Chapter III Entry and Exit of Foreigners
Section 1 Visa
Article 15 In order to entering China, foreigners shall apply to the visa-issuing authorities stationed abroad for a visa, except as otherwise provided for in this Law.
Article 16 Visas are categorized as diplomatic visa, courtesy visa, official visa and ordinary visa.
Diplomatic or official visas shall be issued to foreigners who enter China for diplomatic or official reasons; and courtesy visas shall be issued to foreigners who are given courtesy due to their special status. The scope and measures for issuing diplomatic, courtesy and official visas shall be stipulated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Appropriate types of ordinary visa shall be issued to foreigners who enter China due to non-diplomatic or official reasons including work, study, family visit, travel, business activities and talent introduction. The types of ordinary visa and relevant issuance measures shall be stipulated by the State Council.
Article 17 The registered items of a visa shall include visa type, name, sex, date of birth, number of allowed entries, validity period of entry and duration of stay of the holder, date and place of issuance, as well as passport number or other international travel documents number.
Article 18 Foreigners who apply for visas shall submit their passports or other international travel documents, as well as information of specific application matters, to the visa-issuing authorities stationed abroad. They shall go through relevant formalities and accept interviews in accordance with the requirements of the visa-issuing authorities stationed abroad.
Article 19 Where foreigners applying for visas need to provide written invitations issued by entities or individuals within China, the applicants shall provide such invitations in accordance with the requirements of the visa-issuing authorities abroad. Entities or individuals that issue written invitations shall be liable for the fidelity of the contents.
Article 20 Foreigners who need to enter China urgently for humanitarian reasons, or are invited to enter China for urgent business or rush repair work, or have other urgent needs, and hold materials that prove the competent departments’ approval of their applying for visas at port, may apply for port visas with the visa-issuing authorities entrusted by the Ministry of Public Security at the ports (hereinafter referred to as “port visa authorities”) which are approved to issue port visas by the State Council.
Travel agencies that organize inbound tourism in accordance with relevant State regulations may apply for group tourist visas from port visa authorities.
Foreigners who apply to port visa authorities for visas shall submit their passports or other international travel documents, as well as relevant information of specific application matters. They shall go through relevant formalities in accordance with the requirements of the port visa authorities, and enter China at the ports where they apply for visas.
Visas issued by port visa authorities shall be single entry and the duration of stay shall not exceed 30 days.
Article 21 Under any of the following circumstances, visas shall not be issued to foreigners:
(1) Was deported, or was repatriated upon decision, and the No-Entry-into-China period has not expired;
(2) Is suffering from serious mental disorders, infectious tuberculosis or other infectious diseases that may severely jeopardize the public health;
(3) May endanger China’s national security or interests, or disrupt social and public order, or engage in other illegal or criminal activities;
(4) Resort to fraudulent acts in visa application or cannot guarantee expected expenditures during their stay in China;
(5) Fail to submit relevant information required by the visa-issuing authorities; or
(6) Other circumstances in which visa authorities consider a visa should not be issued.
The visa-issuing authorities are not required to give reasons for refusing the issuance of a visa.
Article 22 Under any of the following circumstances, foreigners may be exempt from applying for visas:
(1) So exempted based on the visa exemption agreements signed by the Chinese government with the governments of other countries;
(2) Hold valid foreigners’ residence permits;
(3) Hold connected passenger tickets and are in transit to a third country or region by an international aircraft, ship or train via China, will stay for not more than 24 hours in China without leaving the port of entry, or will stay in the specific zones approved by the State Council within the prescribed time limit; or
(4) Other circumstances stipulated by the State Council in which visas may be exempted.
Article 23 Where foreigners under any of the following circumstances need to enter China temporarily, they shall apply to exit/entry border inspection agencies for going through the formalities for temporary entry:
(1) Foreign seamen and their accompanying family members disembark at cities where the ports are located;
(2) Persons specified in Subparagraph (3) of Article 22 of this Law need to leave ports; or
(3) Foreigners need to enter China temporarily due to force majeure or for any other urgent reason.
The duration of stay for temporary entry shall not exceed 15 days.
For foreigners who apply for going through the formalities for temporary entry, exit/entry border inspection authorities may require such foreigners, the persons in charge of the transport vehicles used for such foreigners’ entry or the agencies handling the exit/entry business for transport vehicles to provide necessary guaranty measures.
Section 2 Entry and Exit
Article 24 Foreigners who enter China shall submit their passports, other international travel documents, visas or other entry permits to the exit/entry border inspection authorities for examination, go through the prescribed formalities, and may enter upon examination and approval.
Article 25 Under any of the following circumstances, foreigners shall not be allowed to enter China:
(1) Hold no valid exit/entry documents, or refuse or evade border inspection;
(2) Are involved in any of the circumstances specified in Subparagraph (1) through (4) of the first paragraph of Article 21 of this Law;
(3) May engage in activities not conform to the types of visa after entering China; or
(4) Other circumstances in which entry is not allowed in accordance with laws or administrative regulations.
Exit/entry border inspection authorities are not required to give reasons for denying an entry.
Article 26 Exit/entry border inspection authorities shall order foreigners who are denied entry in China to return, and shall force the return of those who refuse to do so. While waiting for return, those foreigners shall not leave the restricted zones.
Article 27 Foreigners who exit China shall submit their exit/entry documents including passports or other international travel documents to the exit/entry border inspection authorities for examination, go through prescribed formalities, and may exit upon examination and approval.
Article 28 Under any of the following circumstances, foreigners shall not be allowed to exit China:
(1) Are sentenced to criminal punishments, the execution of which are not completed, or suspects or defendants in criminal cases, except those who are sentenced and transferred under relevant agreements between China and foreign countries;
(2) Are involved in unsettled civil cases and are not allowed to exit China upon decision of the people’s courts;
(3) Are in arrears of paying off labor remuneration and therefore are not allowed to exit by decision of the relevant departments under the State Council or of the people’s governments of provinces, autonomous regions or municipalities directly under the Central Government; or
(4) Other circumstances in which exit shall not be allowed in accordance with laws or administrative regulations.