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China's Reciprocity Schedule (updated March 2 2004)
Visa Classification Fee No of Applications Validity Period
A-1 NONE MULTIPLE [A] 36 MONTHS [A]
A-2 NONE MULTIPLE [A] 36 MONTHS [B]
A-3 NONE MULTIPLE 12 MONTHS
B-1 NONE MULTIPLE 6 MONTHS
B-2 NONE MULTIPLE 6 MONTHS
B-1/B-2 NONE MULTIPLE 6 MONTHS
C-1 NONE TWO 6 MONTHS [B]
C-1/D N/A N/A N/A
C-2 NONE MULTIPLE 6 MONTHS [B]
C-3 NONE MULTIPLE [C] 6 MONTHS [B]
D NONE MULTIPLE 24 MONTHS
E-1 NO TREATY N/A N/A
E-2 NO TREATY N/A N/A
F-1 NONE TWO 6 MONTHS
F-2 NONE TWO 6 MONTHS
G-1 NONE MULTIPLE 36 MONTHS [B] [D]
G-2 NONE MULTIPLE 36 MONTHS [B]
G-3 NONE MULTIPLE 36 MONTHS [B] [C] [D]
G-4 NONE MULTIPLE 36 MONTHS [D]
G-5 NONE MULTIPLE 6 MONTHS
H-1B NONE TWO 3 MONTHS>
H-1C NONE TWO 3 MONTHS
H-2A NONE TWO 3 MONTHS
H-2B NONE TWO 3 MONTHS
H-3 NONE TWO 3 MONTHS
H-4 NONE ONE 3 MONTHS
I NONE ONE 3 MONTHS
J-1 NONE TWO 6 MONTHS
J-2 NONE TWO 6 MONTHS
K-1 NONE ONE 6 MONTHS
K-2 NONE ONE 6 MONTHS
K-3 NONE MULTIPLE 24 MONTHS
K-4 NONE MULTIPLE 24 MONTHS
L-1 $120.00 [E] MULTIPLE [E] 24 MONTHS
L-2 $120.00 [E] MULTIPLE [E] 24 MONTHS
M-1 NONE TWO 6 MONTHS
M-2 NONE TWO 6 MONTHS
N-8 NONE TWO 6 MONTHS
N-9 NONE TWO 6 MONTHS
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 NONE ONE 3 MONTHS
O-2 NONE ONE 3 MONTHS
O-3 NONE ONE 3 MONTHS
P-1 NONE ONE 3 MONTHS
P-2 NONE ONE 3 MONTHS
P-3 NONE ONE 3 MONTHS
P-4 NONE ONE 3 MONTHS
Q-1  NONE ONE 3 MONTHS
R-1 NONE ONE 3 MONTHS
R-2 NONE ONE 3 MONTHS
S-5 NONE ONE 1 MONTH
S-6 NONE ONE 1 MONTH
S-7 NONE ONE 1 MONTH
T-1 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 NONE ONE 6 MONTHS
T-3 NONE ONE 6 MONTHS
T-4 NONE ONE 6 MONTHS
TD N/A N/A N/A
V-1 NONE MULTIPLE 120 MONTHS
V-2 NONE MULTIPLE 120 MONTHS
V-3 NONE MULTIPLE 120 MONTHS
[A] Applicants for A-1 & A-2, C-2 & C-3, G-1,G-2, and G-3 visas should not be required to fill out visa applications forms, submit photos, or pay fees. Such applicants will submit diplomatic notes or notes issued by appropriate PRC government agencies requesting the visas and describing the purpose of their trip and proposed length of stay. [See Note F below].
[B] Resident personnel of PRC diplomatic and consular offices, and their accompanying spouses and dependent children and parents 36 months validity
Non-accompanying spouses and dependent children and parents who wish to visit members of their families 6 months validity
Professional diplomatic couriers 36 months validity
[C] Holders of diplomatic passports may receive multiple entries visas.
[D] Resident personnel in the United Nations, the Mission to the United Nations and organizations of the U.N. systems, and their accompanying spouses and dependent children and parents may receive visas valid for 36 months.
[E] Single entry 3 months No fee
[F] Holders of Diplomatic, Service, or Official Passports traveling on official business on a temporary basis may receive a visa valid for six months/two entries.

