For US citizens traveling to China this year, there’s no question the process of obtaining a visa can be rather cumbersome. Getting all the paperwork at the closest consulate or embassy can mean spending your morning waiting, paying an exorbitant fee – higher for US citizens than other nationalities due to reciprocity – and returning in a few days to pick it up in the afternoon. Applications by mail haven’t been accepted for a few years, which is why Travel Visa Pro’s China visa services are so popular among travelers.
What do you need to know about a multiple entry tourist visa to China?
1. Valid for Ten Years
Since 2014, China has offered short term business and tourist visas for US citizens which can be used for stays up to 60 days over ten years. While many tourist visas in other countries require your passport to have at least six months’ validity, if you’re landing in Beijing or Shanghai on a multiple entry tourist visa, you’ll need a passport valid for at least one year.
2. How Will This Affect My Passport Renewal?
Of course, US passport books are valid for only ten years, so unless you happen to be renewing yours at the moment you decide to apply for a Chinese multiple entry tourist visa, you’ll probably have some validity on the visa when your passport expires. The good news is you don’t even have to pay a fee to transfer the visa to a new passport; just keep both your old passport with the valid visa along with the new one when you enter China.
3. The Cost
More good news. Although the Chinese tourist and business visa fees are unusually large for visiting US citizens, the price is the same whether you’re applying for a single entry tourist visa valid for three months or a multiple entry tourist visa valid for ten years. $140, payable by credit card, cashier’s check, or money order.
4. The Application Process is Exactly the Same
Though applicants might think they would be required to produce more documents, money, photos, and sponsors for a ten-year visa versus a one-year, that simply isn’t so. Perhaps the Chinese tourist visa application process is so thorough as it stands there’s not much more for which the government can ask. You’ll need an invitation letter, application form, passport-sized photo, fee, flight itinerary, confirmation of accommodations, copy of passport identification page, and your US passport book valid for at least one year. Just check the box marked “Other” on the application and write in “10 year multiple entry”.
5. Processing Time
This hasn’t changed either. Because the fees are the same whether you’re applying for a single entry tourist visa or a ten-year business visa, the best value comes from the latter.
Rush Service: 1 business day + $30 fee
Express Service: 2-3 business days + $20 fee
Regular Service: 4 business days
Where do you want to go on your China trip?