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China Student Visa (X)

Chinese student visa, also known as the X visa, is issued to aliens who come to China for study, advanced studies, or fieldwork. It can be divided into two types:

X1 visa: For long-term study > 180 days
X2 visa: For short-term study ≤ 180 days

The validity of both is 90 days from the date of issue, while the stay duration for X1 visa is usually 000, which needs to be determined after the applicant enters China, and that for X2 visa is not more than 180 days.

For international students, it’s necessary to find an organization accredited for offering courses or internships to foreigners so that they will send a JW201 or JW202 form and an admission letter.
See Chinese Universities Enrolling Foreign Students

China Student Visa Requirements & Documents

1. Passport

- Applicant's original passport valid up to at least six months with at least one blank page.

2. Application Form

- One accurately and truthfully completed China visa application form.

3. Recent Photo

- Affix one recent passport style color photo with full face, front view, no hat, and against a plain light background onto the application form.

4. Admission Notice

- Original and a copy of Admission Notice from the Chinese university or school.

5. JW201 or JW202 Form - for X1 application only

Original and a copy of approved Foreign Student Visa Application Form JW201 or JW202.

1. Since US students can now apply for the five-year X1 visa, their passports should have a remaining validity of at least one year if applying for the 5-year X1 visa.
2. The JW201 or JW202 form should be obtained through the school you are to enroll at. JW201 form is issued to international students dispatched by government or funded by Chinese government scholarships while JW202 is for self-sponsored foreign students. (Download Application Form for Chinese Government Scholarship)

How to Apply for China X visa

1. Make an appointment for China visa application submission
2. You may submit the application to the consular office of the Chinese embassies, consulates, or China Visa Application Centers (CVASC) in person. 
3. Mailed applications are refused by most Chinese embassies, consulates, or CVASCs.

Processing Time

The regular processing time is 4 working days. If you want to collect your visa earlier, the express service and rush service are available.
Express Service: 2-3 working days processing; extra US$ 20 will be charged.
Rush Service: 1 working day processing; extra US$ 30 will be charged.

China Student Visa Fees

The fee for X visa is the same with the fee for other types of Chinese visa. Since X1 visa only has one entry and seldom do Chinese embassies and consulates issue multiple-entry X2 visas, here we only list single-entry and double-entry X visa fees for reference.

China X Visa Types US Citizens Canadian Citizens UK Citizens Australian Citizens
Single Entry USD 185 CAD 142 GBP 151 AUD 109.5
Double Entries USD 185 CAD 142 GBP 151 AUD 139.5

For more details, please click China Visa Fees.

Things to Know for X1 Visa Holders

X1 visa holders shall apply for a Temporary Residence Permit from the local Exit and Entry Administration within 30 days upon entry into China. The temporary residence permit can be issued with the validity of up to 5 years. Documents required include passport, admission notice, JW201 or JW202 form, Foreigner Physical Examination Record, a registration of accommodation, and a passport style white-background photo.

Within the validity of the Temporary Residence Permit, students can travel into and out of mainland China freely.

When the study in China ends, X1 visa holders should go to the local Exit and Entry Administration to cancel the Temporary Residence Permit and apply for a 30-day tourist visa with zero entry to avoid problems.

Things to Know for X2 Visa Holders

X2 holders shall stay in China within the duration period as indicated on the visa, and it is not necessary for them to apply for the temporary residence permit. In case that they need to extend the X2 visa, please go to the local Exit and Entry Administration to handle this affair 30 days before the expiration date.

Working on X Visa Is Not Allowed

You are not permitted to work on the X type visa. But part-time work and internships off campus may be authorized. You should contact you university or employer after you have settled in China to see what can be arranged.

For foreign students who work in violation of Chinese regulations or beyond the prescribed scope of jobs or time limit, they shall be deemed unlawful employment and will probably have to stop or be expelled. 


Further Reading:

8 Tips for Filling Out Chinese Visa Application Form
Top 8 Reasons Why Your China Visa Gets Rejected
Student Group Tours
Student Travel Tips        

- Last updated on May. 25, 2023 by Kate Liu -
Questions & Answers on China Student Visa
Asked by Hossain from BANGLADESH | Aug. 22, 2023 08:07Reply
Student visa matter
If I apply for X1 single entry visa, I will apply for one-year temporary residence permit within 30 days of entry. My question is, Will I get multiple exit-entry by temporary residence permit? As I will apply for X1 single entry visa.
Answers (1)
Answered by Mia | Aug. 22, 2023 20:16

Yes, you can enter China for multiple times according to the residence permit.
Asked by Bobga Nkono from CAMEROON | Aug. 20, 2023 12:07Reply
If you have jw 202 do you still need another visa form to fill and submit
My Jw 202 has been provided by my school together with my admission notice. Do i still need another china visa applications form?
Answers (1)
Answered by Bob | Aug. 21, 2023 02:00

Yes, you still need to fill in the visa application form, print it out and sign it, then submit it together with other documents.
Asked by Albert Tawy from USA | Aug. 14, 2023 15:23Reply
Study Chinese in China
How to apply for visa to study Chinese in Pékin university , thanks
Answers (1)
Answered by James | Aug. 15, 2023 00:20

If you have an Admission Notice issued by the university, you can apply for X visa. Prepare your valid passport, photo, and completed visa application form and make an appointment on line in advance. Then submit all the required documents in the local Chinese embassy or consulate in person.
Asked by Anahit Greyan from ARMENIA | Aug. 01, 2023 12:21Reply
Hi there,
I have a valid work permit and residence permit in China, but I need to switch to X1 visa. Can I do it while I’m in China or I have to leave and apply from an embassy outside China?
And if so, can I do it from Hong Kong/Macau?
Answers (2)
Answered by Emily | Aug. 01, 2023 20:01

Generally speaking, you can change it at the local entry and exit administration bureau with all required documents.
Answered by Anahit | Aug. 02, 2023 23:14

Great, thanks a lot ☺️
Asked by Zamunda from EQUATORIAL GUINEA | Jul. 31, 2023 01:50Reply
visa stuff
i'm in china now i have T visa and i want to go hongkong beacause i got admission for two years master.
i want to come to agency in hong kong to apply for X1 visa and get in back. IS possible?
Answers (1)
Answered by Vivian | Aug. 01, 2023 02:11

It's not guaranteed. Anyway, you can give it a try.
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