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How to Apply For A Chinese Student Visa, Tourist Visa, or Work Visa

To enter China, you will need a Visa. It’s a legal requirement to enter any foreign country. So, let’s take a look at how to get different types of Chinese Visas.

Just like with other countries, there are many details you have to pay attention to to get a Chinese Visa, Here, , we will focus on three main types of Chinese Visas: Student, Tourist, and Work Visas.

Disclaimer: This is just a general guide, and you should check the real-time Visa information from the Chinese Embassy of your home country.

1. Student Visa



  • Check if you need to make an appointment online before taking all your materials to the local Chinese Embassy.
  • Medical Check: you can do it either in your own country or in China. If you have already made the check in your own country, you might need to redo some parts of it again in China.
  • Residency Registration: when coming in China, you should register your residence at the local police station, and then they will provide you documentation; if you live in the university, you can ask your school to provide documentation to prove that you have a dorm.

2. Tourist Visa





  • This is easiest one among the three types, but the days you can stay in China are also the shortest.
  • When traveling to Hongkong and Macau, some countries’ citizens are allowed entry free of a Visa; please click here(Hongkong and Macau) to know the details. Otherwise, you need to apply for another two Visas for them. Please check your local Chinese Embassy Website to find out how.

3. Working Visa

This one is quite difficult to apply for, and China has made some big changes in their Work Permit Policy, so I suggest you learn some basic information about this new policy.

Below is the general process you should follow. However, before starting, I want to remind you again to check the details from the local Chinese Embassy websites or consult some Visa counselors.









  • You need another Health Check after arriving in China, even if you may have already done one in your own country.
  • For the Residency registration documentation, you need to register in the local Police Office first, then they will give you the documentation.
  • For the Alien Employment License, you need to prepare all the materials and then send them to the company you’ll work at in China.

It will also be much more useful and better for you to get a Recommendation Letter from your former employer when applying for the Alien Employment License.

  • After arriving in China, the company will usually arrange for someone to guide you to do all that I mentioned above.
  • For more details in applying for the Alien Employment License, please consult your local Chinese Embassy or your company. For more details about Work Permits and Temporary Residency Permits, please consult your local Public Security Bureau, because different provinces have released their own policies for foreigners working there.

So, this is the general guide for how to apply for three different Chinese Visas. Again, you should make sure of any other specific details in your own country by checking with the Chinese Embassies there. Below are some useful resources which I hope can help you as well. Good luck!


Official Websites:

  1. 中华人民共和国中央人民政府(The State Council The People’s Republic of China):

You can find the information like residence, marriage, education, work, investment etc. here:

  1. 中国领事服务网:

You can find different language versions of Visa Applications here:

  1. 北京市公安局(Beijing Public Security Bureau):
  2. 上海市公安局(Shanghai Public Security Bureau):

(One thing I want to mention is most of the Official Websites in China now are connected with mobile platforms like Wechat or Weibo. So, if you want, you can also add these platforms  and consult in advance online.)


How to fill out the Visa Application:


Video Resources

Student Visa:

Tourist Visa:

Work Visa:

(The last video was posted recently, and it gives informationabout the latest Work Visa policy.)

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Cecilia He

Cecilia majored in teaching Chinese as a foreign language. She has vast experience in educating her students on how to listen to and speak Chinese, and is trained to teach HSK courses. She has mastered the method and practice of teaching the structure, historical development, and relationships of languages as an academic subject, and has also done extensive research on Intercultural Communication and Sinology.

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