China Visa Application Information

China Visa Services and Application Information

Let Us Make It Easy for You!

Whether or not you are a member of a CIT tour group, we can help you apply for a visa if you live within the area served by the San Francisco consulate: Northern California, Alaska, Nevada, Oregon, or Washington—see the map on this page (查看中文頁面). If you do not live in one of these areas but still want us to handle your visa application for you, please contact us to discuss your situation. Our visa service fee is $30; currently, the consulate charges a $140 visa processing fee for U.S. citizens.

Here is a checklist of the things we need from you to help you apply for a tourist visa (“L visa”):

  1. A check for $170 made out to China International Travel CA ($140 consulate fee + $30 service fee)
  2. Your passport (with at least six months of validity remaining and at least one blank visa page)
  3. One photo: 2-inch x 2-inch passport-style color photo
  4. A completed tourist visa application form (direct link to downloadable PDF with both English and Chinese—new form for September 2013 and after); for other visa types, visit the appropriate consulate link below
  5. If you are not booking your travel through us, include proof of your travel arrangements in China, such as your round-trip air ticket itinerary and hotel voucher(s) or a letter of invitation.
  6. Depending on the type of visa being applied for and other factors, some applicants may need to provide additional documents. We will help you determine whether anything else is required.

For the most detailed, up-to date information about applying for a visa, refer to the following consulate webpages:

Advice on How to Fill Out the Visa Application Form

Here are some answers to questions frequently asked by applicants when filling out the form:

When to apply: Generally, applications should be submitted 6 weeks to 2 months before your departure date.

Passport requirements: Make sure your passport has at least 6 months of validity remaining from the time of your application, and at least one blank visa page.

How to fill out the form: Fill out the form on a computer using the free Adobe Reader or another PDF program. The consulate may refuse handwritten applications.

In general, you need to fill out every applicable field of the visa form. Fields that are not applicable should be left blank.

“Local ID/citizenship number”: This refers to your driver’s license (or other state-issued ID).

Major purpose of visit: For tour participants, it’s best to choose only “tourism” as the major purpose of your visit.

Number of entries: For U.S. citizens, the application fee for visas is the same regardless of the number of entries or length of validity, so go ahead and choose “Multiple entries valid for 1 year from the date of issue.” The consulate may only grant a single-entry visa, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Hotel information: If you are booking with us, we will provide address and phone number information for your hotels. Please let us know if you don’t yet have that information when you are filling out the form.

Retirees: Retirees should provide relevant information for their most recent employer.

Specific instructions: These official visa application instructions with information about specific fields on the form were provided by the Chinese consulate but are no longer available on the consulate website. Please note: These instructions refer to an outdated (2011) version of the application (and the numbering has changed), but they may still be useful.

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