Single entry visa for tourist


Category: visa


Question: What is the single entry visa for tourist ("L" Visa)?

"L" Visa is issued to an alien who comes to China for sightseeing or visiting family members/friends.


A tourist visa, issued to aliens who come to china for sightseeing and visiting relatives, is marked with "L" in the many kinds of Chinese visas. Visa L is characterized by a short duration of stay, usually 30 days, no more than 90 days, and could not be extended upon expiration.


Group visa, another kind of tourist visa, is applied by foreigner traveling in tour groups. Group visa is not issued on the passports, but on a separate paper, which requires the group members enter and exit the Chinese border together.


From Nov. 15th 2000, aliens traveling to Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions(SAR) in tour groups organized by travel agencies registered in the above-mentioned SARs are exempted from visa requirements for a period of not exceeding 6 days when entering into the following Chinese mainland cities: Guangzhong, Shenzhen, zhuhai, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jinangmen, Zhaoqing, Huizhou,etc. The premise is that the traveler shall have the citizenship of a country having diplomatic relations with the People?s Republic of China and carrying an ordinary passport.


Requirements for applying a visa:

1. Your valid & actual passport which must have at least six (6) months of validity with at least one blank visa page in it.


2. One completed Visa Application Form (Q1) with one passport photo (black & white or color is acceptable).


3. An applicant who was born in China is required to submit his /her Chinese passport or last foreign passport with a Chinese visa when he or she applies for a Chinese visa with a new foreign passport


4. To apply for a Multiple Entry "L" Visa valid for 6 months or 1 year, one of the following requirements shall be met:


  • submit documents that certify he/she will come to China frequently for family visiting or sighting, e.g. an invitation letter from your family member in China or proof of the kinship, or ownership certificate of real estate in China, or sale agreement or lease agreement of an apartment in China, or a copy of adoption certificate or the child's former Chinese passport if he/she has adopted a child from China; or
  • Foreign citizens of Chinese origin who were born in China and have visited China at least twice in the past 12 months, and shall submit a copy of the visa(s); or
  • submit an official letter issued by the host institution in China, or an application letter, which explains the need to visit China frequently for tourism; or
  • Renew a multiple entry "L" visa, and shall submit a copy of the visa if it's in a different passport rather than the one submitted for a new visa.

The visa application form shall be filled out completely, correctly and legibly, otherwise this can cause a delay in processing or the refusal of the requested visa.


How to apply a visa:

1.You must come to the visa office of the Embassy or Consulate -General in the consular jurisdiction where you live to submit the application; or


2.If you cannot come personally, you may entrust someone else or a travel/visa agent to come to the visa office of the Embassy or Consulate -General in the consular jurisdiction where you live for application process.


Chinese Embassies

Chinese Consulates General

Chinese Embassy in United States


Visa fee and processing time

Number of Entry


Citizens of other countries

Single Entry  



Double Entry 



Multiple Entry for 6 Months



Multiple Entry for 12 Months




The regular processing time is 4 working days. For express service, additional fees of $30 for 1 working day processing (applications presented before 11:30am may be picked up between 2:30pm-3:00pm on the same day), and $20 for 2-3 working days processing will be charged.


Please pay by Visa, MasterCard, Money Order, Cashier's Check, Company Check or Cash. Personal checks are not acceptable. Please make the check or money order payable to the Chinese Embassy.


Visa Validity and Duration of Stay

- Usually the validity of a Single Entry or Double Entry "L" visa is 90 days or 180 days from the date of issue, which means the holder of the visa shall enter into China no later than 90 days or 180 days from the date of issue, otherwise the visa is expired and is null and void. The duration of stay of a "L" visa is 30 days, which means the holder of the visa may stay in China for up to 30 days from the date of entry.

- The visa officer may extend the Duration of Stay if the applicant needs and requests to stay in China for more than 30 days.


Additional information

Any person suffering from a mental disorder, leprosy, AIDS, venereal diseases, contagious tuberculosis or other such infectious diseases shall not be permitted to enter China.


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