China Travel Requirements
A valid passport and China travel visa
are required to enter and exit China and must be obtained from Chinese Embassies and Consulates before traveling to China
. You can do this yourself or request expedited China visa courier service through a company such as Travel Visa Pro
Americans arriving without valid passports and
the appropriate Chinese visa are not permitted to enter and will be
subject to a fine and immediate deportation at the traveler's expense.
Travelers should not rely on Chinese host organizations claiming to be
able to arrange a visa upon arrival. Chinese authorities have recently
tightened their visa issuance policy, in some cases requiring personal
interviews of American citizens.
Americans traveling to China may apply for a multi-entry visa
valid for up to 10 years. However, there are cases when the
validity is shorter than was requested or expected. To avoid such
situation, China visa applicants are advised to have at least a year's
validity for U.S. passport. A multiple-entry visa is a requirement
especially if you are planning to visit Macau
and/or Hong Kong
and return to China after.
All foreigners (including temporary residents) must register within 24
hours of their arrival. Checking in at hotel ensures automatic
registration, but other visitors should register in person at the
nearest police station. If you leave the country at any time, you must
re-register upon re-entry.
Visas are not required of aliens who hold air tickets to the final
destination, have booked seats on international airliners flying
directly through China, and will stay in a transit city for less than
24 hours without leaving the airport. Persons transiting China on the
way to and from Mongolia or North Korea or who plan to re-enter China
from the Hong Kong or Macau Special Administrative Regions should be
sure to obtain visas allowing more than one entry.
Permits are required to visit Tibet
as well as many remote areas not normally open to foreigners. A travel
permit for Tibet can be obtained through local travel agents. Permits
cost approximately renminbi (RMB) 200, are single-entry and valid for
at most three months. Most areas in Tibet are not open for foreigners
except Lhasa City and part of Shan Nan. Foreigners can be fined, taken
into custody, and deported for visiting restricted areas without
For information about entry requirements and restricted areas,
travelers may consult the Visa Office of the Embassy of China (PRC) at
Room 110, 2201 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20007. For a list of
services and frequently asked visa questions and answers, travelers can
view the Chinese Embassy's web site
In July 2007, the Chinese government tightened its regulations for
altering or renewing visas for individuals already in China. Visitors
can no longer change tourist (L) and exchange (F) -type visas to other
types and many applications must now be completed in person. There have
also been reports that entry and exit violations are being more
strictly enforced, with recent reports of police, school administrators
and hotel staff checking to ensure that individuals have not overstayed
Americans who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their Chinese
visas will be subject to a maximum fine of 5,000 RMB, departure delays
and may be subject to detention. Travelers should note that
international flights departing China are routinely overbooked, making
reconfirmation of departure reservations and early airport check-in
Americans are also required to have an exit visa to leave China.
Americans who lose a passport must immediately report the incident to
local Chinese authorities and take into consideration the time needed
to get a new passport and a new visa. Visa issuances can take as long
as 7 business days, depending on the locality where you lost it.
In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments
have initiated new procedures at entry/ exit points. These often
include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission
for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian if they are
not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required,
may facilitate entry/departure.
Dual national Americans, particularly those with dual Chinese and
American nationality, should realize that entering China using their
non-U.S. passport could mean that the Chinese Government may not afford
them the consular protections to which they are entitled. While the
U.S. Government will offer consular services to all U.S. citizens
regardless of dual nationality, use of other than a U.S. passport to
enter China can make it difficult for U.S. Consuls to assist dual
national Americans who have been arrested or who have other concerns
with the Chinese Government.
China does not recognize dual citizenship. U.S. Embassy and Consulate
officials are often denied access to arrested or detained Americans who
do not enter China using their U.S. passport. Lawful Permanent
Residents of the United States who do not carry unexpired or otherwise
clear evidence that they may re-enter the United States will encounter
delays departing from China. Lawful Permanent Residents should renew
and update U.S. residence documentation prior to their departure from
the United States.
Apply online for courier service to expedite Chinese visa
Expedite Your Passport Now!
Click to Call for Expedited Service!
IMPORTANT: The foreign entry requirements listed here were obtained
from foreign embassies or consulates. This information is subject to
change. Verify the data with the consular officials of the countries
you plan to visit well in advance. For further information, see our embassy list