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China has a rule that to obtain a multiple entry visa you must be able to show immigration information for two previous stays, not always in very clear English.

Now just over a year ago in late 2013 and early 2014 I visited China two times on a double-entry visa that I obtained in Laos after asking a previous question on the site about Chinese multiple-entry visas.

This time I have a narrower question. I intend to visit China again in just over a month and would really like a true multiple-entry visa this time so that I can cross over land borders into China's neighbours and back more times (I don't have an exact plan).

So will my two previous visits on a single two-entry visa satisfy this condition, or must it definitely be two physically separate visas?

  • Whether or not you can provide the necessary paperwork and proof, you might not be able to obtain a multiple-entry visa for China, depending on where you apply. As an Australian citizen I've found I can't get a true multiple entry visa in either Vietnam or Laos, though I can get a double-entry visa in Laos. Here's a new question just on where you can get true multiple-entry visas: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/48052 – hippietrail May 22 '15 at 8:59
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To apply for a six month multiple entry visa, you need to have previously had (and used) either two single entry visa or one double entry visa. In order to apply for a one year multiple entry visa, you need to have previously had a six month multiple entry visa.

These are the rules for US citizens, but I imagine the qualification aspects would be the same for your nationality.

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    Now this sounds promising! Do you have some kind of reference I can check? – hippietrail Feb 9 '15 at 15:58
  • Same exact rules apply for airline crews (Crew Visa) as well! – Nean Der Thal Feb 9 '15 at 22:53
  • Sure drop by my office and you can look at the information we have on file ;-) Most of my answers are based on knowledge and experience not web searches. But a quick Google for multiple entry china visas turned up this webpage which confirms my answer also applies to UK citizens - visaforchina.org.uk/faqs.php – user13044 Feb 10 '15 at 2:23
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    This information is not correct for US citizens; they can get a 12 month, multiple entry L (tourism) visa without needing to have previously held any other visas. I did so in 2011, without any sort of assistance (simply filed the application at the consulate and checked the box for 1Y/ME), and there are plenty of similar reports on travel/expat forums. It is now possible to get 10 year tourism visas; no prior visas required. Again, this applies to US citizens only. See the official website. – Esoteric Screen Name Feb 10 '15 at 5:32
  • The last time I applied (2014) they asked for that, but not an issue as I have several previous Chinese visas. And there is nothing in your link that says otherwise. But as the OP is not a US citizen it is all moot anyway. BTW welcome to Travel. – user13044 Feb 10 '15 at 5:45
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Maybe. But this might not be all that's needed. The answer is very likely "It depends".

I just tried to apply for a 12-month multiple-entry tourist visa for China here in Sydney as an Australian citizen. I've had two previous double-entry Chinese visas.

But I was told I could only apply for a single- or double-entry visa this time too.

Not because of lack of previous Chinese visas, but for lack of documented itinerary. I showed a printout of a return flight and the first week of accommodation. I was told this was insufficient for a multiple entry visa. I was not told how much more would be needed. Perhaps the entire itinerary. Perhaps just one or two more? -:

Now these things may also depend on which passport you carry and in which country you are applying.


Update: When I picked up my visa I mentioned to the lady at the visa office how I tried to get a one-year multiple-entry visa and she told me that it requires at least three flight and accommodation bookings. I did not think to ask her if that meant three return flights or if any three flights, being either in or out might be sufficient.

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