中国驻旧金山总领馆关于申办中国签证常见问题中英文解答

1.如果我有十年有效、多次入境的中国签证,而且还在有效期,现在能用吗?

现在不能使用。疫情期间中方对外国人入境的签证相关政策目前仍然有效,原持有效签证、居留许可(工作、私人事务、团聚类许可除外)、APEC商务旅行卡的外国人暂停入境。如近期需要赴华,可参见《关于调整中国签证申办须知的通知》申请相应签证。

2.如果我有工作、私人事务或者团聚类居留许可,现在还需要办签证吗?

要具体看。持有效的工作、私人事务或者团聚类居留许可的外国人,在赴华事由不变的情况下,可直接凭居留许可赴华,无需另行申办签证。

但是如果您的居留许可已过有效期,或者在获发其他签证后居留许可已经作废,或者您赴华事由已经发生变化,您需要重新申办签证。如果已获发Z字、S1字或Q1字签证赴华,请在入境后30天内向目的地出入境管理部门申办居留许可。

3.我有中国“绿卡”,就不用办签证了吧?

持有效中国永久居留证件的外国人无需另行申办签证。

4.申办签证要不要交护照,对护照有什么要求吗?

申请签证需要提供护照原件,护照有效期要在6个月以上,而且需要有至少1张空白签证页。通常情况下,护照的签证页会标有“VISAS”字样。

5.办签证要交照片吗?对照片有什么要求?

需要提交电子版照片。请您在线填写签证申请表(https://cova.mfa.gov.cn/)时,按网站提示提交电子版证件照片,如果您的照片符合链接中相关要求(http://sanfrancisco.china-consulate.gov.cn/qianzhen/201612/t20161215_10372652.htm)且系统审核通过,无需提供纸质照片。如在线填表过程中提示您电子版照片未通过审核,请在邮寄申请材料时一并将1张符合要求的纸质照片寄来。

6.签证申请表需要打印和签名吗?

必须的。请您完成在线填写签证申请表后,打印出确认页及表格,并在确认页及表格第九项签名。未满18周岁的未成年申请人需由父母或监护人代签。

7.我现在不在美国,能通过邮寄方式申请签证吗?

不能。如果您不美国境内,我们无法受理您的签证申请。您可向所在国家的中国使领馆咨询有关签证申请事宜。如果您的常住地在我馆领区内,可向我馆提交签证申请。

8.我不想发邮件预约了,直接把申请材料寄到总领馆,这样会比其他人办得快吗?

不仅不会快而且可能办不成。对于未按要求完成申请材料初审或未获得预约号就寄出的,或信封上标注不清、不完整齐全的申请材料,总领馆将直接邮寄退回申请人。

更遗憾的是,如果您直接寄出的申请材料中没有提供回邮信封,那么您的护照将无法回到您手中,除非您主动联系总领馆。

9.我们一家三口都通过了签证申请材料的初审,并且拿到了3个约寄号码,我们可以把3个人的申请材料放在一个信封寄给总领馆吗?

请不要放在一个信封里。为避免邮寄过程中因材料超重或过厚等原因被退回申请人,请您为每个申请人分别准备信封和办理邮寄,也就是“一人一信封(也要内装回邮信封)”。

10.我想去中国探望我的家人,他给我写的邀请函有格式要求或者参考模板吗?

邀请函无固定格式要求,但建议包含以下内容:

邀请人XX,性别X,出生日期:X年X月X日,中国身份证号XXX(或外国护照号XX、中国永久居留证件号XX),现在中国居住地址XX,联系电话XX,电邮XX。

本人现邀请以下亲属赴华探亲(或长期居住),拟X年X月X日赴华,停留期XX天。被邀请人信息如下:

姓名XX,性别X,出生日期XX,国籍XX,护照号XX,与邀请人的亲属关系是XX。

本人承诺上述情况属实,如有虚假,愿承担一切责任。

邀请人签字  和  日期

邀请函可以是传真件、复印件或打印件,且必须有邀请人的签名。不接受电子邮件正文作为邀请函。必要时,领事官员可能要求申请人提供邀请函原件。

11.在美国出生的有中国血统未满18周岁的申请人申办签证时应该如何准备材料?

