Today I Applied For A Chinese Visa - Things You Should Know
Replies: 40 - Last Post: Feb 27, 2013 10:39 PM Last Post By: drumbrake
Apr 10, 2012 5:04 AM
Today I Applied For A Chinese Visa - Things You Should KnowToday I applied for a Chinese visa - I took my application in person to the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre in xMelbourne.
Below is a list of documents you are required to bring, without them your application will not be accepted:
a) Completed application form
c) Photocopy of passport
d) Flight itinerary into and out of, xChina
e) Accommodation Itinerary for whole time in xChina
The staff check your application and supporting documents thoroughly and ask how many days will you be in xChina. There is a checklist of things they look for - when checking hotel itinerary, she looked for, and underlined, certain words, eg, your name, hotel name, dates and length of stay. Same with flight itinerary.
We struck a bit of a problem - two in fact. Three of my accommodation places were done via email, I had contacted the hostel/hotel directly. The lady was looking for the dates of check-in and check-out. She said where are the dates on here? I had printed out the emails and they aren't as clear cut as booking via a website. I explained I sent the hostels an email asking them to send an email with the check in and check out dates and name of their hostel as I needed this for my visa application. She said they don't use/accept emails for bookings. I asked if this would be a problem, she said she'd go and ask.
She came back saying it should be alright. She also said it should be alright for this time, but next time you must have this - she held up a booking confirmation which had been done online through a booking agency. She then told me it should be alright because I had onward accommodation bookings made through online agencies.
The second problem was with my flight into xChina. I am flying xHanoi to xXian, which isn't a direct flight, necessitating a change of plane at xGuangzhou. The airline cancelled the flight which meant a whole new flight. I showed the original flight itinerary and the new one. The original had the logo, airline name, rules and regulations etc. the new itinerary didn't. I then had to explain the reason for the old and new itinerary looking different. Then there was a problem with where I was flying from - she didn't recognise the departure which is Nội Bài airport at xHanoi.
I was given a receipt and told when my visa would be ready.
They keep all the documents (except your passport of course) so I would advise you to print two copies - one for them, the other for yourself. I know this because I asked. I have spent the past several hours having to find, and re-print everything.
One more thing - they are very thorough and go through everything with a fine tooth comb.
Apr 10, 2012 5:34 AM
1Hi Captain_Courageous, looks like it's not that easy to obtain a Chinese visa... .
I'll need a Chinese visa later this year and your post made me question a few things:
- Flight itinerary into and out of, xChina:
- Accommodation Itinerary for whole time in xChina: I don't like to plan my stay beforehand, so I guess I'll probably have to make some (fake) bookings through hostelworld.com which I can annulate later on?
Apr 10, 2012 6:03 AM
2Sandra1978, I can't answer your question regarding the Transmongolian Express because I don't know.
One thing I forgot to write in the OP - there was a sign - very visible - which says in both xChinese and English:
Change of Visa Policy
Copy of Passport page and the latest Chinese visa
1. Hotel Booking and Flight Booking
2. Group Tour Itinerary and Flight Booking
1. Invitation Letter (signed by the inviter) and Inviter's Chinese ID Photocopy (Inviter is Chinese)
2. Invitation Letter (signed by the inviter), Inviter's Passport First Page Photocopy and Inviter's Chinese Visa Photocopy (Inviter is non Chinese)
Apr 10, 2012 7:32 AM
Apr 10, 2012 8:01 AM
4finetrip - these changes were reported first in December 2011 and then again in Jan 2011 and more recently in March 2012 and have nothing to do with the US troops arriving. In fact, these changes are not required for US passport holders applying in the US.
sandra1978- Several points
1. Arriving by train for independent travel in China is going to be difficult. There are two possibilities, one is to arrange with a travel agency in Australia to draw up an entire itinerary on their letterhead showing that you have tickets for trains into and transport out of China and all accommodations.
2. If that isn't possible (ie no agency will do this for you even for a fee), then you might consider contacting an agency in Mongolia to purchase the train tickets and have them send you confirmation of train reservations.
