I've been admitted to study in China. Watching the flight ticket prices I see one for less than half (around $1K) the usual price (more than $2K) to depart in August 28. That is considerable amount of money to save for a student.

Question 1: Should I buy that ticket?

Question 2: If the first class is in mid-September, how long before can I arrive in China?

I still don't have the China X1 visa (documents needed to apply for it will be mailed to me in early August).

I'm planning to flight over USA. Already applied for the non-immigrant B1/B2 visa, which has been approved.

  • 2
    "Already applied for the non-immigrant B1/B2 visa, which has been approved." - actually you should have applied for a transit visa, but a B1/B2 will also work. :-) – Burhan Khalid Jul 9 '17 at 7:05
  • It's difficult to know whether you 'should'... if you'd be able to change the $2k ticket for little, or no cost, yes. As official documents arrive barely a month before the program, it suggests that you're expected to enter only a few days in advance. – Giorgio Jul 12 '17 at 13:57
  • 1
    Did you ask your university already? Arriving some days early will definitely be fine and I will be able to check better next week. In the meantime, why not mark some answers to your Qs here on SE as accepted in case they were helpful to you, I find it great style. – mts Jul 16 '17 at 10:51

I was in a similar situation a few years ago. If nothing has changed since then you will most likely be fine. Your best bet is to also contact your Chinese university about this, since they are the ones to handle crucial parts of this procedure.

Your X-visa will look something like this and have an issue data and an enter-before date. In principle you are good to enter China at any point between these dates, but you will also find a note clipped on the opposite page of your passport, reading

The holder of this visa is kindly reminded to go through the procedures for obtaining the residence permit for aliens in local public security bureau within 30 days of entry, to avoid illegal stay.

In order to get your residence permit you will need some documents from your university, and they might not be able to prepare them for you within the first days. In case that you risk running into the 30-day limit, at least my university was able to provide me with documents that allowed me to apply for a L-visa (travel) with zero entries allowed to bridge the time from entry + 30 days to application for the residence permit (you are good once you have applied, not issuance).

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.