Application Process for International Students in China - Part 1

While the admission and application process for foreign students in China is well structured, students need to follow the guidelines so that they are able to get admitted to the university or college of their choice.

Admission Procedure

The online application system developed by CUCAS (China’s University and College Admission System) enables international students to apply directly for higher studies in China. Once the application has been submitted, the university takes 2 to 4 weeks to process this. Once the university has decided to accept you as a student, an email from CUCAS notifies you. The application status can also be monitored by checking your CUCAS account.

The first thing you need to do is to apply online by filling out an application form. The application form requires:
  • personal details
  • details about your family,
  • employment and education.
  • information regarding the proposed study in China.
Once all the sections of the online application form have been filled, you can then submit it.  Some items in the form have certain requirements which are listed under the blank.

Academic Documents
The university requires your current mailing address to ensure that they can deliver the acceptance letter and the JW202 form. Education details such as completed secondary, technical, vocational and academic qualifications are required as well. Your work experiences and current designation are also important. The form also asks regarding your proficiency in Chinese or English. Those who have passed a language test need to include this along with their application.

You also need to specify the proposed duration of the study and whether you will be requiring instruction in preliminary Chinese before commencing with the course. Your sources of financial support and information about your guarantor in China are also needed. You also need to upload Photostats of required application documents and materials. All the documents should be in any of the following formats:
MS Word (.doc)
Adobe PDF
Image Files: JPG or GIF
Compression Files (Rar/Zip)

Note that application materials must not be more than 8 MB in size. Documents required for the admission and application include passport photo, Xeroxes of valid passport and visa/residence permit, personal identification card, health certificate, no-criminal record certificate, HSK test scores certificate as well as a letter of guarantee.  Along with this, you also need to enclose financial support document, diploma/certificate as well as transcript of highest certificate. More documents may also be needed by particular universities.

Payment for the application
Payment for the application also needs to be made. Universities charge application fees. Along with this, a service fee is also charged by CUCAS for online application and admissions delivery offer service. Learn more about each of these below:
CUCAS Service Fee
Online Application Services
Admission Offer Delivery Service

Up to five  different types of payment methods are there for students who apply through CUCAS. You also receive an invoice for wiring your money if you choose this option.

Once you have completed the application, you need to submit it along with the application fee. For any help, you can contact CUCAS at

For monitoring the status of your application, you need to email

For those who are applying to universities through CUCAS, the application documents need not be mailed. They need to be scanned or photographed and uploaded after submitting the online application at the CUCAS website. Once all the documents have been uploaded, they will be stored in the system and retrieved for any number of universities that you apply to. More documents are needed for admission into degree programs as compared to non-degree programs. Graduation transcripts and certificates which are not in English or Mandarin need to be translated into either of these and notarized.

A notarization of guarantors for minors (those below 18 years of age) is needed as well. If the student is above 18 years of age, the guardian’s letter of guarantee should be signed by the student’s parents and uploaded along with application guarantees. An economic guarantee is also required from international students. Those who have received scholarships must submit proof of receipt of the scholarship.

Test Scores
HSK test scores are also important for establishing the student’s proficiency in Chinese. Those who are opting for English medium scores must provide TOEFL or IELTS scores. Physical examination record needs to be submitted to the Chinese embassy when you are applying for a visa or residence permit.

Only students studying for more than 6 months in China need to go through a physical exam.  Some universities also need the international applicants to submit a resume or personal statement about themselves. CUCAS prescribes the length of the statement should not exceed 500 to 1000 words.Letters of recommendation are also needed by some universities. Former/current teachers as well as employers can act as referees.

Standard Exams

HSK Test

The HSK or Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi test is an academic standardized test which is taken by international students to demonstrate their proficiency in Chinese. Students applying for Chinese medium degree courses must take this test to demonstrate their knowledge of Mandarin so that they can take up the program. The Hanban or the China National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language conducts this test.

The structure of the test has been tabulated below:

  1. Test Rank
  2. Words (cumulative)
  3. Characters
  4. Test Score
  5. Certificate
  •  Advanced
  •  5000
  • 2633
  • 6
  •  Advanced with Honours
  •  Advanced
  •  2500
  • 1709
  • 5
  •  Advanced

  •  Intermediate
  •  1200
  • 1071
  • 4
  •  Intermediate with Honours
  •  Intermediate
  •  600
  • 623
  • 3
  •  Intermediate
  •  Elementary
  •  300
  • 349
  • 2
  •  Elementary with Honours
  •  Elementary
  •  150
  • 178
  • 1
  •  Elementary

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