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New Visa Rules for Visitors to China

People planning a trip to the Great Wall, a cruise down the Yangtze or a city break in Beijing, take note. China is now requiring additional documentation for travelers to obtain tourist visas, officially known as L visas.

Visitors now must also provide a “letter of invitation” plus copies of their roundtrip airline ticket and hotel reservation before the visas will be issued. The letter can come from a tour company or other tourism group or a member of a local government, a company, institution or corporation. This is in addition to the past requirements including a passport valid for up to six months after the visit, photo and other basic documents.

According to the Chinese Embassy website, the letter must include information about the applicant, the applicant’s visit and the person or group inviting the applicant.

In the past, visitors had more flexibility with travel schedules, as they did not have to provide proof of flights and accommodations. Going with a tour now will become a more attractive option for some travelers as the companies will be able to issue the letters themselves.

Find even more deals on our Featured Destination page on China, with discounts on flights, tours and more. (Note: Prices will be quoted in U.S. dollars.)

Learn more about the application process on the website of the Chinese Embassy, and visit our China Featured Destination page to find deals and tips.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, Chicago
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
See more Tips from
Hilary Solan