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China Visa Application Requirements - Private Visa (S1)

China S1 visa is issued to those who intend to go to China to live with the immediate family member working or studying in China, or to those who intend to go to China for other private affairs. "Immediate family members" refers to spouses, parents, sons or daughters under the age of 18 or parents-in-law. It is usually issued for one entry with duration of stay of 000 (means to be determined). Holder of S1 visa should enter China within 90 days after visa is issued and must register at local public security bureau within 30 days of arrival, where the China Residence Permit will be issued to replace S1 visa to allow multiple entry for one year or longer. S1 visa is not guaranteed. Chinese Consulate may issue you a S2 visa instead at their discretion. In order to apply for China S1 Visa, please prepare your application according to the detail requirement explained below.

Please prepare all required items below accordingly:

1 Actual passport, plus a photocopy of the name page
2 Proof of Residence
A photocopy of the driver's license or major utility bill with your name and address is required.
3 One recent passport-type photograph
4 Fill out China Online Visa Application Form (COVA) online
5 Submit the Visa Service Request Form Online
6 Payment for visa processing, service and shipping
Chose A
Service Level
Time needed
All Fees
Review and Prepare
Consular Processing
Embassy Fee
Service Fee
Price Regular Pre-check Only Service
5-10 days
From $149*
Price Express Pre-check Only Service
2-5 days
From $259*
Price Regular Service (Pre-check+Submission)
5-10 days
2 - 3 Weeks*
From $249*
Price Express Service (Pre-check+Submission)
2-5 days
8-10 days
From $349*
Price Rush Service (Pre-check+Submission)
1-3 days
4-6 days
From $449*
7 Where You Stay Form
8 Photocopy of Your Previous Chinese Visa
9 An invitation letter from the inviting individual (a foreigner who stays or resides in China for work or studies)
An invitation letter from an immediate family member working or studying in China. A foreigner holding a long term work and study visa with residence permit in China is qualified as an inviter for visa application. The invitation letter should contain:
Invitation letter should be signed by the inviter and can be submitted as a photocopy by scan & email or fax in most cases. However, original invitation might be requested at visa officer's discretion.
Please refer to the link below for sample invitation letters:
Sample private invitation letter for L, Q or S visa
10 Proof of kinship
A Additional requirement based on jurisdiction
B Additional requirement for minor applicant
C Additional requirement for Chinese descendants
Pre-check Available Pre-check by email before mailing