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How to Visit the UK with a Chinese Tour Group Visa

This article will help you understand everything you need to know about the Chinese Tour Group Visa.

If you are a Chinese citizen, then you can visit the UK as part of a tour group. You can also stay for up to 30 days under the approved destination status agreement (ADS) with a Chinese Tour Group Visa.

Meanwhile, to be eligible, you must travel with your tour group (minimum of 5 persons) and stay with them for the duration of your visit.  In other words, the tour should be one that is organized by a Chinese tour operator who has an ADS license.

This article is aimed at educating you on everything you need to know about the Chinese Tour Group Visa, from its requirements to how you can apply. Let’s take a deeper look!

About Chinese Tour Group Visa

A China Group Visa is a special form of visa that is provided to a tourist group of at least five (5) people. They must go to China together.

Moreover, China Group Visas are issued on a separate sheet rather than a visa sticker on the individual passport and are only valid for one entry.

One official visa notification letter must be obtained from the China Travel Service (CTS), China International Travel Service (CITS), China Youth Travel Service (CYTS), or the Chinese National Tourism Bureau.

Also, you need to prepare and submit your application for a China Group Visa following the requirements.

Your representative will schedule a meeting for the entire tour group at a visa approval center in China.

Criteria to apply for a Chinese Tour Group Visa

You must provide the following information to your agent before the scheduled appointment:

  • Your current travel document or passport
  • Evidence of your current employment or studies your prior passports or travel documentation
  • You’ll need a blank page in your passport to put the visa on.
  • Your fingerprints and a photograph will be taken during the appointment (biometric information).

The visa fee should be paid directly to your travel agent, who will cover the entire group.

Documents required for the Chinese Tour Group Visa

Independent travelers, family units, tour providers, and school excursions will need the following documents:

  • Colorful scan of each member’s readable passport information page (in size less than 1 megabyte for each passport scan).
  • Each traveler’s digital photo (size: 45mm*35mm).
  • Round-trip airfare (inbound and outbound) Each traveler will receive a confirmation of their reservation.
  • Every night’s stay in mainland China requires a hotel reservation.
  • A list of all group members.
  • You must provide proof of your current address of residency.  and the document must either be a copy of the front of your driver’s license or a government ID.

Requirements for Chinese Tour Group Visa

Tourist groups of at least 5 people who must travel together in China must obtain a Chinese Group Visa.

The majority of group visas are provided for a single entrance. Because instead of a visa sticker on the passport, a group visa is issued on a separate sheet.

The conditions for obtaining a Group visa are outlined below:

Official Group Visa Authorization Letter from any China Travel Service (CTS), China International Travel Service (CITS), China Youth Travel Service (CYTS), Chinese National Tourism Bureau, or any Chinese province Tourism Bureau.

Each passenger’s passport is photocopied once. Because there are no original passports or pictures required. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months or longer.

List of tour groups. A form that must be filled out with the information of each traveler will be sent to you.

However, the visa will state the date it was issued, the number of entries, the maximum number of days it can be used, and the date it is valid for entry.

The entry by date refers to the latest day before the specified date that you must enter China. It is June 18th in the sample, however, if you enter on that date, you can stay until July 1st.

When you arrive in China, you will be asked for a visa. You can tell the customs agent or officer that you have a group visa and that it comes on a separate sheet. That is if they go looking for the visa in your passport.

How to Apply for the Chinese Tour Group Visa

The application is quite easy, you can apply by sending all the required paperwork listed below:

1. One official group visa authorization letter from any state-owned tour operator’s head office, such as China Travel Service (CTS), China International Travel Service (CITS), China Youth Travel Service (CYTS), and Chinese National Tourism Bureau, or any Chinese province Tourism Bureau.

2. A copy of each passenger’s passport is required. For group visa applications, no physical passports or pictures are necessary. Thus, your passport must be valid for at least another 6 months.

3. A single visa list for a group, (in Microsoft Excel format).

Note: Please make sure that you fill out the list exactly as instructed.

Other information

Also, Official Visa Notification Letters are usually issued by the provincial tourism bureau or an authorized agency or corporation on behalf of the province. In most cases, your Chinese organizer will know how to obtain it.

It should be a straightforward procedure. If your Chinese organizer doesn’t know how to get it, tell them to contact the local tourism bureau.

Note: An official Visa Notification Letter is usually provided by a provincial tourism office or an authorized agency or corporation on behalf of the province.

Steps to Apply for a Chinese Tour Group Visa 

Some of the steps that you can follow to apply for a Chinese tour group visa are listed below:

#1: You have to prepare your passport and ensure its validity is no less than six months.

#2: After you have gotten your passport, you need to book round-trip tickets and hotels, and print the booking records. Alternatively, book a tour from a travel agency and get the invitation letter.

#3: Fill out and complete your UK Chinese Tour Group Visa application form.

#4: Submit the above documents to the Chinese embassy/consulate or CVASC which has jurisdiction in your residence area.

# 5: The final step is to collect your passport and visa from the consular office on the appointed date and pay applicable fees.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Much Does the Chinese Tour Group Visa cost?

Below are the cost estimates per person:

  • 5 to 9 people: $170 per person
  • 10 to 19 people: $165 per person
  • 20 people and over: $160 per person
  • Plus $29 for return shipping by FedEx.

How long does it take to process the Chinese Tour Group Visa?

Normally, it takes about 10 – 14 working days for the Consulate to process the group visa.

What are the Eligibility Criteria for the Chinese Tour Group Visa?

  • An official letter from the provincial Tourism Bureau authorizing group visas
  • A group of at least 5 individuals must fly into and out of China on the same flight, at the same time, with the same port of entry and exit, and the same itinerary in China.

What is the form of payment for the Chinese Tour Group Visa?

Cheques, cash, or transfer are all accepted.

How long does it take for a Chinese tour group visa to be approved?

On a general note, a Chinese visa will take 6-8 business days if you choose the standard processing time. Meanwhile, the duration to get your Chinese visa can be as fast as 3 days if you choose a rush service, or with express service, it could take between 4 to 5 business days.

Is it difficult to get a Chinese tourist visa?

Not really. The most popular type of visa for China, the L or tourist visa, is typically the easiest to apply for.

You’ll need to provide the three standard items (passport, application form, photo), an invitation letter from your host or travel documents (round-trip travel plus hotel booking), and proof of current residency.

How long is a Chinese tour group visa valid for?

Usually, the validity of a Single Entry or Double Entry “L” visa is 90 days or 180 days from the date of issue. This means the holder of the visa shall enter China no later than 90 days or 180 days from the date of issue, the visa is expired and is null and void.

What are the documents required to apply for a 10-year Chinese tour group visa?

  • Valid passport with at least 1 year of validity and 2 blank pages or the Chinese Embassy, Consulate would not issue the China paper visa for 10 years.
  • Travel Itinerary.
  • Credit/Debit Card or PayPal Account to pay for your visa online.

Conclusion

In summary, the one-of-a-kind Chinese Group visa is only valid for one entrance into China for tourism and a maximum stay of 30 days.

Meanwhile, this is possible if the hotel reservation has been verified for each night spent in mainland China. Individual applications start at £184 per applicant. We have no doubt the guide to apply for UK Chinese Tour Group Visa will prove helpful to you.