Chinese Embassy Washington DC – 4 Easy Steps to Apply for China Tourist and Travel Visa
China is a vast landscape and if you happen to be traveling there, you’ll find some wonderful sights, sounds, and smells. The countryside is diverse with verdant grasslands and arid deserts. It also has a coastline of some 14,000 km where you’ll find some spectacular beaches and islands. Plus, its cities are a combination of modern and old – full of happy people and delicious food. It’s an experience not to be missed! In this article learn more about how to apply for China Visa at the Chinese embassy in Washington DC, China visa appointment booking, Processing time at the China visa application center, China Visa Application Process at the Washington DC embassy, itinerary or air ticket booking or flight reservation without paying for the ticket, Chinese visa types, Hotel reservation or proof of accommodation.
If you are a national of the following countries, you do NOT need a visa to enter China for the maximum number of days permitted:
- 90 days – Bosnia and Herzegovina, San Marino
- 60 days – Mauritius
- 30 days – Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Ecuador, Fiji, Grenada, Qatar, Serbia, Seychelles, Tonga, United Arab Emirates
- 15 days – Brunei, Japan, Singapore
Holders of passports for public affairs and ordinary passports which are endorsed for public affairs also do NOT need a visa for China:
Please take note of the regulations for each country (if applicable)
1 – Visa exempt
2 – Visa-free only for holders of E-passports
3 – Visa-free for holders of passports for public affairs and/or official trip
4 – Visa-free for holders of passports for public affairs with AB category and validity date
If you are traveling in a tour group accompanied by an agent of a tour company, you are permitted to enter China for a maximum of 30 days. In order to obtain visa-free entry in this circumstance, you must be from the following countries and the tour company must be registered in both countries:
Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Turkmenistan
All other nationalities must arrange a visa prior to arriving in China. You can do this through the Chinese Embassy in Washington as long as you live within its jurisdiction of
Washington DC, Delaware, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming.
Types of visas for China
When choosing the correct type of visa, you must choose the right one. This will be determined by the purpose of your trip:
- D – If you wish to reside permanently in China
- F – If you want to go to China for exchanges, visits, study tours, and other non-business activities. Issued as single or double entry
- G – If you intend to transit through China (i.e. a change of plane en route to your final destination)
- J1 – For foreign journalists of foreign news organizations stationed in China (for stays of more than 180 days)
- J2 – For foreign journalists who intend to go to China for short-term news coverage (maximum 180 days)
- L – This is for tourism purposes. Issued as single, double, or multiple entry
- M – For those interested in commercial or trade activities. Issued as single, double, or multiple entry
- Q1 – For family reunification with Chinese citizens or foreigners with Chinese permanent residence for more than 180 days. Issued as a single entry, but the required residence permit, which must be applied for, is valid for multiple entries
- Q2 – For family reunification with Chinese citizens or foreigners with permanent residence for a maximum of 180 days. Issued as multiple entry
- R – If you have high-level talents or whose skills are needed in China
- S1 – If you are the spouse, parent, son or daughter under the age of 18 or parents-in-law of someone who is working or studying in China OR to those who intend to go to China for other private affairs for more than 180 days. Issued as a single entry. You must apply for a residence permit in China which is good for multiple entries
- S2 – If you are the spouse, parent, son or daughter under the age of 18 or parents-in-law of someone who is working or studying in China OR those who intend to go to China for other private affairs for a maximum of 180 days. Issued as multiple entry
- X1 – If you wish to study for more than 180 days. Issued as multiple entry
- X2 – If you wish to study for a maximum of 180 days. Issued as a single entry
- Z – If you wish to work in China. Issued as a single entry only. Once inside China, you may apply for a residence permit which is good for multiple entries
China visas are usually issued as:
- Single entry – valid for 3-6 months
- Double entry – valid for 6 months
- Multiple entry – valid for 6 or 12 months
The validity of these visas means that you must enter China within the timescales. If you don’t, you will not be able to enter China and you will have to apply for a new visa.
Applying for China visa from the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC
To apply for your China visa, go to the Chinese Embassy’s website and click on: “Consular services”:
This page will give you everything you need to know about applying for your China visa:
The Chinese Embassy in Washington takes around 4 working days to process your China visa application. They also offer an express service which means your application could be dealt within 2-3 working days. Also, rush processing is available which takes just 1 working day, but this service is for emergency situations only and must be approved by the consular office. There will be an additional fee for express and rush processing.
You should be aware that although the embassy aims to process applications within the above timescales, it could take longer depending on your nationality and the type of visa you are applying for. Therefore, it’s advisable to apply at least 1 month prior to your intended departure date. You can apply up to 3 months beforehand, so the earlier the better!
To assist you in applying for your China visa through the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC here are 4 steps to follow. Unlike other embassies, there is no need to make an appointment to submit your file, so the first thing you need to do is to complete your application form.
Step 1: Complete your application form
You will find the application form on the embassy’s website, so go to www.china-embassy.org/eng/visas, click on: “Consular services” and on the following page you will find the application form:
Click on the link and you will be directed to the same website, but in the Chinese language:
Click on where it says: “Visa application form V2013” and you will find the application form for you to complete:
It is very important to note that only typed applications are accepted, so you must download the form and complete it on your computer before printing and signing it. Handwritten forms are not accepted.