3. If that doesn't appeal to you, then you might want to consider creating a completely fake itinerary, book flights into and out of China and cancel them or book flights into and out of China on Air Asia and toss the tickets.
4. Booking accommodations on a hostel website might not be possible from what OP has described. It would appear that you need an email confirmation from each location not from the hostel website. Better might be to book big international hotels and then cancel the reservations.
Bottom line as long as no agencies seem to be specializing in obtaining Chinese visas and offering work arounds to obtain Chinese visas, it is going to be tedious and time consuming to obtain visas.
OP thanks for the detailed update.
Apr 10, 2012 9:06 AM
Apr 10, 2012 1:43 PM
When booking through websites like agoda or booking.com, it will say "Free cancellation" and when you look at the terms and conditions, you will see the date up to which free cancellation applies. This is usually 1-3 days before check-in date, depending on accommodation place. I prefer booking.com because you don't pay a deposit and cancelling is so easy which means no messy debits or credits on your credit card.
Apr 10, 2012 1:52 PM
interestingly, if you apply by mail to the sydney visa office there was nothing out of the ordinary that they require , no flights or accomodation details but they did require a copy of your drivers licence, passport , application and that was it
This was last July and as I understand it from a friend who recently applied they still require a copy of your drivers licence .There was no mention of accomodation etc.
Apr 10, 2012 2:01 PM
83 (and 4) - why on earth would American troops arriving in Australia (as they often do) have anything to do with Chinese general visa rules?
Apr 10, 2012 2:24 PM
9I am also going on the Trans Mongolian next month and applied for my Chinese visa last week. I fly to China. take the train to Russia then fly home with a 4 day stopover in Shanghai. I applied in Perth, where I live, and have NO hotel bookings. I had flights into and out of China, passport and I always show a copy of my insurance policy. They accepted my application and I am due to pick up the visa today.
Generally visa offices are looking for evidence you are not going to overstay your visa and will come home. Flight home will confirm this and insurance will help with confirmation cos it is date specific.
It is possibly easier in Perth cos they have just started direct flights to China and are looking to increase capacity.
Apr 10, 2012 7:18 PM
10We applied and received a visa last week by mail through sydney last week. we had flights in and out of Hong Kong, and some (not all) accommodation booked and some internal flights. we did send copies of our drivers licenses. there were two of us and some bookings were in one name some in the other all for 2 people, we sent the applications in the same envelope and had no probs, had the visa's back 1 w later
no.8-the thought is thathaving americantroops in aust is perceived as hostile towards china, hence the idea that china may be less easy on australian tourist visa applications - prob just a perception
Apr 10, 2012 8:34 PM
11Its a reflection of what Australia asks Chinese. Further the agents are justifying their cost. Just get angry or upset and they will say for the most part we will try as is. It always works. You are not directly talking to the people who decide.
Apr 10, 2012 9:25 PM
What is a reflection? The problems I encountered yesterday when handing in my visa application?
This does not explain the difference between reins #10 from xSydney and dzasta56 #9 from xPerth had when applying for their visa. One would think it would be across the board, in other words, whether you apply in xMelbourne, xSydney or xPerth, it should be the same with the same conditions. Where are you from John555 - your country shows as "Not specified."
Edited to add: According to their website, there is no Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (CVASC) in Perth, I'd be interested in knowing where you sent you application to dzasta56.
Reins, where did you send your application to? Was it the CVASC or elsewhere? Just trying to work out why there should be discrepancies in the handling of visa applications, particularly in the same country.
Apr 10, 2012 11:37 PM
13It is surprising how different rules apply depending on where you apply for a visa I obtained my visa in Phnom Penh two months ago via a travel agent, all I did was hand the agent my passport, passport photograph and $35 3 days later bingo a 30 day tourist visa. No form filling, no flight bookings, no travel details.
Apr 11, 2012 2:05 AM
14I hope this isn't true, i have booked a flight to chengdu and 1 night accom. In the past this has been enough to get visa in Melbourne.(2 previous Trips to Mainland China) Basically made up accommodation and showed first night only.
I have a relative living there who might be able to write a letter saying I am staying with him for the whole 3 weeks.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$57.94 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$98.65 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$57.91 per night