How to get a visa for China

So you wanna go to China? Well to get into China you need to get a visa. And there are three types of visas you can choose from. Each has their own pro’s and con’s. So what you first need to do is figure out how long you want to be in China for and what you want to do. Once you know what you’re looking for you can decide which route is best for suiting your needs.

Travel visa - This is the most basic visa for getting into any country that requires you to have a visa. It’s nice because you have no time commitments with this visa (Student and Work visas both have time commitments). So you can do whatever you want, wanna travel to Beijing for a week? Done. Want to check out Shanghai for a few days? No problem. The downside to getting into China with a travel visa is that you’re only allowed to stay in the country for 3 months at a time. So if you want to learn the language, build relationships and study the culture, you’ll find that three months isn’t going to be long enough.

Student visa - Another option is to get a student visa. You do this by finding a Chinese college or language school that you would like to study at and you enroll with their school. When you do this you’ll also apply for a student visa. What’s nice about a student visa is that it’s good for as long as you’re studying at that school. So you can stay in the country for years without having to leave. So it’s nice if your plans are to study Chinese and be there for a while, because with this visa you will be able to stay a while. The downside to this visa is that you’re required to attend the school. This isn’t a huge time commitment (maybe 15 hours or so a week), but it isn’t like you can just travel the whole time and not attend school.

Work visa - This is another option for getting into China. It requires you to first find a job that offers a visa (in most cases this will be a college or school looking for native English speakers to teach) and through that job you can apply for a work visa. What’s nice about this visa is that you can stay in China for as long as your work contract allows you. So if you want to be in China for a while, this is a great option. You can also make a little money while you’re in China, which is nice. The downside is similar to the Student visa, you’re required to show up at your work and teach (usually demanding 12-40 hours a week). So you can’t just pick up and go to Beijing for a few weeks whenever you want.

If you need more information on; China, Xian, teaching English, or living in China, feel free to look over my site or write me your questions. I’ll do my best to answer them. Thanks for reading this.

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