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How to apply Student Visa from abroad or outside of mainland China?


study chinese and student visa applicationStudent visa is only for those who will study in China and have already applied and accepted by a qualified school in China, like university, middle school, MBA etc.


There are two possibilities:

A: you apply a school and apply the visa when you are in your own country before you go to China

B: you are in China and you plan apply a school and apply the visa in China


Let’s find the steps for case A first:


Step 1. Search and find the school that can accept international students and issue student visa documents and supports for you to apply student visa                         

by yourself or with introduction from your friends


Step 2. Contact the school to complete the registration/application process.

by yourself and with the help from the school


With SN Mandarin where you can take a Mandarin Chinese language study program and get student visa supports, the application will require:

2.1 Program Application form to fill, print, sign, scan and send back

2.2 Copy of your passport, can be a scan of the passport ID Page

2.3 Scan of the insurance information page or Card that covers your stay in China (if you don't have, you can buy the international student insurance through the school 300RMB for one semester click  here for more details about the insurance )

2.4 Payment of the program deposit for admission and visa documents process

2.5 Other required documents like education diploma (for now, it’s not required by SN Mandarin for language program applicants, but some other school may require)


Step 3. After completing the application process according the school requirements (all of the above documents submitted before 10th of each month at latest, with SN Mandarin), the school will start the admission and visa documents process that will include:

3.1 School Admission Letter

3.2 JW202 Form from the education department

By the school, you just wait and keep asking the update.


Step 4: When these documents are ready from the school, the school will send you by courier (TNT, DHL, UPS and EMS etc) a document package containing:

Original JW202 Form and

Admission Letter.

By the school, normally it takes 3-10 days to arrive depending on the location and courier speed


Step 5: After receiving the package, you will need to submit the original documents of these two documents along with other required documents (photo, visa application form to get and fill onsite) to the nearest Chinese consulate or embassy to apply for your X visa.


By yourself, with the help from local consulate or embassy officer. It will take 4-7 working days to have your visa ready depending on different countries.


1. The school may prepare the documents up to 6 months before the program starts if your application is submitted 6 months before.

After you getting the documents, if it's still very early, you can wait a while before going to apply. But you have to apply visa before the date shown in the JW202 Form

2. There will be a sentence saying that "please come to Shagnhai to register with the school before day***,"  for SN Mandarin Program, it's a general statement, you can come to Shanghai 2-4 weeks before or after the date as long as your student visa is ready.  Try to come before the program starting date.

3. The address shown in the Admission Letter is the address of our university Administration Campus address that is in suburb area of Shanghai. Your class will be at our Xuhui Campus in center Shanghai.

4. For X1 student visa, you need not do the health check in your own country before the visa application. You just bring all the documents from the school, your passport and other docs required by local embassy, like photo, fee... and apply the 30-day X1 visa that allows you enter China and transfer to a 180-day residence permit after your entering China and doing the health check in Shanghai.

5. For X2 visa, you need not do the health check, even if it says that in the admission letter that is from the system based on general requirements for long term study. 

6. If they ask you to specify who the inviter is in my VISA form: please say Shanghai Business School, n 123 Fengpu Avenue. Yes, when you fill the visa application form in the embassy, please fill Shanghai Business School (the name of our university in the system) as the inviter.

7. If they ask to to add the detailed address for my stay. Just write where you will stay if you already have confirmed the accommodation. If not, you can just write the address of the university shown in the Admission Letter.

8. School Name: If there is a place to fill the school name, please write our university name:   Shanghai Business School   that shown in the admission letter


9. 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, in stead of the   exact program date.

For eg. if you are registering 2016 Autumn Semester, the date is   September 5,2016-January 06,2017 (2016   Autunm Semster )   , 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.


10 . If you are registering a short-term course, 2-4 months and would apply a single entry X2 Visa, you will just write the date for the course date. For eg. you are coming to take a 10 week course and will just need a 10-12-week visa, you will have to write the date for visa according to your study period.


Step 6: Student Visa Ready.


Important Notice about X1 and X2


X2 visa is for short term study and short term stay in China (less than 180 days). It’s single entry.

X2 Visa is directly issued based on your study/stay period and application from the nearest Chinese consulate or embassy to apply for your X visa.


X1 visa is for long term study and stay in China (180 days or more). It’s a 30-day stay that is issued by local Chinese embassy before you enter China, and will be transferred to be a 6-month multi-entry student residence permit in China.


If you are to take a long term study and want to stay for 180+days, you will apply for X1 visa. It will break into two big steps:

Get X1 Visa first and transfer it to a 6-month multi-entry student residence permit in China.


Step 1: go the nearest Chinese consulate or embassy to apply for your X visa, with all the documents listed above: School Admission Letter, JW202 Form from the education department, along with other required documents (photo, visa application form to get and fill onsite) and tell the visa officer you are applying for X1 visa so they will help check if your application documents are all right.

Step 2: if all is good, you will have your X1 visa issued after 2-7 working days from the embassy

Step 3: enter China with the 30-day X1 visa before it expires

Step 4: After your arrival in China, please follow the other steps to transfer the X1 Visa to a student residence permit within the first 30 days.

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