How to Apply for a Student Visa to China 101

You just bagged a mean scholarship to 努力学习 in China, now what? Kiwese went through a load of paperwork and bureaucracy to make the process easier and less shocking for the rest of you.

Prepapre to enter the world of the big red stamp…

Being an international university student in China is great. You get to meet people from all over China and the world, experience life in a foreign place, learn the language and travel during the big break. It is a fun and valuable experience and you can preeeeetty much chill once you have the student visa.

As of Sept 2013, there are now two types of student visas:

  • X1 – for study in China for a period of more than 180 days (full academic year, two semesters)
  • X2 – for study in China for a period of less than 180 days (one semester, summer program)

You need to apply at The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China:

The Embassy has moved to 4 Halswell Street, Thorndon, Wellingtondirectly opposite the US Embassy, as the Glenmore St Embassy sits in an earthquake restrengthening slumber.

  • The Chinese Embassy is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 9am-12pm for visa applications / 2pm-4pm for visa collections.
  • Ensure you have enough time between applying and leaving for China, as it takes four working days for the Embassy to process your application, keeping in mind they are closed on Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends.
  • Should you need your visa to be processed within 24 hours, you will need a copy of your outgoing flight from NZ to show you are leaving within four days, plus an extra $40 fee.
  • Their website is here. The phone numbers do not work.

You will need:

1) PASSPORT + PHOTOCOPY
Enjoy passport chat in the visa queue at your university in China and have the compliments roll in.
Enjoy realising your NZ passport is prettier than everyone else’s in the visa queue.

Original passport and a photocopy of the photo page. Photocopy does not need to be JP stamped.

     2) FOREIGNER PHYSICAL EXAMINATION FORM 
                  外国人体格检查表
          Wàiguó rén tǐgé jiǎnchá biǎo
生词 starts now.
生词 starts now.

You will need to see a GP first for a check up to complete the Foreigner Physical Examination Form, then they will refer you to get a Chest X-Ray, blood test and ECG heart scan. Ensure you have enough time (and money!!) to suss this out. Attach a passport photo.

I recommend getting a Community Services Card, so you can get discounts or reimbursements with the receipts. I had a CSC for my first visa in 2011, so the costs were a big shock without one this year.

Do this first! Book ahead. Should take about 30 min. Unfortunately these costs are not covered by Student Health. All the results from your tests will be sent to your GP, who will then staple that shit together and sign it off. Boom.

Book ahead. Takes about 2 min and the results are sent to your GP, who can then attach the results and fill out the Chest X-Ray Exam box.

No need to book ahead, just walk in during their hours. The cost varies depending on what you are being tested for. It was $124 for Hep A, Hep B, Hep C, HIV and Syphilis.

  • ECG Scan @ GP – $25.00

You can book this at Student Health and have the scan performed by a nurse. It only takes about 10 min and the results are instant.

TOTAL: approx. $303


 

The alternative to getting a check up in NZ is to get one at the Visa Medical Centre during registration at your university in China. Trust me, the first time you register is overwhelming enough as it is without having to undergo a medical in Mandarin!! Do it in NZ and take a couple of JP stamped copies with you.

              3) JW201 / JW202 FORM
JW202. So. Important.
JW202. So. Important.

Provide the original and photocopy, they will give you back the original after viewing it. This comes in the mail from the Confucius Institute, the organisation that is administering the scholarship or the university you have enrolled at online.

I recommend photocopying this a couple of times and getting them JP stamped for when you get to China.

        4)  UNIVERSITY ACCEPTANCE LETTER
Sign and date both the English and Chinese sides.
Sign and date both the English and Chinese sides.

Provide the original and photocopy, they will give you back the original after viewing it. This comes in the mail from the Confucius Institute, the organisation that is administering the scholarship or the university you have enrolled at online.

I recommend photocopying this a couple of times and getting them JP stamped for when you get to China.

             5) VISA APPLICATION FORM
               中华人民共和国签证申请表
Zhōnghuá rénmín gònghéguó qiānzhèng shēnqǐng biǎo

Pretty straight forward. Don’t worry about the Local ID/Citizenship number. Attach a passport sized photo.

Sweet.

Then you pay $140 when you pick it up four working days (Mon, Wed, Fris) later.


NB: Advice is for New Zealand citizens in Wellington, though the documentation is the same for Auckland and Christchurch.


What do I do when I arrive in China though?

K. So the process continues once you get to China. Note that the visa the Embassy give you in Wellington is only valid for 30 days once you arrive in China and it is strictly single entry!! So don’t go planning any crazy overseas travel outside of China after entering on your student visa, cos chances are, you will not be able to re-enter!

You will apply for a Residence Permit with your university during the registration week leading up to the first day of semester. This process MUST be done with university registration and fee payment. THUS it would be wise not to arrive in China more than 30 days before the registration period at your university, otherwise you will risk overstaying your visa and facing some serious shit!

When you first arrive in China, you are required to register your address within 24 hours. There are massive fines if you do not do this. Registering your address will be taken care of automatically if you register to live in the dorm (most likely situation if you are a scholarship student) and they will give you this slip:

PLEASE HOLD ONTO THIS.
PLEASE HOLD ONTO THIS!!!

If you are planning on staying with a friend or at a private residence upon arrival in China, you will need to register your address yourself. There is some info about doing that here, though I haven’t done it myself before. Will update this for you guys in September!

Registration Week is absolutely manic. I recommend taking someone with good Chinese to help you. During registration, you will apply for renewing your visa which requires:

  • filling out a simple form
  • handing over your passport to the university’s visa office for a couple of weeks
  • Registration Form of Temporary Residence (pictured above)
  • a couple of passport photos
  • an additional fee of around 200RMB
All of that, for this. This is what you ultimately want.
All of that, for this. This is what you ultimately want.

Good luck! 加油!This information is current as of July 2014! Arm yourself with enough passport photos and certified photocopies. It is a whole raft of paperwork, head scratching and running around like you are doing an orienteering mission at school camp, but once it is done it is DONE.

Happy to try and answer any questions.

x

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4 thoughts on “How to Apply for a Student Visa to China 101”

  1. i got admission since march 2015,and i made some part payment of my school fee.but i didnt apply since then.i still want to apply now.please i want to know if my application is still valid.please reply me i need your advice

    Like

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