DOCUMENTS

Most of the documents listed below can be obtained from one of China's Notarial Offices (Gong Zheng Chu).  All Chinese documentation to be used abroad is processed through the notary offices and issued in the form of notarial certificates.  Notarial offices are located in all major Chinese cities and in rural county seats. These offices are part of the Ministry of Justice structure, but are separate from the people's court system.

Notaries in China do not perform the same functions as their American counterparts. Chinese notaries affix their signatures and office seal to certificates that attest to the probity of claims made by the applicants.  By regulation, notaries are empowered to issue certificates only after they conclude that the applicant's claims are true.  Notarial certificates of birth, death, marriage, divorce, no criminal record and pre-1981 adoptions are, at best, secondary evidence of the events they purport to document.  Although these certificates are secondary evidence, they are used because primary evidence is not standardized, is easily forged, and difficult to evaluate.  Notarial certificates are easier to interpret than primary evidence and theoretically represent an expert judgment on the part of the notarial official as to the facts documented.

The certificates can be based upon primary evidence, secondary evidence, testimony of the applicant or other parties, or investigation by the notary.  For most notarial certificates of birth or adoption, the primary underlying documentation is the household register (HHR) which appears to be extremely susceptible to fraud and manipulation, especially if the holder of the HHR lives outside of a major metropolitan area.  Notarial certificates rarely cite the basis for their issuance.*

Thus a certificate in itself may not be adequate evidence of the facts claimed, and is best used in conjunction with primary and contemporaneous secondary evidence:  old land deeds and old family registers; letters or money receipts; family records from countries that have reliable public documents; school and medical records.  In relationship cases, especially where the petitioner left China years before, the best evidence of relationship, or lack of it, would be the Hong Kong Certificate of Registered Particulars (for petitioners who lived in Hong Kong), or the petitioner's immigration and/or naturalization file.

Local conditions often do not permit consular officers to conduct on-site inquiries. However, if there is a reason to doubt the claims in a certificate issued by a Chinese notary, the American consular post in the issuing office's area may verify the information through the notarial office, or, if possible, by field investigation.  A copy of the document in question should be submitted to the post, as well as detailed reasons for the suspicion.  For suspected relationship fraud, the first step should be a check of the information contained in the INS file or Joint Voluntary Agency (JVA) files for former refugees.  Given sufficient reason, notaries do investigate, and in some cases, revoke certificates.  Several months should be allowed for a reply.

Individuals residing outside of China may obtain notarial certificates from the notarial office with jurisdiction over the county of previous residence.  Chinese relatives or friends may request issuance of certificates on behalf of someone now living abroad.  Relatives and friends should have specific written authorization from the interested party before they request certificates.  Alternatively, persons in need of notarial documents may contact the PRC Embassy or Consulate nearest to their residence abroad and ask that the request be forwarded to the appropriate notarial office.  Obtaining a notarial certificate through a PRC Embassy or Consulate can require considerable time.

BIRTH CERTIFICATE

Available in the form of notarial certificates, which are secondary evidence.  Notarial certificates of birth (Chu Sheng Gong Zheng Shu or Chu Sheng Zheng Ming Shu) for persons living in or recently departed from China are generally reliable, but are best used in conjunction with other evidence.  They are most often based upon an AHHR, (Household Record) which is easily susceptible to fraud, especially in villages.  Notarial birth certificates for persons long departed from China are most likely based merely upon the testimony of interested parties.

While some notarial birth certificates will list stepparents or adoptive parents along with natural parents, this is not always the case.  In some cases, the certificates will list only the natural parents, covering up an adoption.  

Some applicants will present notarial certificates of relationship (Guan Xi Gong Zheng [or Zheng Ming] Shu) in lieu of notarial birth certificates.  These certificates of relationship are unreliable and tend to be based solely upon the testimony of interested parties.  Notarial birth certificates should be required.  Care should be taken with any certificate that lists step relationships.  These relationships are as of the date of issuance of the certificate only.  Marriage certificates should also be required.

