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China is a huge country, just behind Russia, Canada and the United States, with many diverse cultures and landscapes! If you want to go to Shanghai or Pekin or discover more cities with an interesting history, you might need a visa.
If you want to apply for a Chinese visa, you need to provide two identical color photos, taken within the last 6 (six) months, and a completed application form. The Chinese visa application photo must satisfy certain requirements so read this guide to find out what you need to know.
The Chinese visa is a document allowing you to enter and exit the Chinese border, by land, sea or air. This permission is issued by visa authorities of the People’s Republic of China to foreign citizens. Bear in mind that you must have a valid visa to exit China and you must leave this country before the expiration of the indicated period of time.
One of the most important documents that is needed in order to apply for a Chinese visa is a passport that is valid for at least 6 (six) months and, obviously, a photograph. Any ID document requires a photo so read on to find out what the requirements are regarding pictures for a visa to China.
When it comes to the size requirements they will differ depending on whether or not you are submitting a physical photo or digital photo, so be sure to read the requirements and be sure that your photo meets them. For a physical photo the required dimensions are: 33mm in width and 48mm in height. The head of the person being photographed must be between 15-22mm in width and 28-33mm in height, from the chin to the top of the head, and the distance between the top of the head and the upper edge of the photo must be between 3-5mm. When it comes to your digital submission the requirements are as follows: 354-420 pixels in width and 472-560 pixels in height.
In order to guarantee that your photo will be accepted you will need to ensure that you don’t make mistakes when taking the photo, such as your head being too big, too small, or incorrectly placed by being too much to the side. If the top of your head is touching the top of the frame, the edge of the photo, then this will also not be accepted. You should consider using our photo resizer that will change the picture so that it perfectly fits the Chinese visa photo requirements, and then you won’t have to worry as to whether or not the photo will be accepted, as we offer a 100% guarantee that it will be.
The background in the Chinese visa photo must be white, free of patterns, shadows and any other objects. If you find it difficult to find a background that meets these requirements then use our photo background remover, which removes the incorrect background and replaces it with the required one, plain white. You can find the photo generator on the PhotoAiD site or get the app from the Apple App Store or on Google Play.
It is highly recommended that you do not use a flash and take photos in the daylight, because this helps you to avoid skin reflection and red-eye effects. Make sure that your face is lit evenly on both sides and that there are no shadows on your face or in the background. There should be no damage or any impurities on the photo, no shadows over the face and it should be taken in a natural tone, but not be over or underexposed or distorted.
The head has to be centered, with your eyes clearly open and turned directly towards the camera. The full face, neck and upper part of shoulders must be visible. A frontal view is required and not facing the camera, having your head tilted or closed eyes will result in the photo not being accepted.
In the photo for the Chinese visa, the mouth should be closed and not be showing teeth or smiling. A neutral facial expression is required as exaggerated facial expressions will be rejected. We recommend a natural and neutral facial expression, try not to frown, grimace or smile.
Accessories such as jewelry, piercings or headphones are forbidden to wear in Chinese visa photos. Other accessories that are forbidden include sunglasses, due to the tint in the glass hiding your eyes, and big accessories in your hair, as they will cast shadows on your face or the background, which is not allowed. If you wear a hearing aid every day then this is one accessory that you are allowed in your photo.
If you wear glasses daily you are allowed to wear them in your Chinese visa photo as long as the lenses are not tinted and they don’t obscure your face, or have a glare on their surface. If the frames are thick or cover your eyes, you risk rejection of your photo. If you do not need eyeglasses for medical reasons, it would be better if you took them off.
Hair coverings are not allowed. This means that your hair must not cover your face, eyes, eyebrows and ears. However, if you need headwear for medical or religious reasons, remember that it must not obscure or cover your face. Your facial features must be clearly visible.
While taking a photo for a Chinese visa you can wear your everyday outfit. However, we advise you to wear clothes in dark colors as white is a forbidden color because it can blend with the background.
A good idea is to try taking photos for this document by yourself. Especially because the Chinese Embassy and Consulate offices don’t provide photo services. However, you have to meet the official Chinese requirements so will need to know what the background color should be, what the correct size of the photograph is, how to take a photo on your own and finally, how to print it. Does this sound like a lot? Use our online photo editor, which is available on the website and on the AppStore or GooglePlay store. It doesn't matter if you use an iPhone or a phone with Android, you can take your perfect Chinese visa photograph all by yourself.
