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The Chinese Government issues different types of visas according to the purposes of the visitors. Foreigners wishing to travel to China should apply to the local Chinese embassy or consulate for a tourist visa (L). In the event of a group tour of more than nine persons, the organizer has to apply for a group tourist visa (L).

When applying for a visa, foreigners are required to answer certain questions and go through the following formalities: 1) providing a valid passport or any document in place of a passport; 2) filling in a visa application form and submitting up-to-date passport photos; 3) submitting the documents needed for visa application and documents which explain one's reason(s) for entering China. A foreigner holding a tourist visa (L) should go to an appointed port of entry or one which is opened to foreigners, receive the examination by a frontier inspection station, submit a valid passport and visa for inspection, and fill in an entry card; entry into China is granted only after the frontier inspection has approved all the documents and stamped them with an entry seal.

Foreigners may travel in places opened to them in China with a valid passport and tourist visa (L). Foreigners traveling with their own transport vehicles should apply for approval before they enter China. These include bicycles, motorcycles, cars, boats and aircraft.

Foreign tourists are not allowed to enter areas not opened to foreigners; violators will be penalized according to law. Foreigners who want to visit an area on business not opened to them should apply to the local public security office for a Foreigners Travel Permit. When they apply for such a permit, they should show their passports and valid visas, provide letters which explain the reasons for such a visit, and fill in the Application Form for Foreign Travelers. Only after approval is granted, can they enter the area not opened to foreign visitors. The Foreigners Travel Permit should be used along with the passport.

When applying for lodging in a hotel, guesthouse, school or any other Chinese establishment, a foreign visitor should provide a valid passport and fill in a registration form for temporary lodging. A foreign visitor staying with a Chinese family should apply to the local public security office within seventy-two hours after arrival with valid identification documents for both the guest and the host. A foreign visitor staying with a Chinese family in a rural area should apply to the local police station or residential administrative office within seventy-two hours after arrival. This stipulation also applies to a foreign visitor staying in a foreign establishment or with a foreigner's family in China.

The foreigners with an L Visa can not engage in the activities which are not in accordance with their identities, such as obtaining employment, propagating religion and illegally interviewing. Those who have engaged in the above activities will be punished. The Chinese government will safeguard the lawful rights of the foreigners in China. Foreigners in China must obey Chinese laws and respect the Chinese traditions and customs.

Foreign travelers can travel inside China during the time qualified in the Visa. If the duration of each Stay after entry is terminated and the travelers want to continue the traveling, they can apply to the local public security organ for an extension of the stay. After traveling, foreigners should fill in the exit registration card while the visa remains valid. Foreigners shall submit their valid passports, Chinese visas and certificates to the border check-posts for examination and may leave China after the border check-posts complete inspection and affix inspection seals.

If the passport is lost while within China, the foreigners can not leave China until they promptly report to the Division of Exit and Entry Administration of Public Security office, apply the exist certifications from their countries Consulate in China with the certification issued by the Public Security office, then go through the related procedures in the Division of Exit and Entry Administration.


72-Hour Visa-Free Transit

As approved by the State Council, starting in August 1, 2013, Guangzhou Baiyun Airport will implement the policy of 72-hour visa-free transit for passengers from 51 countries who hold a third-country visa.

Read more about 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit...

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