Throughout this website, I have described what China is like but I haven't thought about telling you how to get there. Well, silly me. To make up for my carelessness, I will dedicate this article to the details of all the things you need to know about Chinese Visas, because it can become very confusing.
When you first apply for a visa, you may be surprised to learn that there are many different types of Chinese visas. To sum it up, there are 4 main types of China travel visa which are L, F, Z, and X.
For the typical tourist visa, it is good when your reason for travel is for "pleasure." Anything from visiting a friend to trying new food, this visa will help you with pleasure. (Pleasure, get it. I'm so funny)
The rule is that you can only stay for a 30 day period, and it only grants you one or two entries per visa. After it expires, you may reapply as normal.
Just as the name indicates, this visa is for business trips. "Business" refers to company meetings, research, culture exchanges, or an internship. This visa will last about 6 months; however, you may only stay as long as 30 days for each stay. The difference between a visa for business and a visa for pleasure is it gives you an option to have multiple entries, meaning that you can go back and forth with one visa.
To obtain this visa is a little bit tricky. The Chinese host company has to provide you with a formal invitation to come into China. With the invitation, you then can apply for type F- Visa.
As a side note, this visa is still considered to be a tourist visa, meaning that you cannot gain employment in China. It is best to get in contact with the Chinese embassy and consulate when applying for this visa.
Let's say that you are a manager who gets transferred to China for work. This visa is just right for you. With type Z-Visa, you can be employed while you stay.
For students coming to China to study or intern. This visa permits a stay in China for 6 months or more (if needed).
Those are the four common visas for normal people. However there are two more visas for special cases. I know that you feel like you just got scammed, but after these two, that will be it. I don't know much about these two visas. Sorry, for being brief.
This visa permits airline crew people such as a pilot and airline workers for periodic work in China.
If you are a journalist or reporter then you may obtain this visa. The length of your stay will depend on your work.