Passport and Visa
For entry into China, Duke Kunshan University (DKU) students who are not Chinese citizens are required to have a valid passport stamped with a valid visa for study in China. To enter China, your passport must be valid with at least 6 months remaining. DKU students are expected to pay for passport photos, passport and visa processing fees, as well as other related fees. Please give yourself at least a month to process passport and/or visa applications. Non-refundable tickets or reservations should not be purchased until your visa and passport are secured and in your possession.
United States Citizens: The US State Department travel website (http://travel.state.gov/) offers a wealth of knowledge for international travel. Here you will find details regarding passport applications and renewals, visa requirements, travel tips, what to do in emergency, travel warnings, and much more. You will need to schedule an appointment with a participating service provider, generally a US Post Office to process the application. A list of providers is found at the website above. The appointment generally takes 30-45 minutes, and you will need to bring proof of citizenship and identity. Allow 4-6 weeks to process your passport application. You can shorten the process to 2-3 weeks if you pay an expediting fee. There are also agencies that can help expedite the process (see below).
Citizens of countries other than the US or China: Please locate the passport application instructions for your country and apply through the consulate office in your country of citizenship.
Obtaining a Visa for China
If you already have a passport that will be valid for at least 6 months after your arrival date in China, you will need to obtain a student visa for China. Complete the JW202 Information Form that was emailed to you with your letter of admission, or shortly after; this can also be found on the Admitted Student section of the DKU website. This form provides the details needed to start the process of obtaining the documents you will need to apply for your visa.
Before applying for your visa, you will need at least these two important documents:
- Your letter of admission to Duke Kunshan University
- Your JW202 form from Duke Kunshan University and the Jiangsu Bureau of Education
In about two or three weeks after you have submitted your JW202 Information Form, you will receive a packet in the mail from the DKU Enrollment Services Specialist containing these original documents (listed above) and instructions for completing the visa application form. Once you have received these materials you can proceed with the visa application through your embassy or consulate. It is suggested that you contact your local Chinese embassy, consulate, or a visa services provider to learn what other documents you will need to provide in your visa application. It is your responsibility to apply for and pay for your visa.
Please note that additional visa restrictions may be in effect for non-U.S. citizens; it is the student’s responsibility to research the visa application requirements for their country of citizenship and ensure that they have completed and submitted all of the required materials in a timely manner. While in the event of a visa complication or delay the DKU office staff will provide assistance, we cannot guarantee the issuance of a visa by the Chinese government for any student.
Category of Student Visa
There are two categories of student visas for entry into China:
- X1: student visa for permission to stay in China for over six months (180 days). Students with an X1 visa will also need to obtain a Residence Permit within 30 days of their arrival in China. Click here (link to student life mobility page) to find more information on the residence permit.
- X2: student visa for permission to stay in China for under six months (180 days). Students only studying at Duke Kunshan University for a semester should obtain an X2 Visa.
The embassy/consulate will determine which visa is appropriate for you based on the information you submit.
Documents for Visa Application
Refer to the instructions provided on your embassy’s website, but in general be prepared with the following for your visa application:
- Passport – valid for 6 months after your planned arrival day in China; make sure there are enough pages for visas.
- Passport Photographs - as specified on your embassy or consulate website, or the website of the visa service company
- Letter of Admission to DKU*
- JW202 form from DKU and stamped by the Jiangsu Education Bureau (will arrive in your packet)
- Visa Application Form (refer to the example sent in packet); this form can be downloaded from your embassy or consulate website, or the website of the visa service company
- Original and Photocopy Versions of all Application Materials
- Heath form – if required by your embassy
- Payment – fees vary
- If using a visa service company, it is likely you will be required to submit additional documents; please read their instructions carefully and submit all required forms.
China Visa Validity
Most Chinese visas for students are issued for an entry within three months from the date of issue. The student who enters china with an X1 visa must register this visa at the local public security department in China within thirty days of arrival in China, which will be a part of the DKU Orientation. Students may be able to extend the period of stay or request re-entry permission. In some cases, a double or multiple entry visa may be issued, usually for a maximum stay of 90 days per visit.
Contact the DKU Enrollment Services Specialist
Once you receive your passport and visa, email a photocopy/scan your passport cover page and the visa page in your passport to the DKU Enrollment Services Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org. While we wish you a speedy, efficient experience in applying for your passport and/or visa, on occasion, delays or complications may occur. Let the DKU Enrollment Services Specialist know if you are having trouble.