Visa to China Digital Photo - Size and Requirements

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Body-camera distance

The distance between the face and the camera should be about 40 cm. Ideally the photo should be taken by the other person.


Posture: Straight ahead

Place your face in front of the lens. Hold the camera at eye level and keep neutral face expression.



Stand facing the light source, for example an exposed window. The background will be cut out, don't worry about it.

China visa - Digital photograph size & requirements

Chinese Visa Photo
Width: 33 mm
Height: 48 mm
600 dpi
Is it suitable for online submission?
Image definition parameters
Head height: 31.5 mm
Top of the Photo to Top of the Hair: 5 mm
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More about China Visa 33x48 MM (3,3 X 4,8 CM) - Requirements

Chinese visa photo requirements

No matter which type of visa you are applying for, to finalize your Chinese visa application you still need to present a passport size photo. Your Chinese Visa Photo has to be colored and recent, taken in the last six months. The photo can either be a digital or printed copy and has to meet several requirements from the Chinese authorities, otherwise, your visa application will be denied. Remember, the Embassy and Consulates do not have photography services on-site, so it is your responsibility to take the photo and ensure it meets the right size and other requirements.

Here we are listing some guidelines you should follow while taking your China visa photo, but don’t worry, if something goes wrong you can also take a photo using Passport Photo Online and we can assure you that the finished visa image will meet the photo requirements. 

Chinese visa photo size and dimensions

According to the instructions from the Embassy of the P.R. China on Australia’s official website, the required size for the paper photo is 48mm x 33mm (height x width). Moreover, the required dimensions of the head are: 

  • width: between 15 and 22mm (191-251 pixels for digital form) 
  • height (measured from the chin to the top of the head): 28-33mm
  • space of 3-5mm (10-85 pixels) between the head and the upper edge of the photo

The required size of a digital Chinese visa photo is 354-420 pixels in width and 472-560 pixels in height. The photo has to be in JPEG format and should have a file size of between 40 and 120 KB. 

Please remember that if the dimensions are incorrect and the head is either too big or too small, the photo will be rejected by the authorities. It’s also important to remember that these dimensions are different to standard Australian visa photo sizes, so keep that in mind when taking the picture. 

China visa photo background

The background of your Chinese visa photo should be in white or close to white. There shouldn’t be any patterns or borders around the edge of the photo. Remember that no other objects or figures can be visible in the photo, and that no shadows have been cast. The photo has to be of good quality, so not over or underexposed and make sure that it shows your true natural skin tone and eye colour. The photo must also be in high resolution, without any damage, stain or fold creases. 

With our app Passport Photo Online, you don’t have to worry about the background of your China visa photo: we will adjust the background for you to fit the official requirements. 

How to pose in the China visa photo

In order to meet the requirements, your head should be central in the visa photo and your facial features must be perfectly visible. Your eyes have to be open, your mouth has to be closed and your ears have to be visible. You should look straight into the camera, photos with heads tilted in any direction won’t be accepted. We also suggest you adopt a neutral expression because smiling, grinning or frowning might cause your visa photo to be rejected by authorities. 

Remember that selfies are not admitted: your visa photo has to be taken by a third party (by a person or a tripod).

Clothing in China visa photo

You can wear normal clothes in the China visa photo, as long as they are not white or close to white. Don’t forget that a plain white background is requested by official authorities, so to stand out from the background, you should wear dark or coloured clothes. Note that extravagant clothes and military uniforms are also not accepted in Chinese visa photos. 

You can decide to wear makeup before taking your visa photo, but make sure that it’s not too heavy. If the makeup hides or slightly modifies your facial features, your visa photo will be rejected and you won’t get your visa. 

Head covering and jewellery in China visa photo

Facial features must be perfectly visible in the China visa photo, so you can wear eyeglasses, as long as they do not create shadows on your face, the reflection or frame does not obscure your eyes and the lenses are not tinted. As for head coverings and hats, you are only allowed to wear them in your China visa photo if you wear them for religious reasons and if they don't cover your face. Jewellery, piercings, headphones and accessories (such as hair clips, headscarves or hair circlets) are not allowed. 