要看此类申请人是否为首次办理中国签证。如首次申办中国签证,除常规申请材料外,还需提交申请人出生证(原件或复印件将根据申办签证类别有所区别),父母双方的护照个人资料页复印件,证明父母在申请人出生时所持有外国永久居留权状况的文件(如美国“绿卡”等)。如申请人此前已申办过中国签证,需提供常规申请材料(含原签证复印件)。

12.我已经办好了中国签证,但因机票等原因改变了旅行计划,可以在总领馆改签或者延期吗?

签证申请一经批准,不可更改,也不能延期,费用不予退还。在未收到总领馆颁发的签证前,建议不要购买赴华机票。由此可能产生的损失,将由申请人本人自行承担。

13.我有近期获发的有效签证,一定能入境中国了吗?

不一定,取得了签证并不意味着可以当然入境中国。中国边防检查部门将依据中国法律和规定,在口岸做出是否准予你入境中国的决定。

14.为什么发给我的签证种类跟我申请的不一样?

领事官员依据申请个案决定是否颁发签证、以及签证的种类、有效期、停留期限和入境次数。

15.办理签证需要多长时间?我提前多久申请合适?

一般情况下,自收到符合要求的邮寄材料之日起,约4个工作日内总领馆将完成签证审发。如邮件的纸质材料不合要求,将需要更长时间。您在邮局或快递公司系统中查到的送达时间不一定是纸质申请材料邮包的实际送达时间,一些邮包会延迟到馆1至2个工作日。

一般情况下,建议在计划入境中国前一个月左右递交签证申请。

16.只要我通过初审寄出申请材料就一定能获发签证吗?

在线初审通过并不一定会获发签证。总领馆在收到申请人邮寄的纸质材料后,将进行复审并决定是否颁发签证。如颁发签证,总领馆会将护照和签证寄回申请人;如不颁发签证,亦会寄还护照并退回签证费用。

17.我对办签证不是很了解,是不是要找个有经验的人或者中介机构代办?

个人信息诚可贵、委托代办需谨慎。申请人可自行完成签证申请,无需寻求他人或中介机构代办。如委托他人或中介代办签证,可能因他人或中介的违法行为,影响最终申请结果或产生其他不利于申请人的后果或法律责任,这些都将由申请人自行承担。

18.我现在人在中国,签证停留期快到了,能把我的美国护照寄给我在美国的朋友,再由他寄给总领馆申请新的签证吗?

不可以。你必须在签证停留期满前离境,或向当地出入境管理部门咨询是否可以就地申请延长停留或居留时间。

19.我平时最怕麻烦,签证申请表看起来内容有点多,有些信息我不想提供,随便瞎填一下就行了吧?

不行的。根据《中华人民共和国出境入境管理法》的相关规定,在申请签证过程中弄虚作假,或者不能按签证机关要求提交相关材料的,不予签发签证。对不予签发签证的,签证机关可以不说明理由。

20.签证费我能交现金、个人支票或者用信用卡支付吗?

不能。我馆目前只接受汇票(money order)或现金支票(cashier’s check),收款方请写:Chinese Consulate。

中国驻旧金山总领馆关于申办中国签证常见问题解答(英文版)

Q & A On Applying for a Chinese Visa

1. If I have a valid Chinese visa with multiple-entry and 10-year validity, can I use it to travel to China now?
No, you can’t. The arrangement during the COVID-19 pandemic on temporary suspending for foreign nationals holding valid Chinese visas or Residence Permits to enter the country is still in effect. Foreign Nationals holding valid Chinese visas, Residence Permits (Residence Permits for work, personal affairs, and family reunion are not included), and APEC Business Travel Cards are temporary suspended to enter the country. If you need to travel to China recently, please refer to the “Notice on Adjustment of Chinese Visa Application Instructions” posted on June 13, 2022 for visa application.

