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How to get a Non-Tourist Shanghai Visa?

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How to get a Non-Tourist Shanghai Visa?

One of the most common questions asked by foreign visitors who are planning to travel to Shanghai is how they can obtain a non-tourist visa in order to remain in the country for longer than a few days. Although the Chinese immigration system can sometimes feel intimidating, with a bit of preparation, it is possible to get a non-tourist visa so that you may stay in Shanghai for an extended period of time.

Types of Shanghai Visas Available

The type of visa you will need will depend on the purpose of your visit, whether it is business related, to study, work, adopt, or do other activities. The most common are student (X) visas, work (Z) visas, family (S1) visas, and business (M) visas. Depending on your country of origin, some visa types may or may not be available.

Required Documentation

In order to apply for a non-tourist visa, you will need to possess certain documents. These include your passport, foreign entry card (health certificate issued within six months of application date) and one recent photograph sized 45mmx35mm. You will also need to submit the “Visa Application for the People’s Republic of China” (Form V.2013) as well as a visa application letter with information on your purpose of travel and a copy of the invitation slips required by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Application Process

Once you have all of the required documents, you will need to submit them either in person or through the post office to any China Embassy or Consulate. The application should be filled out in either English or Chinese and must include all the required documents. You may be asked to provide additional documents such as proof of financial ability, organisation documents, and a list of people accompanying you. The processing time of your visa application can vary according to different criteria in each embassy, but it typically takes between 4 and 6 weeks.


The cost of a non-tourist visa can vary depending on the type of visa and your nationality. Generally, the cost of a student (X) visa can range from 100-200 Yuan in addition to a “Visa application service fee’, working (Z) visas typically cost around 1000 Yuan, family (S1) visas up to 2000 Yuan and business (M) visas up to 1000 Yuan. The “Visa application service fee’ is usually between 30-50 Yuan and is paid on top of the visa fee.


Depending on your chosen type of visa, it is possible to extend or renew your visa within China’s borders if necessary. If looking to renew your visa, this must usually be done between 7 to 15 days before your permit expires. Foreign nationals wishing to renew their student or family visa must present either their Foreign Expert Certificate or Approval Notification when applying for a visa extension or renewal. You should note that numerous laws have been implemented in recent years governing which cities foreign nationals can reside in and how long they can do so, so it is important to make sure that you are complying with these laws when you submit your application for a non-tourist visa.
Applying for a non-tourist visa in Shanghai is not as daunting as one may think, although it can be time consuming. Carefully construct your application by making sure you are aware of what documents are required and adhere strictly to Chinese immigration rules during your stay. For more information regarding obtaining a non-tourist visa in Shanghai make sure to visit The Official Website of The Embassy of The People’s Republic Of China In The United States Of America for their most up-to-date advice on China’s visa requirements for foreign visitors.

An Insider’s Guide to Shanghai: Discovering the Local Gems

Shanghai, known for its skyscrapers, street food and bustling streets, is a city that is perfectly described as an all-out sensory experience. But, beyond the touristy haunts, there’s a side to Shanghai that remains unexplored. As a local, let me take you on a journey of the real Shanghai, the places that only we know and cherish.

Hidden Gems: Discovering the Local Attractions

While the iconic spots like the Pearl Tower or the Bund are worth visiting, there are other hidden gems that are equally fascinating. Take a walk around the Tianzifang neighborhood – a maze of alleyways with a bohemian charm. Here you will come across art galleries, hipster cafes, and quirky boutiques. Another noteworthy mention would be the Propaganda Poster Art Centre, a museum that showcases posters from the Maoist era. And if you’re looking for some peace, unplug yourself, and visit the Jade Buddha Temple, a tranquil space amidst the chaos of the city.

Savor the Flavors: Exploring the Local Cuisine in Shanghai

The food culture in Shanghai is an intrinsic aspect of its traditions. Start your day with some shengjianbao, the pan-fried soup dumplings with pork, a staple breakfast dish for the locals. Head to the city’s street vendors for a taste of the famous xiaolongbao, which are soup-filled steamed dumplings. For the more adventurous, try the pungent “stinky tofu”. Finish the day with a comforting bowl of hot pot or a platter of xiefen shizitou, fried crab meatballs.

The Cultural Beat: Partaking in the Diversity of Shanghai

Shanghai is a melting pot of cultures, and there’s something for everyone. During the Spring Festival season, Shanghai hosts temple fairs, where you can witness traditional Chinese performances, games, and activities. Jazz enthusiasts can head to the Peace Hotel, where you may catch some live jazz performances and loose yourself in the era of 1930s. For the art lovers, check out the M50 creative park – an eclectic fusion of art galleries, studios, and exhibitions.

Tales of the Past: Uncovering the Local History of Shanghai

Shanghai’s history is a treasure chest filled with intriguing stories. To explore the city’s colonial past, visit the former French Concession area, where you can wander around old-world buildings, leafy avenues, and hidden gardens. Join a walking tour and learn about the city’s darker past and visit the former Jewish ghetto, the Zhou Enlai Residence, and the site of a former opium warehouse.

Off-The-Beaten-Path: Experiences You Can’t Miss

Perhaps one of the most unique experiences you can have in Shanghai is to wake up at dawn and join the locals to practice Tai Chi at the parks. Go the extra mile for a view, and skip the crowded towers to visit the Shanghai Tower Observation Deck, offering one of the tallest views in the world. For a sensory overload, head to the Shanghai Circus World, where you will witness acrobats, magicians, and performers showcasing their talents. Lastly, for a one-of-a-kind experience, take a boat trip down the Huangpu River and drink in the majestic skyline at sunset.

In conclusion, Shanghai is a city that has something for every type of traveler. By exploring the local gems, you will experience a side of Shanghai that’s authentic and unspoiled. So, pack your bags, get your Shanghai visa, and come immerse yourself in one of the world’s most dynamic and fascinating cities.

hannes kocholl XjTQY7zukMc unsplash scaled

How to get a Non-Tourist Shanghai Visa?

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!