Most common mistakes in Chinese visa photos

The requirements that applicants must follow to obtain a visa are very strict. If any of the aspects we just explained are not met by your China visa photo, your visa application will be rejected. This way you will have to take another photo and apply again for the visa from scratch, wasting time and money. Every year, a huge number of China visa applications are rejected, and some mistakes could have been easily prevented by reading carefully the guidelines online and by double-checking the photo and the documents you need to submit in your application for a China visa. 

If you don’t want to waste your precious time and prefer to obtain your tourist or business visa as fast as possible, here’s a list of things you should avoid doing:

  • Submitting a selfie as a visa photo
  • Smiling, grinning or frowning in the photo
  • Wear white or light-colour clothes
  • Submitting a black and white photo
  • Submitting a photo with a coloured or patterned background 
  • Presenting an overexposed, underexposed or filtered photo
  • Taking a photo with a tilted or not fully visible head
  • Taking a photo with a hat or sunglasses on

Make sure not to make these mistakes, but don’t worry if you did and you realised only when it was too late! With Passport Photo Online you can fix anything, turning your photo into the perfect China visa photo! 

How to take a Chinese Visa Photo at home?

It can feel like a lot of work trying to figure out when and where to take your Chinese Visa Photo. Luckily, it’s possible to save a lot of time, and money, on the process. All you have to do is use our app Passport Photo Online, which will save you travel time because you can do it from your own home, and costs because our service is a lot cheaper than a professional photographer. With Passport Photo Online, you can take a professional-quality biometric photo for your travel documents, anywhere, anytime. Just upload it to our photo tool, and let the AI editor and cropper do the rest!

Our photo editor will make sure to notify you of any possible reasons that your photo could be rejected. You can take as many photos as you like, you only pay for the one you pick in the end, so feel free to keep trying until all the requirements are met. We guarantee success and promise that if you are rejected, we’ll reimburse you for twice what you paid for the photo.

How does the Passport Photo Online Photo Tool work?

It can feel daunting to be taking your Chinese Visa Photo, as there are a lot of requirements to think about if you want your photo to be accepted by Chinese authorities. Don’t worry, we’re here to help! With Passport Photo Online, we make it quick and easy to take the perfect shot for your Chinese Visa. First, you take your photo and upload it to our website. After that, our photo editor will check your picture against the requirements for your document, and make sure it fits.

Our app is powered by AI software that can meticulously alter your photo until it is guaranteed to be accepted by the authorities. The software can recognise any features of your photo that would disqualify it, and give you a list, so you know what you need to change. Also, the app can automatically crop and resize your photos to make them fit the required dimensions. There’s no need to worry about finding a suitable background, either, our background removing tool can cut out unsuitable backdrops, replacing them with a standardised white or off-white background, perfect for a Chinese Visa Photo.

You can then choose among two options to receive the photo taken with Passport Photo Online. If you need the digital format of your China visa photo you will just have to download it or you can receive it in your email. The download costs $9.95 and you will have it in five seconds. If you prefer to have a printed version and don’t want to visit a photography studio you can purchase the delivery option. This way you will get your perfect China visa photo printed on quality paper and in passport size delivered to your place for $14.95 only in approximately three days. 

How to take a Chinese Visa Photo with your phone

Our photo tool mobile app Photo AiD can also be downloaded from both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, allowing you to take your biometric photos on any smart device. All you have to do is take the photo on your smartphone or tablet, then upload it to the app. After that, the editing software will craft the perfect Chinese Visa Photo for you in seconds. The app has all the same functions as the Passport Photo Online website, so you can be certain of a professional result, guaranteed to be accepted by Chinese authorities. Simply download the app now for a straightforward, flexible way to get your biometric photos.

Last update: 28/5/23

About the document

Chinese Visa Guide

A visa is an official document issued by the government to foreign citizens permitting entry, transit through or exit from the country. When planning to visit the People's Republic of China, Australians need to apply for and obtain a Chinese visa, otherwise, entry will be denied. The only exceptions are if you plan to visit Macao or Hong Kong, in which case a visa won’t be required.

