China Tourist Visa (L)
The L tourist visa is the only one that you can apply for yourself without assistance from a business, government or academic institution.
For most visitors to China a tourist L will suffice and it will allow them to travel freely in most parts of China as tourists. If your situation is not described by any of the other visa types, then this is likely the one you need.
If you are travelling in an organized tour group you might not have an individual visa in your passport -, the tour group may be issued with a group L. In these instances, the invitation letter issued by the travel agency is required.
1. A passport with at least 6 months remaining validity and one blank page.
2. A completed Visa Application Form - please fill in every element, using "N/A" if not applicable. If the application form is not filled out fully and legibly, there may be a delay in processing or total refusal of the application.
3. A recent passport-size color photo with white background.
4. Proof of legal stay or residence status (applicable to those not applying in their country of citizenship)
5. Documents detailing the itinerary including round-trip air ticket booking record and proof of hotel reservation, etc. Alternatively an Invitation letter issued by a relevant entity or individual in China, with following information:
a. Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.).
b. Information on the planned visit (arrival and departure dates, planned destinations, etc.)
c. Information on the inviting entity or individual (name, contact number, address, official stamp, signature of the legal representative of the entity or the inviting individual).
Sometimes an applicant may also need to provide these documents on a case-by-case basis:
6. Certification letter from the employer of the applicant (with name and contact number of the working unit, the applicant's income statement), or original copy of recent 6-month bank statement of the applicant.
7. If it’s not the first time applying for Chinese tourist L for tourist purpose, a personal statement may be required with the following information: reasons for revisit, the places the applicant plans to visit this time and places he/she visited before.
8. For applicants who plan to travel onto Tibet, a Tibet Travel Permit must be obtained. You can get this by either joining a tour group or obtaining the permit from Tourism Bureau of Tibet Autonomous Region: Tel: (86 891) 683 4313 or Fax: (86 891) 683 4632.
Tibet Travel Permit
How to Apply
You can go to your closest Chinese Embassy, Consulate or other Chinese diplomatic mission to submit application in person. If you can't come personally, you can entrust a travel agency or a visa agency to act on your behalf. No appointment required. Applications by mail are not acceptable .
It normally takes 4 working days to process. For a faster service, an additional fee of US$20 will be charged for second or third working day releasing. For an express service, an additional fee of US$30 will be charged for the same working day release.
The fees vary depending on nationality, duration of visit, and number of entries. However, according to the Visa Fee Abolition Agreement, the nationals of following seven countries are free of the fees, but they need pay for the express service, rush service or mail service: Pakistan, Maldives, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovakia and Micronesia. Application by mail is not accepted by most Chinese embassies or consulates, but in countries with the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (CVASC), applicants may be able to apply by post, or submit applications based on online appointment via CVASC's website.