US and China Extend Visa Validity for Business Travelers, Tourists, Exchange Visitors, and Students
Effective November 12, 2014, the United States and China entered into a new reciprocal visa agreement aimed at providing Chinese and U.S. citizen business visitors, tourists, exchange visitors, students, and accompanying family members with visas with longer validity periods. This agreement is only applicable to new applications filed from November 12, 2014 onward. Existing visas will remain valid until the expiration date printed on the visa sticker.
Under the new agreement, Chinese business visitors and tourists are eligible to obtain multiple entry B1/B2 visas with validity periods of up to ten years. Students, exchange visitors, and accompanying family members may obtain multiple entry F, M, or J visas with validity periods of up to five years, or covering the intended duration of the academic program.
U.S. citizens are eligible to obtain multiple entry business (M) and tourist (L) visas with validity periods of up to ten years. The same provisions apply to short-term visas to visit relatives (Q2) and private matter visas (S2). Additionally, U.S. students may obtain residence permits with validity periods of up to five years.
The Chinese Embassy also announced that visas issued to U.S. citizens will retain validity beyond the passport expiration date, provided that the new passport bears the same name, sex, birth date, and nationality of the passport containing the valid visa. However, if there are changes to any of these identifying criteria in the new passport, a new China visa must be obtained.
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