A question we often get at YPT is how to get a Chinese double-entry visa. For people taking the train in and out to North Korea, having at least a double-entry visa is a requirement. If you are flying in or out of North Korea, you might be eligible for the 72 hour visa-free entry permit.
North Korea is not the only place that may require a double-entry visa for China. For example, if you plan on visiting Hong-Kong or Macau during your trip but fly home from mainland China, you will also need at least a double-entry visa. Same goes if you planned a holiday in China but you have an event to attend in Japan or South Korea, in the middle of your vacation.
China currently issues single (marked on the visa as 01), double (02) and multiple entry (M) visas. The visas you can get are directly related to your nationality and links with China. For example, Americans, Argentinians and Canadians can get 10-year multiple entry visas easily. Generally, a multiple entry visa is given (or a visa as long as the validity of their passport) the moment they apply for a visa. For other nationalities, however, things can be trickier. Since March 2019, UK citizens can also get a 10-year multiple entry visa, but contrary to the three other nationalities, they have to work their way to it. That is, by first getting a 2-year multiple entry visa, then a 5-year multiple entry visa and finally a 10-year multiple entry visa. For the majority of other Europeans and Australians, sadly, multiple entry visas require many hoops to jump through, so a double-entry visa is the most common for tourists.
What about the other nationalities? How can they get at least a double-entry visa? For most other nationalities, the Chinese authorities will ask for a certain number of confirmed documents.
Generally, when getting a double entry visa, it is either for tourism (L visa) or personal visit (S2 visa) purposes as other purposes are often granted multiple entries.
Every embassy, consulate and visa centre varies slightly in their requirements, however, they all at least require:
- Proof of transportation in and out of China (such as a confirmed flight, train or boat tickets).
- A signed itinerary of your planned activities in China (if you come with us on a tour that involves going to China, we can provide such supporting document).
- A letter explaining the itinerary.
- A copy of the National ID Card (身份证) of the Chinese national inviting the applicant.
- A letter of invitation (here’s a sample form) from the Chinese national.
Apply for your Chinese double-entry visa
You will then need to apply for your visa, find the nearest visa centre on this website or reach out to the Chinese embassy in your home country to get the necessary forms and the place to apply. On the form, make sure to tick the box ”double-entry”. Nowadays, It is generally easier to get double or multiple entry visas while applying in your home country than in another country. Gone are the days where applying in Hong-Kong was a piece of cake.
Generally, with proof that you are leaving China then coming back to it, you will be granted a double-entry visa. Most double-entry visas are valid for a duration of between 7 days and 30 days.
Always make sure that you have the right visa to visit China according to your plans, travelling on the wrong visa or an invalid or expired visa might get you fined, or in the worst case, deported. YPT is always there to assist our guests with their questions related to visas.