Getting Here: Visas

Authors: Go Chengdu


Follow us as we guide you through the process of getting here and getting around, and we also offer you some tips and information in case you end up staying longer than you expected.
Chengdu has more than what a “mega city” can offer: apart from the new buildings, neon lights and the flashy fashions, there are also fantastic foods, old alleys, magnificent sights, the leisurely lifestyles and, above all, the giant pandas awaiting to be cuddled! Just ask the city’s fast-growing expat population and they’ll tell you all kinds of reasons why they choose to come and settle down here.
Travel Tips
Getting Here: Visas
Not long after the excitement of making a decision where to travel comes the “excitement” of getting your visa. A visa is basically your pass to get in the country. The Chinese authorities vet every country differently, but the country requires them for just about everybody. Luckily, the process is pretty simple nowadays.
Lets look at a few of the options:
Go-to Visa:
Tourist Visa (L) — As the name implies, this visa is for people who will come to China for a short period of time, usually for 30 days or less. Whether you are visiting family, friends, or backpacking, this is what you need. The easiest way to get this, is to use a China visa application service, such as Shan Shui Visa, who will handle everything for you. Or you can do it by yourself by sending your application to the Chinese Embassy closest to you. The L visa can be renewed three times.
Longer-stay Visas:
Business Visa (F) — If you have been invited for research, a lecture, business, or an internship, then this visa is for you. It is good for about six months, and can be renewed. Please note that this visa is becoming more difficult to get due to recent restructuring of visas in China. The F visa was once a popular visa for foreigners who were “working freelance” in China with no clear plans as to how long they would stay. But the government has clamped down hard on illegal workers, so this visa has become what it was originally intended for: short visits by invited business or education related experts.
Student Visa (X) — Coming here to study Chinese is a great way to get to know Chengdu. This visa has a six-month to one-year option. Find a university to attend, such as Sichuan University, and they will send you the paperwork required to get your visa.
Work Visa (Z) — This visa is issued to foreigners who intend to work in China. The Chinese company must be able to hire foreigners, and will send you an invitation that is needed for the visa application. The Z visa is a great visa to have. You will not only receive the visa (which normally is never less than a one-year stay), but also a foreign experts booklet that you can use to work at any other company in China. Your employer easily renews a Z visa, but if you leave your job before the visa is up, you will have to switch over to another employer — never as easy as it sounds — or leave the country and re-enter on a different visa.
72-hour Visa-free in Chengdu

Travel around

As a well-known transportation hub and tourist city, Chengdu is famous for its extensive transportation system as it is the communication junction of Southwest China and the gateway to Tibet. Conveniently connected to over 100 domestic and international airports, Chengdu is accessible from and to almost all the major countries in the world.

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Despite its vigorous drive towards modernization, Chengdu spares no efforts to retain its sense of tradition and ancient landscapes. As a rising economic, cultural and transportation center in western China, Chengdu is also a very important tourist destination, with many historical and scenic spots around the city. The city also serves a transit station to Tibet, and several world-class tourist destinations are conveniently located in neighboring areas, including Mount Emei and the Grand Buddha, Jiuzhaigou, Hailuogou, Siguniang Mountains (Four Maidens Mountains), the Sanxingdui Ruins and so on.

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Chengdu sweetens deal in visa-free visits

The government of Chengdu recently released a series of incentives to attract more foreign transit tourists to use its 72-hour visa-free policy. Visitors entitled to the policy can enjoy discounts at hotels and airport shopping areas as well as dedicated transit lounges and free transportation between airport terminals. Buses are provided to commute from the airport to the most popular scenic spots such as Kuanzhai Alley, Jinli Ancient Street, Jinsha Site Museum and Temple of the Marquis of Wu.

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Experience Fascinating Culture and Modern Life of Chengdu in the Incredible 72 Hours

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