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Chinese Visa Issued in UK
This page concerns applications for a Chinese visa made in UK Only (July 2008)
The basic format is very similar to that made in any Western Country. However, the specific visa issued and especially 30-day stay restrictions normally apply

Type of Visa:-
There are three main categories of Chinese Visa:  
a. Tourist (L) 
b. Business (F)
c. Work Visa (Z)

See the Full List here

Tourist L type visa's
These notes only apply to a new Chinese visa issued in UK
Your first or original Chinese visa must be issued in your home Country.

Types of Tourist Visa

1. 3-month single or double entry

2. 6-month, 9-month multi-entry visa's
Note: These will have a 30-day maximum period of any stay

If this is your first application, you will normally only be granted a 3 or 6-month visa. Sometimes other variations may be available

3. Visiting Hong Kong or Macao
Both Hong Kong and Macao are Special Administrative Regions. If you plan to visit either during a stay in China, then you will need to re-enter China Mainland using one of your entry entitlements on each occasion.

4. Registering with Local Police
All foreigners visiting China must be registered with their local Police. This is usually done automatically via your hotel register.

If you are staying elsewhere - such as with friends, then you must do this yourself within 24-hours of entering China; in any major city, or within 72 hours in rural locations

You will need your passport:
   A photocopy of your:
   • Main passport page (The one with your photo)
   • Current visa
   • Entry stamp.
ii.  A passport type photo
iii. Your address in Chinese characters
iv. A Chinese speaker to help you complete the paperwork in Chinese characters
v.  If you know them already, this will take 10 minute
vi. If you don't know them, then you should allow sufficient time to find the correct 'Designated' Police Station to be in
vii. Even in major cities, most Police Stations only have one person dealing with Registration details, so expect them to only be open: Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, with 2 hours off for lunch
viii. You must do this!
The bonus is that instead of Officially having to carry your passport around with you anywhere in China, you only need carry the A4 size Registration Document instead

Business F Type Visa

You will need an Official Letter of Invitation
From a Chinese Company Approved to issue such Invitations.
b. Proof of your own Company existence and status may occasionally be required
c. Otherwise issue is mainly as above.

Please note:
The first Business visa will be for 6-months
2. Next you can obtain a 1-year visa
3. After 2 x 1-year visa's you can get a 2-year visa

Note: These will have a 30-day maximum period of any stay

Work Permit or Z Type Visa
This one is more complicated and circumstances vary a little. Synopsis:

1. You will normally have arranged employment in China before leaving UK
2. You will have received an Official Invitation to work in China from a Governmental body or Company Authorised to issue such work invitations
3. You will have been provided with the necessary paperwork in hardcopy form
4. You will receive your 'Z' visa before leaving UK

Variations include:
a. 'Z' visa issued in China after arrival = quite normal and acceptable if work arranged at short notice. Often applies to genuine teaching contracts
Note: In this instance 'Z' visa must be obtained within 30-days of entry
b. As above, but being told the position is 'only part-time', so an "L" or 'F' visa is fine.
  • No it is not!
  • You can only work in China on a 'Z' Visa'

  • Exceptions: 'D' visa (Chinese Residency)
Note: These will be permanent stay, multi-entry visa's

Help and Advice in China
If you subsequently need further current advice, or have found yourself in China with a visa problem
2. Or if you are a National of a Country that China does not classify as being a 'Developed Country'

For professional advice and the very latest information please contact Nancy Li immediately:

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  Nancy Li
2206 Citic Plaza, Guangzhou ... (Also Hong Kong & Shenzhen)
+86 020 2831 3523
+86 135 600 73294
+86 020 2831 3554 - 3523 and 020 2831 3556

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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