A Chinese visa is a permit issued to a foreigner but the Chinese visa authorities for entry, exit or transit through Chinese territory. Any foreigner entering china is required to hold a valid Chinese visa. Chinese visas are almost never issued at the border; travelers should always make their visa arrangements in advance.


The following are the four classes of visa most frequently issued:


L VISA - Tourist visa. Issued for sightseeing, family visits or other private purposes.


F VISA -  issued to those coming to China to conduct business, give a lecture, and undertake research, to conduct short - term advanced studies or to intern for a period of up to 6 month. F visas are also issued to students coming for up to 6 month.


Z VISA - allows the holder to work full-time in china or enter china as the accompanying family member of a Z visa holder. To obtain a Z visa, the applicant needs a visa notification issued by an approved employer, together with a work permit issued by the labor ministry or foreign expert bureau


X VISA - student visa, issued to people coming to china to study for no longer than 6 months. Applicants require a letter from the university other visa types in clued transit visa, resident visa (for people permanently resident in china), and special visas issued to journalists, diplomats, flight crew and tourist groups.