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Chinese Embassy in UK
Home > Visas to China > Special Visa(Diplomatic, Service, Courtesy and Visa-exempt Certificate)
Apply for Diplomatic, Service, Courtesy Visa or Visa-exempt Certificate

Diplomatic or service visa is issued to diplomatic or service (official) passport holder traveling to China on official purposes or to members of diplomatic missions posted to China, or to members of British Monarchy, government officials above certain levels and parliamentarian. British diplomatic passport holder doesn't need a visa to China. Courtesy visa is issued to diplomatic or service (official) passport holder traveling to China on private purposes or other eligible persons. Visa-exempt certificate is issued to government officials at or above ministerial level and the accompanying delegation members holding non-diplomatic British passports.

1. Checklist of documents

(1) Verbal Note from the relevant diplomatic missions or government departments of UK;

(2) Original passport of the applicant;

(3) One completed visa application form;

(4) One passport photo;

(5) Official invitation letter from the relevant department of Chinese government if the applicant visits China on official purposes;

2. Application Procedure and Processing Time

(1) Application should be submitted directly to the Consular Department of the Chinese Embassy in UK (Address: 31 Portland Place, W1B 1QD) from 9:00am-12:00 at noon, Monday to Friday.

(2) Normal service: 4 working days

Express service: 3 working days

3. Important notes

(1) Consular officers may request an applicant to provide additional supporting documents. The applicant should provide this as soon as possible.

(2) Whether a visa is to be issued or not, and what type of visa to be issued shall be decided by Consular officers in the light of China's relevant laws and regulations.

(3) The applicant should check all the information of the issued visa upon collection and if necessary raise queries at the same time.

(4) The visa application form should be fully completed and signed by the applicant upon completion (application for an applicant under 18 years of age should be signed by one of his or her parents). Items which are not applicable should be filled in with N/A.

(5) Please be advised to apply for a visa about one month in advance of the intended date of entry into China.

(6) Consular officers decide on the visa's period of validity, duration of stay and number of entry in the light of China's laws and regulations.

(7) According to Chinese laws and regulations, and based on the principle of reciprocity, as of April 5th, 2017, the Chinese Embassy and Consulates in the U.K. will collect 10 fingerprints of all visa applicants of the United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Norway,Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United States of America(as of June 1st, 2017), who are going to China on official visits with exemptions in accordance with related bilateral agreements. 

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