How soon do you need your China Journalist Under 180 Days "J-2" Visa for U.S. Citizens?

What steps are involved in getting my China Journalist Under 180 Days "J-2" Visa from TDS?

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Document Requirements

These requirements are applicable for US Citizens applying for a China Journalist Under 180 Days "J-2" visa in Washington DC

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 two blank visa pages. 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.

If your passport expires between 6-12 months at date of submission for your visa you are only eligible to apply for a single or double entry visa, you are not eligible for the 1-2 or 10 year multiple entry visa.
Please complete and sign the Acknowledgment Statement required by the Chinese Embassy.


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.


Approval letter from the related Chinese News authorities. Please be sure to include the applicants passport number on the letter of invitation.


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.


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.

New Effective August 12th 2015. 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 Application.

For a guide to completing the Chinese Application please Click Here (Recommended)

: The application form MUST BE TYPED, hand written applications will NOT be accepted by the Chinese Embassy, absolutely NO HANDWRITING of any kind except for your Signature and Date will be tolerated by the Chinese Embassy. All questions MUST be answered, do not leave any question blank, type N/A if need be.

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.

1. If the reporter(s) intends to bring into China reporting equipment of his (their) own, you must complete the
Equipment Declaration Form

2. 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.

If Applications require 24 hours processing please send to TDS using only FedEx Overnight Priority Service


Shipping Instructions

Please forward a printed copy of your order confirmation for a China Journalist Under 180 Days "J-2" visa for US Citizens and all required documents to:

Travel Document Systems, Inc.
1625 K St. NW
Washington, DC 20006

Local Phone Number: 202-638-3800

Urgent applications for a China Journalist Under 180 Days "J-2" 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
Call for a quote. Call.

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