FAQ: China's Port Visa & Visa on Arrival

By That's, March 12, 2024

0 0

In the past year, the Chinese government has steadily expanded its list of visa-free entry countries. Have you benefited from visa-free entry to visit China? 

If obtaining a visa has been a major obstacle to your visit to China, besides visa-free entry, China also implements 72/144-hour visa-free policies for nationals of 54 countries, and the related port visa and visa on arrival options are also excellent choices.

What are the differences between a port visa and a visa on arrival? 

The Chinese National Immigration Administration has provided official answers to common questions. 

Here's a breakdown of the FAQ:

Q1: Do China's port visas equal the commonly known "visas on arrival"? Which ports are authorized to issue port visas?

A: China's port visas are similar to the 'visas on arrival' of some other countries. 

The term refers to a method to apply for visas, rather than a specific visa type like 'business visa' or 'tourist visa'. 

Every country sets corresponding application conditions and processing procedures according to its laws for foreign nationals to apply for visas in this way.

According to Chinese laws and regulations, foreign nationals holding ordinary passports, with urgent needs to enter China but no time to apply for visas at Chinese embassies or consulates abroad, can apply for port visas for entry. 

They can submit applications in advance to port visa authorities or apply on site upon arrival at ports in China.

To facilitate applications and avoid situations where applicants are unable to obtain approval for entry, it is recommended that applicants submit applications in advance to obtain preliminary approval from port visa authorities before applying for visas at corresponding ports. 

Port visa services are available at 99 ports in 72 cities nationwide.

Q2: What are the "situations of urgent needs of entering China" that are eligible to apply for Chinese port visas?

A: Any foreign ordinary passport holder with urgent needs for business cooperation, visits, investment, entrepreneurship, visiting relatives, handling private affairs, or humanitarian reasons like attending funerals or visiting critically ill patients can apply for a port visa in China.

Q3: What documents are required to apply for a port visa in China?

A: Foreign nationals need to submit a valid passport or other international travel documents, along with relevant supporting documents evidencing the urgent reasons for entry. 

Supporting documents may include invitation letters explaining business purposes, details of emergencies, and main itinerary arrangements, as well as relevant proof of emergencies.

Q4: What types of visas can be extended, renewed, and re-issued for foreign nationals in China?

A: Foreign nationals coming to China for short-term non-diplomatic and non-official activities can apply for the extension, renewal, and re-issuance of business visas (M visas), visit visas (F visas), short-term private affair visas (S2 visas), short-term family visit visas (Q2 visas), and tourist visas (L visas).

Q5: How to apply for group tourist port visas?

A: Chinese travel agencies organizing foreign tourist groups must submit invitation letters, personnel lists, and tourist reception plans to relevant port visa authorities in advance. 

These tourist groups can enter and exit from all open ports in China.

Visa-Free Travel to China

As China continues to expand its list of countries eligible for visa-free entry, many readers planning trips to the People's Republic of China have raised numerous queries regarding this policy. 

In response to these questions, the Chinese National Immigration Administration has provided official clarifications on various aspects.

For answers to common questions about China's visa-free travel policy and more information on recent developments, please click the link below:

READ MORE: Your Questions on China's Visa-Free Travel Answered

Have you recently entered China through a visa exemption policy? We welcome you to share your experiences with us. 

For all the latest China travel stories and updates, follow our WeChat official account, ThatsGBA.

[Cover image by Billy Jiang/That's]

more news

China Extends Visa Exemptions Until End of 2025

Good news for European (and Malaysian) travelers!

China Welcomes Over 1.98 Million Visa-Free Visitors in Q1

More and more international travelers to enter China.

Travel Gossip: China-US Flights Increase to 100 a Week

Ticket prices have begun to drop!

China Visa-Free Entry Countries – The Full List!

Does your nation cut the mustard?

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at Thats_Shanghai for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Shanghai With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Shanghai!

Visit the archives