There are two major categories of China Visa: ordinary visas and diplomatic visas. There are many types under the ordinary visa category, including the L visa, F visa, M visa, Z visa, X1 visa, X2 visa, C visa, J1 visa, and J2 visa. Others include the G visa, D visa, Q1 visa, Q2 Visa, S1 Visa, S2 Visa, and R visa.
Tourist Visa (L Visa)
Foreigners who wish to enter China for tourism purposes will need an L visa, which has a duration of between 30 and 90 days. The visa can also be on a multiple entry, double-entry, or single entry basis. Canada and U.S. citizens may qualify for a multiple entry tourist visa valid for ten years.
Non Commercial Visit Visa (F Visa)
People visiting China for various purposes like research, lectures, cultural interest, and other non-commercial purposes qualify for this visa. The F visa was once known as the Chinese Business visa and accommodated lots of activities. This was later changed to an M visa. The visa duration is between 30 and 90 days, with single and double-entry options available.
Business Visa (M Visa)
Foreigners entering Chinese soil for all forms of business activities and trade need to get the M visa. To qualify for this visa, the applicant must not be employed by a Chinese firm and has to be an individual who spends less than a year on business visits.
Work Visa (Z Visa )
The Z visa is also known as a Work visa. Foreigners interested in taking up job offers in China, alongside their family members, qualify for this visa. It is a common visa type since foreigners can enter China with their family members. Non-citizens employed by any Chinese firm can apply for a Work visa. The visa is issued upon entry, and all necessary documents must be submitted by the relevant government agencies, employers, and all related departments. X Visa (Student Visa)
Students who wish to study or have their field of research work in China will go for an X visa. The visa does not come with a work permit. However, upon certification from the school and other authorities, students qualify for an internship.
X1 Visa – Students requiring 180 days study period or more.
X2 Visa – Students requiring 180 days study period or less.
Crew Member Visa (C Visa)
Crew members, alongside their family, on land transport assignment, international aviation, etc., qualify for a C visa.
Journalist Visa (J Visa)
International journalists that will like to temporarily or permanently work in China can apply for a J Visa.
J1- Visa: This is for an international journalist working in China for a minimum of one year.
J2 Visa: This is for foreign journalists on a temporal mission on Chinese soil for up to 30 days.
Residence Visa (D Visa)
Foreigners who wish to permanently reside in China need to apply for this visa. It is also called the Chinese green card.
Visa for Personal Visit (Q Visa)
Foreigners with family members who are Chinese citizens can apply for the Q visa to visit their relatives. Also, foreigners with Chinese Spouse who wish to visit for whatever reason can apply.
Q1 Visa: Family members and relatives of Chinese nationals that want to be in China for over 180 days will apply for this visa. It comes with a single entry, and the holder needs to make an application for a residency permit within 30 days of getting to China.
Q2 Visa: Family members and relatives of Chinese citizens on a temporary visit to China need to apply for the Q2 Visa. It can be a multiple entry visa and comes with 180 days of stay per visit. U.S. and Canadian citizens can get up to 10 years.
Relatives of Foreigners (S Visa)
Relatives and family members of foreigners studying or working in China can apply for the S Visa.
S1 Visa: This guarantees a stay above 180 days. It is a single entry visa, and applicants must file for their residence permit on entry.
S2 Visa: This applies to a stay duration of less than 180 days. It can be a multiple entry visa with an entry stay of up to 180 days per visit. Canadian and U.S. citizens can get up to 10 years.
Highly Qualified Persons (R Visa)
Highly qualified people with skills in high demand can apply for the R Visa. The eligible applicant can get multiple entry R visas for five or as many as ten years. Relatives (spouse and kids) of such visa holders can enter China on the R Visa.
Diplomatic and Service Visa
International government officials, U.N. members, and staff on diplomatic missions entering China for accreditation or official mission will apply for this visa.