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Steps to apply for an S Visa for family visit in China

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S Visas are issued to those who intend to go to China to visit foreign relatives (spouses, parents, sons or daughters under the age of 18, or parents-in-law) who are working or studying in China, or who intend to go to China for other private affairs. S visas can be divided into two types, depending on how long the person intends to stay in China. 

Validity 

For an S1 Visa, the intended duration of stay in China must exceed 180 days. You can extend your stay in China, but you are banned from working during the stay.

For an S2 visa, the intended duration of stay in China must be no more than 180 days. You can extend your stay up to 180 days, but you are banned from working during the stay. 

Steps to apply for S1 Visa 

1. Passport 

Original signed passport with at least six months of remaining validity and blank visa pages, and a copy of the passport's data page and the photo page if it is separate. 

2. Visa Application Form (Form V.2013) and Photo 

One completed Visa Application Form with a recently-taken color passport photo (bare-head, full face) against a light background attached 

3. Proof of legal stay or residence status (applicable to non-U.S. citizens) 

You must provide the original and photocopy of your valid certificates or visa of stay, residence, employment or student status, or other valid certificates of legal staying provided by the relevant authorities of the country where you are currently staying. 

4. Photocopy of previous Chinese passports or previous Chinese visas (applicable to foreign citizens who were Chinese citizens and have obtained foreign citizenship) 

If you are applying for a Chinese visa for the first time, you should provide your previous Chinese passport held and a photocopy of its data page. 

If you have obtained Chinese visas before and want to apply for a Chinese visa with a renewed foreign passport that does not contain any Chinese visa, you should present the photocopy of the previous passport's data page and the photo page if it is separate, as well as the previous Chinese visa page. (If your name on the current passport differs from that on the previous one, you must provide an official document of name change.) 

5. If the applicant is a child born in the U.S. to a Chinese parent, the visa requirements are different. 

6. An invitation letter from the inviting individual (a foreigner who stays or resides in China for work or studies) which contains:

A. Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)

B. Information on the visit (purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place of intended residence, relations between the applicant and the inviting individual, financial source for expenditures, etc.)

C. Information on the inviting individual (name, contact telephone number, address, signature, etc.) 

7. A photocopy of the inviting individual's passport and residence permit 

8. Original and photocopy of certification (marriage certificate, birth certificate, certification of kinship issued by Public Security Bureau or notarized certification of kinship) showing the relationship of immediate family members between applicants and inviting individual. ("Immediate family members" refers to spouses, parents, sons or daughters under the age of 18, parents-in-law.) 

NOTE:

1. The applicant should guarantee that all information provided in the application is true and correct. Any false, misleading or incomplete information may result in denial of the visa or refusal of entry into China.

2. The invitation letter may be in the form of fax, photocopy or computer printout. An applicant may be required to submit an original invitation, provide other supporting documents, or schedule an interview with the consular officer.

3. The consular officer will make decisions on whether or not to grant a visa and allowed validity, duration of stay and number of entries based on individual application. 

Steps to apply for S2 Visa 

1. Passport 

Original signed passport with at least six months of remaining validity and blank visa pages, and a copy of the passport's data page and the photo page if it is separate. 

2. Visa Application Form (Form V.2013) and Photo 

One completed Visa Application Form with a recently-taken color passport photo (bare-head, full face) against a light background attached 

3. Proof of legal stay or residence status (applicable to non-U.S. citizens) 

You must provide the original and photocopy of your valid certificates or visa of stay, residence, employment or student status, or other valid certificates of legal staying provided by the relevant authorities of the country where you are currently staying. 

4. Photocopy of previous Chinese passports or previous Chinese visas (applicable to foreign citizens who were Chinese citizens and have obtained foreign citizenship) 

If you are applying for a Chinese visa for the first time, you should provide your previous Chinese passport held and a photocopy of its data page. 

If you have obtained Chinese visas before and want to apply for a Chinese visa with a renewed foreign passport that does not contain any Chinese visa, you should present the photocopy of the previous passport's data page and the photo page if it is separate, as well as the previous Chinese visa page. (If your name on the current passport differs from that on the previous one, you must provide an official document of name change.) 

5. If the applicant is a child born in the U.S. to a Chinese parent, the visa requirements are different. 

6. For visiting family members for a short period, the following documents are required:

A. An invitation letter issued by the inviting individual (a foreigner who stays or resides in China for work or studies) which contains: Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.) ; Information on the visit (purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, relations between the applicant and the inviting individual, financial source for expenditures, etc.) ; Information on the inviting individual (name, contact telephone number, address, signature, etc.)

B. A photocopy of the inviting individual's (a foreigner who stays or lives in China for work or studies) passport and residence permit

C. Photocopy of certification (marriage certificate, birth certificate or notarized certification of kinship) showing the relationship of family members between the applicant and the inviting individual. ("Family members" refers to spouses, parents, sons, daughters, spouses of sons or daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandsons, granddaughters and parents-in-law.) 

7. For private affairs, documentation identifying the nature of the private affairs should be provided as required by the consular officer. 

NOTE:

1. In accordance with a 2014 China-U.S. visa arrangement, U.S. citizens may be eligible for 10-year multiple entry visa. The remaining validity of the U.S. passport must be over 12 months.

2. The applicant should guarantee that all information provided in the application is true and correct. Any false, misleading or incomplete information may result in denial of the visa or refusal of entry into China.

3. The invitation letter may be in the form of fax, photocopy or computer printout. An applicant may be required to submit an original invitation, provide other supporting documents, or schedule an interview with the consular officer.

4. The consular officer will make decisions on whether or not to grant a visa and allowed validity, duration of stay and number of entries based on individual application.

2016-06-23

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