Guangzhou Visa Requirements for US Citizens: Transit Visas
Extended transit visas are one of the Chinese government’s solutions to make the country more appealing to tourists; if you could have a few extra days to explore a Chinese city before your vacation in Manila, Tokyo, or Seoul, why not do it? Guangzhou may not be the most common city for international stopovers, but because it’s relatively close to Hong Kong and offers more freedom with its transits visas, travelers to China might consider adding it as one of their destinations.
Guangzhou Visa on Arrival
Guangzhou is part of the People’s Republic of China, and subject to the same laws concerning tourist and business visas for visiting US citizens. However, different Chinese cities offer different transit visas on arrival. A visa for Guangzhou allows the traveler up to 72 hours in the entire region, whereas a visitor to Shanghai is permitted 144 hours and limited to three neighboring municipalities.
Whatever your destination in China, it’s important to stay informed about the transit visa regulations. A Guangzhou visa is acceptable only if you arriving from one country by air and departing to another with 72 hours; no roundtrip tickets will be considered. However, though Guangzhou requires an arrival by airplane, an international departure by train is perfectly fine. Travelers can have Hong Kong as their destination, fly into Guangzhou, and continue south by rail (assuming they clear immigration before departing).
Tourist Visa for Guangzhou
A standard tourist visa for Guangzhou is the same for those visiting anywhere in China. The L visa must be obtained in advance at any Chinese embassy or consulate abroad, where an application form can be accepted for a $140 fee (more for expedited processing). Proof of incoming and outgoing flight reservations are required, as is a Chinese visa invitation letter or proof of accommodations, depending on the circumstances. Even if you’re planning on getting a Guangzhou visa on arrival, it’s best to have the name, address, and contact information for your hotel on hand.
While there is no wait time for a Guangzhou transit visa save a few minutes needed to verify your information at immigration, a tourist visa takes 1-4 business days to process: standard service costs $140 and takes 4 business days, express service $160 and 2 business days, and rush service $170 and 1 business day. Avoiding the fees is just another reason to consider adding a Guangzhou visa to your passport.
Visiting Guangzhou with Travel Visa Pro
Travel Visa Pro’s staff has been helping travelers obtain tourist visas to China for over a decade. If you have any questions regarding the Guangzhou transit visa or transiting through other Chinese cities, stop by one of our offices and we’ll work out the best way to get you where you want to go in Asia.