What exactly do you need when you planning your trip to China? Choosing a point of embarkation is always the first step – finding flight deals to Beijing might not always be possible, but Shanghai and Guangzhou have positioned themselves as more attractive targets for international travelers. Second: choosing accommodations. Though it is possible to be a little flexible during your trip to China, you’ll have to provide confirmed hotel reservations prior to departure (immigration likes to know you’ll be able to provide for yourself). However, the most important piece of paper to collect is a visa to visit China.
Do I need a visa for visiting China?
Not necessarily. If you’re planning to travel here as the first step in a multi-country tour of the world, there are visas to visit China available on arrival. These transit visas are issued for a minimum of 24 hours for most Chinese cities and a maximum of 144 hours for a select few like Shanghai. All require that you provide confirmed travel plans and hotel reservations and be traveling to a third country within the time limit.
If you’re planning a quick roundtrip China visit, visas can be issued in advance at an embassy or consulate. These also require the aforementioned documentation, in addition to confirming your passport will have at least two blank pages and be valid for at least six months on your arrival in China. These visas typically take four business days to process for $140, but can be expedited for an additional fee.
No matter what brings you to visit China, visas are issued for business, tourism, work, and study, among others. The fee is the same for any and the application process similar, but in some cases an invitation letter (https://www.travelvisapro.com/blog/china-visa-invitation-letter/) may be requested for your visa to visit China.
Know before your visit: visa for China
If any US citizen has visited China before for any reason, it’s advisable for them to bring copies of their entry stamps into the consulate or embassy. Any visa to visit China may require providing previous dates of entry and lengths of stays, even if they occurred under a now expired passport.
If you’re planning to use either a transit or tourist visa to China for a few days to process a visa for another country during your trip, just be aware that most hotels in the country will not allow you to check in without your US passport; it’s also your main form of international ID abroad. If you need a visa to visit China from the US and would like to apply for another in Beijing, you might consider getting a second passport.
Do you have any questions about traveling to China?