The Complete China Digital Nomad Visa Guide (Updated 2024)

How to application guide for for a China Digital Nomad Visa. The Visa Application Process: Documentation, Financial Requirements, Work Requirements and More.


China does not have a specific visa category designed specifically for digital nomads or remote workers. While China may not offer a dedicated visa for remote workers, there’s still a fantastic opportunity to explore this incredible country within the confines of the law.

Digital Nomad China


A digital nomad visa is a special type of visa designed for those who work remotely and have the freedom to travel while earning a living. It grants legal permission for individuals to reside in a foreign country for an extended period, allowing them to immerse themselves in the local culture while working from their laptops.

Lets dive into our options for a digital nomad visa in china.


Digital Nomad Phillipines

If you are a digital nomad planning to relocate to China, you can apply for a tourist visa, also known as the L-visa, allowing you to reside there. The L-visa is typically valid for 3 to 6 months, and you can spend up to 2 months in some of the most prominent digital nomad hubs in China. The visa is typically issued for one month, and you need to submit the following documents to the immigration authorities:

  • A valid passport (with a validity period of at least six months)
  • Flight tickets with arrival and departure dates
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Proof of payment of the visa fee
  • A recent passport-sized photo
  • The completed visa application form.


Digital Nomad China
  1. Determine if you require a visa – Check if you need to apply for a Chinese visa, as visa-free policies are available, such as the 72- and 144-hour visa-free transit for layovers.
  2. Determine the appropriate visa – Choose the type of visa that suits your situation. For example, if you travel to China for vacation, apply for a Tourist Visa (L Visa).
  3. Prepare necessary documents – The following documents are generally required for any China visa application: a valid passport with at least six months validity upon entering China, a completed visa application form, and a recent passport-sized photo with a white background. Additional documents may be required based on the type of visa applied for.
  4. Apply to the Visa Office at Chinese embassies, consulates, or China Visa Application Service Centers in your country. Some countries, including the US, UK, and Canada, require visa applicants to apply personally and provide fingerprints. Processing times varied, with regular service taking four days and rushed service taking one day in emergencies with consular approval.
  5. Pay the fee and collect the visa – Visit the location where you applied, pay the visa fee, and manage your visa. Visa fees vary based on your nationality and number of entries and are subject to change based on updated policies.

 Visa-Exempt Countries in China 

All foreign citizens who are not from one of the few China visa-free countries are required to apply for a tourist visa for China in order to travel to the country for a holiday.

Visa-exempt for short stays:

  • Brunei: 15 days
  • Japan: 15 days
  • Singapore: 15 days
  • Bahamas: 30 days
  • Barbados: 30 days
  • Belarus: 30 days
  • Mauritius: 30 days
  • Ecuador: 30 days
  • Fiji: 30 days
  • Grenada: 30 days
  • Qatar: 30 days
  • San Marino: 30 days
  • Seychelles: 30 days
  • Serbia: 30 days
  • Tonga: 30 days
  • United Arab Emirates: 30 days

Types Of Visa In China 

  1. L Visa (Tourist Visa): This visa is suitable for individuals visiting China for tourism, family visits, or personal affairs.  The fees can range from approximately $30 to $140 USD.
  2. Port Visas (Landing Visas): Available for group applications, these visas allow entry at specific ports for a stay of 1 to 2 months. Cost varies depending on the country and duration of stay.
  3. F Visa (Business Visa): Designed for individuals invited to China for business, research, lectures, cultural exchanges, or short-term studies or internships. Generally, the fees range from around $30 to $140 USD.
  4. Z Visa (Work Visa): Issued to individuals taking up employment or job positions in China, along with their accompanying family members. Typically, the fees can range from approximately $140 to $200 USD.
  5. X Visa (Student Visa): Granted to individuals intending to study, pursue advanced studies, or participate in internships in China for a period exceeding six months. The fees usually range from around $30 to $140 USD.

