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Chinese visa information

Find out about China's visa requirements, and how to apply.

This page is for people visiting China, who might need a visa to enter the country.

For information about visas for some of our other destinations, visit our Visa and Entry Requirements page.

China's entry requirements differ, depending on your nationality and the reason for your visit. If you're not a Chinese national, you will usually need a visa to enter the country, which you should get before you travel.

If you're staying for less than 6 days, you may not need a visa.

For more information and advice, contact the Chinese Embassy.


What you'll find on this page:

Apply for a visa to China

Visa exemptions for shorter visits

Information for UK passport holders

Apply for a Chinese visa

Visa Central

If you need a Chinese visa, we can help. We've partnered with VisaCentral, the global visa and passport experts. They can apply on your behalf for a fee. And if you're a Flying Club member, you'll also earn two miles for every £1 you spend.

From 1 November 2018, all Visa applications for travellers aged 14 - 70 will need to be made in person.

Biometric data (scanned fingerprints) are now required.

You can apply for your visa through the Chinese Embassy in London:

Chinese Embassy

Tel: 020 7299 4049

Opening hours

Mon - Fri: 09:00 - 12:00; 14:00 - 17:00


Visa exemptions for shorter visits

If you're due to leave China to travel to another country within 6 days of your arrival, you might not need a visa. You'll be allowed to stay within the administrative precincts of Shanghai municipality, Jiangsu Province and Zhejiang Province for up to 144 hours.

On arrival in China, you'll need to show valid onward travel documents to the immigration officer, confirming your planned departure within this time period.

You need to be a resident of one of the following countries to be eligible for an exemption:

Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, Slovak, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America

Find out more from the Chinese Embassy.


Information for UK passport holders

If you are a UK passport holder visiting China, your passport should be valid for at least 6 months from the date of your visa application. If you have less than 6 months’ validity on your passport, but still have a valid visa, you should be able to enter China for the duration of that visa.

This guidance is for UK passport holders only. Passengers from other countries should check with the necessary Government department in their country of residence for travel information.

Foreign visitors aged between 14 and 70 will have bio-information such as fingerprints collected upon arrival.