What is a Chinese Visa?
A visa is a travel document issued by authorized government agencies to foreign citizens applying to enter, exit from or transit through the host country's territory based on the host country's laws and regulations. In accordance with international law and practice, any sovereign state is entitled to determine whether or not to allow a foreign citizen to enter or exit from its territory, and whether to issue a visa, decline a visa application or to cancel an issued visa in accordance with its national laws.
Chinese embassies, consulates and other institutions stationed abroad entrusted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China are visa-issuing authorities responsible for issuance of entry visas to foreigner citizens abroad, and are entitled to determine the type, number of entries, validity and duration of each stay of a visa to be issued, or to decline a visa application or revoke an issued visa, in accordance with Chinese laws and regulations. According to Chinese law, a foreign citizen may be refused entry into China even if he/she has a valid Chinese visa.
Foreign citizens must obtain a visa before entry into China, with the exception of visa-free entry based on relevant agreements or regulations. Foreign citizens that fall into categories of Article 22 of the Exit and Entry Law of the People's Republic of China are qualified to apply for port visas from visa-issuing authorities entrusted by the Ministry of Public Security at a port of entry approved to issue port visas by the State Council.
For visit to Hong Kong SAR or Macao SAR, citizens from some countries/territories are exempted from visas for short term visit. Otherwise an entry visa must be obtained as required by the Government of HKSAR or Macao SAR. Visa applications must be made separately if the traveler wishes visit both HKSAR/Macao SAR and mainland China.