recent experience with 12-mo L-visa for US citizen in US
Replies: 15 - Last Post: Feb 26, 2013 3:10 AM Last Post By: letemspeak
Feb 23, 2013 2:37 PM
recent experience with 12-mo L-visa for US citizen in USHoping to get a focused and authoritative answer on this, as it seems there's a lot of sketchy info and conflicting claims out there.
Has anyone (either themselves or someone they know) been able to obtain a multi-entry L-visa for a US citizen within the US, for 12-months, through an agency?
MyChina and other reps have told me that it is no longer possible – actually one said its "unlikely" – to obtain a 12-month multi-entry visa for a US citizen applying within the US if they are a first-time visitor. Yet I've seen as many as 5 people mention as recently as this week that it is.
I'm sorry for asking this so persistently but I'm hoping to get the attention of someone who has actually done it recently and has solid info, as opposed to anyone who doesn't really like the subject.
Any updated info would be a miracle... thank you!
Feb 23, 2013 2:42 PM
Feb 23, 2013 3:31 PM
Feb 23, 2013 6:18 PM
3Nope, not that simple, because different places will give different answers, different agents have different levels of knowledge, and rules often change so quickly that the agencies themselves do not know them. One said "impossible," one said "unlikely," yet many regular Thorn Tree contributors here say "it's easy."
What I'm saying, to be clear, is that 1) I did call and ask, 2) the info is completely different than what people this branch are saying for months. I think it's fair to give those people a chance to either disprove the agency's claims, or acknowledge hey were wrong and stop giving out old info... in fact, that's one reason this forum exists: to zero in on outdated or inaccurate travel information and get to the truth (not the way it 'should' be).
Feb 23, 2013 7:40 PM
4Normally, If you are a US Citizen applying in the USA at a China Embassy, you can get a 30/60/90 Visa no issue. Also, it is fairly easy to get a 1 year Multi Entry/Exit 60/day or 90/day per stay Visa, for the same cost as a regular tourist Visa.
Also, depending where you live in the US, determines where you need to apply for the Visa as well. Why would you need a two year Visa is my question? I can get one no issue as my wife is from there, so I just have to show her residency/marriage license and they issue it here in Chicago no questions asked, 90 days per stay.
At 90 days, you can make a border run/flight to Hong Kong/Macua is easiest, or Taiwan, or a flight to Korea or Thailand. Vietnam you need a Visa...
You also can extend a Chinese Visa fairly easy in most major cities, a few weeks prior to the last date you need to exit on the permitted entry time.
Are you going for business or pleasure?
Feb 24, 2013 4:44 AM
Eww. What an attitude. People on this forum offer advice to others based on the info they have. And sometimes things do change.....without announcement.
And so now we are all waiting, with baited breath, for you to enlighten us as to the TRUTH. (And then to see if changes again in the next month......)
Feb 24, 2013 6:31 AM
6Maybe the poster is frustrated about all the info out there that is not consistent, and that is understandable, as the last 12 months, the rules, procedures, and processes at Chinese embassies worldwide has changed almost monthly, depending on your nationality and where you are applying, dues to a host of factors ranging from tit for tat disputes between the Chinese and US, British, Australian and EU etc differences both politically and historically, also the recent CCP congress gathering in Nov in Beijing, a crackdown on foreigners working illegally in China, and also the usual restrictions on Tibet/TAR permits and regional security flare ups within China's borders.
Many of the issues effecting a foreigner application have been just, and many are just now being enforced that were always part of the process, and some are just new rules issued with no notice for a reasons nobody knows. So even a Visa service can be behind the times on whats now accepted at a Embassy, compared to last 4 weeks ago.
A year ago it was easy to get Visa in Bangkok, then it became a major run around, same in Hong Kong, Hanoi Vietnam was off limits for years, you had to go to Saigon, then out of the blue, the Chinese embassy in Hanoi was processing foreigners applications without notice, You didnt need to have a proof of flight and hotels in early 2012, but as Nov approached for the CCP meeting, it got very stringent worldwide, as did proof on onward travel, no one way tickets inbound...
So, you never know what the rules are with the Chinese, and they vary all over the world, depending on many factors, from your Nationality to the mood of the rulers in Beijing, or the officer at the embassy...
