Travel Tips

Documents and Customs

Passports

You will need a valid passport to travel to China. Go to your local passport office in your home country and fill out the application, you will need a passport photo, passport requirement often change so check with the passport office or online. Carry your passport with you wherever you are, you will need it to book your hotel, buy plane tickets and exchange money. If your passport is lost of stolen report it immediately to the Security Bureau as well as your countries embassy.

Travel Visas

You can obtain a travel visa for China from the Chinese Embassy in your home country. Tourist visas usually last for 2 months but can be extended. The most common visas are the L visa for tourists, the F visa is for business, the X visa is for study and the Z visa is for work. You will need a completed visa application form, a passport photo and a valid passport. For the L visa you will need a copy of your itinerary including your flight information. Check your home country to see how long it takes to process the visa application.

Travel Insurance

It is advisable to purchase travel insurance before you travel. Travel insurance will give you peace of mind and protect you should you get in an accident, have a medical emergency, theft of money, etc. the basic policies cover medical expenses and financial losses. China has no public healthcare system, always check with your insurance provider before you leave for your vacation to make sure that will be covered while in China.

Customs Regulations - China Entry Regulations

To travel to China you must have a valid passport, a travel visa and an entry card (you will get an entry card on your flight before you land). To get an extension on your travel visa when you are in China go to the Beijing Public Security Bureau. If you are entering with duty-free goods you will be required to take the ‘green channel’ when arriving and if you are carrying any other kinds of goods then you will take the ‘red channel.’ Anyone considered a threat to the nation’s safety or interests is not allowed to enter China. All people entering China are required to go through a quarantine inspection that checks for illness and obvious disease. If you are carrying more than $5000 USD you should declare it to customs.

Prohibited items:

  • Weapons including ammunition,
  • Poisons,
  • Dangerous pathogens or pests,
  • Plants or animals that may be injurious,
  • Counterfeit money,
  • Media (printed matter, photos, film, DVDs, etc.) that may attempt to harm China’s politics, economy, culture or morals.

Customs Regulations - China Exit Regulations

When leaving China you must have a valid passport, a travel visa and an exit card (you can get an exit card at the airport and fill it out before you check in), you will go through a luggage inspection and a customs inspection before leaving the country. There are some items that you are allowed to take out of the country but with some restrictions such as gold and silver products, foreign currency, patent herbs, medicines and drugs, common antiques (with paperwork) and large amounts of Chinese currency. If you are exiting with duty-free goods you will be required to take the ‘green channel’ when leaving and if you are carrying any other kinds of goods that require duty tax then you will take the ‘red channel.’

Prohibited items:

  • Precious antiques and cultural relics,
  • Endangered plants or animals (including propagation materials such as seeds, etc.),
  • Media (printed matter, photos, film, DVDs, etc.) that contains state secrets.