Information about applying for a visa to China

We have outlined the main details below but you should go through the Chinese Visa Application Centre (VAC) website thoroughly for full details and information -

We can check your application and documents but we cannot apply on your behalf. We can answer general questions but you may have to contact the embassy or the Chinese Visa Application Centre (VAC) directly if you have more specific questions.

What do I need to know?

Do I need a visa?

Most nationals need a visa to enter China. Find out if you need one from the Chinese Visa Application Centre (London) website.

What type of visa do I need?

  • Exchange students – Visa category F (issued to those invited to China for exchanges, visits, study tours and other activities)
  • Tourist – Visa category L

How much does it cost?

You can find out the latest costs and methods of payment from the Chinese Visa  Application Centre website.

When should I apply?

Roughly one month before intended entry to China. Visas may only be valid for 3 months. The visa starts as soon as it is granted.

Applying too early may result in you not getting your visa to cover you for the whole duration of your visit.

What do I need to do?

How do I apply?

  1. Either complete an online application or download and fill a paper application form
  2. Print off the application form and sign the form
  3. Download and sign the Declaration
  4. Submit the application form plus Declaration, along with your documents to the VAC in-person after making an appointment directly with the VAC
  5. OR post your documents and application to the VAC
  6. If you apply by post, you must include a self-addressed Royal Mail Special Delivery envelope for your documents to be returned in

What documents do I need?

This is a summary. Refer to the website (Step by Step Guidance) for full details of what each document must include

  • Passport (with 6 months validity)
  • Visa application form
  • Photo
  • Your UK visa
  • Photocopy of any previous Chinese visas
  • Swansea University Student Statement (from Academic Registry) to confirm you are a full-time enrolled student
  • Official invitation letter from Chinese university (if you are going for an exchange programme) – The International Development Office (IDO) will obtain this letter for you
  • (If applying by post) – prepaid self-addressed Royal Mail Special Delivery envelope


Contact - Visa Application Centre

Office Address: 12 Old Jewry, London, EC2R 8DU 

Nearest tube station:Bank Station (Centre Line and DLR Line)

Nearest train station:Cannon Street Railway Station

Bus route:Number 8,23,25(Bank Station Bus Stop)


Business hours:

Office Hours: Monday-Friday
Application Submission: 9am - 3pm (Express Application Submission: 9am-12pm)
Payment and Passport Collection: 9am - 4pm

Please note: The Collection date for the express service will be three working days from submission of applications (e.g. customers applying on Monday will pick up their visas on Wednesday). Applicants requesting express service will be charged an extra visa fee and service fee. Applications for express service must be lodged at the CVASC counter before 12:00 noon Monday to Friday.

The Centre is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Tel:+44(0)20 7206 0589  Fax:+44(0)20 7710 6001


How long does it take to process?

  • Applications submitted in-person takes a minimum of 4 working days (express service takes 3 working days).
  • Applications submitted through post takes 10 working days from the date of receipt in the office.