▪ Who are taking care of the visa matters in Shanghai?
▪ 144-hour Visa-Exemption Transit Policy
▪ Can a visa be extended?
▪ 15-Day Visa Exemption Policy for Foreign Tourist Groups Entering China by Cruise from Shanghai
▪ Can foreigners apply visa on arrival?
▪ Invitation Letter
Who are taking care of the visa matters in Shanghai?
According to the Administrative Law of the People' s Republic of China on Entry and Exit of Foreigners, foreigners entering China should apply for a visa to the Chinese diplomatic representative or consular offices, or other institutions authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of People' s Republic of China.
While applying for a visa, a visa notice issued by an authorized Chinese organization should be presented. Visa notice could be obtained from the Chinese host organization, or the Chinese side of a joint venture, or the warranty company of the foreign representative office and the solely foreign-invested company, after being reviewed by the corresponding supervising commission, office or bureau and approved by the authorized organization.
Invitations belonging to foreign trade sector should be submitted to the Municipal Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Commission for examination and approval and issuance of visa notice; invitations belonging to tourist sector should be submitted to the Municipal Tourism Administration Commission for examination and approval and issuance of visa notice; the entities registered in Pudong New Area inviting foreigners to come to China for business activities should submit the application to the Pudong New Area government for examination and approval and issuance of visa notice; the authorized group companies issue visa notices to foreigners invited by their affiliates for trade or investment activities; other visa matters shall be dealt with by the Foreign Affairs Office of the Shanghai Municipal People's Government (SHFAO) for the issuance of visa notice.
Department of Responsibility
Foreign Affairs Administration Division of SHFAO
Address: 1418, Nanjing Road (W)
Shanghai Zip Code: 200040
Office Hour: 9:00-11:30, Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Can a visa be extended?
The validity period of a visa refers to the time limit for the bearer to enter China, and it is irrelevant to the duration period of stay in China. The duration of stay refers to the period allowed for the bearer to stay in China starting on the date of entry. If the visitor fails to complete his/her work at the duration period of stay, he/she should go to the Entry and Exit Administration of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau to extend the visa. 30 days of extension could be granted to a "F" visa if the application is submitted by the bearers host organization while 90 days could be granted if the application is submitted by the supervising commission, office or bureau of the host organization and the visa could be renewed repeatedly within one year. "L" visa can be renewed only once for 30 days.
Can foreigners apply visa on arrival?
Here are Rules Governing the Implementation of the Law of the PRC on the Entry and Exit of Aliens (Extracts).
For entry to China, aliens shall apply for visas to Chinese diplomatic missions, consular posts or other foreign-base agencies authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China.
Aliens holding letters or telegrams from authorized organizations in China and ordinary passports issued by countries that have diplomatic relations or official trade contacts with China may apply for visas to port visa agencies authorized by the Ministry of Public Security in cases of an urgent need to travel to China and a lack of time to apply for visas to the above-mentioned Chinese agencies abroad, for the following reasons:
(1) Being invited at short notice by the Chinese side to attend a trade fair in China;
(2) Being invited to China to enter a bid or to formally sign an economic or trade contract;
(3) Coming to China under contract for supervision over export shipment, import commodity inspection or checked on the completion of a contract;
(4) Being invited to install equipment or make rush repairs;
(5) Coming to China at the request of the Chinese side for settling claims;
(6) Being invited to China for scientific or technological consulting services;
(7) A last-minute replacement or addition, approved by the Chinese side, to a delegation or group that has been invited and has already obtained visas for traveling to China;
(8) For visiting a patient in a critical condition or making funeral arrangements;
(9) As persons in immediate transit who, because of force majeure, are unable to leave China by original aircraft within 24 hours or have to leave China by other means of transport;
(10) As other invitees who really do not have enough time to apply for visas to the above-mentioned Chinese agencies abroad but hold letters or telegrams from designated competent authorities approving the application for visas at port visa agencies.
Port visa agencies shall not handle visa applications of aliens who do not come under the above-listed categories.
Port visa agencies authorized by the Ministry of Public Security are set up at the following ports:
Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Dalian, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Xi'an, Guilin, Hangzhou, Kunming, Guangzhou (Baiyun Airport), Shenzhen (Luohu, Shekou) and Zhuhai (Gongbei).
US citizens are advised to apply their visas before leaving for China. Only those who are in the situation as being said in Reason (9) are exceptions.
144-hour Visa-Exemption Transit Policy
Starting from Jan. 30, 2016, the measure of 144-hour Transit Visa Exemption for Foreign Nationals for citizens from 53 countries destined for a third country with booked a through air ticket goes into force at the ports of entry of the airports in Shanghai and Beijing. During the visa exemption period, the passenger is allowed to move around within the administration precincts of Beijing and Shanghai municipality.
The 53 visa-free countries are:
Albania, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America.
1. The passengers of the 53 countries should hold transit flight tickets to a third nation or region.
2. The passengers of the 53 countries should have their valid international travel documents and visas of the third nation or region.
3. The passengers of the 53 countries are allowed to stay in the administrative areas of Shanghai within 144 hours.
4. The passengers of the 53 countries should exit through the same airport which they enter. For detailed answers to Frequently Asked Questions concerning 144-hour visa-exemption transit policy, please call the hotline of the General Station of Shanghai Immigration Inspection 0086-21-51105100.
15-Day Visa Exemption Policy for Foreign Tourist Groups Entering China by Cruise from Shanghai
International tourist groups (at least two members) on cruises visiting the port of Shanghai can now enjoy visa-free transit for up to 15 days. Qualifying tours are arranged by registered Chinese tourism agencies, and will enable tourists to enter Shanghai without a visa and travel in the coastal provinces – as well as Beijing – for up to 15 days. For more information on the 15-Day Visa-Exemption Policy for Foreign Tour Groups Entering Shanghai by Cruise, please click here.
Please note ICFST is not authorized to assist with the VISA process beyond providing the Notification of Acceptance Letter and Invitation Letter (after registration) issued by the ICFST Committee Board. The invitation letter will be issued after the successful registration if you required. Should your application be denied, ICFST cannot change the decision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, nor will ICFST engage in discussion or correspondence with the Embassy on behalf of the applicant.