Visa Requirements for Chinese Citizens
Visa requirements for Chinese citizens are the current rules and regulations applicable upon traveling abroad for all citizens of the People’s Republic of China.
Current visa requirements set by different destinations state that citizens of China must have a regular, Embassy-issued visa upon visiting 102 countries, an electronic visa obtained online when visiting 38 destinations, can obtain their visa upon arrival at 40 destinations, and are welcomed visa-free when visiting 32 countries.
The easiest way to travel is to travel without any visa required; however, only 32 countries offer such an option to Chinese passport holders. The second easiest option is to apply for an electronic visa online, which can easily be done a few days before the planned trip, with the processed document arriving at one’s email address.
The most difficult visa to obtain would be the Embassy-issued one since it usually requires numerous supporting documents and completing a lengthy application process at an Embassy in person.
Visa on Arrival on the other hand can be considered easy to obtain; however, is usually connected with the need to wait in long lines, preparations before departure, and stress of not having one’s visa until the very last minute.
Detailed information on each type of entry and visa available for Chinese passport holders, along with lists of countries and further requirements is available below.
An electronic visa is a short-term travel authorization document issued by foreign governments and obtained entirely online eliminating the troublesome Embassy visits. eVisas have been introduced to help speed up the visa application process, as well as to prescreen the incoming travelers prior to their entry to their country.
List of countries offering eVisas for Chinese citizens
- Ivory Coast
- Papua New Guinea
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Saudi Arabia
- South Sudan
38 countries make it possible for Chinese passport holders to obtain their visas online a few days before the planned departure. This solution helps Chinese citizens in getting the necessary travel authorization documents quickly and effortlessly.
All that’s usually needed to apply is a working device (e.g., a laptop, a phone, PC, or tablet), an internet connection, an active email address, a valid passport, and access to any online payment method.
The application process itself takes just a few minutes and can be completed anywhere at any time while the processing time is usually not longer than 72 hours.
The approved document then arrives directly at the applicant’s email address in the form of a PDF file, which can easily be printed. From that point on, the approved eVisa allows its holder to take a short-term trip abroad, typically of either 30, 60, or 90 days.
The electronic document may come in different types; however, it is most often suitable for a leisure, business, or transit-related trip, including:
- Going on vacation,
- Handling business or professional duties abroad,
- Meeting with friends and family,
- Negotiating contracts,
- Attending public events, trade fairs, seminars, or conferences,
- Taking a layover while transiting onto a final destination.
Visa on Arrival
A Visa on Arrival is a short-term travel authorization document that Chinese passport holders can obtain after arriving at the selected destination. Citizens of China who wish to travel with a VoA should complete the visa application process at one of the border checkpoints on arrival.
List of countries that offer a Visa on Arrival option for Chinese citizens
- Cape Verde
- The Maldives
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Saudi Arabia
- Sierra Leone
Chinese passport holders can obtain a Visa on Arrival upon visiting 40 countries without handling any type of visa prior to the planned departure. However, even though the actual visa application process can be skipped up until arrival, it does not totally eliminate preparations before departure.
Citizens of China who wish to get a Visa on Arrival should first check if there are any supporting documents they’d need to gather before departing to the selected destination.
The supporting documents may come in the form of confirmation of hotel bookings, proof of having sufficient funds for the stay, or a copy of one’s return ticket.
With a valid passport and any required supporting document on hand, Chinese citizens can depart to the country they want to visit and apply for a VoA there. Immediately after arrival, travelers should visit the closest border control checkpoint and ask for a VoA application form to fill.
Completed paperwork should be submitted at the border checkpoint and followed with additional steps (if any are required). Further steps may include covering the visa issuing fee (which may be required to be done in cash and using local currency) or further validating one’s purpose of visit.
Approved VoA allows its holder to stay abroad for a short period of time, usually 30, 60, or 90 days for leisure, business, or transit reasons.
An Embassy visa is a traditional type of visa issued after completing an application process at an Embassy or Consulate of the country one plans to visit. Regular visas can come in different types and may be issued for both short and long-term stays, including those relating to working, studying, or joining a significant other abroad.
List of countries that require Chinese citizens to present a valid Embassy visa upon arrival
- Burkina Faso
- The Central African Republic
- The Republic of the Congo
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Costa Rica
- The Czech Republic
- The Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Hong Kong (two-way permit)
- Macau (two-way permit)
- The Marshall Islands
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- North Korea
- North Macedonia
- The Philippines
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- The Solomon Islands
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- Taiwan (exit and entry permit)
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Vatican City
Currently, 102 countries require an in-person application for an Embassy-issued visa from Chinese passport holders before their arrival.
The actual process of getting an Embassy-issued visa will differ depending on the specific visa type selected. The main differences can be seen in the lists of supporting documents to collect and the time of processing.
However, despite those differences, most Embassy visa application processes require travelers to gather needed supporting documents, fill an application form (available at official government websites), submit the complete paperwork at an Embassy, cover an issuing fee, and wait for approval.
Some countries may require additional steps to be taken including a visa interview to go through at an Embassy.
When handling an Embassy visa, it’s best to start the application process at least a few weeks ahead of the planned departure and check the maximum time of processing to receive the approved document before the trip takes place.
Currently, there are 32 countries that welcome Chinese citizens visa-free, completely eliminating the need to apply for any type of visa ahead of the planned trip. This serves as the most effortless way to travel internationally since it requires the least amount of documents to handle.
Check the list of visa-free countries for Chinese citizens.
To travel abroad to a visa-free country, citizens of China will simply need to grab their valid passports or IDs (varies between destinations). Usually, no other documents are needed; however, some countries may require a few supporting documents to be presented to help validate one’s reason for the trip.
The supporting documents may come in the form of hotel bookings, proof of having sufficient funds for the trip, return tickets, and more.
Visa-free travel is most of the time granted for a short period of time (usually 30, 60, or 90 days) for all leisure, business, or transit reasons, including going on vacation, handling business matters abroad, attending public events, making visits to one’s friends and family, or simply taking a stopover during a transit trip.