Chinese Tourist Visas

Most nationalities require a visa to enter China. Our company assists with tourists visas only and all relevant visa fees are included in the cost of your holiday. For overseas customers not residing in the UK we will provide official visa support documents accepted by Chinese Embassies worldwide and you will need to apply in the local Chinese consulate.

We are afraid we will not be able to help with any other types of Chinese visas, e.g. business, humanitarian, residence, study etc. Please contact your local Chinese consulate for more details.

Please note you can apply for your Chinese visa NO EARLIER THAN THREE MONTHS before your arrival date in China.

Biometric data - applicatons made in the UK
Note regarding applications made in the UK: from 01 December 2018 all applicants aged between 14 and 70 years (inclusive) need to visit the Chinese visa centre in London, Manchester or Edinburgh in person to provide their fingerprints (based on reciprocal arrangements between the UK and China). 

Visa exemption for transit passengers
From the 1st of January 2013 the Chinese government introduced a visa – free regime for transiting passengers through Beijing and Shanghai international airports. No visa is required if your stay in China is less then 72 hours and your destination is a third country, i.e. different from your arrival. Please see below for more details and rules.

Tibet permit
A special permit is required for all visitors to the Tibet region. To get a permit you must have confirmed tour arrangements in Tibet, not just a hotel booking.

If you have booked a tour to Tibet with us we will apply for all required permits on your behalf. We are afraid we cannot assist with permits to Tibet for travellers not booking any arrangements with our company.

Note on Tibet: please note that rules are subject to change any time and depending on the political situation the government may not allow any foreign visitors to Tibet at all. Based on our experience there were no problems getting Tibet permits for our groups in 2014.

Required documents for tourist visa for 30 days
  1. Passport with a validity date at least six months after intended departure date from China
  2. Completed visa application form
  3. Completed customer declaration form
  4. Inbound and outbound flight, ferry, train ticket from China if you are arranging your own transportation
  5. One passport size photo
Processing times
As a general rule you should allow about two weeks for your visas to be processed by the embassy. If you are applying for the Chinese tourist visa in the UK through our company please view our current processing times. Overseas customers should check the information with the relevant Chinese consulate.

Chinese tourist visa application guide
Once you book a tour we will email you our guidance notes on how to complete your Chinese tourist visa application form.

List of countries to benefit from the visa – free regime for transit passengers *
No visa will be required to enter China if all the rules detailed below are followed:
  • you must be a national of a country listed below;
  • you must hold a valid travel document;
  • you must have a transit flight ticket with a confirmed departure seat and date leaving within 72 hours;
  • you must transit to a third country and only via Beijing (Beijing Capital International airport) or Shanghai (Shanghai Pudong International airport and Hongqiao International airport).
LIST OF COUNTRIES TO BENEFIT FROM THE VISA – FREE REGIME FOR TRANSIT PASSENGERS*
Albania   Czech Republic Lithuania Russia
Argentina Denmark Luxembourg Serbia
Australia Estonia Macedonia Singapore
Austria Finland Malta Slovakia
Belgium France Mexico Slovenia
Bosnia and Herzegovina Germany Montenegro Spain
Brazil Greece Netherlands Sweden
Brunei Hungary  New Zealand Switzerland
Bulgaria Iceland Poland Ukraine
Canada Ireland Portugal United Arab Emirates
Chile Italy Qatar United Kigdom
Croatia Japan Republic of Korea USA
Cyprus Latvia Romania
* Please note while our best effort has been made to compile the rules and the list of countries above, the regulations may change. We recommend to check the latest information on the Chinese embassy website of the country of your residence.