ADOPTION CERTIFICATE

Available in the form of notarial adoption certificates (Shou Yang Gong Zheng [or Zheng Ming] Shu).  Until January of 1981 there were no laws or regulations regarding adoptions.  Adoptions taking place after January 1981 are considered valid only with the issuance of the notarial certificate.  The date of issuance of the notarial certification is the date of adoption.  Although notarial offices issue certificates for pre-January 1981 adoptions, these are extremely susceptible to fraud.

Commonly, adoptions were orally agreed to by the natural and adoptive parent(s).  There may or may not be a written record dating from the time of the adoption.  Parties to the adoption, however, may secure notarial certificates at a later point in time that will list the natural parents' names, adoptive parents' names, and the date of the adoption.  The certificate is supposedly issued only after the notary ascertains that an adoption took place conforming to local practice and regulation.

Chinese customs and practice regarding adoption differ substantially from U.S. practice.  Typically, there is no clear distinction between adoptive, foster and godparent/godchild relationships.  Owing to the ease of fraud in cases involving adoption (especially pre-January 1981 adoptions), contemporaneous evidence of the adoption and co-residence, especially in the form of school records, should be required.  The inability to obtain a notarial certificate of adoption, on the other hand, is prima facie evidence no adoption ever took place.

Care should be taken in cases where a petitioning parent departed China without the adoptive (then minor) child, especially if other natural children accompanied the parent.  Most likely, this indicates the Chinese government did not recognize the adoption at the time the alleged adoptive parent departed.  The INS file of the petitioner and/or the Hong Kong Certificate of Registered Particulars (for petitioners who transited Hong Kong) will generally be the most reliable evidence of the existence or nonexistence of the adoption in these cases.

A new China-wide adoption law was implemented on April 1, 1992.  Under this law, notarial certificates of adoption are still required, and a written record dating from the time of the adoption should be available in these case of an adoption of an orphan.  The Ministry of Civil Affairs must approve the adoption of a parentless or abandoned child who becomes the ward of the Chinese state.  Adoptive parents must travel to China to complete the adoption of a Chinese child, and should receive three notarial certificates upon completion of the adoption process:  birth, abandonment and adoption.  The notarial certificate of abandonment should state under what circumstances and when the child was either orphaned or abandoned.  It is extremely rare in China for male children to be given up for adoption.  Traditionally, the vast majority of orphaned children adopted in China by foreigners have been female.  Cases involving the adoption of a male child, particularly if adopted by a relative, should be thoroughly documented.? 

POLICE RECORD

Generally available, reliable.  Persons should apply for a certificate of no criminal record at the local Public Security Bureau (PSB) (or certain types of employers such as state owned enterprises), then make application to the notary office for a certificate based on the PSB document.  Persons without a criminal record will be able to obtain a certificate to that effect.  Certificates for individuals with one or more criminal convictions will list all convictions for which records still exist.  The certificates purport to reflect all criminal convictions during residence in China.  Police records are generally not available for the period prior to 1949.  Notarial police certificates are based in part upon records from an individual's employer.  If an employer refuses to release records, the notarial office is not able to issue a certificate.  This is the case for persons sent abroad for education by the Chinese Government who fail to return to China. 

  According to a 1957 state council ruling that is still in force, the imposition of a re-education through labor (Lao Dong Jiao Yu) term does not result from a criminal conviction.  Administrative organs, rather than courts, impose re-education through labor.  It is important to distinguish re-education through labor from labor reform (Lao Dong Gai Zao), which is a sentence meted out for criminal offenses.

PRISON RECORD

See Court Record below.

MILITARY RECORD

Generally not available.

MARRIAGE AND DEATH CERTIFICATES

Available in the form of notarial marriage certificates (Jie Hun Gong Zheng [or Zheng Wing] Shu) or death certificates which are generally reliable.

DIVORCE DECREES

Available.  Notarial offices will issue notarial divorce certificates based upon extant records to confirm either a court-decreed or uncontested divorce.  In an uncontested divorce, a couple can obtain a divorce certificate from the marriage registration office in the neighborhood where they reside.  In a contested divorce, both parties will receive a copy of the formal divorce decree from the court at the time the divorce is approved.  If the original decree is lost, the same court will often issue a duplicate, but these various decrees or certificates should not be accepted in lieu of the notarial certificates.

