Last Updated: 15th Dec 2011
NB. Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) and has separate immigration requirements to the People’s Republic of China. Visa requirements for Hong Kong can be found here: Visa information for Hong Kong
A visa for China does not entitle you to enter the territories of Hong Kong; likewise a visa for Hong Kong does not entitle travellers entry into mainland China.
All foreign citizens except those from countries stipulated as visa exempt, are required to apply for a visa prior to their journey to China. The list of visa exempt countries can be found here: http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/chn/lsfw/qzjj/zlbg/P020061027486385475323.pdf.
Visa applications must be received and approved prior to travel – IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO PURCHASE A VISA FOR CHINA ON ARRIVAL.
Visa applicants should apply for a visa at the embassy or consulate of his/her residence. Some countries require a visa application to be made in the state/territory in which the applicant is resident and may not allow an applicant to apply for a visa in an alternate state/territory.
In several countries, application for a visa can be made through an agency such as the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre.
Further information is available online for most nationalities or contact a local travel agent or visa service.