Depending on the main purpose of your visit to China, you can apply for different types of visas, such as tourist visas, transit visas, study visas and business visas. Despite the different types of visas, the application process is always the same. You can’t go directly to the Chinese Embassy or Consulates in Australia for your visa. Instead, you need to submit your application to any Chinese Visa Application Service Center (CVAS). You have two options to apply for it: you can fill in and print out the application form, available on the Chinese government website, and then send all the required documents by mail or you can go in person to the nearest CVAS, that you can find in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane or Adelaide. If you choose the mail option, be aware that it usually takes ten working days to process the application and that the process cannot be rushed in any way, so think carefully about how far in advance you should begin the application process. 

The documents you need to apply for a China visa are: 

  • A passport with blank visa pages and that is valid for another six months or more
  • Photocopies of data along with your passport photo pages.
  • A Visa Application Form that has been properly filled out. 
  • A single colour photo, taken within six months of the application.

If you bring the required documents in person to the CVAS, it usually takes only four working days to process your Visa application. Assuming that the visa photo and the documents you submitted don’t carry any mistakes, you should then have your China visa ready in just a few days. 

Types of China visa

Before filling in the application form for your Chinese visa, you must be sure to check which type of visa is the most suitable option for you. 

There are twelve main types of China visas: 

  • L Visa - Tourist Visa, covers all types of leisure trips.
  • M Visa - This is for those travelling to China for work trips, along with other business reasons.
  • F Visa - This is for people who are travelling to China for non-commercial visits, such as exchanges.
  • Q Visa - This is intended to accommodate family reunification with relatives living in China, Native or otherwise. It is split into two categories based on time spent in China.
    • Q1 Visa - Issued for longer stays, identified as over 180 days.
    • Q2 Visa - Issued for shorter stays, identified as up to 180 days.
  • S Visa - This accommodates visits to relatives who are currently working or studying in China, and who currently have a regular residence permit, or for personal trips, for example, visits for medical treatment. As with the Q Visa, there are two categories for different durations.
    • S1 Visa - Issued for longer stays, identified as over 180 days.
    • S2 Visa - Issued for shorter stays, identified as up to 180 days.
  • C Visa - Reserved for people who work in aviation, and may be travelling to China for work. This can include airline pilots and cabin crew members, along with any family members who may be accompanying them.
  • G Visa - Transit visa, issued to those who may have a travel connection to make in China as part of a longer journey. Before you apply for this visa, you need to do some research into the conditions to see if you qualify for the 72-hour or 144-hour travel exemption.
  • Z Visa - A visa for those who are permanently employed in China, along with any relatives and dependents they may have.
  • R Visa - This is given to specialists, with key qualifications in their field, who are coming to work in China.
  • X Visa - This is a study visa, given to those who are travelling either to enrol in a school, college or university. Depending on your trip’s duration, it is split into:
    • X1 Visa - Issued for longer stays, identified as over 180 days.
    • X2 Visa - Issued for shorter stays, identified as up to 180 days.
  • J Visa - Issued to foreign correspondents of foreign news outlets that are residing in China. This visa is split into two subcategories, based on duration of stay:
    • J1 Visa - Issued for longer stays, identified as over 180 days.
    • J2 Visa - Issued for shorter stays, identified as up to 180 days.
  • D Visa - Visa for those who are planning to emigrate to China, and are applying for permanent residence. 

Once you select the proper visa for your visit to China, make sure to check the detailed requirements and the specific documents you need.

Chinese Visa Prices

The cost of a China visa naturally depends on your intentions, with different visas carrying different fees. For Australian citizens, the difference is based on the number of months of validity of the visa combined with the number of entries in the country. The fees can be a bit more expensive, should you choose to apply for the China visa by post. 

  • 3-month single entry visa: $ 109.5 (regular) - $ 131.5 (post)
  • 6-month double entry visa: $ 139.5 (regular) - $ 161.5 (post)
  • 6-month multi-entry visa: $ 169.5 (regular) - $ 191.5 (post)
  • 12-month multi-entry visa: $ 229.5 (regular) - $ 251.5 (post)

Note that if you choose the express option (not available for postal application) or want to rush the entire application process there are going to be additional fees to pay. 

