China, one of the leading names in economic growth and technology, is opening its borders for qualified students from all over the world to be enrolled in its most prestigious universities. There are plenty of reasons to study in China for a degree program, including lower tuition fees, top-notch education, advanced technology, a high employment rate, and many more.

The next step after being enrolled in a study program at a Chinese university is to get a student visa to be able to stay in China during your studies. In this article, we introduce the necessary documents for your student visa application in China as well as the steps for a successful student visa application. Take your notes to start!

Steps on Applying for a Chinese Student Visa

Following certain steps for a successful student visa application is crucial for international students coming to China. Below, you can find the step-by-step guide to applying for a China student visa.

Step 1. Prepare the Necessary Documents

Documentation is the first step you need to consider for your visa application; any missing document can lead to an unpleasant result. There are two types of student visas in China: X1 and X2. X2 refers to studies with a duration of up to six months, and X1 refers to studies taking more than six months to complete. X1 visa is necessary for international students accepted in degree programs in China.

There are several documents required for a student visa for China, including a passport valid for at least six months, a visa application form obtained from the Chinese Visa Application Center to be filled out online and signed by hand, a valid passport photo taken within six months, original and copy of the acceptance letter from an accredited university in China, and lastly, original and copy of the form, “Visa Application for Study in China.”

Step 2. Plan Your Application Schedule

The next step for your student visa application is to arrange the timeline of your actions. The legal immigration authorities advise international students to submit their visa application one month prior to their date of arrival in China while keeping in mind that they are not allowed to submit earlier than three months.

When organizing the deadlines and application process, you should also consider the approximate duration of the visa application process at the visa center or the Chinese embassy at your location.

Step 3. Make an Appointment at the Closest Application Center in Your Location

Next, all applicants must make an appointment at the closest visa application center or the embassy of the Chinese government in their place of residence to submit the documents and leave their signs. The appointments can be made at the Chinese Visa Application Service Center.

Keep in mind that you can finalize your student visa application only if you arrive at the application center or embassy on the right date and time of your appointment, and it’s advised to show a printout of your appointment details at the center to prove you’re allocated to proceed for your application.

Step 4. Pay the Application and Services Fee

Lastly, all international students must pay the application and services fee to finalize their student visa application. The visa application fee is collected by the Chinese embassy, and the service fee is collected by the application center.

The amount of the visa application fee depends on the location of the student, so it’s best to refer to the Chinese Visa Application Service Center for the amount you are to pay for your Chinese student visa application. Once you make your payment for the visa and services fee, you are supposed to hand your passport to the center so that the authorities can verify your student visa and post it back to your address.

Documents Needed for Chinese Student Visa Applications

Obtaining a Chinese student visa allows international students to enter the country and stay within the duration of their studies; thus, it’s necessary to be careful about your application and make sure you deliver all the required documents needed for a successful process.

Required documents can differ depending on the applicant’s country of residence, so it’s best to advise the embassy of the Chinese government in your home country for specific documents needed for your student visa. Generally, applicants submit their application via the Chinese VISA Application Service Centre (CVASC) or the closest Chinese embassies to their location.

Some of the necessary documents for a China student visa include a letter of acceptance from an accredited university recognized by the Ministry of Education of China, a passport valid for more than six months, a visa Application form and electronic photo, a copy of a national ID card, and previous visas for China, if applicable. For country-specific requirements for China student visas, visit CVASC and select (X1)Study for details.

FAQs: Student Visa Applications for China

Can International Students Work Part-time During their Studies in China?

The answer is yes, yet within certain regulations. According to the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, International students are only allowed to work on-campus jobs while holding a student visa in China. Otherwise, they must arrange their finances before arriving in the country to support themselves during their studies. Although there are fairly few options, international students can enroll in a work-study program, such as a research assistantship at their university, to have an income during their degree program.

How Much Money Do You Need for China’s Student Visa?

Paying for the visa application fee at the right time and place is mandatory for international students to complete their application successfully.

The amount of student visa fee depends heavily on the student’s country of residence; for instance, international students coming from the U.S. must pay 52,500 PKR (188 USD) as well as service fees at their application center, whereas third-country students must pay 13,000 PKR (46 USD) plus the service fees. A general scale for the visa application fee can be found in the Chinese Visa Application Service Center.


Now that you know what you need to do to start your student visa application, you can proceed by getting the necessary documents and arranging an appointment. By carefully following our steps to obtain a China student visa, you can be all set for your journey to studying in China.


We hope that this article on how to apply for a Chinese student visa was helpful. Make sure to check out the Available Programs for International Students and the China Page for more information about studying abroad, including the best universities and scholarship opportunities.

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

Share this article via

Leave A Comment