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The Chinese passport is the national passport issued to citizens of China. Citizens living in free areas of China such as Penghu, Matsu, Taiwan, and Kinmen as well as overseas Chinese residents are entitled to receive PRoC passports. Besides PRoC citizens, residents of Macau and Hong Kong can also apply for the PRoC passport. A permanent residence status in these countries is the only requirement for such residents. Not all PRoC passport holders can have the right to live in areas under strict PRoC control.

Chinese Immigration Visa

The Chinese visa is a permit issued by the country’s visa authorities to foreign nationals entering China. No visas are required for passport holders from Brunei, Japan, and Singapore. They can visit China and even stay for more than 15 days in the country.

Chinese visa authorities can issue a Courtesy, Service, Diplomatic or Ordinary visa to foreign nationals. This is according to the length or purpose of their visit in China.

The Ordinary PRoC visa consists of 8 subcategories. The subcategories may broadly be described by the purpose of each visa such as visa classes for tourism and travel. Other visa classes are designed for business visitors, and another visa class is for permanent Chinese immigrants.

Eight (8) letters distinguish the Chinese sub categories. These are G, L, F, X, J, C, Z, and D.

One expat shared his travails with the use and length of a Chinese visa in Rest of the World Expat Forum last August 11, 2009:

My job ended by mutual consent short of
one year, and my employer changed my visa into a one month tourist
visa, without telling me. I had to pay 1000RMB, and it almost
immediately expired. Now my new potential employer wants me to have a
legal tourist visa before they will sponsor a new work visa.


Chinese Visa Types

The following are the current visa types issued by the People’s Republic of China:

Chinese Tourist Visa


G Visa

G visas are for foreign nationals who transit through China. This is especially for visitors who will be traveling throughout China for short periods. It acts as an airport transit visa for a passage through China.

Travelers will have to show enough entry clearances for their destination after they leave China. The requirements for this G visa are the following:

•    a valid round-trip ticket;
•    an original copy of the valid visa for the designated country; and
•    an original letter from the applicant’s company stating clear reasons for going to China.

L Visa

L visas are for applicants who enter China for family visits, tourism purposes, or other individual affairs. The L visa is among the various RoC visa types intended for visitors of China. It also offers single or double entry status.

The maximum length of stay under the L visa is 3 months. In all cases, applicants should travel to China within 3 months upon the grant of an entry clearance.

Business Visa


F visa

The F visa is given to applicants invited to China for research, business, conferences, scientific or technological purposes, cultural exchanges, and intern practice or short-term studies for a period of not more than 6 months.

Foreign nationals applying for business visas need to present proof of their invitation. This document may be in the form of a letter or fax from a government authorized company or Chinese government department. For Foreign nationals under the multiple entry visa, their invitation letters must be original copies.

The single entry or double entry visa is generally valid for entry in China within 3 months from the date of issuance. On the other hand, a multiple entry visa is normally issued according to official invitation letters for business visitors, and it is valid for six months. The requirements are the following:

•    an original invitation letter from the relevant Chinese authorized unit with a stamp and signature from the applicant’s business partner and sponsor in China;
•    original copy of incorporation certificate; and
•    original copy of the applicant’s passport.

X Visa

The X visa is issued for those who enter China for the purpose of intern practices or simply for studying for a period of more than 6 months. The requirements are an original copy of the Authorized department or the Chinese government’s JW202 form and an original admission note from the receiving school, university, or college with the signature of the dean stamped with the institution’s official seal.

J Visa

This type of visa is issued to foreign journalists. The J visa is divided into 2 visa categories. These are the J-1 Visa and the J-2 Visa.

Most J-1 visas are solely for foreign resident journalists in China, while J-2 visas are for foreign journalists on temporary or short-term news report missions within China.

C Visa

C visas are for crew members on international navigation, aviation, and land transportation missions. The C visa is also for family members accompanying the crew members mentioned above.

Z Visa

The Z visa is issued to applicants who take jobs or employment opportunities in China. Those who perform in China for entertainment and cultural purposes are also issued this type of visa.

