Chinese Visa Sticky
Replies: 2,714 - Last Post: Jun 17, 2013 5:47 PM Last Post By: JPDeM
Apr 8, 2008 2:58 AM
45US passport holder.
I was in Seoul, South Korea on March 24th and wanted to get a next day double-entry visa to China (I had tickets to fly to Beijing that saturday). This is the process there:
1.) Go to the Chinese embassy (which is surrounded by South Korean heavy riot police), where I was told to go to the Chinese consulate (across town).
2.) Go to the Chinese consulate where there is a sign saying they no longer process individual visas and that you have to go through a travel agent (and that mine will be 150,000 won since I wanted next day and I'm American). Travel agent fee should be less than 20,000 won. List of travel agents is in Korean only.
3.) Most tourist offices in Seoul rip you off for this (mostly Hanatour affiliated, they charge 50,000 won for the 'service'). **Go to Apple tours in the USO office of Camp Kim. They only charge 10,000 won for it.**
I got a L visa in Seoul, South Korea on March 25th for 160,000 won. I was told though that they no longer offer anything but the 30 day single entry visa (which is good for 90 days after issue).
Here in China now and dmajinindia I'm afraid you might want to buy plane tickets for that one. All foreigners are not allowed west of Chengdu (the stop off point to get to Lhasa), including Xinjiang. I was originally going to go to Lhasa and then on to Kathmandu and when things started to heat up I figured that I would see Xinjiang instead. No luck...
Apr 8, 2008 7:29 AM
46traveler37 that's interesting they won't give you anything more than 30...you didn't by chance happen to ask if that was blanket for all nationalities or just American, for example when you first asked for the visa did they know you were American before you asked them for the length you wanted?
also i've heard that the west of china will be open up again by early may.
Apr 8, 2008 7:34 AM
Apr 8, 2008 9:31 AM
Where and when did you hear about foreigner being restricted from going to Xinjiang?
I am planning to go to Xinjiang in the middle of May for 2 to 3 weeks.
Apr 8, 2008 10:52 AM
49I went to the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco USA on 4 April 2008 to apply for a tourist visa to see the solar eclipse in Xinjiang on 1 August. I had checked multiple entry 12 months as my desired visa, since the price is the same for all kinds. The two people I saw would not accept my application without an itinerary. So, I printed out my itinerary and all my reservations and came back on Monday 7 April. I was then told, that my itinerary did not mean anything, since it was not from a CITS travel agency. My application was again not accepted. I asked the woman at the window directly, if independent travel was permitted in China. She said, "No." Neither one of them mentioned the ban on multiple entry visas, reported in the South China Morning Post.
Apr 8, 2008 10:55 AM
Apr 8, 2008 11:22 AM
Apr 8, 2008 11:39 AM
I plan on applying for a visa for me and my brother this Thursday April 10th at the San Francisco Consulate. I am planning on going to Chengdu and the surrounding areas before I meet my brother in Xian and travel onto Beijing -> Shanghai -> HK -> Guilin then overland to Hanoi. I was wondering, did you put on your itinerary that you are planning on going to Xinjiang? For example I am not going to put that I am going to go to Chengdu, just Easterna China. Also how long of a visa did you try to get? I am going to try to get just the 6 month double entry tourist visa. Also, have you thought of going through CITS to get just your visa? They charge US$170. A $40 surcharge wouldnt be so bad if it got you your visa. Maybe i'll see you in line ill be at the SF consulate Thursday at 9am when it opens. Good luck.
Apr 8, 2008 12:55 PM
53A quick update on obtaining Chinese visa at London consulate:
Got there just before 10am, hoping to get it same day. However, the queue was unexpectedly very long (not sure if it's always like this) so I could only hit the door around noon - too late then to get it same day. I applied for the multiple-entry visa, but the girl at the counter told me it could only be single or double, either would last 2 months. If this helps, I hold Thai passport and have visited China twice (which I made sure she knew this).
A bit disappointed, of course. But at least I can avoid risking my entry at Lo Wu - I also read the latest piece on SCMP just before I left.
Apr 8, 2008 2:10 PM
54rjhend1 - when are you planning to travel in China? Recent reports here suggest that extensions may not be possible after 1 July.
Generally speaking for US passport holders extensions cost the same as a new visa, the equivalent of 130 USD and can take from 1-5 days depending upon where you apply. Generally it is easier and shorter in a smaller city.
Apr 8, 2008 3:11 PM
55Is it only extensions that don't look possible after 1 July, or any visas for independent travel? I have a 3 week trip planned for early September and was planning to apply for the visa in June. If I had to wait until the last week in August after the Olympics to see if I can even get a visa I would probably cancel the whole thing.
Apr 8, 2008 5:23 PM
I am now planning on leaving on May 27th and applying for an extension at the end of June that would cover me until I leave China on July 26th. I had originally planned a trip that would be from May 6 through July 26th, but it doesn't look like that would work if I cannot get an extension after 7/1.
What a pain this all is!
Thanks for your quick response to my note. I am going to be in Kunming and Lijiang for part of the trip, do you think I should try around there for the extension?
Apr 8, 2008 6:23 PM
57#55, So far, it's only extensions that don't seem to be possible after July 1. It seems the dates for all extensions require trvelers to be out of China by July 2.
rjhend1, I smypathise with your situation. I don't think anyone realized travel to China during this time would be inconvenient because of visas. We always talked about the difficulties of finding a room or train ticket or how expensive hotels will be. But this visa situation came up suddenly and is so dramatic.
Theoratically, you could leave China and get a new visa in Hanoi or Bangkok or Hong Kong, then come back into China to finish your travels. However, with the way things are goin, I wouldn't count on it. Is there something in Vietnam or another SEA country you want to see?
Apr 8, 2008 6:56 PM
58A business guy in Hong Kong, highly irritated at the recent visa changes, has started a blog about the issue.
The China Visa
In it, he's scanning many of the articles in the SCMP about the story. While the SCMP has many failings, it's about the closest we'll get to a authoritative source given the lack of information coming from official channels. He also includes the email address of the HKSAR chief executive, useful if you want to vent your anger at someone - although Donald Tsang probably doesn't have much, if any influence at all.
Apr 8, 2008 8:29 PM
59Well, clearly I should not be mentioning Xin Jiang. Is there any reason that I would be denied a visa if I did not write anything related to that?
2) Is there anything on the visa indicating where I think I should be going.
3) DO I really need to provide proof of itenerary?
4) Is there a risk of tourist access to Karakoram being shut off?
(3 star Hotel)
From US$64.98 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$99.42 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$55.21 per night