What is the change?  Chinese embassies and consulates are now requiring that visa applicants whose current passports were issued after Jan. 1, 2014 submit their previous passport. In a separate change, Chinese missions may now require that all visa application forms be typed rather than handwritten.

What does the change mean? Visa applicants whose passports were issued in 2014 or later should be prepared to submit their previous expired passport. If the previous passport is unavailable, the applicant should prepare a support letter explaining why it cannot be presented. The visa is likely to be rejected by the visa application center, however, and the final decision is at the Chinese embassy’s discretion.

  • Implementation time frame: 
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas.
  • Who is affected: Visa applicants with passports issued in 2014 or later.
  • Impact on processing times: The request for previous passports may delay processing.
  • Business impact: Foreign nationals should be aware of the new request and prepare to find and provide their old passport.
  • Next steps: Affected applicants are strongly urged to find and submit their old passports to avoid risk of having their visa denied.

BAL Analysis:  To avoid delay or refusal of a visa, applicants with affected passports should be prepared to present their previous passport.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in China. For additional information, please contact


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Source: Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP