How to Get a Tourist Visa for China

China Tourist Visa

China Tourist Visa

China is becoming ever so popular for tourists, especially tourists from the United States.  Mandarin is one of those languages that I wished I had started as a little kid as I think it will be one of the most up and coming languages over the next century.

If you are interested in getting a tourist visa for China, the process is well documented.  Tourist visas (L Visa) are issued to an foreigners who come to China for sightseeing or visiting family members or friends or for other personal affairs.

You can NOT apply for a visa for China by mail, FedEx, DHL, UPS, internet, or any other method for the vast majority of Chinese embassies and consulates. In almost all cases, you MUST appear in person. If you can’t go to the consulate in person, use one of the visa agencies I recommend below to take care of your visa for you. As of the time of this writing, the only embassies that offer mail service are the Chinese Embassies in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Micronesia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and the UK.

  • Is a visa required for U.S. citizens: Yes, valid for 90 days from the date of issuance and allows stay in China for up to 30 days.
  • Is a visa required for non-U.S. citizens: If you are not a U.S. citizen, check this page here to see if you need a visa.

For some excellent information on the China tourist visa, check out Travel China Guide.

To view more Chinese visas, click here.

Find your consulate

Each consulate might require slightly different documents to apply for the visa. First, go to the website of the consulate that is responsible for your jurisdiction.

Find the visa page

Once at the homepage of your consulate, you will see a link somewhere on the homepage that says “Visas” or “Consular Information.” Click on the link.

Find your visa type

Continue to follow the links to find the information on the visa. You will normally see a link that either says “How to Apply for a Visa” or “How to Apply” or, simply, “Tourist Visa.” Gather the required documents.

An example of the required documents can be found here.

Submit documents and fees
  • Find out what fees you need to pay for the visa. The fees will be listed on your consulate website.
  • The consulates enable expedited processing of visas if you pay an additional fee.
  • Submit your documents and the fees to the consulate.
Receive your visa

Congratulations! After a period of waiting, the Chinese Consulate/Embassy will give to you your brand new Chinese visa.

China FAQ

Frequently asked questions on visas for China are answered here at the China Embassy website.

Vaccination information

Don’t get sick! Check vaccination requirements here at the CDC.

Further Reading

About Addison Sears-Collins

Hey! I'm Addison Sears-Collins, the founder of Visa Hunter. You can learn more about me here. Connect with me by liking my fan page on Facebook, connecting with me on Twitter, or check out my website Automatic Addison where I build robots and embedded systems. accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to the accuracy of the information contained on this site. Please read the Visitor Agreement and Disclaimer. If you think there is an error in the information, please bring it to our attention so that we can correct it. Also, some of the links above could be advertisements or affiliate links, which means that I will earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) should you decide to click on the links and make a purchase. I recommend sites from time to time, not because I earn money or get a tiny commission if you click on the affiliate links and make a purchase, but because, I want you to focus on the places that will deliver you the most value and the best results. Good luck!