The process of travelling to China is not quite as straightforward as those of some of our other featured countries, due to the more rigorous qualifying conditions applied to travel by the ever-present and watchful Chinese government.  

However, this shouldn’t put you off travelling to this truly amazing country and its unique culture. Providing you take a little time to familiarise yourself with the process, it will be relatively simple and worthwhile. 

Most foreign visitors to China will require a Visa in advance of travel, with the exception of citizens of Singapore, Brunei and Japan who are exempt from requiring a Visa for tourist purposes of up to 15 days. 

To obtain a Visa you will require a passport with a validity of at least 6 months beyond the end date of your trip with at least 2 remaining blank visa pages, a recent passport sized colour photograph, provide any requested personal details, show proof of international entry and exit flights, Visa fee and a letter of invitation from an authorised tour company, such as ourselves, detailing your itinerary in full, including proof of booking for all destinations, internal transport and accommodation details including addresses and telephone numbers. 

Tourist Visas can be obtained from Chinese Embassies, Consulates and Diplomatic Missions, and must be made either in person, or through an approved visa agency, many of whom provide a useful form checking service. Postal or e-mail applications are not acceptable.  

Please note, when filling in the Visa application form that all fields of the form must be legibly filled in full. If a field is not applicable to you, simply enter ‘N/A’. 

When booking with Haivenu, you will be provided by us with the necessary letter of invitation, also detailing the particulars and stamps of authorisation that the Chinese authorities require from us as your tour provider, which will enable you to successfully submit your application. 

Visa fees are dependent upon your country of application and the speed of service options you choose. As a general guide for normal processing, it is advisable to apply for your Visa at least two weeks or even a month in advance of your travel.  

When your Visa is granted, it will remain valid for entry into China for a period of three months, and is valid for up to three months of travel after the date of entry. 

As some areas of China are subject to travel restrictions requiring additional permits, especially for Tibet, as your tour operator, we will process any additional permits required by your itinerary directly with the Chinese authorities on your behalf. 

Although not an issue for almost all travellers, because it is an absolute condition of entry that confirmed bookings be made in advance of the Visa application, some visitors with a political profile likely to lead to a visa refusal should carefully consider this before booking, as it will not by then be possible to refund the booking, should your application fail. 

This is especially true of former Chinese citizens now holding foreign passports or even second-generation offspring to parents of such former Chinese citizens now resident in other countries, who are likely to be subject to closer scrutiny.  

In addition to the above consideration, foreign journalists and diplomats will also be vetted very closely and will not normally be granted any travel in Tibet, even for tourist purposes.