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Chinese Student Visa – Application Process and Requirements


Due to its massive and rapid economic growth, China has become the most interesting place for international students across the globe to pursue academic studies. However, as an international student with the intention of studying in China, you will be needing a Chinese Student Visa to enter the country.

China Student Visa

The type of visa you apply for depends on the duration of your studies. Just like any other visa, the Chinese Student Visa has its own specific rules you must follow to obtain your visa. Therefore, this article provides details about the Chinese Student Visa, its eligibility requirements, and application procedures.

Types of Chinese Student Visa

The Chinese Student Visa, otherwise called the X visa, is issued to international students who wish to pursue their academic study, advanced studies, or work in China.

Moreover, the Chinese Student Visa is divided into two types for international students to apply for depending on the duration of their study. They include:

  • X1 Visa: This type of visa is for long-term studies that exceed six months. The X1 visa is usually for undergraduate and research (Masters and Ph.D.) studies because such programs take longer periods. The validity is 90 days from the date of issue, and the duration needs to be determined after the applicant enters China.
  • X2 Visa: The X2 visa is for short-term students who will study in China for less than 6 months. This type of visa is for students who intend to study the Chinese language or other short-term courses. The validity of the X2 visa is also 90 days from the date of issue, but the stay duration cannot exceed 180 days.

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Chinese Student Visa Requirements

Meanwhile, here are the requirements and documents the applicants must meet up with in order to qualify for the Chinese Student Visa:

  1. Original passport
    • The applicant’s original passport should have at least 6 months of validity, otherwise it will be needing a renewal.
    • The passport should have at least one blank page.
  2. Application form
    • One accurate and complete application form.
    • Hand written form is not acceptable, you will have to fill it on a computer and print out the hard copy.
  3.  Passport photograph
    • One recent portrait passport photograph, which must be taken within 6 months.
    • Only color photograph with full face, front view, no hat, with a plain white background is acceptable.
    • Don’t staple or glue the photo, rather use paper clip to affix onto the application form.
  4. Admission notice
    • Send the original admission notice or acceptance letter from the Chinese university and a copy of with good quality.
  5. JW201 or JW202 form
    • Send one original and one copy of the JW201 or JW202 form of good quality.
    • Note that the JW201 or JW202 is for X1 applicants only.

Read Also: How to apply for a German Student Visa

Chinese Student Visa Application Process

Meanwhile, follow the guidelines outlined below for your Chinese Student Visa application:

1. Apply and Get an Acceptance Letter From a Chinese University

Firstly, you will have to apply to a Chinese university of your choice and get acceptance. You will be then receive an acceptance letter or admission notice upon acceptance by the university, which will be needed for the visa application.

Click here to view Chinese Universities


2. Receive The JW201 or JW202

After your acceptance, you will receive a JW201 or JW202 form, also know as the foreign student visa application form. While the JW201 form is for international students under Chinese Government scholarship, the JW202 is for self-sponsored international students.

3. Complete the JW201 or JW202 and Review Documentation

Ensure to accurately fill the form and sign on it. Then carefully cross-check to make sure you have the original supporting documents required and their good quality photocopies for your visa application.

4. Submit your Chinese Student Visa Application

Follow any of the option below to submit your visa application with the supporting documents mentioned in the requirements:

  1. The applicant may submit the visa application to the Chinese Embassies/Consulates in your home country, or an China Visa Application Centers (CVASC) in person.
  2. You may submit the visa application with the help of a travel or visa agency if you can’t come person. You can also entrust a friend or relative to act on your behalf.
  3. It is not advisable to apply through mail as it is not acceptable by most of the Chinese Embassies. But it is acceptable in many CVASCs.
  4. Although it is not required by most Chinese Embassies and Consulates, another option is to schedule a visa appointment. But you will need to make an online appointment through the CVASC’s website, if you are required to submit application to the CVASC.

You can download the application form using this link.

Additional Notes For X1/X2 Visa Holders

Here are further information on X1 and X2 type of Chinese Student Visa:

X1 Visa Holders:

  • Applicants for the X1 visa will have to apply for a Temporary Residence Permit from the Local Exit and Entry Admission within 30 days of their arrival into China.
  • The Temporary Residence Permit replaces the X1 visa, and can be issued with validity up to 5 years.
  • The Temporary Residence Permit allows the international student to travel in and out of mainland China freely.
  • Required documents include passport, acceptance notice, accommodation registration, JW201 or JW202 form, Foreigner Physical Examination Record, and a white background passport style.
  • Note that you are to revisit the local Exit and Entry Administration when your study in China ends to terminate Temporary Residence Permit.

X2 Visa Holders:

  • Applicants for the X2 visa holders do not need to apply for the Temporary Residence Permit. They shall only stay in China for the period that is shown in their visa.
  • You will need to visit the local Exit and Entry Administration 30 days in advance of their visa expiration date in case of visa extension.

Check Also: How to Apply For a USA Student Visa

Chinese Student Visa Processing Time

Processing time refers to the time the Chinese Embassy needs to process the application you submitted. However, the regular processing time is 4 working days. But they are different processing services you can use to get your visa earlier. They are as follows:

  • The express service: It takes 2-3 working days to process and costs an extra $20.
  • Rush service: Takes just 1 working day to process and costs an extra $ 30.

Important Notes

International students are not allowed to work on the Chinese Student Visa. Only part-time work may be authorized by their university or the Chinese Immigration authorities.

Although the processing time may only take one week or less. You should apply for your visa as early as three months before your intended date of entry in China to avoid delay.

The visa fee depends on your country of residence, but it is usually around $20 – $100. Click here for more details on the visa fee.


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