2. If I have valid Chinese Residence Permits for work, personal affairs, or family reunion, do I still need a Chinese Visa?
It depends. Foreign nationals holding valid Chinese Residence Permits for work, personal affairs, and family reunion are allowed to enter China with no need to apply for new visas if the purpose of going to China remains unchanged.
If the Residence Permit is expired, or it has been canceled due to receiving other type of visas, or your purpose of going to China has changed, you need to apply for a new visa. Holders of Z, S1, or Q1 Visas are required to apply for Residence Permits from the local Exit and Entry Administration within 30 days from the date of entry.

3. I have a Chinese Permanent Resident ID Card. Do I still need to apply for a Chinese Visa?
Holders of Chinese Permanent Resident ID Cards do NOT need to apply for visas to enter China within the validity of the ID cards.

4. Do I need to submit an original passport to apply for a visa? What are the requirements for the passport?
Yes, you do. It is required to submit the original passport with at least 6 months of validity and at least ONE blank visa page. Usually, the visa page of a passport is marked with the words VISAS.

5. Do I need to submit a photo to apply for my visa? What are the requirements for the photo?
Yes, you do. When you fill in the visa application form online at COVA system (https://cova.mfa.gov.cn/), please follow the instructions to upload a digital version of your photo. A physical photo is not required, if the digital version you submit online is qualified and meets the requirements listed on the following website:
https://www.mfa.gov.cn/ce/ceus//eng/visas/zyxx/P020161206204655391310.jpg.
If your digital photo is not qualified according to the feedback of COVA system (https://cova.mfa.gov.cn/), ONE qualified physical photo should be included when mailing the application documents to the Consulate.

6. Does the visa application form need to be printed and signed?
A must. After completing the visa application form online, please print out the confirmation page and the whole form and sign the confirmation page and item 9 of the form. Forms of minor applicants under the age of 18 need to be signed by their parents or lawful guardians.

7. I am not in the United States now, can I apply for a visa by mail?
No, you can’t. The Consulate will not accept your visa application while you are not in the United States. You may inquire the Chinese Embassy or Consulate-General in the country of domicile on your visa application. If the place of domicile is in the consular jurisdiction of the Consulate-General of China in San Francisco, you may submit the visa application to the Consulate-General.

8. If I mail my application documents directly to the Consulate  instead of sending an email for application preview, will my application be expedited compared with the other applicants?
No, it will not. Neither your application will be accepted, nor be expedited. The application documents should be mailed to the Consulate AFTER being previewed by the staff and the unique mailing reference number through email being given. The whole set of application documents will be returned to the applicant by mail, if the preview is skipped, or the address on the self-addressed envelop is not explicitly written, or the required documents are not included. And your passport without a self-addressed envelop will not be mailed back to you unless you contact the Consulate and send the self-addressed envelop.

9. My family of three have all passed the preview and obtained 3 different mailing reference numbers. Can we put all our documents into ONE envelope and mail it to the Consulate as a whole set?
No, please don’t. The overweight or oversized envelope could lead to the unnecessary return to the applicants during shipping, please prepare a separate envelope for each applicant, that is “one applicant, one mail (with self-addressed envelope in each one)”.

10. If I want to visit my family members in China, is there a  template or required format for the invitation letter from them?
There is no specific template or required format for the invitation letter. It is suggested to include the following information:
Date of letter
Inviter’s name, gender, date of birth (yyyy/mm/dd), Chinese ID number (or foreign passport number and Chinese Permanent Residence ID card number), address (in China), phone number, and email address.
Details of the planned visit: purpose (e.g. long-term family reunion, visiting family members etc.), arrival date, and estimated duration of stay in China.
Applicant’s (invitee’s) name, gender, date of birth, nationality, passport number, and the kinship with the inviter.
I promise that the above information is true. I will take all responsibility if there is any false information.
Hand-written signature

The invitation letter could be a faxed copy, a photocopy, or a printed copy with the inviter’s signature. The email text cannot be printed out and used as an invitation letter. The original invitation letter may be required by the Consul if necessary.

