Hello world, welcome to China
The draw of its incredible history, its colourful culture and breathtaking landscapes has helped to establish China as one of those travel destinations that millions have on their wish lists. Moreover, it has become a global force in the business world, attracting the expertise of foreign companies and professionals from all over the world.
Thanks to new visa policies and significant inroads made by the Chinese government to incentivize foreign investment, such as in Shenzhen, has become more accessible to all things foreign than ever before! But, some of these policies are not made equal for all foreigners, and some of them may differ according to one's nationality or purpose of visit.
Join us as we take a look an in-depth look at an extended FAQ concerning visa application for China PRD (Pearl River Delta) region below...
Extended FAQ-Visa application for China
1) Why do Chinese visas have so many different categories?
This helps consular officers to clearly identify what type of visa is best suited for an applicant’s intended purpose of visit to China.
2) What does the validity of the visa, number of entries and duration of stay mean?
- The validity of the visa is the amount of time within which the holder is permitted to enter China.
- The number of entries refers to the number of times one is able to enter China within the validity of the visa.
- The duration of stay is the longest period of time that a visa holder is allowed to stay in China on each visit (note that this is counted from the day following entry into China and overstaying is punishable by a fine of 500rmb/day, up until a maximum of 5000rmb).
3) When is the best time to submit a visa application?
To avoid the risk of one's visa becoming invalid when traveling to China, it is advisable to apply for a visa at least 2-3 weeks before the intended date of travel. This should leave one with more than enough time to stay within the validity of the visa from date of application and issuing.
4) Does having a valid visa to China guarantee one will be allowed to enter?
Having a valid visa does not guarantee entry into China. This will be decided by the Chinese Border Control authorities. Applicants traveling to China need to familiarize themselves with products prohibited from entering China, adhere to customs checks and present itineraries should they be requested.
5) Which nationalities are eligible for a 10 year multiple-entry visa?
Currently citizens from the US and Canada are eligible for these long-term visas.
6) Can I visit mainland China, check out Hong Kong/Macau and head back to China with a single-entry visa?
Both of these places are Special Administrative Regions and visiting either of them from China counts as an exit. In this case a double-entry visa is required.
7) Is it possible to apply for a tourist/business visa to China and change to a work visa in the China PRD region?
This is not possible. Applicants looking to process a work visa will need to supply the correct documentation to the relevant authorities and exit China to process a Z-visa in their native countries. Once this has been done applicants returning to the mainland will be required to process a temporary residence permit and go for an interview to obtain a residence permit
8) Which visa should the family of holders of a work visa (Z-visa) apply for?
Family members should apply for an S1 visa. Applicants are required to submit a copy of the main applicant's supporting paperwork, such as the Working Permit and Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Unit (Z-visa) and original Proof of Kinship.
9) What is an Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Unit or "invitation letter"?
The issuing of this document is necessary when processing visas of all kinds. It is applied for on your behalf by the individual/company/establishment that will oversee your stay in China, and it states things such as an applicants itinerary, visa type, length of stay, name of company, etc.
10) Can I extend my business visa in the China PRD region?
It is possible to extend one's business visa (M-visa) by submitting the relevant documents and fees to a consultancy such as Hongda Business Services. Inquire here!
That rounds up the first part of this ongoing blog series. Hongda Business Services will continue to publish new information as laws and regulations are updated and new policies are implemented!