What documents should you prepare for the visa application?

Visa Application Document Requirement

The documents required for a visa application vary based on the visa category. But the common requirement is the following:

I. General Documents

  1. Passport *
  2. Driver’s license **
  3. Online Visa Application Form(Click Here to fill out)
     (Choose Washington DC. DO NOT SUBMIT application form at Preview page. Save your Application ID.)
  4. Visa Photo:
    (Digital picture file, click here for a place-holder picture and we provide visa photo service for free)
  5. Where You Stay Form
    (Please download WHERE YOU STAY FORM here, and handwritten signature required)


* The remaining validity of Passport must be more than 6 months with at least 2 blank visa pages.
10-Year multiple entries visa is not available for passport with less one year validation period.

** Other Proof of Residence documents (e.g. utility bill, bank bill) can replace the driver’s license.

II. Other Documents

  1. Inviter or travel  information
    • A – If planning to stay in China with relative/friend who is a Chinese citizen:
      a. His/Her Chinese ID Card photocopy (front and back)
      b. Invitation letter. (Refer to the Sample letter draft if applying for Family/Tourist Visa)
      c. If you are going business trip to China, you need the official invitation letter from the business who invites you.
    • B – If planning to have a China trip without invitation letter:
      A. Flight itinerary
      B. Hotel booking
      (name and personal information of the applicant must be included)
  2. Non-US citizen
    If the applicant is a foreigner in the US, they need to provide a photocopy of green card, visa, I20, or I94 to prove their legal residence in the US.
  3. Had China visa before *
    If the applicant had China Visa before, the copy of latest China Visa page or Chinese residence permit, and the copy of passport’s first page carrying that visa/residence permit is needed (if different from the current passport).
  4. Original Chinese Passport
    If the applicant was of Chinese nationality, this application is the first Chinese visa application after naturalization in a foreign country, the last physical Chinese passport is needed and a photocopy of naturalization certificate, and original Chinese ID Card number (if had one).
  5. Name Change document
    If the applicant’s name has been changed, and it is the first time to apply for a Chinese visa after the name change, a photocopy of the name change document (either Name Change Petition from the court, or Marriage Certificate) is required.
  6. Birth Certificate **
    Child under 18 must provide birth certificate, parents’ passport and drivers‘ license copies.
  7. Marriage Certificate
    (Optional for some applicants applying for Q/S visas to show the relationship of immediate family members between applicants and inviting individual.)
  8. Other related documents
    – Notice for the Work Permit for Foreigners (Z visa)
    – Confirmation Letter for High Level Foreign Talents (R visa)
    – Guarantee Letter from transport company (C visa)
    – Admission Letter and Form JW 201 or JW 202 (X1/X2)


* If the previous multi-year multi-entry visa is on the old passport, the original old passport is required to be submitted.

** For the visa application by a minor of Chinese origin born in the US, please follow the guidance in the Visa for Child born in the U. S. to a Chinese Parent.

*** To help you understand, click here to refer to the documents requirement for a common applied Visa Categories: Chinese Short-term Visiting Visa (Q2).

For others, please check the official web site of Chinese Embassy, and select a visa category based on your purpose of visit to China and click the category code to see detailed requirements.