Step 2: Get your documents ready
You must prepare all the supporting documents you need to submit along with your application form. If you fail to comply with ALL the requirements the embassy will reject your application, so it’s a good idea to look at the embassy’s website to get an idea of the documents you need before you start this step.
In addition, you need to submit original documents and photocopies of everything, so remember to do that too.
Documents you need to get ready are:
1) Signed passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the return date of your trip and 2 blank visa pages. You also need to provide a copy of the data and photo page (if separate)
2) Visa application form NOT handwritten and fully completed and signed
3) 1 x photo on glossy photo paper and glued to the application form. Take a look at the guidelines for acceptable photos
4) Proof of legal stay or residence status for non-US citizens
5) Previous Chinese visas and/or passports – for those who were Chinese citizens who have now obtained foreign citizenship
7) Round trip flight ticket and itinerary – It is highly recommended to not purchase the ticket until the visa is issued.
8) Invitation letter from the company or individual – confirming applicant’s and inviting person’s details and itinerary in China
9) Onward air, train, or ship ticket confirming transport to the destination country
10) Confirmation of participation in any type of event
11) Chinese host’s ID and residence permit
12) Birth/marriage certificate
13) Proof of student enrollment and/or admission notice
14) Parent’s passports and proof of parental consent for minors
15) Work permit
16) Bank statements and/or tax returns
If you’re planning to obtain your flight reservation for visa without paying for the ticket, all you have to do is follow the 3 simple steps below:
- Visit the Visa Reservation website to choose the right package
- Submit the travel details and make the payment online
- Receive flight itinerary in email
Step 3: Submit your application
You cannot apply for your China visa by mail, online or fax, so you need to submit your file in person.
As you don’t need to make an appointment when you submit your application, all you need to do is arrive at the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC during its office hours:
Monday to Friday – 9.30 am – 2.30 pm
There are a couple of things to remember about this part of the process:
- Dress the part – even though you are simply handing over your documents, the embassy may well wish to talk to you about your application, so dress smartly in case they wish to interview you. It really helps to make a good impression in front of the visa officials
- Remember your documents – failure to do this will result in your application being rejected and this will delay things for you until you can provide everything the embassy requires
The staff will look over your application and if they wish to confirm anything with you, they could ask you additional questions like:
- What is the purpose of your trip?
- Have you ever been to China before?
- Are you meeting anyone there?
- Can you tell me details about the company you are working for?
- What do you do in the US?
Don’t worry if they do this. They need all the information from you if they are going to make a decision about your visa, so answer precisely and confidently.
You will also pay the fee for your visa. The embassy in Washington accepts payments by credit card (Visa or MasterCard), money order, cashier’s check or company check payable to “Chinese Embassy”.
The fee is usually paid when you go to collect your visa once it has been processed. Even if your application is rejected, the fee will not be refunded to you.
China Visa Fee
Number of entries
|Multiple entry for 6 months||$140|
|Multiple entry for 12 months or more||$140|
- Express service: an additional fee $25 per visa
- Rush service: an additional fee of $37 per visa
You may also have to provide biometric data in the form of a scan of your fingerprints and a digital photo.
Step 4: Receive your visa
When your China visa application has been processed and a decision made, you will be notified and you can collect your passport from the office of the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC. Please note, they cannot return your passport by mail as they do not offer this service.
You should find your new China visa attached to your passport, but, if it isn’t, your application could have been rejected. Common reasons why visas get rejected are:
- Not provided a typed application form
- Missing documents
- No signatures
- Applied at the wrong embassy
- Invalid passport
You must check the jurisdiction of the Chinese embassy you wish to deal with to ensure you are applying at the correct one. The application form CANNOT be handwritten, so you should type the details into the sections before printing and you must ensure that the application, and any other relevant documents, are signed. Your passport should be valid and meet the regulations and you must provide ALL the necessary documents to the embassy, otherwise, they simply cannot make a decision about whether to grant your visa.
Contact details of the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC
Address: 2201 Wisconsin Avenue, NW Suite 110, Washington, DC 20007
Monday to Friday, 9.30 am – 2.30 pm (Application submissions)
Monday to Friday, 9.30 am – 12.30 pm and 1.30 pm – 2.30 pm (Passport pick-ups)
1) Do I need a visa for China?
Unless you are a national of any of the countries that are permitted to enter China without a visa (see above), then you do need a visa for China?
2) How can I understand my China visa?
3) Do I have to make an appointment to submit my visa application?
No. The Chinese Embassy in Washington DC does not require that applicants make an appointment. You can just walk in during their submission opening hours
4) I am applying at the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC, can I send in my visa application by mail?
No. You must appear in person when you submit your application
5) Can I get my visa application processed in 1 day?
Possibly, but it depends on your circumstances. The embassy offers rush processing, which takes 1 business day to process your application, but this is only offered in emergency situations
6) Is there a reduced fee payable if I am not from the US?
Yes. If you are a non-US citizen there will be a lower fee to pay. Check the embassy’s website for details
7) My China visa was issued on 27 January. How long is it valid for?
It depends on the type of visa, but, generally, approved visas are valid for 3-12 months
8) If I get a tourist visa, can I work in China?
No, employment on a tourist visa is prohibited. You must apply for a Z type visa
All you have to do to apply for your China visa at the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC is:
- Complete your application form
- Get your documents ready
- Submit your application
- Receive your visa
When you get your passport back with your China visa inside, there is nothing else to do but pack for your incredible odyssey to China!
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