A Chinese visa is a permit issued by visa authorities of the People’s Republic of China in accordance with its laws and regulations to a foreign citizen for entry into, exit from or transit through Chinese territory. The Chinese visa authorities will issue a diplomatic visa, courtesy visa, service visa or ordinary visa according to the foreign citizen’s status, purpose of visit and type of passport.
Validity of a visa refers to the period that the visa holder is allowed to enter China. Unless otherwise specified, a visa holder may enter China at any time prior to expiry of validity (right up to midnight Beijing Time on the final day of validity), so long as the entries granted on the visa have not been used up.
A visa becomes effective from the date of issuance. The visa automatically becomes invalid once its period of validity expires regardless of whether its entries are used up or not.
Chinese embassies and consulates general do not extend the validity of an issued visa. A fresh application is needed after the expiry of the issued visa. Foreigners holding an expired visa seeking entry will be refused. Make sure the visa is valid before you set off for China. However, even if a foreigner holds a valid visa, he or she might be refused entry by the immigration authorities.
The number of entries of a visa refers to the number of times the visa holder is permitted to enter China within the visa’s validity. When the entries are all used up, the visa is no longer valid. Even if there are still unused entries, the visa is not valid either if its validity has already expired. In either case, the visa holder should apply for a new visa if another visit to China is planned. An applicant will be refused entry to China if all the visa entries have been used up.
After entry into China, a foreign citizen who needs to stay in China longer than the duration of stay permitted by the visa must apply for an extension of stay at a local public security bureau before the original permitted period of stay expires. This does not necessarily mean your application for an extension will be approved. The applicant shall bear any consequences arising from this situation.
Overstay in China violates the country’s laws and regulations on control of the entry and exit of foreigners, and could result in a fine or other penalty.
How To read a Chinese Visa
- Visa Category
- Visa Validity
- Date of Issuance
- Full Name of the Applicant (in a lot of cases it is shown in an abbreviated format)
- Date of Birth of the Applicant
- Number of Entries Permitted
- Duration of Each Stay
- Place of Issuance
- Passport Number