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Foreign citizens must obtain a visa before entering China, with the exception of visa-free entry based on relevant agreements or regulations. Foreign citizens that fall into categories of Article 22 of the Exit and Entry Law of the People's Republic of China are qualified to apply for port visas from visa-issuing authorities entrusted by the Ministry of Public Security at a port of entry approved to issue port visas by the State Council.

China ordinary visas are further divided into 12 sub-types or 16 categories. Most common ones are L, M, X1, X2, Z, F, J1 and J2, others are Q1, Q2, S1 and S2 visas. Visa Validity, Entries and duration of each stay will be different for each type, different nationalities and different persons.

L is for foreigners who intend to go to China as a tourist; M is for foreigners who intend to go to China for commercial and trade activities; X1 and X2 are for foreigners who intend to study in China Z is for foreigners who intend to work in China; F is for foreigners who intend to go to China for exchanges, visits, study tours and other non-business activities; J1 and J2 are for resident foreign journalists of foreign news organizations stationed in China.

Q1 and Q2 are foreigners who are family members* of Chinese citizens or of foreigners with Chinese permanent residence and intend to go to China for family reunion, or to those who intend to go to China for the purpose of foster care.

L and M visas also can be applied in Hongkong, but depending on different nationalities and different persons.

A holder of category D, J1, Q1, S1, X1 or Z visa must apply for a residence permit at the local public security authorities within 30 days of entry into China unless the duration of Each Stay on the visa is marked as 30 days.

Documents and requirements are totally different for different visa types, nationalities, persons. We recommend professional visa services companies to make your China visa application more convenient and comfortable.

There are a few places in which you can apply for visas in Hong Kong and receive tourist or business visas that usually take 1 to 3 days to do. Although usually you cannot get long term business or tourist visas you can get 6 months sometimes, this all depends on the immigration rules at the time of applying. Foreigner Home Service Visa Department and Shenzhen Zix Consulting Co., Ltd are also good agencies to try.

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