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Crew, Resident and Journalist Visa

Crew Visa (C)
Persons arriving as crew on international planes, ships or trains and their family members should apply for it.  Clearly they should obtain information and complete formalities via their employers.

Resident Visa (D)
In summary, the regulations state that a person who has lived 5 years in China and is a desirable person may obtain permanent residence status.  In practice it seems that very few people are able to achieve this status. China is not an immigrant country (like the USA, Canada, Australia) and does not seek foreign permanent residents. Unless you have made massive investments which have generated substantial profit to China and you have good connections with the establishment, it seems you are unlikely to succeed.

Journalist Visa (J-1, J-2) 
The long stay J1 is for resident journalists, the short stay, J2, is for those who are visiting for short term assignments.  These are rather specialist visas and there are several extra requirements including approvals, invitations from the Chinese media authorities, or itineraries.  There are extra requirements if you want to bring filming equipment into China.  You will find the full details on the application form.

The J-1 is only for 30 days from the date of arrival during which time you and your local organisation must seek aTemporary Residence Permit for the duration of your contract, to a maximum of  5 years.

Basic Requirements
1. A valid passport with a minimum validity of 6 months and at least a blank page
2. One truly completed Application Form. 
3. One recent passport photo glued on the application form, if the accompanying child on your passport travels with you, the child's photo is also required, and you should declare to the consular officer. 

Additional Requirements for C, D, J Visas 
1. For Crew C, a letter of guarantee issued by the foreign transport company, or the invitation letter issued by the relevant units from China is required.
  a. Crew members from following 11 airline companies may apply for multiple entry C valid for two years: United Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, American Airlines, UPS, Federal Express, Polar Air Cargo, Evergreen Air Cargo, Kalitta Air Inc., Southern Air Inc. and World Airways Inc.
  b. Non-regular scheduled flight, chartered flight, private plane must get the Aviation Permit before departure.  

2. For Resident D, applicants should provide original and copy of the Confirmation form for foreigner's Permanent Residence Status issued by the Ministry of Public Security of the PRC. 
Note: D holders are required to apply for the foreigners' residence permit within 30 days after entry at the exit/entry administration of public security organs under local governments at or above the county level in the proposed place of residence.

3. For J1 or J2, the applicant should go through formalities in accordance with relevant China's regulations or provisions, and submit the corresponding application documents. For foreign journalists coming for profession-related purposes such as news coverage, interview or reporting, the Visa Notification Letter issued by the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of PRC, and official letter signed by the head of the foreign media organization (with details as follows: name list, arrival and departure time, places of interview, content to cover, introduction of the news agency, and name/address/contact number of the news agency) are required. For applications at Chinese embassies or consulates, please contact the Press Section in advance. 
Note: J1 holders shall apply for a residence permit within 30 days after entry.  

How to Apply
The applicant can submit application in person or ask someone else, travel agency to apply on his/her behalf. 

Processing Time
The normal processing time is 4 working days. Extra fees will be charged respectively for rush service (collect on the same day) and express service (collect on the second or third working day after submission). 

Visa Fees
Fees are paid when applicants pick up their visas. The means of payment are different at Chinese Embassies or Consulates in Different Countries and Regions. The fee varies according to applicants' nationality and the number of entries. The below table is the fee for application in USA


Entry & ValidityAmerican CitizensCitizens of Other Countries
Single Entry for 3 MonthsUSD 140USD 30
Double Entry for 6 MonthsUSD 140USD 45
Multiple Entries for 6 MonthsUSD 140USD 60
Multiple Entries for 1 Year or 2 YearUSD 140USD 90
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