Expat Visas In China – What’s The Updated Situation In 2021

Expat Visas in China – What’s The Updated Situation in 2021 – that will be the topic of today’s article.

Before introducing this article, if you are interested in our core services which are expat financial, insurance and mortgages, you can contact me here

The best time to consider your financial situation is when you are moving to a new country.


Expat Visas In China – What’s The Updated Situation In 2021

It has been more than a year that China closed its borders to foreign visitors. Since then, the detailed entry to China has changed. In such a scenario, keeping track of the rules moderating how foreign visitors can enter the country under strict compliance to COVID-19 restrictions policies enacted.

Considering that the entry policies and relevant guidance may vary as per the visa status of the foreign visitors, we will guide you through China’s visa system. Aside from that, know that Chinese visas are classified into four main types, including courtesy visas, service visas, ordinary visas, and service visas.

Accordingly, China has been adjusting the entry policies from time to time bases on the epidemic prevention and control situation. But due to the many dynastic and political upheavals in Chinese society, the tenets of Confucianism have provided a constant underlying value system and procedures.

However, China is poised to ease border restrictions to allow some foreigners back into the country. This is among the latest update while it would also apply to those visiting the country mainland for work resumption, business travel, or for humanitarian needs such as reuniting with family members.

In this article, we will walk you through the expats visas in China and their latest update as of 2021. Not only that, but we will explain the type of visa as stated above. More so, you’ll enjoy the benefits of living in this country. Alternatively, we listed some cons and other job-related benefits for you to know more.

  • As of July 21, 2021, china reported 22 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 20 imported cases and two local cases. With this, the country has recorded 453 cases of asymptomatic infection, which are still under medical observation
  • The country economy has continued to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, but growth is uneven, according to the newly released economic data covering the first half of 2021, while the National Bureau of Statistics announced that china’s GDP grew by 7.9 percent
  • Compare to 2019 levels before the pandemic, exports to the United States were driven by demand for products such as laptops, smartphones, home appliances, and clothes
  • High commodity and shipping prices are also likely to damper trade growth in the second half of the year despite the shortage of China’s crude oil imports by 3 percent
  • The ongoing pandemic may continue due to destabilize global trade, as another wave of COVID-19 could devastate countries with low vaccination rates and spreads

Types of Visas in China (2021)

There are different kinds of visas in China as of 2021. In certain circumstances, the port visa can be applied for arrival at a certain entry port, while you must provide your actual signed passport. After walking you through the types of visas, we will also explain the step-by-step guide on how to apply for a China visa.

L Visa – Also Known As Tourist Visa

The L Visa is issued to foreigners who enter the country temporarily for tourism. These kinds of visas are typically offered on a single-entry, double-entry, or even on a multiple-entry basis, with the duration of stay ranging from 30 days to about ninety days. Therefore, those who wish to travel to Tibet will need an approval notice from the China Tibet Tourism Bureau to get a tourist visa.

F Visa – Also Known as Non-Commercial Visit Visa

The F Visa is issued to foreigners invited to China for non-commercial purposes such as cultural exchanges, research, and lectures. Aside from this fact, it previously covered a wide range of activities when it was known as china’s business visa. Before being largely replaced by the M visa, the duration of its stay typically ranges from 30 days to 90 days.

M Visa – Also Known as Business Visa

The M visa is issued to foreigners visiting the country for business and trade purposes. Also, it is suitable for foreigners who make frequent work-related visits to China but spend less than six months in a given year in the country. To add to that, they’re not employed or paid by an entity incorporated in China.

Z Visa – Also Known as Work Visa

The Z Visa, which is also known as the work visa, is issued to foreigners who are taking up a post or employment in China and their accompanying family members. This type of visa is the most common type of visa used by foreigners working in China.

X Visa – Also Known as Student Visa

This type of visa is issued to foreigners who come to China for studies or fieldwork. While holders of this kind of visa do not have working right, they may undertake internships if only authorized by their educational institution and other relevant bodies in the country.

C Visa – Also Known as Crew-member Visa

The C visa is issued to crew-members on international aviation, land transportation, sea navigation, and their accompanying family members. The J-visa is issued to foreign journalists working in China on either a temporary or permanent basis. These foreigners are posted to China for at least one year, and also suitable for foreigners that are issued to foreign journalists and are on temporary assignments.

G Visa – Also Known as Transit Visa

This kind of visa package is issued to foreigners who transit through China. Since the cost and application procedure to acquire an L Visa, travelers tend to opt for an L Visa rather than a G Visa. In other words, you can only apply for this kind of visa on strict rules and regulation processes.