COURT RECORD

Available in most cases.  Normally, when someone is tried by a people's court or by an organ of the executive branch of government, some record remains of the case even for a political crime.  In some instances, the entire formal court verdict (Pan Jue Shu) is available upon request by the former defendant.  In other cases, the court can provide only a synopsis of the charges and the verdict.  In all instances, it is necessary to have the applicant request court records.  If an applicant is unable to secure court records, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, or the posts in China with jurisdiction over the area where the record is located can contact the appropriate provincial foreign affairs office and request assistance in securing records.  It is not advisable for other U.S. officials to contact courts directly.  Most court records will also indicate the original sentence, the actual sentence served and any reduction or commutation of the original sentence.  Court records are generally not available for the period prior to 1949.

NOTARIAL WORK EXPERIENCE CERTIFICATE

Available.  Notarial Work Experience Certificates (NWECS) briefly describe an applicant's work experience in the PRC.  They should be required of all employment based preference immigrant applicants who claim work experience in China.  Employer's letters or sworn statements from persons claiming person?s knowledge should not be accepted in lieu of NWECS.  The inability of an applicant to obtain a NWEC should be regarded as prima facie evidence the applicant does not possess the claimed experience.

PASSPORTS: 

OTHER TRAVEL DOCUMENTS

There are four types of Chinese passports:

Diplomatic Passports ? Bright Red

Used for diplomats, and certain other senior government officials, (e.g., provincial governors, ministers, etc.) and the heads of some large state corporations.

Service and Public Affairs Passports

Used for other government-sponsored travelers who are at, or below, the vice-minister level.  Service passports are green in color and are issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Public Affairs passports are dark brown in color and are issued by Provincial Foreign Affairs Offices.

Note: Beijing has seen a variety of government sponsored travelers from trading company officials to Kung Fu experts, traveling on Public Affairs passports.  The Provincial Foreign Affairs officers appear to have some latitude in deciding who can travel on a Public Affairs passport. 

Private Passport

Red.  (The current red passports first appeared in 1992.  Earlier versions, some of which are still in use, are brown).  Both types are used for Chinese traveling for unofficial purposes.  The main difference between service and public affairs passports on the one hand and private passports on the other is that a Chinese traveling on a service or public affairs passport must be sponsored officially by the government, (though that does not mean the government is necessarily paying for the trip).  Most applications for travel by holders of diplomatic service, and public affairs passports come to the U.S. under cover of a note from the sponsoring Chinese organization.

GEOGRAPHIC AREAS SERVICED
IV Guangzhou All IV applications for China (PRC)
All K NIV applications for China
     
NIV Beijing All of China except for areas serviced by Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai,and Shenyang
Chengdu Chongqing Municipality Sichuan Province, Tibet Autonomous Region, and Yunnan Province.
Guangzhou Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and the provinces of Fujian, Guangdon, and Hainan.
Shanghai Shanghai Municipality and the provinces of Anhui, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang.
Shenyang Provinces of Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang
SPECIAL CLEARANCES AND ISSUANCE PROCEDURES GENERAL

Submission of Visa Applications and Photographs

A copy of the visa application [Form DS-156] of all nonimmigrant visa recipients, with a recent, original photograph firmly affixed [two photographs in the case of professional diplomatic couriers], must be sent directly and expeditiously to:

          Northeast Regional Computer Support Center
          1203 Nealis Avenue
          Fort Monmouth, New Jersey 07703
          Attention: Dept. IIS.  

This procedure is in addition to the telegraphic name check and security advisory opinion requirements listed below.  Exceptions to this procedure are:

1.  No application or photograph need be submitted in cases involving Chiefs and Deputy Chiefs of State, Heads of Government, Chiefs of Mission, their immediate families and accompanying crew members.
2.  No photograph need be provided if one has been submitted within the previous three years.

Official Travel

VISAS HORSE Name Check Requests

A ?Visas Horse" telegram must be submitted immediately following the issuance of an A, C-3, or G visa.  

