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Visa & Vaccinations For China

Please note that the advice on this page is subject to change without notice and you should always check yourself that this advice has not changed before you travel.

Visa Requirements For China

Most nationalities require a visa for China which must be obtained in advance of China tours. All applications are required to have at least 6 months validity on their passports and a blank page required for the visa and subsequent entry and exit stamps. In addition you will need to have an official confirmation of your itinerary in China as well as proof of entry and exit of China (air and / or train ticket confirmations).

Standard processing time is 3 to 4 working days. In most cases a visa will be issued that must be used within 3 months and is valid for 30 days of travel on entry. Currently (2019) UK and USA passport holders are issued 2 year multiple entry visas as standard but at a price! However, UK passport holders applying in the UK must now have their finger prints taken as part of the visa application process which means turning up at the application centre in person

How to Obtain A Visa For China

Obtaining a visa can be done by several methods. The most common way is to use an experienced visa agent which takes some of the hassle out of the process but you will need to pay their service fee on top of the visa costs. We have teamed up with CIBT VisaCentral who can assist with the Russian, Mongolian and Chinese visas for our clients.

Alternatively, you can apply directly with the Chinese Visa Service Application Centres which exist in many countries worldwide. Where these do not exist you can apply directly with the Chinese embassy in your country.

Tibet Travel Permits

If you are visiting Tibet as part of your trip to China you will need a special permit called a “Tibet Travel Permit”. If booking your trip through us we will obtain this permit for you and we will need a copy of both your passport details page and Chinese visa to do so. The permit itself is issued in China and comes as a separate piece of paper which you will need to keep with your passport until your time in Tibet is finished.

China 72 Hour Visa Rule

Some nationalities are allowed to spend up to 72 hours in certain Chinese cities without a visa providing they are flying in and out of that city and hold an onward ticket and visa or permission of entry to the next country. Of course, most taking a Trans-Mongolian trip will be either departing or arriving by train so this option is sadly not applicable.

Click here from more information.

Vaccinations For China

The general rule is that there are no special vaccination requirements for China unless you are travelling from an area where Yellow Fever exists. However, we strongly advise that you check with your GP, Doctor or a travel clinic in case there are aspects of either your itinerary or medical history that may mean certain immunisations are necessary. Almost all the parts of China that tourists visit do not require the taking of any malaria tablets. However, we would advise insect repellant in the summer months.

Health Advice For China

The vast majority of our clients visiting China have a happy healthy holiday with the worst experiences being confined to mild stomach issues due to the change of diet and colds that are often picked up on the long flight over.

There are a few golden rules to keep yourself healthy once in China. Firstly, stick to bottled water which is available everywhere and is very cheap – don’t drink the tap water (even though it is usually fine). If you sample the delicious delights of street food make sure that it is cooked in front of you and visiting stalls that seem to be popular with locals is always a good idea. This also applies to restaurants – if it is busy with local people then the food is going to be good and the turnover of food is likely to mean it will be fresh.

If you do get sick your guides will do all they can to assist you and can arrange visit to doctors, and translate of necessary. Note that it is a requirement of booking that you have good travel insurance to cover any medical bills.

We would like to stress that the vast majority of people visiting China do not experience any health issues.

Special Health Requirements

If you have any particular dietary requirements please let us know. We can cater for almost all requirements but do need to be told in advance and we ask for this information on our booking forms. We can also adjust your trip to take into account any medical conditions you may have and can cater, with prior warning, for people with disabilities.


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