas, accommodation registration documents, and alien’s residence cards in case of a re-entry visa extension;
  2) Fill in application forms for extension;
  3) Provide papers supporting reasons for extension.
  Visa F holders should submit official letters from the host units.
  Travelers coming to China with Visa L hosted by Chinese units shall submit host unit’s official letters. If they are not hosted by any unit, they shall submit documents supporting the adequacy of their traveling expenses (traveling check or money order receipt, at the rate of US$100 per day). Aliens coming to China for medical treatment shall submit medical certificates provided by the hospitals and documents supporting the adequacy of their living expenses. Aliens visiting their relatives shall submit letters guaranteeing their cost of living provided by their relatives.
  Visa G holders shall submit relevant documents because of force majeure.
  Visa J-2 holders shall submit official letters issued by the Information Department of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs or by foreign affairs office of the province, autonomous region, or municipality.

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