D Visa – Also Known as Residence Visa

Not to worry about the alphabet being listed as they are named accordingly to the country’s visa package. This kind of visa is issued to foreigners who plan to live in China permanently. This kind of visa is also known as the Chinese green card, and it isn’t easy to acquire to today’s digital world.

Q Visa – Also Known as Family/Personal Visit Visa

The Q visa is issued to foreigners visiting any of their family members that are Chinese citizens and to foreigners who are spouses of Chinese citizens, including those who intend to visit China for personal purposes. Aside from this fact, the Q1 visa also extends to foreigners visiting family members of Chinese citizens.

S Visa – Also Known as Relatives of Foreigners

The S Visa is issued to relatives of foreigners who are working or studying in China and have contracts with a particular organization. Not only that, but it is equivalent to the Q visa for families of foreigners living in China for the long term. They are issued for a stay of more than 180 days, and holders must apply for a residence permit within 30 days of entry.

R Visa – Also known as Highly Qualified Persons

Again, the R visa is issued to highly qualified individuals whose skills are urgently needed. This type of person is referred to as Tier A talents under China’s new tiered work permit classification system. It’s used in determining who is regarded as high-level personnel. Meanwhile, the government relaxed its rules last year for top foreign talents, enabling them to obtain multiple-entry R Visas.

Diplomatic and Service Visa

The diplomatic and service visa is issued to foreign government officials and the staff of diplomatic missions who travel to china for different official missions or accreditation. Regardless of the visa you would apply for; you must know your purpose or aim of traveling because of the rules.

Most Important Things You Should Know About China Visa

To help you better understand expat visas in China, we have compiled the visa-related tips and advice you should abide by within 2021. Without further ado, the followings are the top 7 most important things every expats should know about China visa.

Always Check the Free Visa Policy

It’s always good to take advantage of the visa-free policy to visit China if you qualify. At present, ordinary passport holders of Singapore, Brunei, and Japan can visit china without visas for the tour, visiting, or business for not more than fifteen days. Besides, there are more visa exemption rules implemented in China.

Apply For a China Visa via Agent

If you think that you can apply for a china visa by yourself, you can proceed. However, it’s better to apply via a visa agent. Applying for a visa on your own will save you money and give useful experience for future visa application cases. Meanwhile, if you don’t fully understand the China Visa process, it would be better to seek help from a procession visa agent.

Know the Best Time to Apply

While you’re planning to travel to China, you should also consider the best time to travel. Normally, it takes about 4 to 5 working days, but some citizens can also use expedited services to speed up the visa processing time to one-two working day. Therefore, we advise you to apply for a Chinese visa one month before your proposed date of traveling to China.

Invitation Letter Is Required

Before you travel to China, always know that an invitation letter is required. If you’re invited to visit China for the tour, study, and other processes, ensure that you have the necessary details to avoid problems. So, it is highly suggested that you submit the original invitation letter during your first-time application.

Physical Examination Reports in China

If you’re planning to relocate to China, you should know that physical examination reports depend on your country of residence. Currently, if you’re applying for a tourist visa, physical examination neither may nor be required. Meanwhile, applicants may be required to submit a medical examination report while applying for a China Student visa or work visa.

Schedule an Appointment In Advance

If you apply for a China visa via the China visa application service center (CVASC) in countries like Australia, Canada, UK, Singapore, and other countries, you must use the application form number to make an online appointment beforehand application accepted as fast as possible.

Get an Express Visa for China

A regular China visa application that takes nothing more than four to five days is the express visa. However, if you need to get one of these visas to travel to China for urgent reasons, you may pay for Express or Rush Service when submitting to the Chinese Embassy or consulate.

A step-by-step guide to Apply for a China Visa

If you’ve been planning to visit China but don’t know how to apply, we’ve got you covered. Since this article focuses mainly on expat visas in china, we need to walk you through all it takes to get your visa efficiently. Are you ready to check out what we’ve unleashed for you? Kindly take a look at the guides now.

Check the Type of Visa You Need

An essential thing to do is check whether you need a visa to china before you start your application process. As long as you are eligible for China’s visa-free policies, you don’t need a visa, but you may need some documents, including your passport, transportation ticket, and sometimes sufficient fund.

Prepare All Your Documents

Documents required for all visa types include passport and visa application form attached with your photo and other supporting documents. Ensure that you have your medical reports ready, hotel bookings, invitation letters, and others, to mention a few.

China Visa Renewal

If you want to renew your Chinese visa, keep in mind that you can only do that when you’re in the country. Usually, you cannot review your visa once it has been granted, except when you’re in China.  So, make sure you visit the local Exit and Entry Administration to make the change possible.

