StudyLink logoHome
Students on a university campus

China Student Visa Guide

Image of a red and yellow Chinese flag on a flagpole

China Student Visa Guide

China, with its ancient history, diverse landscapes, and dynamic cities, is an increasingly popular choice for international students. Home to a number of universities that rank highly in global educational rankings, China offers an exceptional education system. The country is renowned not just for its academic prowess but also for its rich cultural tapestry, historic sites, and bustling urban life, making it a prime destination for students from around the world to pursue their higher education.

China Student Visa Process and Fees for International Students

Students from countries outside of China will generally need to apply for a visa to study in the country. There are two main types of student visas in China: the X1 visa, for those intending to study in China for more than 180 days, and the X2 visa, for those whose studies will last fewer than 180 days.

The process to obtain a student visa for China starts with securing an offer from a Chinese university. Once you have been accepted, you will need to demonstrate that you have the necessary funds to support yourself during your stay. This typically includes covering tuition fees and living expenses, with the latter estimated at around CNY 2,500 to CNY 3,000 per month, depending on the city.

The next step involves applying for your student visa at the nearest Chinese embassy or consulate, with the following documents:

  • An admission notice from the Chinese university
  • A JW201 or JW202 form issued by the Chinese Ministry of Education (for X1 visa applicants)
  • Proof of sufficient financial means to cover your stay
  • Health insurance coverage valid for the duration of your stay in China
  • An HSK score report, if you are enrolling in a program taught in Mandarin
  • A valid passport and recent passport-sized photos

The visa application fee can vary by country, but it generally ranges from USD 30 to USD 140. It’s crucial to apply for your visa well in advance of your intended travel date, as processing times can fluctuate.

Upon arrival in China, students holding an X1 visa must apply for a Residence Permit within 30 days. This permit is necessary for long-term stays and involves additional paperwork and a health checkup in China.

China Student Visa Work Regulations

China has specific regulations regarding work for international students. Students are generally not permitted to work on a student visa, but there are exceptions, such as part-time work or internships related to their study program, which require approval from both the university and the Chinese immigration authorities.

This framework ensures that students can focus on their studies while still having the opportunity to gain practical experience in their field. Upon completing their studies, graduates may explore opportunities to continue their stay in China, such as applying for a work visa if they secure employment, or engaging in further academic pursuits.

For further information about student visas, see our International Student Visas article.

Study in China

Search for courses now

More information about studying in China

More about China

Sign up to

Sign up to, the home of quality study abroad advice.

Sign up now
Students with books and test tubes

International study advice

Read our key advice article to help you make the best decision for your education and start your International study adventure.

Person holding a compass
How to choose the ideal study destination for you

In this article we look at how to approach choosing where in the world you would like to study.

World map on a blackboard
Deciding to study abroad: The first steps

Read StudyLink's suggestions on your first steps when deciding where to study abroad, with helpful tips to make your decision easier.

Students reading a book
English Language Testing for International Students

Find out more about English language tests, your options and what is required as an overseas student.

Lady holding bank notes
How much does it really cost to study abroad in 2024? take a detailed look into the costs of studying abroad and all the aspects that you should budget for when embarking on your studies.

A visa document
10 Common Student Visa Question

We answer 10 common questions about applying for a student visa to help make your visa application quick and easy.

A visa document and a world map
International Study Visas

Find out more about international student visas for studying abroad, as well as how, where and when to apply for yours.

A piggy bank with coins
Funding and Scholarships for International Students

Find out more about funding and scholarships for international students, and what financial assistance might be available to you.

Person selecting a book from a shelf
How to choose the right course for you

How to choose a course that fits you? Check our top tips on choosing which course is best for you to help you make an informed decision.

See more international study advice
Search for courses