China Visa Requirements for US Citizens

China Visa for US Citizens

Americans who are looking forward to a Chinese vacation will need to ensure that you have pre-arranged the right travel authorisation before heading off on your trip. Everyone entering China must ensure that they have arranged their paperwork in advance in order to be allowed into the country.

There are many amazing Chinese attractions, cultural and heritage sites to explore, from the bright lights of cosmopolitan Shanghai to the world-famous Great Wall. American passport holders who live in America are eligible to be granted a 10-year tourist visa which permits them to enter and leave the country multiple times during its validity period.

Here you’ll find all the information that you need to make your application for the right travel authorisation to ensure your vacation runs smoothly.

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Getting a Chinese Visa for US Citizens

All US citizens travelling on vacation to China need to make an application in advance for the right kind of travel authorisation.

While it’s possible in some countries to apply for certain types of visa online in advance or to make an application in person on arrival, unfortunately at the moment it isn’t possible for Americans to apply for Chinese visas online or on arrival. Therefore, applications must be made via an embassy or consulate.

China Tourist Visa Requirements for US Citizens

The requirements for applying for a Chinese visa include:

  • At least 1 year of validity remaining on your passport.
  • 2 blank pages in your passport for the stamp.
  • A full travel itinerary for your stay.

Cost of China Visa for US Citizens

A Chinese visa costs US citizens 140 USD.

China e-Visa for US Citizens

Unfortunately, at the moment it’s not possible to obtain an Electronic Visa (e-Visa) for Americans travelling to China, unless you do so in groups, usually through your travel agent.

As such, when making your visa application for your Chinese vacation, you need to complete your application form, then visit the local Chinese consulate or embassy in your area to complete the process of obtaining your travel authorisation. You must present your documentation to the Chinese authorities so you can receive the necessary passport stamps.

Chinese Visa for US Citizens: 10-Year Validity

Although the cost of Chinese tourist travel authorisation for Americans appears to be quite high, it’s important to remember that it will permit you multiple entries into the country. The document will also be valid for a full 10 years after it has been granted, so you can enjoy many vacations without having to re-apply for your authorisation. Each time you enter the country you are permitted to stay for up to 60 days before being required to return home.

FAQ for US Citizens Visiting China

We’ve provided most of the information you should require to make your application for a Chinese visa as an American citizen. However, we also include below some further helpful advice and answers to common traveller questions.

Chinese Visa Photo Requirements for US Citizens

When making your application, you need to supply a photograph for the Chinese authorities to issue your travel authorisation. You must ensure that the photo requirements are met, otherwise your application will be rejected.

You need to supply a single colour photograph of your face taken in the past 6 months, and it must have a plain white background. The photo should measure 8mm x 33mm, with the width of your head being 15mm to 22mm and the height of your head being 28mm to 33mm.

China Visa Requirements for US Citizens in Transit

If you are only transiting through a Chinese airport on your way to another destination, you need to know your travel authorisation requirements.

If your stay in the country will be for less than 24 hours and you will be remaining in the airport, you will be exempt from any visa requirements. You will, however, need to have paperwork to demonstrate that you have booked a seat on a flight out of the country.

What Are the Requirements for Business Visa to China for US Citizens?

US citizens need to apply for a Business M-class travel authorisation if they intend to visit the country for business activities. This visa is valid for 60 days or less for each visit and permits multiple entries and exits for up to 10 years. This is a different type of visa to the tourist visa for Americans, which does not permit any type of business activities to be carried out while in the country.

China Visa Requirements for US Citizens 72 Hours

If you are only visiting the country for a short stay of 72 hours or less, you can benefit from visa-free travel as an American citizen. There are certain conditions that must be complied with, however. You are only be permitted to travel within certain cities and regions. Here are some of the areas which you are permitted to spend a short stay as an American without travel authorisation:

  • Beijing
  • Changsha
  • Chengdu
  • Chongqing
  • Dalian
  • Guangdong Province
  • Guilin
  • Hangzhou
  • Harbin
  • Kunming
  • Nanjing
  • Qingdao
  • Qinhuangdao
  • Shanghai
  • Shenyang
  • Shijianhuang
  • Tianjin
  • Wuhan
  • Xi’an
  • Xiamen

More Information on Travel to China

Now you should have all the essential details you need to travel to China as a US citizen on vacation. If you require further information, visit our Chinese visa page here or see our page with more details about visiting China here.