Benefits of Living in China

Living in this country has about the same pros and cons as living anywhere else in the world. In recent years, the number of foreigners living in China has increased, and that many of them think the pros outweigh the cons. Listed below are some major pros and cons of living in China in this 21st century.

China Is Inexpensive To Live

Depending on the location you live in, China can be extremely cheap to live in. Besides, this is especially true when you have a job where your rent is paid or subsidized by your employers. Moreover, if you need to pay for your rent each month, you’ll still have enough money to travel and enjoy different outdoor activities in the country.

Great Variety of Foods

There’s so much variety when it comes to buying food in China. The best part is that there are many international foods available in this country for expats. In fact, you’ll never need to go without your favorite Indian, Mexican, or French dish while living in China.

Quite Safe to Live

China is quite safe compared to other countries because there’s not as much racial tension prominent in other parts of the world. However, the locals are friendly, and they can help you first relocate to the country. Meanwhile, there are no gun rights in China, and there is little chance that a shooter will be running after you in the streets.

Lovely Public Transportation in China

Again, another reason why you need to visit this country is because of the public transportation system. In China, you can easily travel from one city to another without delays, unlike other western nations. Moreover, a person can take the railways anywhere in china, including the remote areas. Also, it is not recommended to take buses far distance, due to the discomfort of the systems.

Lower Cost of Living

The lower cost of living is also an incredible advantage of living in this country. In addition, you’ll enjoy this country if you live frugally and maximize the productive use of your time. That being said, eating out every day and food costs will never break your wallet because of the little expenses you’ve experienced.

Diverse Culture and Work Opportunity

When you move to China, you can experience another culture and be immersed in the language. If you’re looking to study in this country, you’ll have access to plenty of media and many language partners. On the other hand, you’ll still need to practice serious discipline if you want to see progress.

Furthermore, there are tons of work opportunities. However, if you choose to teach the English language, you’ll often be begged by people to give up their weekends to go to several English training centers in the country. They’ll plead with you and give you the money that’d satisfy you to live in the country.

Expat Visas In China – What’s The Updated Situation In 2021

Technology Convenience

As mentioned earlier, the high-speed transport system will easily take you from one city to another in a very short period. Apart from the inter-city traffic, technology adds another layer of convenience to live in China. In all the cities in the country, everything can be done and paid for through different apps on your phone.


Language Barrier in China

Having said all the advantages of living and working in China, there are still certain disadvantages we need to consider. One of the obstacles of language and cultural difference is always in place in China. But once you notice this, and you’re able to speak their language, you’ll find yourself in a very advantageous position.

Fashion Sense Disadvantage

This also contributes to another disadvantage of living in China. Clothes are mainly designed with the target of Asian figures, and high street brands like Zara and H&M are often distributing in different nations, meaning you may have fewer choices if your body type is not in the petit category.

Internet Restriction in China

In China, there are numerous internet restrictions, and those restrictions make it difficult for an expat who is used to having access to everything they want online. Here, you may face working around with VPN, which is really not good for some foreigners. So, be prepared to get used to the Chinese version of the internet.

Rising Costs Experience

As with everywhere else, China is experiencing rising costs, and no one can predict when the rising costs will stop. This way, you must be prepared to pay an increase in your rent, pay more to have the services, and pay more for food. So, you must be ready to experience the rising costs when moving to China.

Smoking Is Rampant

Don’t be surprised to see many locals smoking everywhere/anywhere in China. The worst thing is that people can smoke in the elevator. Also, public smoking is not as terrible as it used to be in other countries in the world. Therefore, if you can’t cope with smoking, it’s better not to travel to China today.

2021 China Travel Tips and Latest Updates

As of today’s digital age, it’s no doubt that China is a country filled with surprises. The warm welcome from people and the beautiful landscape have made the country one of PlanetD’s favorite destinations. Now, it’s good to know the latest update, as this will help you plan your next vacation.

Make Enough Exchange of Money

This is one of the first things to consider while moving to China. You should always know that no currency other than the Chinese Yuan is acceptable in China. With this in mind, it’s better to exchange enough money from the bank and make all necessary transactions in cash ahead of your China trip.

Pack Enough Toiletry Kit

No one will tell you to do this, but to make your relocation as easy as you could ever imagine, we advise you to get along with enough toiletry kits, including toilet paper, soap, hand sanitizer, and other things you think would make you feel safe.


Whatever you do in China, always avoid drinking tap water. It may be filthy and would likely give you a case of food poisoning. Nonetheless, traveling to China is not as difficult as it seems when you follow the latest updates as stated in this guide. If you’re not yet fully comfortable, follow us for more wonderful tips and guidance.

Leave a Comment

Click to Hide Advanced Floating Content