Frequently Asked Questions | Duke Kunshan University

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions on Study Visa / Residence Permit for International Students

1. Chinese Visa

Q: For foreign students who intend to study in China, what type of visa is required? How to apply for this visa?


Foreign students who intend to study in China must apply for a student visa (X1 or X2 visa) from the Chinese consulate/embassy. For the application, you will be required to submit the Admission Notice from the university and the JW201 or JW202 Form.

Q: What is the difference between X1 and X2 visas?


For students who will be studying in China for a period of over 180 days (starting from the date stated in the Admission Notice), you will be issued X1 visa. The validity of X1 visa is 30 days and students will be required to apply for a Residence Permit through the school within 30 days of arrival in the country (e.g. arriving date in ChinSep 1st, a student should apply for residence permit by Sep 31st ).

For students who will be studying in China for a period of less than 180 days, you will be issued X2 visa. The validity of the X2 visa is between 30-180 days, and is usually only for a single entry. Once you have exited the country, you will not be able to enter the country again with the same visa.

Q: Will the X2 visa need to be converted to a student Residence Permit like X1 visa?


According to the regulations of Exit- entry bureau, overseas students who will study in China for more than 180 days can apply for residence permit. Students with X2 (study period less than 180 days) will not be allowed to change X2 visa to study Residence permit.

Q: If a student has obtained the X1 visa, can he/she enter China early to travel before reporting to school?


As a longer period of time is required for the first-time application of Residence Permit, and the validity of the X1 visa is only 30 days, we would highly recommend that students enter China 3 days before the school’s registering date, in order to avoid the hassle and extra cost for extending your visa.

Q: Can one study at Duke Kunshan University without having a student visa?


No. If foreigners are found to have engaged in activities that differ from the type of visa, he/she may face penalties such as Letter of Warning, fine, detention or deportation.

Q: Can Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan residents with Mainland Travel Permits study at Duke Kunshan University as foreign students?



Q: A person who has a Mainland Travel Permit, and at the same time is holder of a Canadian passport (or any other country’s passport, i.e. dual nationality). If he/she enters China using the Mainland Travel Permit and hence does not have an entrance stamp in his/her Canadian passport, will he/she be allowed to study at at Duke Kunshan University as a foreign student?


No, the university only recognizes the citizenship he/she uses to apply for DKU. So even if the students are holding dual citizenship, he/she may still need to go back to the country whose citizenship he/she chose to use, then apply study visa through the Chinese Consulate / Embassy.

Q: I entered China via visa-free entry/travel visa/family visitor visa, can I apply for the student Residence Permit?



2. Applying for Student Residence Permit

Q: What documents are required for new students applying for the Residence Permit for the first time?

  1. Valid passport;
  2. Admission Notice;
  3. Visa Application Form (JW202 or JW201);
  4. Health Examination Record (Issued by 常熟/苏州国际旅行卫生保健中心
  5. Temporary Accommodation Registration Form;
  6. Application Letter for Foreign Students (issued by International Students Services Office);
  7. One Passport-sized photograph with white background(2-inch);
  8. Fee for Residence Permit application (Depends on the Exit-Entry Administration Bureau, usually 400~1000RMB).

Q: What documents are required for students who are already studying in the university, and need to extend or renew the Residence Permit?

  1. Valid passport;
  2. Temporary Accommodation Registration Form;
  3. Application Letter for Foreign Students (issued by International Students Services Office);
  4. 1 Passport-sized photograph (2-inch);
  5. Fee for Residence Permit application (Depends on the Exit-Entry Administration Bureau, usually 400~1000 RMB).

Q: If a student’s parents are already in China, can they apply for Residence Permit together with the student? If yes, what is the validity of the Residence Permit?


This is allowed for the students’ parents、spouse or minor children. Family members must present an official document proving the relationship with the student (usually issued by the consulate, in Chinese) and obtain the official Introduction Letter. The validity of the Residence Permit is the same as the validity of the student’s Residence Permit.

Q: A student did his health check last year and his Residence Permit has expired. When applying for Residence Permit this year, does the student need to do the health check again?


If the Resident permit has expired within three months, the health check is not required.

Q: How long will the residence permit be valid? What is the duration of the Residence Permit that the student can apply for?


The duration can be until the date of end of study (but no longer than 5 years).However, it is up to Entry & Exit Bureau to issue the validity of your residence permit. Usually it’s the same as your program length or passport’s validity. For more specific enquires, please consult with local Entry & Exit Bureau.

Q: Can the validity of the Residence Permit be longer than the validity of the passport?


No. We would like to ask you to renew your passport and make sure it is valid through the year you graduate.

Q: A student’s period of study ends in May and the Residence Permit the school has given is valid until 31st May. However, the student wishes to travel around China beyond the date of expiration of the Residence Permit. Can the school issue a new Application Letter to allow the extension of the Permit for one month?


As the semester usually ends at the start of May, the university has already considered the needs of students and have the Residence Permit expire at the end of the month. The university will not issue a new Letter, but students can apply directly to local Exit-Entry Administration Bureau for a one-month Residence permit using your Certificate of Graduation and relevant documents.

Q: What happens if I lose my passport?


Please report the loss of your passport to the Kunshan Exit-Entry Administration Bureau and contact your country's consulate to apply for a new passport.

Q: What should I do if I have changed my passport?


