China Visa Instructions: Visa Application Requirements for US citizens
Chinese Tourist Visa Requirements for US Citizens:
A valid passport and visa are required for tourist travel to China.
Blank-visa application form of China.pdf
1 Passport Requirements:
Original passport and one photocopy of information page. The passport must be signed, valid for 6 months beyond stay in China and with at least one blank visa page available for the Chinese visa. Amendment pages in the back of the passport are not suitable for China visa stamps.
2 Chinese Visa Application Form:
One original China visa application plus one copy.
The application form must be typed in CAPITAL LETTERS. Every question must be answered (please answer NONE if the question does not apply to you). Improperly completed Chinese visa application forms may delay the processing of your Chinese visa.
3 Photo Requirements:
One recent 2” x 2” passport-type photograph, in color, front view and with a plain/white or light background.
OR - you can upload a passport photo to the CEC Order Form when you place your order, instead of providing physical passport photos.
4 Other Forms:
Houston: Proof of Residential Address; clear photocopy of state issued ID (Driver License or ID). The address must match the address on the Chinese visa application form. A brief job and company description for each applicant on a separate piece of paper is also necessary. The descriptions do not have to be on a company letterhead.
Los Angeles: Proof of Residential Address; clear photocopy of state issued ID (Driver License or ID). The address must match the address on the Chinese visa application form.
5 Official Invitation from China:
A photocopy of the roundtrip airline ticket and hotel reservation or a cruise ticket may be submitted instead of the official invitation from China.
- OR -
An Invitation Letter for Tourist Group or Invitation Letter for Tourist by a Duly Authorized Tourism Unit, or Invitation Letter issued by companies, corporations, institutions and individuals in China. If the invitation letter is issued by an individual in China, the photocopy of the ID of the individual is required. If the invitation letter is from a Non-Chinese citizen, a copy of their status in China is required.
A letter of invitation must explain the relationship between the host and the applicant and must include detailed information about the applicant, including full name, gender, date of birth, and passport number. The letter must also state the purpose of visit, where the applicant will stay, and the date of arrival and departure from China. The letter must indicate who will be responsible for the cost of the applicant’s accommodations in China and
information about the inviting host: name of the unit or individual, phone number, address, and if applicable, seal and signature of the legal representative.
Chicago and Los Angeles: When the inviting host is a non-Chinese citizen they are required to provide proof of their status in China as well as a copy of the information section of their passport.
6 Proof of Departure:
Computer generated flight or cruise itinerary or copy of airline tickets or cruise ticket showing round trip travel to China or onward flight.
New York: Itinerary/copy of ticket must show the round trip itinerary starting from the home country (U.S.A. or Canada) to China and returning to the home country. It must show paid in full, or the payment receipt must be attached.
San Francisco: Applicants requesting Rush Processing must provide a flight itinerary showing departure to China within 3 business days. Applications received without proof of immediate departure to China will be processed by the Consulate as regular processing.
7 Hotel Confirmation:
An "Official" Invitation may be submitted instead of confirmed reservations.
- OR -
A copy of confirmed hotel and/or cruise reservation(s). If staying in various hotels, please provide copies of each reservation.
New York: Hotel reservation, tour itinerary or cruise itinerary must show paid in full, or payment receipt must be attached. The applicant's name must be listed on their hotel reservation.
San Francisco: Hotel confirmation is not required.
A child (under 18) may be asked to provide a copy of their birth certificate and a photocopy of parents’ passports. In some locations, this is always required. If the parent does not have a passport, then a parental letter of authorization may be accepted instead.
Chicago: A copy of the birth certificate and copy of parents' passports for minors under 18.
Houston: A copy of the birth certificate and copy of parents' passports may be requested for minors under 18.
Los Angeles: A copy of the birth certificate for all minors under 13. If a minor under 18 is traveling with someone other than a parent or legal guardian, a copy of the birth certificate and copy of parents' passports is required.
New York: A copy of the birth certificate and copy of parents' passports for minors under 18.
San Francisco: A copy of the birth certificate and copy of parents' passports may be requested for minors under 18.
Washington DC: A copy of the birth certificate and copy of parents' passports may be requested for minors under 18.
9 Special Instructions:
Applicants of Chinese origin (born in China) must include a copy of a previous Chinese visa or their last original Chinese passport. Make sure the Chinese Name field is completed on the Chinese visa application form in Chinese characters.
Houston, New York and San Francisco:
Applicants who have previously traveled to China must provide a copy of the previous Chinese visa. If the visa was issued to a previous passport, a photocopy of the canceled passport's information page must also be included.
10 CEC Service Order Form:
This is CEC's service order form, where you will provide your contact and shipping information, choose the visa processing needed and make your payment. You must print the completed form and send it to CEC with all other supporting documents.
China Visa Validity:
Chinese visas are usually issued for 3 months, 6 months or 12 months from the date of issue and allow single, double or multiple entries according to visa application request and supporting documents. Length of stay is generally up to 30 days, but longer stays can be issued at the discretion of the Chinese Consular officer.
New York: Multiple entry visas are only issued at the discretion of the Chinese Consulate, to applicants with a passport valid for no less than 18 months beyond stay in China, and who provide a copy of a previous Chinese visa. Applicants who have not held a previous Chinese visa or who do not have sufficient validity on their passport can request a single or double entry visa.
Chinese Visa Processing Time:
Chinese visa applications are usually processed in 4 to 5 business days. Rush 24 hour visa and Emergency same day visa service is available in most locations for additional fees. Please visit our Chinese Consular Fees and Visa Options link for details.
Visa Pre-Check - Have an urgent visa application with a tight deadline?
CEC Document Pre-Check Service can save valuable time and reduce stress. Use CEC Document Pre-Check service to avoid mistakes or delays. Experienced CEC visa specialists will review and check your scanned documents to confirm that your application is ready to be filed, and will alert you if there is information that needs to be corrected.
In order to ensure that visa applications for most embassies/consulates are submitted on the day that we receive them, they should be shipped to us via FedEx Priority Overnight (not First Overnight or Standard Overnight).
Non-refundable tickets or reservations should not be purchased until all visas and passports are secured and in your possession.
China Visa Application Procedures
Review instructions based on the purpose of journey to China
Complete, print and sign all visa application forms, including CEC's Global Service Order Form
Send all of the visa application requirements listed above to CEC.
China Visa Applications can be processed in the following location(s):
Residents of these states:
Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin. *Exception: citizens of certain Schengen countries must apply in person.
Send documents to:
CEC - Indianapolis
3707 Woodview Trace
Indianapolis, IN 46268