Types of Visas for Visiting Research Students
China issues ordinary visas under eight categories which take letter codes as follows: C, D, F, G, J-1, J-2, L, X and Z.
The F, L, X and Z visas are the most relevant to persons wanting to undertake a period of study or employment in China.  They are described further below.  C visas are for crew members, a D visa is a permanent resident of China, G provides for onward transit to another country, and J visas are for journalists.
The F visa is for those invited to China for business, research, academic, scientific and cultural exchanges, as well as for internships or periods of study less than six months.
The L visa is a simple tourist visa which might be used for a preliminary trip or holiday in China before a potentially longer-term study period.
The X visa is issued for the purpose of studying in China to attain a degree or diploma, or it may cover someone undertaking an internship of less than six-months.  For persons on multi-year Chinese government scholarships the X visa can have multi-year validity.
The Z visa: is a longer-term work visa for those employed by a Chinese company, as well as for their relevant family members.
Visa options?
A growing number of graduate students are undertaking research on China and wish to spend time in the country in order to further their knowledge and Chinese language ability.
Some such students may be able to enter on short-term tourist "L" visas which typically allow for a period of x months living in China and for undertaking some (informal) study.  Other options are worth exploring:

  1. Become a visiting student of a Chinese university and getting an X visa:Fees for this vary, and this will depend on the interest and willingness of the student. Obligations to the school can vary from being highly engaged to having to appear once a semester for a brief meeting.  Unfortunately there is no single unified approach to getting visiting student status and each university need to be contacted directly.
  2. Obtain an F visa through current links and associations with a university, research institute or company. An invitation letter will required for this type of visa.  A visa agent may be able to assist.  The advantage of the F visa is its period of validity and ....

Need help getting a visa or applying to schools?
Sinograduate does not provide direct assistance to applicants, but it may be able to refer users to services which do, including translation services, application support services, etc.
Many countires advise or oblige their citizens studying in China to register with the Embassy or through an on-line service (eg, for Australia at  This
For further information email