Visa Requirements

To travel to China, you generally need to apply for a China visa about six weeks before your intended travel date at a Chinese embassy/consulate or Visa Application Center in your country. However, some travellers may be exempt or eligible for a Port Visa upon arrival. To apply for a China visa, you will need to gather the necessary documents. Here’s what you’ll typically need:
  1. Passports: Ensure your original passport has a validity of at least 6 months and contains two blank pages. You’ll also need a copy of the photo information page when submitting your visa application.
  2. Visa Application Forms and Photos: Complete the Visa Application Form of the People’s Republic of China and affix a recently-taken, color, full-face visa photo in the designated area.
  3. Legal Stay and Residence Permits: If you are applying for a China visa outside your home country, you will need to provide proof of legal stay or residence permits in the country where you are applying.
  4. Former Chinese Passports: If you previously held Chinese nationality and now hold a foreign nationality, you must submit your former Chinese passports and copies of the photo pages. If the name on your foreign passport differs from your former Chinese passport, notarial documents regarding the name change are required.
Additional documents may be required depending on the type of visa you are applying for:
  • L-Visas (Tourist Visa): Provide evidence of round-trip air ticket and hotel bookings or an invitation letter from a Chinese institution or individual. The invitation letter should include personal information, itinerary details, and information about the host organisation or individual.
  • Z-Visas (Work Visa):

    Depending on the nature of your invitation, you will need to provide an Alien Employment Permit and an invitation letter from an authorised unit, or a China Work Permit for Foreign Experts and an invitation letter, or a certificate issued by the Resident Representative Office of Foreign Companies and an invitation letter, or other relevant documents for commercial performances or offshore oil operations

Guide to Applying for Different Types of Visas in China

  1. Determine the type of visa you need: Identify the specific visa category that aligns with your purpose of visit, such as L Visa (Tourist Visa), F Visa (Business Visa), Z Visa (Work Visa), or X Visa (Student Visa).
  2. Gather the required documents: Prepare the necessary documents based on the visa type you are applying for. This typically includes a valid passport with at least 6 months of validity and blank pages, completed visa application forms, recent passport-sized photos, and supporting documents like invitation letters, flight bookings, or educational admission letters.
  3. Complete the visa application form: Fill out the visa application form accurately and truthfully. The form can be obtained from the Chinese embassy or consulate’s website or in person at their office.
  4. Pay the visa fees: Visit the Chinese embassy or consulate in your country to pay the required visa fees. The fees vary depending on the type and duration of the visa you are applying for. It’s advisable to check the official website or contact the embassy/consulate for the most up-to-date fee information.
  5. Submit your application: Submit your completed application form, along with all the required documents and payment receipt, to the Chinese embassy or consulate. Ensure that you have all the necessary copies and originals as per the application requirements.
  6. Attend an interview (if required): Some visa types may require an interview or additional processing. If necessary, attend the interview at the embassy or consulate as scheduled.
  7. Track your application: After submitting your application, you can track its progress using any tracking systems provided by the embassy or consulate. This will help you stay updated on the status of your application.
  8. Collect your visa: Once your visa application is approved, collect your passport with the visa affixed to it from the Chinese embassy or consulate. Make sure to double-check the visa details for accuracy.

Validity of Visa

The validity of visas varies. Single-entry China visas are typically valid for 3 months from the date of issue, allowing a maximum stay of 30 days. If you frequently travel between the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macau, or Taiwan, you may need to apply for double or multiple-entry visas.

Conclusion :

  • In conclusion, while China does not have a specific digital nomad visa, digital nomads can still explore the country by obtaining the appropriate visa. The L-visa, or tourist visa, allows for stays of up to six months and provides an opportunity to spend time in popular digital nomad hubs. To apply for a visa, it is recommended to visit a Chinese embassy, consulate, or Visa Application Center in your country, ensuring that you meet the required documents and application procedures. Keep in mind that visa requirements and regulations may vary, so it’s important to stay updated with the latest information from the Chinese authorities. With proper planning and adherence to visa regulations, digital nomads can embark on an exciting journey to explore the wonders of China.

Start Planning Your China Trip Now!

Book Your Flight:

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flights. A travellers favorite way to book flights, as it searches websites and airlines around the world with one click.

Book Your Bus or Transportation Within China:

There are two ways to book your transporation, ask your hotel or hostel, go to the local bus terminal, or book online, for a less stressful trip using EasyBook or

Book Your Accomodation: 

Find the best hotels or hostels at HostelWorld,, Perks include with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out and Free cancellations.

Dont Forget Your Travel Insurance:

Two popular choices are SafetyWing and WorldsNomads. A traveler should buy traveler’s insurance to protect themselves against unexpected events such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, and lost or stolen baggage. It provides peace of mind and financial protection in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Useful Apps?

Didi/Baidu Maps- Local Transportation

Dingdong/ Food Delivery

Whatsapp/Line/Wechat – Communication

Want More Information On China?

Be sure to check out my nomad travel guide on the China for even more tips.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase.

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Justin Gonzalez

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