Virtually all travelers to China including Canadian passport holders need to obtain a visa to enter the People’s Republic of China. China is known to be meticulous with their visa screenings. Any illegibility or failure to present complete and truthful information may lead to delay or rejection, in which case the applicant shall be solely accountable for all likely consequences. According to Chinese laws and regulations, every application is considered case by case by consular officers who are legally entitled to reject any applications, including altering or revoking any already issued visa without being obliged to explain. Applicants are advised to present well reviewed and thoroughly checked application forms.
General Requirements for Visa Application
A Canadian passport having a remaining validity for at least another 6 months before entry. Be sure that your passport has enough blank visa pages.
Visa Application form
A fully completed copy of your Visa Application Form duly signed by the applicant (except those below 18 years of age); for applications prepared by a travel agency, both the signature of the actual applicant and the agency’s seal should be visible.
One (1) recently taken 2×2(in.)-sized colored passport photo (white background), showing a full front view of the applicant’s head and shoulders without having any head cover.
NOTE: A single-entry visa shall only be valid for 3 months and double-entry visa for up to 6 months from the date of issue; it is the consular officer’s discretion, in accordance with relevant guidelines, to validate the duration of each stay which is granted on a case by case basis; applicants are recommended to submit their application 1 month, or 1-2 weeks in advance depending on specific cases, to avoid any inconveniences regarding visa and their expiration.
Travelers who are planning to stay in China longer than the granted duration must apply to local public security bureau (above county-level) or other competent authorities for extension before the expiration of his/her visa; failure to comply will result in penalties including but not limited to fines.
Former Chinese nationals applying for Chinese visas with a newly issued/renewed foreign passport must also present their original Chinese passport or photocopies of the foreign passport prior to renewal together with all records of Chinese visas on it.
There are nine different types of visas in China, which falls into two categories:
L Visa = Tourist visa
L Visas are issued to travelers entering China temporarily for touring, family visiting or other personal affairs. Only single-entry, double-entry tourist visa are offered with a maximum stay of 30 days in China for each entry.
Foreigners traveling to Hong Kong and Macao only do not require a visa. For travelers wishing to visit Tibet, an approval notice from China Tibet Tourism Bureau is required to apply for tourist visa.
You may contact China Tibet Tourism Bureau:
F Visa = Business/Visit Visa
F Visas are issued to foreigners who are invited to China for business visits, research, and lecture, scientific-technological and cultural exchanges. Single-, double-, 6-month-multiple-, and one-year-multiple-entry business visas are available with maximum 30 day-stay in China for each entry.
Z Visa = Work Visa
Z Visas are issued to travelers who are to take up an employment in China, together with their accompanying family members.
X Visa = Student Visa
X Visas are issued to foreigners who come to China for the purpose of studying or practicing internship for a period of six months or above.
C Visa = Crewmember Visa
C Visas are issued to crewmembers on international aviation, navigation and land transportation missions together with their accompanying family members.
J Visa = Journalist Visa
J-1 visas are issued to foreign journalists who are posted to China for at least one year.
J-2 visas are issued to foreign journalists who are on a temporary interview mission in China.
G Visa = Transit Visa
G Visas are issued to foreigners who are only transiting through China.
D Visa = Residence Visa
D Visas are issued to foreigners planning to live in China permanently.
Diplomatic and Service Visa:
These Visas are issued to the foreign government officials and diplomatic missions and United Nations staff, who are traveling to China for official mission or accreditation.
Information gathered here are subject to change without prior notice. Canadian passport holders traveling to China are encouraged to contact the following embassies for further consular information and confirmation.
Chinese Embassy Information
Chinese Consulate General in Calgary
1011 6th Ave. S.W., Suite 100,
Telephone: (403) 264-3322 / 537-1247 (Visa Section)
Fax: (403) 264-6656
Consular District: Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan and Northwest Territories
Chinese Consulate General in Toronto
240 St. George Street
Telephone: (416) 964-7260
Fax: (416) 324-6468
Consular District: Provinces of Ontario and Manitoba
Chinese Consulate General in Vancouver
3380 Granville Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
Telephone: (604) 734-7492
Fax: (604) 737-0154
Consular District: Provinces of British Colombia and the Yukon Territory