Chinese Visa Exemptions

Australian citizens are required to carry visas to access China in most circumstances. However, there are certain exemptions to this rule, allowing Australians to access the country without a visa:

  • If you are travelling into the country by air, intending to take a connecting flight within 24 hours, not passing through border control. In order to qualify for this, you have to be able to present a boarding pass or another form of confirmation that you have a seat on an outbound flight.
  • Australian passport holders can travel through certain airports visa-free, provided they plan to take a connecting flight to a third country within 72 hours of landing in China and can prove intent to do so. The following airports qualify:
    • Beijing (travelling through Beijing Capital International Airport)
    • Shanghai (travelling through Shanghai Hongqiao and Pudong International Airport)
    • Chongqing (travelling through Jiangbei International Airport)
    • Guangzhou (travelling through Baiyun International Airport)
    • Chengdu (travelling through Shuangliu International Airport)
    • Shenyang (travelling through Taoxian International Airport)
    • Xi’an (travelling through Xianyang International Airport)
  • If you are planning on travelling to Hainen Island, and have joined a tour group of 5 or more people, led by a registered international travel agency in Hainen, with the authorisation of the China National Tourism Administration. Under this exemption, Australian passport holders are allowed to stay for up to 15 days.
  • If you carry an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Card. As full members of APEC, all Australians who carry this card can expect short-term visa-free travel to China. The card is valid for 3 years and, in that time, you can present it along with your passport at border areas in order to enter the country. You may enter multiple times in the three year validity period but for no more than two months each time.
  • If you carry a Residence Permit. Residence Permits tend to be granted by China’s Public Security Bureau to long term students or workers in the country, including foreign journalists who are living in China while they are working. While the permit is valid, you can enter and exit the country multiple times without a visa.

Withholding Chinese Visas

Under Chapter 3, Section 1, Article 21 of the Exit and Entry Administration Law of the People’s Republic of China, China reserves the right to withhold visas from foreign nationals under the following conditions:

  • If the applicant had previously been deported from China or had previously been repatriated upon decision, and their No-Entry-into-China period has not yet expired.
  • If the applicant is suffering from a medical condition, for example, an infectious disease (like tuberculosis) or a serious mental disorder that may make them a danger to the public.
  • If the applicant is likely to jeopardise Chinese interests, or endanger the security of the country. This could also mean that they are likely to disrupt the public or social order of the country, or that they might engage in some form of criminal activity.
  • If the applicant has engaged in fraudulent or deceptive acts as part of their visa application.
  • If the applicant cannot provide evidence that they have sufficient funds to be financially independent over the course of their stay in China.
  • If the applicant fails to submit either sufficient information for the Chinese authorities to process their application or the necessary documentary evidence, for example, a passport or a passport-style photo. If you want to avoid being denied a visa on these grounds, make sure to use Passport Photo Online to make your photo fit their standards exactly.
  • Other reasons that may be determined at the discretion of the Chinese visa authorities. These may be determined and carried out with no explanation for the applicant.

Extending Your Chinese Visa

If you are staying in China as an Australian, and decide you wish to stay longer, it’s possible to extend your Chinese visa’s period of validity. 

In the vast majority of Chinese cities, you can find Entry and Exit Administration Bureaus, who will be more than happy to extend your visa, provided you fulfil their conditions. You have to visit them in a timely manner, no fewer than seven days from the expiration date for your current visa. You must also be prepared to present all of the same documentary evidence you needed for your initial visa application, including your passport and the existing visa. Along with this, you will need to provide some form of evidence justifying the reason for your visa extension, or change. After that, the Chinese authorities will consider your request, and they will notify you of the outcome of your request. You must bear in mind that it will take 5 working days to process and approve visas and other travel documents through the Entry and Exit Administration Offices, so be sure to submit your request in good time.

You will also need to take 2 new passport-style photos, fulfilling the criteria set out by the Chinese Government, and present them at the Bureau. If you don’t have the time to take a professional photo, or if you want to save yourself some money, you can take a Chinese Visa Photo anytime, using our photo editing tool, which will precisely adapt your photo to the governmental standards.


As of the 15th July, direct flights between China and Australia are limited, but Australians may still be able to access China, provided they have the correct documentation. The Chinese authorities will require you to provide multiple negative COVID-19 tests within a short timeframe, that may change at short notice. If you have been vaccinated with a vaccine produced in China, you will need to confirm your eligibility through the embassy or consulate. A 14-day mandatory quarantine is in effect upon your arrival, along with other prevention measures, which will be laid out at the discretion of the local authorities. All of this is accurate at the time of writing, be sure to keep updated on any developments.