10-Year China Visa: Explained

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I recently went to Hong Kong to renew my visa and what I received came as a surprise: a 10-year visa! I read a lot about it on the news and thought it’s a great idea for business people who need to travel back and forth between China and their home country little did I know that even I was able to get one.

And that even unknowingly! 

 What is a 10-year Visa?

The Chinese Consulate is now issuing 10 year multiple entry business and tourist visas to eligible US passport holders pursuant to a reciprocal visa agreement between the U.S. and China.  As part of the process, business visa applications require invitation letters from the inviting party in China with an official company seal/chop.   Accordingly, please contact the company you are visiting in China to obtain the required letter.  At this time, copies of the invitation letters are accepted.

Non US passport holders are not eligible for 10 year visas.  (Note: China and Canada reached the same agreement to grant 10-year visas) The maximum business visa they are eligible for is a 1 year multiple entry business visa.

Please allow additional time during the application process for requesting invitation letters from the inviting party in China. – United States of America-China Chamber of Commerce

The funny thing is, I didn’t even apply for a 10-year visa but got it anyway. What I applied for was a 60-day tourist visa in China. Apparently, you can get it – no questions asked – when applying for a simple tourist L visa.

How does it work?

10-year visas don’t mean you can stay in China for 10 years. You need to pay attention to the “duration for each stay” which can vary from 30-90 days. In my case, I got 60 days when I applied at the Chinese Commissioner’s office in Hong Kong. I’m not sure about the exact requirements for 30, 60 or 90 days. It can play a role, however, where you apply for the visa and if you were granted a Chinese visa before or not.

Let’s take a look at what a 10-year visa with 60 days of stay means exactly. Your visa is  valid for 10 years but you can only stay in China for 60 days max at a time. This means, after 60 days you need to leave the country. You can, however, simply cross the border and come back again the same day.

What are the advantages?

In my opinion, the 10-year visa sounds more “fancy” than it actually is. However, there are definitely some advantages to it. Once you got the visa, you don’t need to worry about going to the Chinese Embassy or Consulate to get a new visa every time you plan to go to China. It therefore saves you time and hassle!

Additionally, without trips to the consulate or embassy, you also save money. Visas aren’t cheap and once you got a 10-year visa, you don’t need to spend anymore money on it for future vists. The best thing is, the 10-year visa costs the same like its ordinary tourist L or business visa counterparts!

Once your duration of 30, 60 or 90 days are over, you can simply cross the border into Hong Kong, Macau or go on a weekend trip someplace else and come right back into the country! It’s fast and convenient!

Note: Even if your passport expires before the 10-year visa expires, you can still use it together with your new passport to travel to China! 

 Let’s take a closer look at the visa:

 Maybe this is a good method for mixed couples to enable the non-Chinese partner to stay in China?

Posted in ,


Linda has been living in Asia since 2012 and loves sharing her travel and life experiences on her website. She currently works remotely in Online Marketing and also teaches various English classes in South Korea.


  1. R Zhao on March 16, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Thanks for the info! I was wondering if this would be easy to get. My son and step-daughter recently both got issued 10-year US tourist visas (on their Chinese passports) and it was pretty straight forward. They were granted a six-month entry to the States on arrival.

    I don’t think this is a good method for staying in China long term, but it could help buy time for couples when one is looking for work or something. It can be very hard to do constant border runs, unless, maybe you live in a place like Shenzhen.

  2. Jeff in Taiwan on March 21, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Very helpful info since previously it was difficult to get much more than a 6 month L visa with either 2 entries or multiple entry if you were holding an American passport since the Chinese government preferred you apply for a visa at a US Chinese consulate. I have a question though. Did you apply through a visa agency in Hong Kong or did you apply directly at the Commissioner of China Foreign Ministry office in Hong Kong? If you used a visa agency would you mind letting me know which one. Thanks!

    • Linda on March 22, 2015 at 6:32 am

      Hi there! I applied at the Commissioner’s Office in Hong Kong but there is an agency in the same building on the 40th floor where I went a couple of times!

    • eusebius on October 1, 2015 at 2:04 am

      For anyone looking into this process, I have to put in a good word for Forever Bright Trading Limited (located next to Hung Hom train station in Wanchai). They offered the best fees among the few agencies I contacted. One of the ladies there also gave me some tips to help smooth the application process. Fortunately this doc and a passport photo were the only things required. I got these in before 1pm and picked up my passport next day for 1400HKD with a 10-year multi-entry L visa 60-day duration each time. Going through the Ministry office is a bit cheaper, but in my experience the agency’s small premium was worth the extra peace of mind.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


안녕, I'm linda :)

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope you find what you are looking for and return for more.

Follow Me

Where I am now

Cheongju, South Korea (2)

Linda Goes East Shop

Shop Korea-inspired home decor prints. Unique. Affordable. Korea.