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Document Requirements

These requirements are applicable for US Citizens applying for a China Employment / Work visa in Washington DC

Applicants must refer to the "Important Tips for online COVA visa form filling", to ensure the COVA forms are true, accurate, and complete. Once the COVA form is submitted, no information can be changed. If any adjustment needs to be made, the whole COVA form must be filled out again.
After completing the COVA forms as required, please make sure to print the full set of COVA forms (8-9 pages) and sign on the Confirmation Page and the 8th page. If the COVA forms are not prepared as guided, the application will not be accepted.
Please send TDS your current valid and signed passport, plus one photocopy of the vital information page. It must not expire within 6 months and must have at least one blank visa page. Foreign Embassies cannot issue a visa on a page not labeled as a Visa page. Amendment and Endorsement pages in the back of the passport cannot be used for issuance of a visa.
A visa cannot be stamped on a page even if only one Small Stamp is on the visa page. If you do not have any blank visa pages in your passport, TDS can assist you in applying for additional pages. If your passport expires within 6 months, you must renew your passport and then we will secure your visa with the new passport.

Please send 1 recent professional passport-type photograph.
No eye glasses or jewelry are to be worn.
New Chinese Embassy Passport Photo Guidelines Effective 05/12/2017 - Click Here

Common Problems to Avoid:

No smiling, photos should have a neutral expression
No jewelry of any kind
No eye glasses
No light colored shirt, please wear a dark color
Hair not pulled back away from face
No background light or shadows 


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New Chinese Embassy Visa Requirement Effective October 24th, 2018.

Proof of residential address in the United States; clear copy of applicant drivers license or state issued photo ID. Address on the Drivers License must match the address on the visa application form.

A clear enlarged photocopy or scanned copy of your driver's license or ID is recommended by the Chinese Embassy to apply for a visa.

The original and a photocopy of an Invitation Letter by a Duly Authorized Unit, or a Confirmation Letter of Invitation issued by an authorized Chinese agency, and one of the following documents: Please be sure to include the applicants passport number on the letter of invitation:

A. Foreigner Employment Permit issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of China;

B. Foreign Expert Confirmation Document issued by State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs of China;

C. Letter of Invitation to Foreigners for Offshore Petroleum Operations in the People's Republic of China issued by China National Offshore Oil Corporation;

D. Registration Certificate of Foreign Enterprises' Permanent Representative Offices in China issued by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, or the approval document for the permanent representative offices of foreign enterprises issued by related commercial departments;

E. Approval document issued by the Ministry of Culture for those who come to China for commercial performances.

F. Invitation Letter by a Duly Authorized Unit or a Confirmation Letter of Invitation issued by the Foreign Affairs Office of a province (autonomous region, city).

Accompanying family members of foreigners working in China should submit an Invitation Letter by a Duly Authorized Unit or Confirmation Letter of Invitation issued by an authorized Chinese agency, and proof of kinship, e.g. marriage certificate, birth certificate, etc. There is no need for them to submit documents of employment permit.

* Z Visa holders must apply for a residence permit at the local public security authorities within 30 days of entry into China.

Residents of Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin please address the Invitation Letter to:
Consulate of China, Visa Section, Chicago IL

If you are staying in a hotel(s) you MUST provide copies of confirmed hotel confirmations. Multiple hotels will require multiple confirmations covering your entire stay in China.
The Chinese Embassy may require certain former foreign nationals to appear in person at the embassy to apply for a visa.
If you’re current U.S passport shows your place of birth as one of the countries listed below the embassy could request that you make a personal appearance to be finger printed and interviewed as part of the visa application process.

Once you have completed the interview process and supplied any required additional documentation requested the visa processing time can extend to up to 3 months in some cases.
Nationalities that maybe required to appear in person are:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Chad, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, France, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Kenya, Libya, Lebanon, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, South Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Yemen.
This list and or information is subject to change without prior notice.

