China - Visa Requirements China - Visa Requirements
A valid U.S. passport and Chinese visa are required to enter China. A visa must be obtained from Chinese Embassies or Consulates before traveling to China. Following the new U.S.-China visa reciprocity agreement announced during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation event in November 2014, multiple entry, 10-year visas are now available. Visitors should request a multiple entry, 10-year Chinese visa to maximize their benefit from this new policy.
Americans arriving without valid passports and the appropriate Chinese visa are not permitted to enter and can be subject to a fine and immediate deportation at the traveler's expense. U.S. citizens may stay in mainland China for up to 144 hours without a Chinese visa if transiting certain international airports. Consult the Chinese Embassy/Consulate for a current list of eligible airports. Transiting without a visa requires a valid passport, a visa for your onward destination (if necessary), and an onward plane ticket departing from the same airport. Some cities require that you remain in the same municipality or province while in China. Make sure to get an endorsement stamp at the immigration desk before leaving the airport.
For information about visa requirements and other entry requirements and restricted areas, travelers should visit the website here for current visa information:
There are Chinese Consulates General in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.
Americans who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their Chinese visas may be subject to a RMB 500 fine per day up to a maximum of RMB 10,000 or be detained for 5-15 days, and/or deported. Note that if you lose your passport or become the victim of passport theft, you will not only need to obtain a new passport, but you will need to obtain an exit visa before you will be able to depart China. This process can take up to 15 days.