Applying for a China visa, at home (Calgary, Canada) or abroad (Vietnam)?
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Mar 22, 2013 9:03 PM Last Post By: Charles07
Nov 29, 2012 11:17 PM
Hi there, I know this question is one that is oft asked but I am wondering if anyone has experience getting a visa in Calgary or at least Vancouver, and if they can tell me what they've typically gotten. I am leaving in about 6 weeks to Kuala Lumpur where I will be embarking on a bicycle trip Westward across Asia. I don't expect to enter China until about 6 months from now and so am wondering if anyone can help me with my options.
First off: If I was to apply in Vietnam, I hear that people typically shell out the money and only receive the 1 month China visa. Since I expect to take much longer than that pedalling through the country, I don't want to be looking for towns to renew in every month, effectively paying for the visa three times over. Does anyone know if exceptions are to be made in Vietnam or if any near by countries typically offer longer visas?
Secondly: If I was to apply in Canada, I would be hoping for either the 1 year or even two year visa. Does anyone know how easily this can be granted? Does anyone have any experience getting it in Calgary? The disclaimer that the length is up to the discretion of the issuing authority always rattles me a little, especially when I'm gambling on the max allowable time. Is it worth the risk? Or am I better off with the shorter visas abroad?
Hopefully someone is willing to step up to the plate so to speak and offer my ignorant self some help here!
Nov 29, 2012 11:45 PM
1You should first ask at the consulates in Canada to find out how long you can get (tell staff that you will be visiting many places) and if entry can be up to 6 months after the visa is issued. Your home country may be able to give a longer visa than if you apply overseas. Best not to mention cycling and definitely don't put down Tibet on your application.
All of my Chinese visas in recent years have allowed only 3 months between issuance and entry; if that's the case in Canada, you'll have to get the visa in Asia. If Canada doesn't work out, then try posting on the Thorntree Vietnam (and other countries that you'll be crossing before China) to see what the latest experiences are. I've been getting my visas in Chiang Mai and Bangkok because that has been the most convenient.
Nov 30, 2012 3:13 AM
Nov 30, 2012 10:41 AM
3Thanks for the advice! I'm just reading through your crazyguyonabike blogs right now Bill (am just about through your 2005 one) and had forgotten that you'd applied through Chiang Mai. On top of that I wasn't entirely sure whether or not this information held up today but perhaps you can tell me otherwise. To phrase a more direct question, do you think I would be fine getting a visa in Chiang Mai/Bangkok and still have time to travel through Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam? Or would I need to alter my trip a bit. 3 months is what you've been getting in Thailand? Which city Chiang Mai or Bangkok? Will you be heading into China on your next trip?
Once again, really grateful for the advice and am looking forward to reading about your next bike trip.I find your blogs to be very engaging.
Nov 30, 2012 11:35 PM
4Your home country is probably the best for getting a longer-term visa. Have you asked? You should be able to get a Chinese visa in any of those Southeast Asian countries, but you might be restricted to a one-month visa and might have to show itinerary bookings; see Thorn Tree postings or ask you own question for countries that you wish to get a Chinese visa in. My last trip to China was in 2010, and a very good one of 4 months; I was lucky to have a sponsor for a business visa.
Next year I plan to ride from Central Asia to Europe. I will have to get the visas in Bangkok for Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Russia--all expensive; also, the Russian visa has much paperwork.
Feb 5, 2013 12:08 AM
Mar 22, 2013 9:03 PM
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