Latest on visa for China from Hong Kong
Replies: 12 - Last Post: May 5, 2010 8:45 PM Last Post By: Harry_Mudd
Feb 3, 2010 10:12 PM
Latest on visa for China from Hong KongHi everyone,
I just got back from Hong Kong where I applied for a new tourist visa, and since these things change every so often, I thought I'd share my experiences for anyone who's looking to do the same in the near future.
I applied directly at the visa office in Wanchai on Monday morning, paid for rush service (the quickest option available), and picked up my visa on Tuesday morning. The office opens at 9 am, and I was there at 8 am to line up and was maybe number 10 or 11 in line. The line was extremely long by 9 am, but it seemed to move quickly, so I probably wouldn't have needed to get there so early. I was told to come back at 10 am the next day to pick up my passport. I got there around 9.45, and there was no line into the building and only a short line to pay and then another short line to pick up the passport. So on the whole, everything went very smoothly.
I applied for double entry, and that's what I got, but the person behind me in line asked for multiple entry and got that, so in retrospect I should have gone for multiple entry instead. A double entry visa plus the rush fee cost a total of 470 HKD (much cheaper than the 900 I paid to go through CTS for a single entry visa this summer). US passport holders currently pay a little over 1000 HKD, but it's a flat fee for single, double or multiple entry, so if you have a US passport you might as well go for multiple entry. And rush visas are available for everyone, including US passport holders (which wasn't always the case during the summer when the swine flu scare was at its peak). So on the whole, everything seems to be back to normal.
Also good to know is that you can't bring luggage into the visa building, but you can leave it just outside the building, next to the guards, which a lot of people do -- probably not a great idea if you have valuables in your luggage, but otherwise an ok option. They also don't let you bring food or drink inside (although water is ok), and keep it for you by the security check while you go upstairs. My purse and small backpack were fine to bring inside.
And the weather in Hong Kong right now is amazing, a welcome break from the cold in northern China. Best of luck to all visa applicants!
Feb 3, 2010 10:45 PM
Feb 4, 2010 3:58 PM
2Whether you can get a multiple entry visa sometimes (usually) depends on whether you have had Chinese visas before. At least in the past, it has been difficult for first-time applicants to get multiple entry visas.
Glad you were here during the nice weather a little while ago. Right now it is gray, polluted and drizzly. A large part of Hong Kong's mobile population is preparing to decamp for Phuket, Bali and Langkawi next weekend.....
Feb 4, 2010 4:12 PM
Feb 4, 2010 9:43 PM
4Hi maria (and Harry),
I agree, this might be useful information for the FAQs. Feel free to add a post to the thread yourself, although it would be good to clarify which passport you're holding if you do that. I assume it's an EU passport?
Thanks again for the update.
Feb 5, 2010 12:31 AM
Feb 5, 2010 5:05 PM
6Forever bright Trading Company
I always use these poeople too, for the convenience.
Mar 4, 2010 7:06 AM
7Sorry for the slow reply:
It's a Swedish passport (so yes, EU).
They gave me a visa on which I could enter any time before August (i.e. 6 month visa), and on which I could spend 30 days in China after the date of entry (which is standard).
Last week I extended the visa in Wuhan (also a simple procedure, cost 160 rmb, but took one week, and with no rush options). BUT, when they extended my visa in Wuhan, they cancelled the original tourist visa from HK, so the double entry was of no use. In other words, if you extend a tourist visa in China (or at least in Wuhan), you can't re-enter on the same visa, even if it was originally double entry (an extension essentially means that they cancel the old visa and give you a new one month tourist visa). Good to know for people who are planning to travel for several months, if you're going to be extending visas on the mainland, might as well save your money and just get a single entry visa from HK.
May 5, 2010 12:49 AM
This is because you can not technically speaking extend any China visa, you can only get a new one.
May 5, 2010 4:18 PM
It's called an extension, and I have had two of them from the PSB at Yonghegonmg in Beijing.
Mind you, they were single entry F visa's of 12 month duration, and maybe they do different things to tourist visa's of short duration.
so I'll shut up now. ;-)
May 5, 2010 6:48 PM
You may want to reconsider your choice of words on a civilized forum.
On topic, you can have ONLY one China visa. If you have a double entry (which you don't want to use for whatever reason) you can not apply a new one. This includes also the 5-day Shenzhen visa.
Scenario: We went to Shenzhen for a dinner. One guy had a double entry with one entry not used. He wanted to get the 5-day SZ visa since he had a flight from China a few days later. He could not get the 5-day visa, he had to use the 2nd double entry visa, he had to buy a new visa in Hong Kong.
May 5, 2010 6:55 PM
I always thought that as well. However, in a recent discussion on another forum I was told that in Holland you can be issued with two single entries if the embassy was not allowed to issue a double entry. See tripadvisor discussion
I think when it comes to China visas, there are rarely 100% yes or no answers.
May 5, 2010 8:45 PM
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