China Passport & Visa InformationBack to all travel tips
What passport and visa do I need to visit China?
It is a requirement of the Chinese Government that British visitors to China possess a valid 10 year passport and that the passport has at least 6 months validity from the date of your entry into China. Please check that your passport complies with this decree well in advance of travel.
Visas for China
The Chinese government requires British passport holders to have a visa for entry into mainland China. Most British passport holders are now eligible for a multiple-entry 2 year visa, but as this is not always guaranteed we recommend you apply for your visa within 3 months of your arrival in China, but at least 1 month in advance in order to avoid any complications. Visa costs are £85 per person, plus an administration charge of £66 - £90, depending on whether you apply in person or by post.
Visas are processed by the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre which has offices in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Belfast. Please see their website for detailed instructions and up to date information on the costs: visaforchina.org.
As of December 2018, the Visa Centre have put in place a new rule that everyone aged between 14 and 70 must submit their application in person at the Visa Centre to have their fingerprints taken.
Please bear in mind that the visa will require a full page of your passport and you will need another page free for the entry and exit stamps.
British passport holders can enter Hong Kong for up to 6 months without a visa, and Macao for stays of up to 20 days. Visitors to Tibet will require a special entry permit in addition to the China visa, which is organised by our local representatives in Lhasa (not the Visa Application Service).