Visa information

How to apply for a China visa?

1. What type of China visa should I apply for?
Chinese visas are divided into diplomatic visas, courtesy visas, public service visas and ordinary visas. For participating in the meeting of ACPE, it is recommended to choose one of the two following visa types.

Visa Categories: Description of Ordinary Chinese Visa:
F Issued to foreigners go to China engage in exchanging, inspection and such activities.
L Issued to foreigners who go to China with the purpose of tourism.


Registered delegates of ISPE’s 11th Asian Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology are able to request an official invitation letter to assist with their visa application for China.

Step 1: Complete the online form below to request an official invitation letter from the conference organisers.

Request invitation letter

After completing this online form, you will receive an email confirming receipt of your request with an example letter attached (please proof immediately for any errors to your information).

Within a week you will also receive via email a further copy of this invitation letter, this time signed and sealed by the Shaanxi Province Pharmaceutical Society as conference host. For citizens of many countries this signed/sealed invitation is what you will need to provide to your local Chinese Embassy, along with your visa application form (downloadable below), photograph and any other relevant papers. (Check your local Chinese Embassy website for further information.)

It will take approximately 14 days (or longer) to receive your hard copy official invitation letter (including signature, seal and official paper) by mail from the conference organisers in Xi’an, Shaanxi province. Please email for any enquiries regarding this process.

Step 2: Once you have received your electronic signed/sealed invitation letter, you may then proceed with the rest of your visa application and send to your local Chinese Embassy post. You may be called upon by the Embassy to provide the hardcopy official invitation letter to support your visa application.

Download visa application form

2. Where can I apply for a China visa?
A Chinese visa is an officially approved document issued by authorized bodies of the Chinese government, in accordance with the laws and regulations, to foreign citizens to enter, leave or transit through China. Applicants can apply for a China visa at a Chinese Embassy or a Chinese Consulate-General, or the China Visa Application Service Center (only for ordinary visa application). After readying the necessary documents, a personal visit or post are available for submitting the application. However, application by post might not be accepted by consulate-generals or embassies in certain countries and regions and the way of payments also varies. Please kindly check with relevant China visa issuing authorities for accurate information.

3. Term of validity
The “Enter Before” date is the expiration date of the visa. The visa can be used for entry into China from the date of issue until the “Enter Before” date indicated on the visa. If a visa has unused entries, the bearer can enter China before 12:00 a.m. Beijing Time on the expiration date.

4. Number of entries
“Entries” refers to the number of times permitted to enter China during the validity of the visa. A visa becomes invalid if there are no entries left, or if there are entries left but the visa has expired. If a visa becomes invalid, its bearer must apply for a new visa before entering China. Traveling with an invalid visa will result in refusal of entry.

5. Duration of each stay
“Duration of Each Stay” refers to the maximum number of days the visa bearer is permitted to remain in China for each visit. The duration of stay is calculated from (and includes) the date of entry into China.

Here are the documents you shall prepare before submission:

1. Basic Documents
(1) Passport
Original passport with at least six months of remaining validity and with blank visa pages, a photocopy of the passport’s data page and the photo page if it is separate.
(2) Visa Application Form and Photo
One completed Visa Application Form with a recently-taken (within 6 months) colour passport photo (bare-head, full face) against a light background (size: 48mm x 33mm) attached. You may complete an Online Application Form, print it out and sign it. The application form should be completed and printed by computer, no manually completed form will be accepted.
(3) Proof of legal status (applicable for those not applying for the visa in their country of citizenship):
If you are not applying for a visa in the country of your citizenship, you must provide the original and photocopy of your valid certificates of residence, employment or student status, or other valid certificates of legal stay provided by the relevant authorities of the country where the Visa Centre is located.
(4) Photocopy of previous Chinese passports or previous Chinese visas (applicable for those who were Chinese citizens and have obtained foreign citizenship).If you are applying for a Chinese visa for the first time, you should provide the last Chinese passport held and a photocopy of its data page. If you have obtained Chinese visas before and apply for a Chinese visa with a renewed foreign passport that does not contain any Chinese visa, you should present the photocopy of the previous passport’s data page and the photo page if it is separate, as well as the previous Chinese visa page (If your name on the current passport differs from that on the previous one, you must provide an official document of name change).

2. Supporting documents
Documents showing the itinerary including air ticket booking record (round trip) and proof of a hotel reservation, etc. or an Invitation Letter for Tourist issued by a relevant unit or individual in China. The invitation letter should contain:
(1) Information of the applicant (incl. full name, gender, date of birth, etc.);
(2) Details of the planned visit (incl. arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, accommodation arrangements, etc.);
(3) Information of the inviting party(incl. name of organization or person concerned, contact telephone number, address, official stamp of the organization, signature of the legal representative or individual).

An official invitation letter issued by a relevant unit or individual in China. The invitation letter should contain:
(1) Information of the applicant (incl. full name, gender, date of birth, etc.);
(2) Information regarding the planned visit (incl. purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, relationship between the applicant and the inviting party, and details of any financial support to be provided during the stay in China);
(3) Information of the inviting party (, contact telephone number, address, stamp, signature of the legal representative or individual).

3. Special notes
(1) The invitation letter may be in the form of fax, photocopy or computer printout, but the consular officer may require the applicant to submit the original of the invitation letter. An issuer of invitation letter who is an individual in China should also provide a photocopy of his/her Chinese ID.
(2) If necessary, the consular officer may require the applicant to provide other proof documents or supplementary materials, or require an interview with the applicant.
(3) The consular officer will decide on whether or not to issue the visa and on its validity, duration of stay and number of entries in light of specific conditions of the applicant.
(4) For further details, please check the website of Chinese embassies and consulates.

4. Visa-free entry
(1) Holders of valid APEC business travel cards
An APEC business travel card is equivalent to a three-year visa with multiple-entries. Holder of such a card together with a matching passport is entitled to multiple entries into China during the validity period of the card, and the maximum length of each stay is two months.
(2) Citizens of Singapore, Brunei and Japan are exempt from a visa when entering the border via a port open to foreigners, if their visit to China is for the purpose of tourism, business, meeting relatives and friends, or transiting, and their stay is not to exceed 15 days.
(3) Citizens of Tonga and Ecuador who hold ordinary passports are exempt from a visa, if they travel to Mainland China, exit or transit, and also if their stay is not to exceed 30 days.