Permanent Chinese Visa


D Visa

D visas are solely for foreign nationals applying for permanent residency in China. This type of visa qualifies an applicant for an indefinite stay or long-term stay that allows foreign nationals to work and live in China.

Chinese Immigration Act

The Chinese Immigration Act of 1923 or better known as the Chinese- Canadian community bans any form of Chinese immigration to Canada. This act excluded Chinese immigrants from arriving in Canada except for citizens who are:

•    Diplomats;
•    Merchants; and
•    Foreign Students.

The Chinese Immigration Act of 1885 issued head taxes on all Chinese immigrants entering Canada. The amount that they will need to pay is 50 US dollars before entering the country. The Chinese immigration act of 1885 was eventually issued in 1923. At present, the Chinese immigration Act of 1923 is also known as the Chinese Exclusion Act.

The Magnuson Act is also known as the Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act of 1943. This act is about immigration legislation as proposed by the United States. This act allows Chinese immigration and permitted Chinese nationals to become naturalized US citizens. Warren G. Magnuson signed this act and issued it on December 1943.

With the inclusion of Hong Kong and Macau as Special Administrative Regions, specific rules as to visas and immigration govern these areas under the aegis of the PRoC.

Living and Working Permits in China

An employment visa named a Z Visa is issued to an alien who comes to China for employment and covers the immediate family. The following are the requirements for a Z visa application:

1. A valid passport as well as a copy of its information page: Your valid passport must have at least six (6) months of remaining validity with at least one blank visa page in it.
2. Application form: One completed  Visa Application Form (Q1)
3. Photo: one recent photo of 2*2 square inch (black & white or color is acceptable) glued or stapled on the application form.
4.Temporary foreign visitors with a valid US visa or foreign residents with legitimate status in the United States may apply for Chinese visa to the Visa Office of the Chinese Embassy. The visa officer may ask the applicant to provide the original and photocopy of their US Green Card, Work Permit,I-20 Form, valid US Visa or other additional documents and make a decision on whether to issue the visa case by case.
5. First time applicants whose former nationality was Chinese, shall write down his Chinese name in the application form and submit his original Chinese passport or the photocopy of the information page of the passport. Applicant who was formerly Chinese and has acquired a new US passport, if there is a Chinese visa in the old passport, shall submit his old US passport or the photocopy of the Chinese visa.
6. A visa notification issued by the authorized Chinese unit.
7. An originial and a photocopy of the Work Permit for Aliens issued by the Chinese Labor Ministry or the original of Foreign Expert's License issued by the Chinese Foreign Expert Bureau.
8. A visa notification issued by the authorized Chinese unit or proof of kinship, e.g. marriage certificate, birth certificate, etc, is required for the accompanying family members.

The applicant worker must acquire a residence permit, a health permit, and a business or work visa from the Chinese Immigration government or an authorized Chinese government to live and work in this country. Each member of the family planning to reside in China needs to acquire a visa and residence permit.

Work permit

The skilled foreigner intending to work within the Chinese labor market must obtain the work permit of foreign experts. A foreigner without the work permit of foreign experts must not gain employment with the identity of foreign experts. The skilled foreign worker must apply for a work permit in the Chinese immigration government office. Before foreign nationals apply, they must observe Chinese rules and regulations. Applicants must not have any criminal records, and they must also be fit to work. Applicants must also be healthy as certified by accredited medical professionals and institutions. This means the Chinese government requires any foreign worker to submit certified health documents.

The foreign individual with skills and work experience in the management or technical industries and employed in China in line with the international organization agreements among others are issued this visa type. Applicants hired in this type of work must provide relevant copies of approval documents or project agreements.

Skilled foreigners employed in general education, press, scientific education, culture, publication and sports must present 2 copies of a qualification certificate. These documents should both be photocopies and originals from employers. This also goes for contracts signed by employers.

Senior skilled foreigners hired within big companies in China should provide a copy of a hiring contract or an appointment letter and the business license of the company.

Professional skilled foreigners with specialized skills and hired to work on the field of technology, economy, trade, engineering, accounting, finance, tourism and taxation in China must present copies of their hiring contract or agreement.