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Visa Application Procedures for Temporary or Resident Foreign Journalists who are to Cover News in China

Part I.  For Temporary Foreign Journalists & Related Staff

The following documents are required to submit to the Chinese Embassy or Consulate General:

(I) An application/authorization letter from the applicant's organization confirming his/her assignment to China signed by relevant management personnel and a specific itinerary (including name list, arrival and departure date, places to be visited and program of coverage) shall be attached;

(II) An invitation letter provided by the interviewee or organization to be interviewed or visited in China (including a short description of the content/form of the interview or event , a contact person with mobile phone telephone and fax number and other necessary information etc;

(the invitation letter should be in both English and Chinese directly addressed to the journalists who are invited. The invitation should come from a person/company/governmental or non-governmental organizations etc. in China.) 

(III) Photocopy of passport and journalist professional credentials (i.e. a press card etc.) as well as contact points;

(IV) A visa application form(download here); Please fill the form and attach with a recent passport-sized photo; 


Upon approval of the application, a J-2 visa will be granted to foreign journalists. A J-2 visa enables them the reporting rights in China.

Part II. For Resident Foreign Journalists & Related Staff

(I) If a Media Organization intents to station resident journalists in China, it shall first set up a permanent bureau.

(Currently foreign journalists may base themselves in Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Guangzhou and Shenyang in China.)

To set up a permanent bureau in China, foreign media organizations shall first submit an application to the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (hereafter referred to as the Information Department), directly or through a Chinese embassy or consulate. The application should be signed by the legal representative of the organization and should include:

1) A profile of the media organization concerned.

2) Name of the permanent bureau to be set up, intended city, business scope, number of the staff as well as personal information of the bureau chief and other staff such as name, gender, age, nationality, capacity and working experience.

3) A copy of the media organization's registration certificate issued by its own country.

(II) If a Media Organization who already set up a permanent bureau intents to station a resident journalist in China, it shall first submit a written application to the Information Department, directly or through a Chinese embassy or consulate. The application should be signed by relevant management personnel (such as a chairman, president, vice president, editor-in-chief, deputy editor-in-chief, radio/TV station president, deputy radio/TV station president, etc.) in the organization's head office and should include:

1) A profile of the media organization concerned.

2) The name, age, gender, nationality, capacity, resume, and intended city of the journalist to be sent.

3) Credentials or documents identifying the journalist as a professional journalist.

Upon approval of the application, the media organization may send resident journalist to China.

(III) If two or more foreign media organizations want to appoint the same journalist as their resident journalist in China, they should go through the above-mentioned application procedures separately and indicate in their respective applications the posts the journalist will concurrently hold.

(VI) Approved resident foreign journalists and their families shall apply for J-1 visas at a Chinese embassy, consulate, or visa-issuing institutions authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Other staff of foreign media organizations' permanent bureaus and their families shall apply for Z visas.

Customs Guide

Professional equipment, materials and their spare parts which foreign media members on temporary assignment in China brought in during their assignment in accordance with the rules of declaration and registry are exempt from all customs duties.

Upon the termination of the assignment, a foreign media member must take all these items out of the country; they can neither be transferred nor sold.

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