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I am a French citizen living in South Korea, but my girl friend will soon move to Qingtao in China. Our cities are regularly connected by plane, so I planned to visit her very regularly, say every 2 weeks for a week-end in Qingtao.

But visas in China seems to be a burden. I cannot spend my time going to visa agencies. What is the most appropriate visa for my situation?

We are not married yet, nor have any "civil union contract" of any kind. But answers for married people would be helpful, at least for a quite near future.

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Having a quick look at the types of Chinese visas, you might qualify for an F visa:

  • F - Visit Visa (访问签证) Issued to those who intend to go to China for exchanges, visits, study tours and other activities.

In my experience, you fill out a Chinese visa application, submit it to the consulate, and based on what you state as the purpose of your trip, you will be allocated a visa type and duration that the consulate feels is appropriate. The first time, you will probably only get a single entry visa. After a couple of trips, you may be issued a multiple entry visa. You probably will not be issued a multiple entry visa for your first visa.

It looks like after you are married you would qualify for a Q2 Family Visit Visa (探亲签证), which might be easier to get, less costly, or valid for a longer period.

  • In my experience you might not get a multiple entry visa in Korea and may have to apply from your home country. This may not be the case if Korea has given you some kind of resident status though. – hippietrail Oct 13 '15 at 9:57
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    @hippietrail: That's a good point, China and Chinese consulates often have different rules depending on your nationality and where you apply. – Greg Hewgill Oct 13 '15 at 16:21

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