If you don't have the suitable visa, authorities will immediately deport you back to your residence country. If you opt to handle it directly with the government office on your own, you merely will need to pay the government fee. Thus, when you arrive you can be told that you might not enter. There aren't a lot of conditions where this is readily available for entry to China. US citizens traveling to China may submit an application for a visa that's valid for 10 decades and permits multiple entries into the nation. Certain areas of China, like the Tibet Autonomous Region and other remote locations, require special permits for tourists to see, and such permits are generally obtained via an authorized travel agent.