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Passport and Visa
2005-07-25 16:51:56

Before your travel to China, some essential documents and procedures should be fulfilled.


The Chinese government requires that your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the expiry date of your visa.

You'll need at least one-entire blank page in your passport for the visa.

Your country's embassy or consulate can usually add additional pages to your passport if need be. Losing your passport is very bad news indeed. Getting a new one takes time and money. However, if you will be staying in China or any foreign country - for a long time, it helps tremendously to register your passport with your embassy. This will eliminate the need to send telexes back to your home country to confirm that you really exist.

If you lose your passport, you should certainly have some ID card with your photo many embassies require this before issuing a new passport. Some embassies will accept a driver's license, but others will not - an expired passport will often save the day.


Before planning a trip to China, it is important to learn about obtaining a visa. Our foreign friends need to apply for a travel visa from the Chinese Consulates or Embassies stationed in their respective countries. For groups of 9 or more, they can apply for a group travel visa. Foreigners intending to visit Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Xiamen Special Economic Zones must apply for "Special Economic Zone Travel Visa" from the embassies or consulates. For travelers planning to stay in Hainan Province for no more than 15 days, they can apply for an entry visa at the port of Haikou or Sanya. If foreigners in Hong Kong wish to travel to Shenzhen Ecomony Zone in a group and stay for no more than 72 hours, they need not apply for an entry visa. Foreign holders of travel visa can only enter the country by passing through appropriate border checkpoints.
You can travel to areas open to foreigners in China based on your own up-to-date passport and travel visa. The Chinese Government protects the legal rights of foreigners in China. However, as a foreigner holding a travel visa you cannot engage in any activity not aligned with your status such as employment, religious promotion, or journalistic reporting. This could result in penalties against the foreigner. In China, you must obey the Chinese law and respect Chinese customs.

As long as the visa is valid, you may travel within China. If your visa is close to expiration, you may apply for an extension through a local police station if necessary. At the end of your travel, you need to exit by passing through a border control check before the expiration of your visa.

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