You will have to complete police registration again with the local police station (address登云路288号海创大厦2楼46/47窗口,Counter 46/47 Haichuang Building, No.288 Dengyun Road) and Send a new copies of your new passport to to register your new passport details, obtain a new Application Letter, and go to the 昆山Exit-Entry Administration Bureau (address: Counter 77/78, Building A2, No.1801, West Qianjin Road) within 10 days.

Q: A student plans to withdraw or apply for Leave of Absence (LOA) of his study at Duke Kunshan University, but he holds a residence permit valid for a long period. What does he need to do?


He should obtain an Application Letter to have his residence permit cancelled at the Kunshan Exit-Entry Administration Bureau before he leaves DKU. Otherwise, we’ll report him to the Kunshan Exit-Entry Administration Bureau and he’ll bear all the consequences.

3. Notice for International Students Engaging in Off-campus Internships

Q: What are the materials that have to be prepared for international students to apply for off-campus internship residence permit?

  1. Passport
  2. The copies of passport (Information Pages, Resident Permit/Visa Pages, the latest Entrance Seal Pages)
  3. 2 color photos of 2 inches (Students can take one in the Exit-Entry Bureau on own expenses.)
  4. Offer Letter of the Internship (Provided by Career Service Office)
  5. Proof of Off-campus Internship for International Students (Provided by Career Service Office)
  6. 400 to 1000 RMB Wechat or card payment ready
  7. Resident Permit Application Form (Provided by Student Affairs Office or Obtained at the Entry & Exit Office)
  8. Application letter with DKU seal (Provided by Student Affairs Office)
  9. Accommodation Registration Form if the student has left mainland China recently (Obtained at local police station upon arrival, location: police station near current residential place).

Q: When can I start my internship after submitting residence application for internship at the Entry & Exit Bureau?


Students can hand in their documents to the Exit-Entry Administration Bureau once they have all the documents ready. They would then have to wait for another week before obtaining approval. Students are to note that they are only allowed to begin their internship after obtaining approval from the Exit-Entry Administration Bureau.

Q: Are students allowed to engage in internships outside of Kunshan?


Yes, application procedures are the same as applying for internships in Kunshan. Holders of residence permit for internship can intern in cities outside Kunshan.

Q: Extension of Visa and Residence Permit


International students should pay attention to the validity of their residence permits and entry visas and make proper arrangement for extensions if necessary. The overdue fines caused by expiration of validity of residence permits or entry visas should be born by offender.

4. Residence Life

When and how can I check in?


*Due to the pandemic issue, the scenario we are sharing below is for normal opening up:

International first-year students and Chinese first-year students can begin checking in at 9:00 AM on Sunday, August 15.

To check in, students need to be ready to:

  1. Share a printed scan of your Chinese ID cards or passports
  2. Pick up your student ID card, which functions as your library card, dining card, bedroom key, and more. Make sure to keep this with you at all times!
  3. Pick up pack of orientation schedule and other useful flyers.
  4. (International students) Pick up both your health insurance and International SOS cards

What should I pack?

  1. Your Admission Notice
  2. Identification:
    1. Chinese ID card for Chinese students
    2. Passport for International students
  3. International Students:
    1. Your JW202 Form
    2. Two copies of 2-inch ID photo with white background, for your health check-up and residence permit (the same size with your passport ID photo)
    3. One copy of 1-inch ID photo for your student booklet
  4. Money:  Cash, debit cards, and credit cards
  5. Insurance Documents:  Travel insurance card or other documents, health insurance cards, etc.
  6. Medications:  Prescription medications with a letter from your doctor
  7. Clothes:  Enough to last until you’re settled (In Kunshan, the hottest days of summer can reach low 40s C, and the coldest days can drop below 0 C.  It is very humid all year)
  8. Bedding & Towels:  Pillow, pillow case, sheets (see the Residence Halls website to know the bed size in your room), and wash towels
  9. Toiletries & Cleaning Supplies:  Toilet paper, shampoo and conditioner, body soap, hand soap, toothbrush/paste, trash bags (bins are provided) cleaning sprays/wipes, laundry detergent, etc.
  10. Room Supplies:  Hangers, storage/organization bind, decorations, etc.

What should I NOT pack?

  1. Mini-fridge:  Non-DKU owned refrigerators are prohibited.  If you’d like to rent one from the University, you can do so by logging into (you need to be on the DKU VPN), clicking “Applications Portal” then “RMS Student”, and completing the “Rental Refrigerator Agreement”
  2. Prohibited Items:  Weapons, anything flammable or combustible (including candles & fireworks), illegal drugs, animals, cooking appliances, hoverboards

How can I shop for things I need?


There are many shopping options.  The mini-mart in the Academic Building (AB) is open during the daytime and sells snacks, toiletries, and DKU apparel.  Dayu Bay is walkable from campus and has several restaurants and shops.  Auchan Mall is a great place to buy anything and it is a stop on both the campus shuttle and Kunshan bus route 32.  Campus shuttles, the Kunshan bus system, and DiDi (ride share app with Chinese and English options) will help you get anywhere else you want or need to go.  Taobao is a major online shopping company that has an app (Chinese and English versions), sells many things, and can deliver quickly to campus. 

Can I ship things to DKU in advance of moving in?


No, due to limited space and liability, we’re unable to store your property for any amount of time before you move in.

How do I make DKU my home?


Discover all the different ways you can get involved and achieve your personal, academic, and vocational goals.  There are many different club, organizations, lectures, workshops, and events designed to help you learn, grow, and develop into the best version of yourself.