Prepare the background, wear decent clothes and ask a friend to take a picture of you when you are ready or put a tripod approximately 3 metres from you and set it up on a self-timer.
Once you have taken the right photo, it is time for some simple editing. Upload the picture to PhotoAiD and it will resize, edit and verify it for you. Everything will meet the official Chinese requirements so you do not have to worry that it will be rejected, because we guarantee that the picture you prepare with our photo mobile app will be accepted by any People's Republic of China institutions.
The last step is to order a picture in a digital version to your email address or we can print it for you and deliver it to your physical address. You can also order a file with a digital version of the photo and print it at a photo store in your neighborhood. You choose the option that suits you best.
The whole process takes less than a minute and you can be proud of your Chinese visa photo.
If you don’t want your Chinese visa rejected, you should read the most commonly made mistakes while taking visa photos to avoid any rejection. Make sure that you are filling the application in correctly and attaching the correct China visa photos regarding the dimensions and specifications. Read now about what you should not do, in order to have your visa application accepted.
To avoid rejection, have a look at the list of the most commonly made mistakes on visa photos for China:
Last update: 12/1/22
❓ How long can I stay in China on a tourist visa?
As long as you apply and get the visa, the normal duration of your stay as a tourist lasts for 30 days, which means the holder of the visa may stay in China for up to 30 days from the date of entry.
❓ What is the required size of the Chinese visa photo?
The required dimensions for a Chinese visa photo are 33 mm in width and 48 mm in height (about 1.3 x 1.9 inches) for printed pictures.The electronic photo requirements are 354-420 pixels in width and 472-560 pixels in height.
❓ Why would a Chinese visa be rejected?
Invalid documents or data can cause rejection, as well as submitting the incorrect photograph, so make sure that you meet all of the requirements regarding Chinese visa application and Chinese visa photos or use our photo tool, which edits, resizes and verifies your photograph according to the official Chinese requirements.
❓ What is the required background color for a Chinese visa photo?
The background for the Chinese visa photo must be white and free of patterns, shadows and any other objects. If you are finding it difficult to find a background that meets these requirements, use our photo background remover which removes the incorrect background and changes it into the required plain white background, it’s quite easy.
❓ Can I smile in the picture for a Chinese visa?
Smiling, as well as frowning or grimacing is not acceptable and will cause the photo to be rejected. Make sure your facial expression is neutral.
❓ What color clothes should I wear in the Chinese visa photo?
We recommend that you wear dark clothes because white or light-colored clothes can blend with the white background, so make sure that your outfit is not white.
❓ Can I wear headwear in a Chinese visa photo?
Yes, you can wear headwear in your photo, as long as it is for religious or medical reasons, but be sure that it does not cover up any of your facial features and that your face is still clearly visible in the photo. The photo is for recognition purposes so if your face can’t be seen properly then your photo will need to be retaken.
❓ Who has to apply for a Chinese visa?
All foreign citizens must obtain a Chinese visa before entry into China, except for visa-free entry based on relevant agreements or regulations. Please check if you come from one of the visa-exempt countries.
❓ How much is a standard visa for China?
The standard fee, including the service fee, for a Chinese visa is $140. The cost varies depending on the processing time selected. For standard processing you will need to pay an extra $25 to receive it within 4 days.
The Chinese visa is a travel document issued by authorized government agencies to foreign citizens applying to enter, exit from, or transit through Chinese territory based on the host country's laws and regulations. Chinese consular officials are entitled to decide on the type, the number of entries, validity and duration of each stay of a visa to be issued based on Chinese laws and regulations. Consular officials reserve the right to decline a visa application or revoke an issued visa.
Foreign citizens must obtain a Chinese visa before entry into China, except for visa-free entry based on relevant agreements or regulations. Please check if you come from one of the visa-exempt countries as well as the validity of your visa before travelling to China. If the visa has expired or the number of entries is not enough, you must apply for a new one.
Required documents while applying for a Chinese visa:
You might be asked to submit some supporting documents such as: a letter of guarantee issued by a foreign transport company, an invitation letter issued by a relevant entity in China, or information on the inviting entity or individual and more so, be sure to check exactly what you need to submit for the visa that you choose depending on the purpose of your journey.
The standard fee, including service fee, for a Chinese visa is $140. A service fee may be charged for the Chinese 10-year Tourist Visa application, with varying costs depending on the processing time selected:
Super rush processing costs $80 and you can get your visa processed within 6 hours.
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