International Students who will be studying in China for more than 6 months are required to obtain an ‘X1’ Visa; Students who will be studying in China for less than 6 months may apply for an ‘X2’ Visa.
X1 Visa is only vaild for 30 days since your arrival. You must apply for a Residence Permit within these 30 days; you would be otherwise considered staying illegally and heavily fined.
X2 visa is for people engaging in short-term ( less than 6 months ) academic activities in China. It specifies 150 or 180 days in total applicants are allowed to stay in China on the visa page. Basically, you are not required to change X2 visa to residence permit, unless you are going to leave China during the stay period beacause X2 visa is only one-time valid to enter.
Once you arrive in China, you need to apply residence permit. Residence permit is issued to people studying in China for more than 6 months. Once granted, it allows students unlimited entry into China within the valid date. Students should get the materials for applying residence permit at CIE office, and then submit materials to the Entry & Exit Administration Center.
For the first time to apply residence permit, you need to hand it the following materials:
a. JW201/202 form
b. Admission letter
c. Application form of residence permit
d. Physical examination report
e. Residence Registration Form