VISAS BEAR Security Advisory Opinion Requests

The cases of official and diplomatic visa applicants who otherwise require security advisory opinions, such as DPT-00 CLASS entries; possible ineligibility under INA 212(a)(3), must be submitted by means of a "Visas Bear" telegram.

NONOFFICIAL TRAVEL

"VISAS EAGLE" Name Check Requests

?Visas Eagle" telegrams must be submitted for the following persons:

1.  K nonimmigrant visa applicants.
2.  Immigrant visa applicants.
3.  Applicants for refugee status.

Visas Eagle cables must include both the Department and NVC Portsmouth as action addresses.  Posts may not process a case to conclusion that is subject to Visas Eagle clearance until a reply is received.

Visas Mantis

A Visas  Mantis telegram must be submitted on Chinese applicants (whether applying at a China post or elsewhere) who are coming for any of the following activities in a scientific or technical field on the Technology Alert List (TAL):

1.  Study (other than undergraduate students under 30 years of age);

2.  Teach;

3.  Conduct research;

4.  Engage in Commercial activity;

5.  Participate in an exchange program;

6.  Attend meetings or conferences, or

7.  Be temporarily employed or trained. 

The Department's response is required before a visa may be issued.  

VISA ISSUING POST
Beijing (E)  NIV except K

                           

Mailing Address:

PSC 461 Box 50,

FPO AP 96521-0002

 

Street Address:

3 Xiu Shui Bei Jie,
Chaoyang District,

Beijing, China 100600

 

Telephone:

(86-10) 6532-3431, 6532-3831

after hours - (86-10) 6532-1910

 

Fax:

(86-10) 6532-4153

 

E-mail:

AmCitBeijing@state.gov

 

Web Address:

 

Embassy consular district includes the following provinces/regions of China:

 

Beijing
Tianjin
Shandong
Shanxi
Inner Mongolia
Ningxia
Shaanxi
Qinghai
Xinjiang
Hebei
Henan
Hubei
Hunan
Jiangxi

 

 

Chengdu (CG) NIV except K

                      

Mailing Address:

PSC 461, Box 85,

FPO AP 96521-0002

 

Street Address:

Number 4, Lingshiguan Road,

Chengdu, Sichuan, PRC  610041

 

Telephone:

(28) 8558-3992, 8558-9642

 

Fax:

(28) 88-3520

 

Web Address:

 

This consular district includes the following provinces/regions of China: 

 

Guizhou
Sichuan Xizang (Tibet)
Yunnan
Municipality of Chongqing

 

 

Guangzhou (CG) All categories

 

Mailing Address:

PSC 461, Box 100,

FPO AP 96521-0002

 

Street Address:

Number 1 Shamian South Street,

Guangzhou, PRC 510133

 

Telephone:

(86-20) 8121-8000

(after hours) (86-)139-0229-3169

 

Fax:

(86-20) 8121-9001

 

Web Address:

 

This consular district includes the following provinces/regions of China: 

 

Guangdong
Guangxi
Hainan
Fujian

 

 

Shanghai  (CG) NIV except K

 

Mailing Address:

PSC 461, Box 200,

FPO AP 96521

 

Street Address:

1469 Huai Hai Zhong Lu

Shanghai, PRC 200031

 

Telephone:

(86-21) 6433-6880

(after hours) (86-21) 6433-3936

 

Fax:

(86-21) 6471-1493, 6433-4122, 6471-1148

 

Web Address:

 

This consular district includes the following provinces/regions of China: 

 

Shanghai
Anhui
Jiangsu
Zhejiang

 

Shenyang  (CG) NIV except K

 

Mailing Address: PSC 461, Box 45,

FPO AP 96521-0002

 

Street Address:

No. 52, 14 Wei Road

Heping District

Shenyang, Liaoning, PRC 110003

 

Telephone:    (86-24) 2322-1198, 2322-0368

 

Fax:  (86-24) 2322-2374

 

Web Address:

 

This consular district includes the following provinces/regions of China:

 

Liaoning
Heilongjian
Jilin

 



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