11.  What documents are required for the U.S.-born applicants (under the age of 18) with Chinese descent to apply for a visa?
It depends on whether such applicants are applying for a Chinese visa for the first time.
If he/she applies for the first time, in addition to the regular application documents, the applicant’s birth certificate (the original or copy will be different according to the type of visa application), a copy of the passport information page of parents, and a document proving the status of the foreign permanent residency held by the parents at the time of the applicant’s birth (such as a “green card” in the United States, etc.). If the applicant has once obtained for a Chinese visa, he/she is required to provide regular application documents (including a copy of the previous visa).

12.  I have obtained the Chinese Visa, but my travel plan has changed due to air tickets or other reasons, can I request to renew or extend my visa?
No, you can’t. Once a visa is issued, it cannot be changed or extended, nor can the fees be refunded. It is suggested that the applicants should purchase air tickets after obtaining the visa. Any possible relevant loss occurred will be borne by the applicants.

13.  If I have a valid Chinese visa, can I definitely enter China?
Not necessarily. Obtaining a visa does not mean that you can necessarily enter China. The Chinese border inspection department will make a decision at the port on whether to allow you to enter China in accordance with Chinese laws and regulations.

14.  Why is the type of visa I am issued different from the one I applied for?
The consular officer decides on a case-by-case basis whether or not to issue a visa, as well as the category, validity, duration of stay and number of entries.

15.  How long does it take to process my visa application? What is the right time to submit my visa application?
It usually takes 4 working days for the consul to process and issue a visa after the qualified physical application documents are received. If the physical application documents fail to meet the requirements, it will take longer. The delivery time you find in the post office or courier company system is not necessarily the actual delivery time of the physical application documents parcels, and some parcels will be delayed by 1 to 2 working days.
It is advised to submit a visa application about one month before the planned entry into China.

16.  If I mailed the physical application documents to the Consulate after my application was previewed, is there a guarantee that I will be issued a visa?
Passing the online preview does not necessarily result in  obtaining a visa. After receiving the physical application documents, the consul will review the application and decide to issue a visa or not. If the visa is issued, the passport with the Chinese visa will be mailed back to the applicant. If the visa is not issued, the passport and visa fee (money order or cashier’s cheque) will be returned.

17.  I don’t know much on how to apply for a visa, should I ask someone with experiences, or find an agency to help me with the application process?
Personal information is important and it should be cautious to entrust an agency to apply for a visa. Since the visa application procedure is not complicated for most of the applicants, entrusting someone else or an agency is not necessary. Getting help from an agent or agency to apply for a visa, in case there are illegal acts related with the agent or agency, it could not only affect the issuing of the visa, but also lead to possible unfavorable consequences or legal liabilities, which may be borne by the applicant.

18.  I’m now in China, but my visa will expire soon. Can I mail my passport to my friend in the U.S. and apply for a new Chinese visa from the Consulate?
No, you can’t. You should leave China before the expiry of the visa or consult with the local Exit and Entry Administration on the possibility of extension of stay in China.

19.  I don’t want to bother filling in the visa application form which seems too much to be answered. And I don’t want to provide some information or documents. Can I just fill out the form at random?
No, you can’t. According to the relevant provisions of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Exit-Entry Administration, if the visa application process is fraudulent, or if the applicant fails to submit the required documents, the visa will not be issued. If a visa application is denied, the reasons may not be given.

20.  May I pay the visa fee in cash, by personal cheque or by credit card?
No, please don’t. At present, only money orders or cashier’s cheques are accepted. Please write “Chinese Consulate” in the blank of“Pay to……”on the money order or cashier’s cheque.

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