Feb 24, 2013 8:19 AM
7Thanks Solo. Definitely pleasure (as they say). My issue is that, after a bit of research, it appears that the longer-term visas are not available – or if they are, nobody here knows how. Tried agencies like MyChinaVisa which fortunately don't depend on where you live, but they've told me that the Chinese gov is making it extremely difficult lately for first-time visitors. As you mentioned, no one-way travel – a bit ironic considering how many times that question comes up in CA! – and supposedly hotel bookings for every day of your stay. A LOI apparently makes these requirements unnecessary, at least as far as I understand. I think you're onto something with the CCP theory... obviously there are folks in the party who do not see the value of Western tourists don't particularly want too many of them coming.
In the end it's no big deal, I'll get the double entry and then do visa runs, but the reason why I was so sure that a 12-month was easily available was that folks on this board are convinced it is. A double-entry visa is better than a single 30-day one, and strangely enough they don't require any information on your second trip, just your first (I guess to indicate you're not a deadbeat).
What an attitude. People on this forum offer advice to others based on the info they have. And sometimes things do change.....without announcement.
First of all, there have been "announcements" apparently for the people who should be paying attention (including the commercial agencies who post here under their own name) and second of all, if everyone offered advice based on what they "have" without verifying this place would be a useless garbage heap. The Chinese Visa sticky isn't a place for people to post pipe dreams or info from 2009, it's a place for frequently updated facts. There's a difference between 1 person accidentally giving bad information, and 6 experts claiming something which is simply not true: it can have the effect of complicating your plans instead of simplifying them.
Despite your sarcasm, this isn't something that changed within the month – it's been this way since August 2012 as I assume anyone who works closely with the subject knows . If I were an "expert" on the subject and found out I'd been giving out bad info for a year, I'd want to get to the bottom of it, but that's just me. Thanks your opinion.
Feb 24, 2013 12:56 PM
Where are planning to apply, in the US or outside the US? I am happy to call the Chinese Consulate, or even stop by, and get the right answer for you, as they are just a few blocks from my home and are always rather helpful in a Midwestern way...
What I think you should aim for is a 1 year Multi entry/exit Visa with a 90 day stay each entry. I am happy to inquire about this type for you and see what they say. Going to Hong Kong for a new Visa is not cheap, airfares are more, and hostels/lodging is limited and rather crummy IMO. I flew from Shanghai to Shenzhen one time and took bus to border train to HK as a day trip, takes about 2 hours each way, or I flew to Macau for a night enjoyed some good food...
Figure about $250 or more to fly in/out of Hong Kong, under $200 for Shenzhen or Macau.
Use ELong or CTrip for airfares, and the low coast carrier Spring Airlines.
Feb 24, 2013 5:10 PM
9Well, my plan was to apply in the US through a service recommended on here (MyChinaVisa) since they can do it for all 50 states, and believe me, the whole reason why I'm asking is because I'd love that 12-monther... but what I'm hearing is that the government is "not approving them" anymore for "first time" travelers (like me). Whether or not that's the case, or if having a Letter of Invitation (as opposed to the itinerary), or saying the magic words will change that, I'm not sure, but what got me so set on the idea of getting one was seeing lots of folks on here claim it's easy: unless I'm missing some detail, it's not anymore, like it used to be last year. Whether applying in person (for me I think it's the Houston consulate... bahhhhh) would make a diff I'm not sure, or whether they'll change them next month... certainly makes you appreciate countries like Guate which greet you with a smile, or even Laos where you're done after a quick payment.
Anyway I'll just use it as an excuse to go to HK :D
Feb 24, 2013 9:36 PM
10I'm going to china for the first time and used a Chinese travel agency in Southern CA and got a 12 month multiple entry visa. My son was given only a 6 month visa since his passport will expire in a year. We are only going for 2 weeks so didn't need this length in visa but travel agency said it was same price so go for the maximum. I just got my visa this month.
Feb 24, 2013 9:38 PM
Feb 25, 2013 6:44 AM
Feb 25, 2013 7:09 AM
13Thank you Washlee!! This is exactly what I've been fishing for... I had a feeling that the other agency telling me that it was "unlikely" wasn't giving my the full scoop and that's why I've been persistently asking on here for real experiences.
Could you please mention the name of that Agency (or at least a hint) so I can give it a shot with them?
...and yes, as #12 said that is the same as an L-visa.
Feb 25, 2013 7:59 AM
14OK, thanks for the encouragement all... so I finally got a definitive answer from an agency this morn stating that it IS possible (despite what other agencies/people have stated), with detailed itinerary and entry-exit tickets, to get a 12-month multi entry still... keep in mind that two agencies told me it wasn't so obviously there is some confusion out there.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$169.26 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$21.84 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$10.15 per night