At first glance, you might think a ten-year visa means the recipient can stay in China for ten years. In actuality, the description refers to taking unlimited trips in one decade, not the length of one trip. Former President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi JinPing agreed on this arrangement back in 2014. Now, instead of applying for a separate visa each time, business executives and others traveling to China often can pay once every ten years.
Who Should Get This Visa?
Anyone can get a 10-year visa for China as long as they can prove U.S. citizenship, or provide documentation for their stay in the United States. The question is, do you need one? If you only plan to visit China once in your lifetime, you might want to consider other options. This 10-year visa applies to those who will go to China on numerous occasions over the span of the next decade. Recipients significantly reduce their travel-related headaches since they don’t have to constantly fill out applications. More importantly, average fees for a single visa add up to around $160, so paying this once as opposed to a dozen times or more will amount to enormous savings.
Getting a 10-Year Visa for China
In order to apply, you’ll have to find the nearest passport agency. Visit trave.state.gov for a step-by-step guide. Clicking on the relevant link will lead to a database of registered facilities and tell you which forms to fill out beforehand. Most forms have a box that says “10 Year Visa,” but if yours doesn’t, you can check “other” and write in “10 Years.” After filling out the form and gathering documentation, you’ll most likely have to make an appointment with your passport agency before you go.
The length of your stay depends on the Chinese consulate. Tourists can only receive a maximum of 60 days. Granted trips can range anywhere from 30 to 120 days if you put in a special request. Please note that you are not allowed to use this visa to find a job with a Chinese company. Those hoping to move to China will need an entirely different visa. If you’re applying for the 10-year visa and your passport expires in less than a decade, you’ll have to bring your expired passport with your new one (however the information needs to be identical). To make things even easier, find a reliable visa service that will guide you through the process.