Do you work or study in China and want to bring your family members with you? If so, you will need to apply for a Chinese dependant visa, also known as the S visa, for your spouse, children, parents, or other relatives. The S visa is issued to family members of foreigners who reside in China for work or study or to those who intend to go to China for private affairs such as marriage, lawsuit, heritage, adoption, and medical treatment. It is further classified into S1 visa and S2 visa. The former is for a longer stay duration of more than 180 days, while the latter is for a stay duration not exceeding 180 days.
In this article, we will guide you through the process of applying for a Chinese dependant visa, the requirements and documents you need to prepare, and the latest policies and measures that China has introduced to facilitate the entry and exit of foreigners who work or study in China.
What are the requirements and documents for applying for a Chinese dependant visa?
To apply for a Chinese dependant visa, you need to meet the following requirements:
- You must be a family member of a foreigner who works or studies in China, such as a spouse, parent, child, parent-in-law, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, or spouse of a child.
- You must have a valid passport with at least six months of validity left and blank pages.
- You must fill out the China S Visa Application Form truthfully and attach a recent color photo.
- You must provide an invitation letter from the foreigner who works or studies in China. The letter should contain information on the applicant, the visit, and the inviting individual.
- You must provide a photocopy of the inviting individual’s passport and residence permit of China.
- You must provide original and photocopy of certification showing the relationship of family members between applicant and inviting individual. This can be a marriage certificate, birth certificate, certification of kinship issued by the Public Security Bureau, or other notarized certification of kinship.
- If you intend to go to China for private affairs such as marriage, lawsuit, heritage, adoption, or medical treatment, you must provide a document explaining personal details such as marriage certificate, court summons, inheritance certificate, adoption agreement, or medical diagnosis.
After you prepare all the required documents, you need to submit them to the Chinese embassy or consulate in your country of residence. You may also need to make an appointment online before you visit. The processing time may vary depending on your location and situation. Generally speaking, it takes about four working days to process a regular application. You can also apply for express service or rush service with extra fees if you need your visa urgently. The visa fee also varies depending on your nationality and visa type. You can check the official website of the Chinese embassy or consulate in your country for more details.
What are the latest policies and measures that China has introduced to facilitate the entry and exit of foreigners who work or study in China?
China has been taking various steps to improve its management and service of foreigners who work or study in China, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the latest policies and measures that China has introduced include:
- China has launched a unified online platform for foreigners to apply for work permits in China. The platform allows foreigners to submit their application materials, track their application status, and obtain their work permit electronically. The platform also provides information on policies, regulations, and services related to foreigners working in China.
- China has simplified the procedures and reduced the time for foreigners to apply for work permits in China. The number of application materials has been reduced from 10 to 8, and the processing time has been shortened from 15 working days to 5 working days. Foreigners who meet certain conditions can also apply for a work permit with a validity of up to five years.
- China has expanded the scope and eligibility of foreigners who can apply for work permits in China. Foreigners who have obtained a bachelor’s degree or above from Chinese universities or foreign universities recognized by the Chinese Ministry of Education can apply for a work permit within two years after graduation. Foreigners who have obtained a master’s degree or above from world-renowned universities can apply for a work permit within one year after graduation. Foreigners who have obtained a doctoral degree from Chinese universities can apply for a work permit without any work experience requirement.
- China has implemented a points-based system to evaluate and classify foreigners who work in China into three categories: A, B, and C. Category A refers to high-end talents who are in short supply and urgently needed by China. Category B refers to professional talents who meet the market demand and have relevant qualifications. Category C refers to temporary or seasonal workers who are restricted by quotas and policies. Foreigners who belong to category A can enjoy preferential policies such as fast-track service, green channel, and flexible entry and exit.
- China has established a mechanism to recognize the qualifications and skills of foreigners who work in China. Foreigners who have obtained professional qualifications or skills certificates recognized by the Chinese government or international organizations can apply for a work permit with simplified procedures and materials.
These policies and measures aim to attract more foreign talents to work and study in China, promote the exchange and coöperation between China and other countries, and support the economic and social development of China.
Frequently Asked Questions
The duration of stay depends on the type of dependant visa you have. If you have an S1 visa, you can stay in China for more than 180 days, but you need to apply for a temporary residence permit within 30 days after entering China. The residence permit can be granted with a maximum validity of five years and can be used to exit and enter China freely as long as it’s valid. If you have an S2 visa, you can stay in China for no more than 180 days per entry, and you don’t need to apply for a residence permit.
No, you cannot work or study in China with a dependant visa. The dependant visa is only for family reunion or private affairs. If you want to work or study in China, you need to apply for a different type of visa, such as a Z visa for work or an X visa for study.
Yes, you can extend or renew your dependant visa in China if you meet the following conditions:
- You have not overstayed your visa or violated any laws or regulations in China.
- You still have valid reasons and documents to support your stay in China.
- You submit your application at least seven days before your visa expires.
To extend or renew your dependant visa, you need to visit the local Exit and Entry Administration of the Public Security Bureau where you reside in China. You need to fill out an application form, provide your passport, visa, residence permit (if applicable), invitation letter, kinship certification, and other relevant documents. The processing time may take about seven working days.