Chinese Non-Business (F) Visa Application Requirements
Chinese Non-Business (F) visa is required for those who are traveling to China for research, academic or cultural exchange on behalf of an institution or employer in the US. The applicant should not be paid by the institution in China, otherwise the applicant will need to apply for Work (Z) visa. F visa usually allow you to stay in China for up to 30 days per visit and can be issued for single entry, double entry or multiple entries up to one year. The total length of a visa is at the sole discretion of the Consulate, and they may issue a limited entry or shorter duration visa. The requirements for Non-Business (F) visa are detailed below.
Do not staple any of the documents together. The Consulate will reject all stapled applications. Paperclips may be used.
1: Original Passport Plus a Photocopy of the Name Page
- Please include the original passport. The visa will be printed on your passport.
- It is recommended that passports have at least 6 months left before expiration.
- The passport should have at least 2 blank visa pages. Please keep in mind, this does not include the last 3 pages, as those are reserved by the US Department of State.
- If you have previously held a Chinese Visa, please provide a photocopy of previous Chinese visa.
- If previous Chinese visa is on an old passport, photocopy of old passport is required.
- If you have a VALID Chinese visa on an old passport and would like to apply for a new visa, you will need to submit both old and current original passports.
- Non-US passport holders must provide a photocopy of their proof of legal stay in the US. Green card, full copy off I-20 or long term US visa such as: L, H, F, TN. B1/B2 visa will not be eligible. Please do not send original unless the Chinese Consulate specifically request it.
Certain Non-US passport holders cannot apply for a visa through third parties or are blocked entry to China: we recommend to send an email inquiry or wait for Consulate announcements.
2: Your Visa Application Form
Proceed to cova.mfa.gov.cn
Complete the application online, print it out, and sign it. Do not fill out this application by hand. Do not use digital signatures. All fields must be completed. If a section does not apply to you, type in “None” or “N/A.” Once the form is completed, do not click on continue. Click on Save and provide us with the application number and passport number.
Your application form must be reviewed by us before you submit online. You will not be able to make changes after submitting.
3: One Recent Passport Photo
- The photo needs to contain your full face on a white background. The photo cannot be older than 6 months.
- Your local drugstore (such as Walgreens or CVS) are great places to get a passport photo taken.
- Please attach the photo to the application with a paperclip. Do not staple.
Please see: Chinese Visa Photo requirements
4: Address Verification
- Photocopy of driver’s license or state ID
- If you do not have either of the above, you may submit a utility bill
5: Hotel and Round-Trip Flight Confirmation
- A printed copy of your round-trip flight confirmation.
- A printed hotel confirmation that clearly shows applicant’s name as guest.
6: Invitation Letter from China
One of the following invitation letters is required:
- An invitation letter of duly authorized unit or a confirmation letter of invitation issued by the Chinese Government.
- A formal invitation letter issued by an institution in mainland China.
Invitation letter issued by the Chinese institution must include the following:
- Applicant’s personal information such as: name, date of birth, passport number, full name of the institution which the applicant works for in the US and the job title.
- Major purpose of visit (Academic exchange, research, etc.)
- Cities the applicant will be visiting.
- Date of arrival and departure.
- Relationship between the two institutions in the US and China.
- State who will bear the costs of the applicant’s accommodations in China.
- China’s inviting person’s information such as: full name, job title, address, fax , phone number of the inviting person.
- Official seal of the institution and signature of the inviting person.
- Invitation letter from Chinese institution must be printed on official letterhead, showing address, phone number.
- The letter must also have the official seal of the institution.
- The invitation letter should avoid using words such as “teaching” or “working”.
- High quality scan or copy of the invitation letter is acceptable in most cases. Original invitation and/or personal interview
- may be requested at Consulate’s discretion.
Sample of Academic Exchange Invitation Letter:
7: Where You Stay From
- Print and complete the Where You Stay Form: Click Here
- It must be completed and signed by hand. No digital signatures allowed.
You have the option to include your own prepaid label with your application or purchase from our website. Please see Shipping.
9: Additional Requirements For Each Consulate
Main requirements for Chinese visa are usually the same across the Chinese Consulates, however, there are some certain requirements for each Chinese Consulate. Please visit Additional Requirements Based on Jurisdiction to see if any of the listed rules apply to you.
- Please include a copy of order confirmation email with your application.
- If you need to ship back to an international address, please call or email us for quote.