New visas to boost family reunions

Updated: 2013-07-23 01:09

By ZHAO YINAN (China Daily)

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Streamlined procedures

for overseas Chinese:

A Q visa will be introduced in response to calls by overseas Chinese for improved exit and entry procedures. It will mainly be issued to people who apply to visit their families, and will allow a relatively long stay.

Personal information


Financial, educational, medical and telecommunications institutions can verify a foreigner’s personal details through public security bureaus. Police can only issue notifications that state whether the information is true or false. They cannot provide specific information about a person, to protect privacy.

Foreign interns

and part-time work:

To curb illegal employment, foreign students must have an academic institution’s approval and footnote on their visas — added by a public security bureau — to take up part-time work or an internship.


Visa categories have been increased from eight to 12.

New & revised


F — For travelers who arrive for exchanges and visits (previously included business visitors).

M — For travelers on trade and business missions.

Q — For overseas Chinese traveling for family reunions, including Q1 and Q2.

R — For foreign workers whose skills are urgently needed by China.

S — For foreigners who come for family reunions, including S1 and S2.

L — For general visitors (previously included the functions of the new S visa).

Unchanged categories:

C — For international flight crews.

D — For permanent residents.

G — For transit passengers.

J — For journalists, including J1 and J2.

X — For students, including X1 and X2.

Z — For foreign workers.

Liu does not think the government needs to go beyond international convention, which only allows for a spouse and children to visit on a family reunion visa. "Public security authorities will face more pressure," he added.

Apart from the S visa, the regulations introduce another three categories.

These are an R visa for foreign experts whose skills are urgently needed in China, an M visa for visitors on trade and business missions, and a Q visa for families of Chinese citizens living abroad and foreigners with permanent residence in China.

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