US-China Visas Now 10 Years!

Great news for frequent China travelers! The US and China have reached a bilateral agreement to reciprocally issue 10-year, multiple-entry visas for tourist and business purposes.

As the US has made its visa processes increasingly difficult and expensive, China has been one among a number of countries to reciprocate. China progressively raised matching fees and stopped accepting applications by mail. Previously, most people could get maximum 1-year China visas and sometimes get longer after successive 1-year visas. That’s a lot of time and cost each year.

I don’t see updates on the website of the Chinese embassy yet, though media reports are this process kicks in Wednesday, November 12, 2014. There may be some confusion in the first few days while the kinks are worked out.

Travelers planning only short visits to China can still take advantage of the 72-hour transit visa on arrival at no fee, available at Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Chongqing, and Guangzhou airports.

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  • Thank goodness! I’ve been avoiding the country for the last two years because I don’t want to pay $320 a year for a county I’ve been to. That’s just me.

  • antignos

    Do we know the cost? is it the same just for 10 years now?

  • choi

    time it right with a new passport and all set to go anytime and maximize the cost

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @choi – I can’t recall if China will allow to use the old passport with visa along with new passport, some like Brazil with the 10-year do.

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @antignos – nothing announced but all China visas have been tied to US visa price at $140 and I expect that to continue.

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Drew – $320? $140/person plus fees if you use an agent, how do you get $320?

  • BillyBob

    Someone’s been pulling the wool over the eyes of our Drew…

  • Joey

    This is awesome news!!! Wait does the US have a 72-hour free transit visa for certain cities like SFO & NYC as well for Chinese tourists? Just curious why China has that program.

    I’ve always gotten the 1-year multi-entry visa when I went to China the past 5 years.

  • Nybanker

    Indeed, this is good news. (Bad news for those in the visa service business.)

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Joey – US does not and with the port of first entry thing you need a full visa even to transit US. China rolled out that 82-hour rule for many nationalities and I think it was pure pragmatic interest to allow quick business and tourist visits without giving up the otherwise strict visa regime.

  • Here’s the official announcement:
    http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/visas/zyxx/t1209709.htm

    It is the fourth announcement listed on:
    http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/visas/zyxx/