Chinese Student Visa: A Comprehensive Guide

Chinese Student Visa: A Comprehensive Guide

In this article, we’ll provide you with all the detailed information you need to navigate the process of applying for a Chinese Student Visa successfully. From visa application procedures to required documentation, we’ve got you covered.

Introduction to Chinese Student Visa (X)

The Chinese student visa, also known as the X visa, is given to foreigners who desire to study, pursue advanced studies, or engage in fieldwork in China. This category of visa can be divided into two types:

  1. X1 Visa: Granted for long-term study exceeding 180 days.
  2. X2 Visa: Granted for the short-term study of 180 days or less.

Both types of visas have a validity period of 90 days from the date of issuance. The X1 visa allows for an undetermined stay duration, which is typically finalized after the applicant arrives in China. Conversely, the X2 visa allows for a stay of up to 180 days.

International students planning to study in China must first find an accredited organization that offers courses or internships to foreigners. Once accepted, the organization will provide the student with a JW201 or JW202 form and an admission letter.

Required Documents

To ensure a smooth visa application process, it is crucial to fulfill the following requirements and prepare the necessary documents:

  1. Passport: The applicant’s original passport, which should be valid for at least six months and contain at least one blank page.
  2. Application Form: A completed China visa application form with accurate and truthful information.
  3. Recent Photo: Attach one recent passport-style color photo with a full face, front view, and no hat. The photo should be taken against a plain light background and affixed to the application form.
  4. Admission Notice: The original and a copy of the admission notice received from the Chinese university or school.
  5. JW201 or JW202 Form (for X1 visa application only): The original and a copy of the approved Foreign Student Visa Application Form JW201 or JW202.

Important notes to consider

  1. US students applying for the five-year X1 visa must ensure their passports have at least one year of remaining validity.
  2. The JW201 or JW202 form should be obtained from the school where the applicant intends to enroll. The JW201 form is issued to international students dispatched by the government or funded by Chinese government scholarships, while the JW202 form is for self-sponsored foreign students.

How to Apply?

To apply for a China X visa, follow these steps:

  1. Schedule an appointment to submit your China visa application.
  2. Personally submit the application to the consular office of the Chinese embassies, consulates, or China Visa Application Centers (CVASC).
  3. Avoid mailing your application, as most Chinese embassies, consulates, or CVASCs do not accept mailed applications.

Processing Time

The regular processing time for a China student visa is four working days. However, express service and rush service options are available if you need to collect your visa earlier.

  • Express Service: Processed in 2-3 working days with an additional charge of US$20.
  • Rush Service: Processed in 1 working day with an additional charge of US$30.

Chinese Student Visa Fees:

The fees for the X visa are the same as those for other types of Chinese visas.

As X1 visas usually allow only one entry and multiple-entry X2 visas are rarely issued by Chinese embassies and consulates, the fees provided below are for single-entry and double-entry X visas as a reference.

Please note that fees may vary based on the applicant’s nationality:

China X Visa TypesUS CitizenGerman CitizenUK CitizenTunisian CitizenSingaporean Citizen
Single EntryUSD 185EUR 125.45GBP 151FreeSGD 86
Double EntriesUSD 185EUR 125.45GBP 151FreeSGD 96

Things to Know for X1 Visa Holders

X1 visa holders must apply for a Temporary Residence Permit from the local Exit and Entry Administration within 30 days of arriving in China.

This permit can be issued with a validity of up to five years.

The required documents for the application are:

  • Passport
  • Admission notice
  • JW201 or JW202 form
  • Foreigner Physical Examination Record
  • Registration of accommodation
  • A passport-style photo with a white background.

During the validity of the Temporary Residence Permit, X1 visa holders can freely travel in and out of mainland China.

When their studies in China conclude, they must visit the local Exit and Entry Administration to cancel the Temporary Residence Permit and apply for a 30-day tourist visa with zero entries to avoid any complications.

Things to Know for X2 Visa Holders

X2 visa holders must adhere to the duration period stated on their visa and stay in China accordingly.

They are not required to apply for a temporary residence permit.

If an extension of the X2 visa is necessary, the visa holder should visit the local Exit and Entry Administration 30 days before the expiration date to complete the extension process.

Working on X Visa Is Not Allowed

Holders of X visas are prohibited from working in China.

However, in certain cases, part-time work and off-campus internships may be authorized. It is important to contact the respective university or employer after settling in China to inquire about the possibilities and arrangements.

Foreign students who engage in employment activities that violate Chinese regulations or exceed the prescribed scope of jobs or time limits will be considered as engaging in unlawful employment.

Consequently, they may face termination of employment or expulsion.


Congratulations on taking the first step toward pursuing your education in China! In this guide, we’ve provided you with an extensive overview of the Chinese student visa application process, required documentation, and important regulations to ensure a smooth and successful journey.

Remember to thoroughly research and follow the guidelines provided by the Chinese embassy or consulate in your home country to maximize your chances of obtaining a student visa. Good luck with your studies in China!