Information on Chinese visas for South Africans travelling to China

Information on Chinese visas for South Africans travelling to China
Information on Chinese visas for South Africans travelling to China

Intergate, in conjunction with SATravelbug, offers a bespoke Chinese visa service that provides advice, compilation of the application, submission and return.

What is a Chinese visa?

A Chinese travel visa in a valid passport are required documents for entering into the mainland. It allows for foreign citizens entry into, exit from or transit through the territory of China. If you arrive without a valid travel visa, you will not be allowed to enter, may be fined and will be immediately deported at your own expense. In fact, without a proper visa, the airline will most likely not allow you to board.

For what purposes can I obtain a Chinese Visa?

Chinese visas fall into four types: diplomatic visa, courtesy visa, service visa and ordinary visa. Ordinary visa is further divided into the following 16 categories:

  1. C Visa: Issued to foreign crew members of means of international transportation, including aircraft, trains and ships, or motor vehicle drivers engaged in cross-border transport activities, or to the accompanying family members of the crew members of the above-mentioned ships.
  2. D Visa: Issued to those who intend to reside in China permanently.
  3. F Visa: Issued to those who intend to go to China for exchanges, visits, study tours and other activities.
  4. G Visa: Issued to those who intend to transit through China.
  5. J1 Visa: Issued to resident foreign journalists of foreign news organisations stationed in China. The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days.
  6. J2 Visa: Issued to foreign journalists who intend to go to China for short-term news coverage. The intended duration of stay in China is no more than 180 days.
  7. L Visa: Issued to those who intend to go to China as a tourist.
  8. M Visa: Issued to those who intend to go to China for commercial and trade activities.
  9. Q1 Visa: Issued to those who are family members of Chinese citizens or of foreigners with Chinese permanent residence and intent to go to China for a family reunion, or to those who intend to go to China for the purpose of foster care. The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days.
  10. Q2 Visa: Issued to those who intend to visit their relatives who are Chinese citizens residing in China or foreigners with permanent residence in China. The intended duration of stay in China is no more than 180 days.
  11. R Visa: Issued to individuals who are considerd ‘high-level talents’ or whose skills are urgently needed in China.
  12. S1 Visa: Issued to those who intend to go to China to visit the foreigners working or studying in China to whom they are spouses, parents, sons or daughters under the age of 18 or parents-in-law, or to those who intend to go to China for other private affairs. The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days.
  13. S2 Visa: Issued to those who intend to visit their family members who are foreigners working or studying in China, or to those who intend to go to China for other private matters. The intended duration of stay in China is no more than 180 days.
  14. X1 Visa: Issued to those who intend to study in China for a period of more than 180 days.
  15. X2 Visa: Issued to those who intend to study in China for a period of no more than 180 days.
  16. Z Visa: Issued to those who intend to work in China.

Can I obtain a multiple Chinese visa?

A multiple entry Chinese visa will allow the holder several entries into the Chinese area, allowing you to return to the and then re-enter the Chinese area at a later date.

How do I apply for my visa?

A Chinese Visa is applied for at the Embassy or Consulate of the Chinese country or at a visa application centre.

Please note that applications for a Chinese Visa must be made prior to travelling.

Do I have to go in person to submit my Chinese visa application?

No – you don’t have to submit in person, but if sent with a courier the courier would have to submit at the counter. There is no drop and go facility.

Do I have pick up the visa in person?

Generally no – we will obtain the submission receipt you are provided on submitting your Chinese visa application from you and pick up your visa on your behalf.

How long will it take?

In general a visa application takes 4 working days but it should be remembered that timing and acceptance or rejection is at the discretion of the particular Chinese consulate or embassy. It is always good advice to apply well in advance.

For an extra fee the visa can be issued in one working day.

How long will my visa be valid for?

This varies depending upon the type of visa applied for and granted.

To contact our experts please use the form below:

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