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X1 visa is for Long-term study (> 180 days), and it’s normally issued abroad in local embassy before students coming to China. It’s a 30-day stay visa so that the students can enter China and after their arrival, the students will have to transfer the 30-day X1 visa to a student X1 residence permit (> 180 days). Students will have to do a medical check after entering China, so as to have a health check report that is required when applying for the student X1 residence permit within the first 30 days.
X1 Visa = 30-day stay that is issued by local Chinese embassy before students enter China, and will be transferred to be a 6-month multi-entry student residence permit in China.
X2 Visa is for Short-term study (<= 180 days). It’s a single entry student visa that you can’t leave and come to China again with the same visa. It’s for students to finish the study during the term and leave or extend it after.
X2 Visa = a short term student visa without multi-entry
Normally, in China, one semester of language study is around 4 months, so the study period is less than 180 days for one semester.
But normally the schools will issue documents that support you to apply a 180-day residence permit so that you can have more free time after the study to consider next plan, travel or extend your study if you registered a full semester and complete the payment.
So when you apply before your coming to China, you will fill a visa application form in local embassy or visa office. Please pay attention:
* IMPORTANT NOTICE
If you are registering a program supporting for 6-month multi-entry student visa, please remember to write the dates of study for 181 days, instead of the exact program date (that is around 4 or 5 months).
For eg. if you are registering 2016 Autumn Semester, the date is September 5,2016-January 06,2017 (2016 Autumn Semester ) , it's 18 weeks of study, but you want your visa to be multi-entry ( more than180 days) from the day when you will arrive.
So you will write in the date area: September 05-March 06, 2017 which lasts for 6 months so that the visa officer will give you right documents for X1 Visa.
If you just put the date as September 5, 2016-January 06,2017 , the visa officer will give you a 4.5 month X2 visa which is single entry.
If you registered a short term program around 2-3 months and you will only be able to apply an X2 visa. Just put the date according to the term you will stay.