China Visa Information

Visa Procurement

All foreign nationals must obtain a visa for a visit to China. It is essential that the China visa is obtained prior to travel. There are two ways to obtain a visa for China. You can either submit your own application at the embassy, or if you're arriving through Shanghai, we may be able to assist you in obtaining a group visa.

NOTE: Please be advised that visa requirements are subject to change and that visa procurement is the responsibility of the traveller. Please also ensure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months from your planned date of return from China.

Getting your visa at the embassy

When arranging your own visa, please note that China visas can only be processed within 3 months of the start date of your tour. To ensure you receive your visa on time, it is advisable to apply a minimum of 45 days before your trip. Standard visa processing typically takes about 9 to 10 working days, plus additional time for return postage.

Hotel List: When applying for a visa you will be required to provide a list of the hotels that you will be staying in throughout your holiday. We will provide this list once you have booked with us.

Proof of Travel Arrangements: To obtain a visa you will also need to provide proof of your travel arrangements. Once you have booked and we have received a scanned copy of your passport we will provide you with relevant paperwork that your local embassy requires to process your visa.

Please note that Hotel Confirmation Vouchers are in Mandarin and are simply required for visa application purposes.


Fingerprint Requirements

China has implemented fingerprinting requirements for certain visa applicants, including those applying for tourist visas. This measure is aimed at enhancing security and is applicable to individuals aged 14 to 70. This typically takes place at Chinese Visa Application Service Centers (CVASCs) or consulates. The process involves digitally scanning your fingerprints and may incur an additional fee.

It is advisable to prepare for the biometric data collection process by bringing your passport, a printed copy of your visa application form, and any additional documentation requested by the visa center. Some centers might require you to schedule an appointment for this purpose. Keep in mind that visa requirements can differ between countries and change periodically, so it is essential to consult the official website of the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in your country or the designated CVASC for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Please note that the fingerprinting requirement is likely temporary, with anticipation that this will be scrapped sometime in 2024.

China Visa Requirements For

German, Italian, French, Spanish, Dutch & Malaysian residents

From 1 December 2023, passport holders from Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Netherlands, and Malaysia can enter China Visa free for purposes of tourism for stays of up to 15 days. Please contact the Embassy of China in your home country for further information. We expect more countries to be added to the list of Visa Free Countries in the coming months.

China Visa Requirements For

UK residents

Travel visas are an essential part of your holiday, but they can be complicated things to sort out. There are application forms to complete, there’s paperwork to provide and embassy queues to stand in.

To apply for a China tourist visa, UK residents need to complete the online application form and schedule an appointment on the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (CVASC) website. This appointment will enable you to submit your application in person and have your fingerprints collected. Please note that this biometric data collection is mandatory.

For specific information regarding procedures, visa application requirements, processing times, and fees, it is recommended to directly contact the CVASC.

If you prefer to obtain your visa yourself then upon confirmation of your holiday, please click on the link below.

China Embassy London
49 Portland Place
Marylebone
London
W1B 1JL
Tel: 020 7299 4049
http://gb.china-embassy.gov.cn/eng/

Note: Keep in mind that applicants are required to physically visit a Chinese consulate in London, Manchester, or Edinburgh to provide their fingerprints and obtain a tourist visa for China.

China Visa Requirements For

US & Canadian residents

Please visit the relevant embassy link below for visa form and instructions.

USA
US Embassy of China
2201 Wisconsin Avenue
N.W., Suite 110
Washington D.C. 20007
Tel: (202) 338-6688
http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/visas/

Canada
Canadian Embassy of China
515 St. Patrick Street
Ottawa
Ont. K1N 5H3
http://ca.china-embassy.org/eng/lsyw/gzrz/vusa/

China Visa Requirements For

AUS & NZ residents

Please visit the relevant embassy link below for visa form and instructions.

Australia
Embassy of China in Australia
15 Coronation Drive
Yarralumla
A.C.T 2600
Canberra
Tel: 0262734780
http://au.china-embassy.org/eng/ls/vfc/

New Zealand
Embassy of China in New Zealand
57 Messines Road
Karori
Wellington
Tel: 04721382-600
http://www.chinaembassy.org.nz/eng/lsfw/prcd/

China Visa Requirements For

South African residents

Please visit the relevant embassy link below for visa form and instructions.

China Embassy
972 Pretorius St,
Arcadia,
Pretoria, 0083,
South Africa
Tel: +27 12 431 6500
http://za.china-embassy.gov.cn/eng/

Visa requirements - Hong Kong

The Hong Kong visa system is almost exactly the same as it was under British rule, and therefore wholly separate to the Chinese visa system.

Most Western visitors to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People’s Republic of China do not require a tourist visa issued in advance of travel. Currently, nationals of Australia, Canada, Ireland, most other EU countries, New Zealand and the US do not require a visa for a stay not exceeding 90 days. UK nationals do not require a visa for a stay not exceeding 180 days, whilst holders of RSA passports do not require a visa for a stay not exceeding 30 days.


Visa requirements are subject to change. Visa procurement is the responsibility of the traveller and not that of On The Go Tours.

Your passport must possess at least 2 blank pages and have at least 6 months validity remaining after date of intended exit from China.

See Also

For further information to help plan your trip to China, see the following:

Best Time to Visit - climate and seasons in China
Best Places to Visit - our favourite spots in China to include on your visit
Top Travel Tips - covering everything from money to health, food to shopping
Traveller Reviews - see what our passengers think of our China tours
Visiting the Great Wall - a handy article on this incredible man-made feat with everything you need to plan the perfect trip
Visiting Pandas - where to see China's iconic pandas
Video Lounge - captivating China caught on camera

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