This section explains what you need to do if you are currently in China and you want to apply for a UK visa.
Before you start, you must know whether you need a visa, and which visa you want to apply for. You can find more information by leaving this section and using our Do I need a visa? questionnaire.
If you know which UK visa you want to apply for, the Applying for a UK visa section explains how to apply.
As part of your application, you will need to visit one of our visa application centres in Beijing, Wuhan, Shenyang, Jinan, Chongqing, Fuzhou, Chengdu, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Guangzhou or Shenzhen. These are managed by our commercial partner, VFS Global. VFS Global is not involved in the decision-making process and cannot influence the decision on your visa application.
If you currently have temporary permission to stay in China (for example, as a student or a visitor), you can only apply for some types of UK visa - see 'More information' below.
Visas for other countries
You can also apply in China for a visa to travel to some Commonwealth countries and British overseas territories.
Applying for a UK visa if you have temporary permission to stay
If you have temporary permission to stay (for example, as a visitor) in the country where you are currently living, you cannot apply for most types of UK visa in that country. You can only apply for:
- a visitor visa
- a Tier 5 (Temporary worker - creative and sporting) visa
- an EEA family permit
Your application may be referred back to your country of residence, which may cause delays.
To apply for any other type of UK visa, you must apply under the procedure for your country of residence. You can find this procedure by selecting your country of residence in our country finder .
Where can you get advice?
UK Border Agency staff are not able to give help or advice on how to complete your application, or what type of visa you should apply for.
If you need help with your application or advice about the UK's immigration law and requirements, you should seek advice from a qualified immigration adviser. This will ensure that your representative meets approved standards and is properly qualified to advise you.
In the UK, immigration advisers are regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). If an adviser (or the organisation that the adviser belongs to) is regulated by the OISC, it should display the OISC logo. The OISC website contains:
- a list of regulated immigration advisers who do not charge for their advice or services; and
- a register of regulated immigration advisers who charge clients for their advice or services.
You can also obtain advice from legally qualified professionals regulated by designated professional bodies. A list of legally qualified professionals who can advise on immigration matters is available from:
- the Law Society of England and Wales
- the Law Society of Scotland
- the Law Society of Northern Ireland
- the Institute of Legal Executives
The Law Societies of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and the Institute of Legal Executives cannot provide direct help or advice on visa applications. They can only provide a list of law firms who can advise on immigration matters.