According to the Law of the People's Republic of China Concerning the Administration of Foreigners Entering and Leaving the Country, foreign tourists must apply for visas at China's foreign affairs offices, consulates or other organizations authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A group of five tourists or more can apply for a group tourist visa. This is usually handled by a travel agency organizing groups. People coming to China from countries which have visa agreements with China (such as agreements which exempt tourist groups from visas) are treated in accordance with these agreements.
If anyone wants to go to Tibet for a visit you can apply for a visa only with the consent of the Tourism Administration of the Tibet Autonomous Region or any one of its foreign representative offices. A passport is required for visa application, the passport shall be valid for at least 6 months beyond the duration of the tour.
A Brief Introduction to Chinese Visa
Chinese visa is a permit issued to a foreigner by the Chinese visa authorities for entry into, exit from or transit through the Chinese territory. The Chinese visa authorities may issue a Diplomatic, Courtesy, Service or Ordinary Visa to a foreigner according to his/her identity, purpose of visit to China and passport type.
The Ordinary Visa consists of eight sub-categories, which are respectively marked with Chinese phonetic letters L, F, Z, X, C, G, D, J-1and J-2.
L Visa: Issued to an applicant who comes to China for tourist purposes, family visiting or other personal affairs.
F Visa: Issued to an applicant who is invited to China for visit, research, lecture, business, scientific-technological and culture exchanges or short-term advanced studies or intern practice for a period of no more than six months.
Z Visa: Issued to an applicant who is to take up a post or employment in China, and their accompanying family members.
X Visa: Issued to an applicant who comes to China for the purpose of study, advanced studies or intern practice for a period over six months.
C Visa: Issued to crewmembers on international aviation, navigation and land transportation missions and family members accompanying them.
G Visa: Issued to those who transit through China.
D Visa: Issued to applicant who is to reside permanently in China.
J-1 Visa: Issued to foreign resident correspondents in China.
J-2 Visa: Issued to foreign correspondents on temporary interview missions in China.
Validity of Visa: normally speaking, a visa is valid for 3 months from the date of issuance (date of application) and on any day within this period, the visa holder may enter China.
Duration of Stay Specified in the Visa: normally speaking, a visa holder may stay in China for 1 month which counts from the date of his/her entrance into China. To stay longer, you need to specify your request in your application form and it’ll be subject to the permission of the consul in charge.
Overseas Chinese Visa Authorities, include Chinese embassies, consulates, visa offices, and the consular department of the office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China. If a foreigner intends to enter into, exit from or transit through the Chinese territory, he shall apply to the above-mentioned Chinese visa authorities for a Chinese visa. For further information, please consult the nearest Chinese visa authorities.
According to the relevant international law, any sovereign state has the exclusive rights to decide whether or not to allow the foreigners to enter its territory, and accordingly to issue visa, reject visa application and cancel an issued visa according to its national law without providing the reasons.
With its valid Chinese passport, a Chinese citizen can enter China without a visa.