Some visa advice needed, please
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Mar 31, 2013 4:15 AM Last Post By: 1rhett
Mar 29, 2013 10:09 PM
Some visa advice needed, pleaseSome visa advice needed, please. I am an Australian citizen booked to fly at the end of May from Melbourne to Munich return with a Beijing stopover in both directions. The first stopover is covered by the new 72 hour visa-free policy. The second stopover, 5 weeks later, is for 5 days. The CVASC advises applying for a visa 1 month before entry to enable obtaining the visa before travel. This of course is just at the time my trip will commence. I do not want to have to apply for a Chinese visa whilst I am in Germany.
What sort of visa should I apply for, and when should I apply?
Mar 30, 2013 4:37 AM
Mar 30, 2013 11:08 AM
2If you don't have addtional trips to or through China planned in the next year, I wouldn't bother with the longer term multiple entry. Chances are, unless you have other prior Chinese visas in your passport, you wouldn't get it anyway. That's often the case in Oz.
At a minimum, you can get the single-entry tourist visa, which you will use on the second entry whose length requires a visa. The first may be done on the 72-hour transit without visa scheme. Or, you can get a double-entry visa and just use it both ways. You'll have to weigh the cost vs hassle factor of single vs double.
Never mind what the CVASC says, apply for this visa well before you leave for Europe. It is exponentially more difficult (or impossible) for a nonresident foreigner to get a Chinese visa in Germany now. Make sure you do it with plenty of time for return of your passport with visa. I'd say apply near beginning of May, right after the conclusion of the Chinese May Day holiday (nothing will be processed during that time and you don't want your passport sitting around in an office inbasket). You may want to notate for the CVASC that you must have your passport for travel to other countries later in May. The Embassy itself (which actually processes the visas, not the CVASC) will just process as they receive them.
Mar 30, 2013 11:11 AM
Mar 30, 2013 12:07 PM
4If you get a double-entry visa, you won't have to worry that an accident or some other problem will delay you beyond 72 hours in Beijing and turn you into an immigration pumpkin. It's a small but not negligible risk.
Also a risk that the immigration official will see the visa when you make your first entry and stamp it "used" before you catch onto what's just happened. Be alert! (And I hope someone here can verify that you can enter on a visa-less transit without using the valid visa already in your passport.)
Mar 30, 2013 6:06 PM
Mar 30, 2013 10:44 PM
6I can verify that it is possible to hold a valid Chinese visa for a single or double entry, and pass through on transit the first time without activating the visa, but you need to tell the Immigration officer that you are only transiting now (showing your onward itinerary to prove it conforms to TWOV) and will return to China to enter on the visa later. Officers see this quite a bit and are fine with it, but they don't read minds so you need to anticipate their quizzical look. But a double-entry visa, if not much more cost or hassle than a single-entry, would certainly work. With this animal, you'd just use the regular visa queues for each pass through, and not bother with the TWOV queue.
Mar 31, 2013 4:15 AM
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