Students and Visas
Information about further education opportunities in China and the required visas...
China has around 2,000 universities and colleges, with over six million students enrolled in higher education courses. Students can study traditional degree programmes such as Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral degrees, as well as non-degree programmes. All programmes are also open to foreign students.
State-funded higher education was abolished in 1985, and now students are required to compete for scholarships based on academic ability. There are a number of scholarship programmes for international students.
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The competition for international student places in China is stiff, with the number of foreign students wanting to study in China rising by about 20 percent annually since the mid 1980s.
Many universities offer degrees in English, so no prior knowledge of Chinese is required.
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For students wishing to study in China for a period of more than six months, it is necessary to get a Student Visa, known as an X Visa. When arriving in China with an X Visa, students must to go to the local public security department within 30 days of arriving.
For students who wish to study in China for less than six months, a Business Visa, known as an F Visa, is required.
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The following documents are required to apply for an X Visa:
- Passport valid for at least six months after application
- Completed Visa Application Form F1
- Recent passport-sized photograph
- The original and photocopy of the Foreign Student Visa Application Form (JW201 or JW202). This is sent by the organisation which has offered a place to the foreign student. It shows that the organisation is accredited and therefore able to offer places to foreign students. This application form should be submitted along with the admissions letter, also sent by the educational institution
The visa application may be submitted to a Chinese Embassy or Consulate Office in the applicant's home country. This must be done in person; however, applications via a third party such as a travel agent, a visa agency or a friend are also accepted but again must be done in person. Mailed applications are not accepted.
Processing times for a student visa are fairly short, taking anything up to four days. There is also an express service available at an additional charge.
There are health requirements for an X Visa. No person suffering from any mental disorder, leprosy, AIDS, sexually transmitted or infectious diseases may enter China.
It is always recommended to check requirements at the date of travel as all regulations are subject to change.