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Chinese Visa - Types of Visa - Details
A Brief Introduction to the Chinese Visa :

The Chinese visa authorities may issue a Diplomatic, Courtesy, Service, or Ordinary Visa to a foreigner according to his/her: identity, purpose of visit to China, and passport type. The Ordinary Visa consists of eight sub-categories, which are respectively marked with the Chinese phonetic letters L, F, X, Z, G, C, J, and D.

1. L Visa: aka Tourist Visa
Issued to an applicant who comes to China for tourist purposes, family visiting or other personal affairs.

2. F Visa: aka Business Visa
Issued to an applicant who is invited to China for conference, research, lecture, business, scientific-technological and cultural exchanges or short-term studies or intern practice for a period of no more than six months.

Please Note: Rules for issue of Business Visa changed in 2008, and now a Company Letter of Invitation is not good enough - you need an Official Letter of Invitation issued by a Chinese Governmental Department or Authorised Company

3. X Visa: aka Student Visa
Issued to an applicant who comes to China for the purpose of studying or intern practice for more than six months.

4. Z Visa: aka Work Permit or Official Teaching Visa
Issued to an applicant who is to take up a post or employment in China, and his/her accompanying family members, and who is to conduct commercial performance in China.

Please Note: China is now adopting a USA style 'Green Card', by installments. Please do not confuse the D-Class visa, and the Z-Class visa - they are very different things. By 'Green Card', Chinese mean a Z visa only

5. G Visa: aka Transit Visa
Issued to those who transit through China.

6. C Visa: aka Crew Visa
Issued to crew members on international aviation, navigation and land transportation missions and family members accompanying them.

7. J Visa: aka Journalists Visa
Issued to foreign journalists. J Visa is subdivided into J-1 Visa and J-2 Visa.
J-1 Visa is issued to a foreign resident correspondent in China.
J-2 Visa is issued to a foreign correspondent on temporary short term news report mission in China.

8. D Visa: Issued to applicant who is to reside permanently in China (Normally 10-year validity).

Residency Permits (Versions). These are actually 'D' visa's - and usually apply to Foreign Chinese only, especially Hong Kong

9 . Diplomatic or Official Service Visa:
Issued to applicants who are visiting China for: Diplomatic, Armed Services, or other Official Governmental Capacity

Information on Visa to Hong Kong S.A.R. and Macao S.A.R.:

British citizens may visit Hong Kong for up to180 days without a visa, but visa is required for those to work, study, establish or join in any business or to take up residence. For visa requirements for foreign citizens, please visit the Hong Kong Immigration Department web site:

Citizens of U.K. and U.S. and other 53 countries may visit Macao without visas. Citizens from the other countries should apply for entry permit when they enter Macao. Please visit the Identification Department of Macao web site: for details.
This information is as supplied by the Chinese Embassy in UK, as dated 20th June 2008, and/or other reliable sources. Please check this information yourself as it may alter without notice, and whilst we try our best to ensure it is correct, please do not hold us responsible for any errors - this is intended as a simple guide only
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