How many kinds of visas does China have?

(safea.gov.cn)

Updated: 2013-09-26

A Chinese visa is a permit that Chinese visa authorities issue to aliens for entering, exiting and transiting through the country, in accordance to related laws.

The Chinese visa authorities are Chinese embassies, consulates, offices of the commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, and other offices authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China. Their counterparts in the Chinese mainland are the Public Security Ministry and local branches authorized by the ministry.

The Chinese visa authorities may issue a Diplomatic, Courtesy, Official or Regular Visa to an alien according to his/her status, purpose of visit to China, or passport type.

Regular Visas consist of eight sub-categories, which are respectively marked D, Z, X, F, L, G, C, J-1 and J-2.

D: or residential visa, issued to an alien who comes to reside permanently in China

Z: or employment visa, issued to an alien who comes to China for a post or employment, and to his or her accompanying family members

X: or student visa, issued to an alien who comes to China for study, advanced studies or intern practice for a period of more than six months

F: or business visa, issued to an alien invited to China for a visit, an investigation, a lecture, or for business, scientific and technological, and culture exchanges, as well as short-term advanced studies or internship, for a period of no more than six months

L: or tourist visa, issued to an alien who comes to China for sightseeing or visiting family members or friends, or for other personal affairs

G: or transit visa, issued to an alien who transits through China

C: or crew visa, issued to crewmembers working on board international trains, airliners or vessels to China

J-1: issued to resident foreign correspondents

J-2: issued to foreign correspondents or related personnel who come to China for short-term news coverage

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