Photocopy of previous Chinese passports or previous Chinese visas (applicable to foreign citizens, those who were Chinese citizens and have obtained foreign citizenship).
If you are applying for a Chinese visa for the first time, you should provide your previous Chinese passport held and a photocopy of its data page.
If you have obtained Chinese visas before and want to apply for a Chinese visa with a renewed foreign passport that does not contain any Chinese visa you should present a photocopy of the previous passport's data page and the photo page if it is separate, as well as the previous Chinese visa page. If your name on the current passport differs from that on the previous one, you must provide an official document of the name change.

Documentations for a child with Chinese descent born in US
A child with Chinese descent born in US applying visa for the first time should provide the original and a photocopy of either parent's foreign passport or green card and Certificate of Birth besides other regular materials.

A child with Chinese descent born in US applying for a visa who has had a Chinese visa before could provide a photocopy of the former visa instead of either parent's foreign passport or green card or Certificate of Birth.

Applicant's MUST submit a copy of their last visa to China and a copy of their entry stamp to China, if visa is still valid you must submit the old passport with the old visa in it, or if not available then you MUST write a letter of explanation.
Complete and sign one Affidavit Letter giving the exact dates and purpose(s) of every trip made to Turkey, Kazakhstan or Pakistan after January 1st 2015. Dates MUST match all entry and exit stamps in the traveler's passport and all trips mentioned on the visa application form.

Please include a signed Letter of Explanation explaining the purpose of the journey to Turkey, Kazakhstan or Pakistan.

Please complete the above Travel History Form.

Please complete a copy of the Location Form.

Your passport must be signed to apply for a Chinese Visa, please be sure to sign the signature section on your passport before sending to Travel Document Systems.

Please Send One Completed and Signed Online Application Form along with the other necessary documents above to Travel Document Systems.

Application form MUST NOT be printed double sided your application will be rejected if it is not printed single sided.

Please send one completed and signed confirmation form that you are currently in the United States Click Here

The Completed Chinese Online Application Form (COVA) will be in pdf format, which will require Acrobat Reader to view.

Residents of Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin please select Chicago as your processing center when you open the Chinese application form.

Questions marked with a (*) are MANDATORY, if some of these questions do not apply to you , please tick "NOT APPLICABLE" to proceed.

Please be sure that all information is complete and accurate before you click the "Submit" button. Once the application is submitted you cannot make any changes. You can click the Save button which will save your application for 30 days, to return to your application click the "Retrieve an Application" button, you will need the application ID number and your Passport/Travel Document Number.

Travel Documents will make the appointment at the Embassy/Consulate once we have received all your documents, you do NOT need to go to the Embassy/Consulate.

Note: All applicants must sign the application form even if the form is completed by another person, except that a parent or legal guardian may sign on behalf of an applicant under the age of 18.

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If the visa application form is not filled out completely, correctly and legibly, this can cause a delay in processing or refusal of the requested visa.

2. The ( Z ) visa is valid for one entry, three months. The holder of a (Z) visa shall go through residential formalities in the local public security department within thirty days of entry into China.

3.   Visa Officers may require some other relevant documents.

4. Any person suffering from a mental disorder, leprosy, AIDS, venereal diseases, contagious tuberculosis or other such infectious diseases shall not be permitted to enter China.

Please Note - Chinese visas use the yy/mm/dd format.

Shipping Instructions

Please forward a printed copy of your order confirmation for a China Employment / Work visa for US Citizens and all required documents to:

Travel Document Systems, Inc.
1010 Wisconsin Ave NW
STE #845
Washington, DC 20007

Local Phone Number: 202-638-3800

Urgent applications for a China Employment / Work visa should be shipped to TDS using only the FedEx Company.

Please use FedEx Priority Overnight. Do NOT ship "First Overnight." This will delay the delivery of your package.

Once your order is complete, your Passport with the visa sticker/stamp will be returned to you via FedEx Overnight.

FedEx Return ShippingFedEx Logo
Continental USA Only Price
Next Business Day - up to 3 passports $36.00
Next Business Day - 4 or more passports $39.00
Saturday Delivery $41.00
Alaska, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, USVI Price
Next Day Letter (No Saturday Delivery) $39.00
International Price
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