Steps on Getting a China Tourist Visa


To be able to fly to China and appreciate all its wonders, the first step is to get a tourist visa, so you can take that much-needed vacation and explore the country’s must-visit destinations. 

A China visa is a must for travellers who want to visit the country. Although a visa on arrival is also available, it is not advised by authorities to use that because the latter is only applicable to passengers who are transiting through the airports in China. If you are in the course of your China tour, you need to have a tourist visa on your passport otherwise you will not be allowed entrance into the country.

China Tourist Visa: Where Do You Apply?

Getting a China tourist visa for the first time is exciting although a bit on the challenging side. You will have to follow a few steps in order to acquire the document that will enable you to go to the country. 

You will have to apply through the Chinese embassies, visa centres, or consulates located in the country where you live, though you can easily book an appointment online through the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre website. 

Important Links to Consider

When preparing for all the crucial documents you need for the tourist visa application, the list of links below should lead you to all the necessities you need to fill, complete, sign, and print out: 

How Do You Book an Appointment for a China Tourist Visa?

You will have to provide basic information like your name, date and place of birth, the country where you are a citizen and where you are staying, among others. The next step is to prepare the requirements for your China Visa. These requirements vary depending on the country you are applying from, but in the UK, you will need the following: 

  • A copy of your original passport, which needs to be valid for at least six months from the date of your application; 
  • A completed visa application form with an up-to-date passport photo; 
  • A copy of permanent residence or work permit, which should be valid for at least six months; 

The list above are some of the basics, but for special tours including self-driving, hiking, horse-riding, and other adventurous expeditions in China, you will need to get the approval of the China National Tourism Administration. You also need to get a visa notification issued by the Tourism Administration of the Tibet Autonomous Region if you are going on a tour to Tibet. 

China Tourist Visa (L): The Most Common Type of Visa for Tourists

The standard tourist visa in China is the L visa. It is exactly the same as the standard visa for business and commerce. The only difference is that the L visa is issued for tourism activities. You can get a visa valid for two-year multiple entries for British citizens, instead of the “three-month single entry” visa. 

How Long Does the Application for a China Tourist Visa Take?

If you have all the requirements ready, you can get your visa within three working days with the express service. It takes only five working days if you need the regular service. If you book this visa through the China Visa Application Service Centre, the application can be expedited and the visa can be issued in just 48 hours. 

The Bottom Line: Applying for a China Tourist Visa in the UK

If you want to visit China and experience everything it has to offer, you will need to acquire a visa and this is the first step. You can complete the process on your own by following the checklist, or the easier way to get this done is to book an appointment through the China Visa Application Service Centre. You can start planning your tour of China as soon as you get your visa.

Do You Need to Apply for a Visa in the UK?

If you are not certain what type of Chinese visa you need to enter China, or your UK visa is soon due to expire, we can help you make the right decision. Selecting the right visa is the very first step to planning your China tour. 

Our team of visa experts are here to answer any questions and guide you through the process. Get in touch with us and explore our visa legislation services in the UK!