Definitely getting the Chinese visa, even for tourism, isn’t a simple task, requiring more documents than it’s normal for most of the South East Asia countries.
China doesn’t have the visa upon arrival.
The tourist visa, type “L”, is 30 days and is valid for three months from the date of issue. Staying longer than the thirty days entitles you to a heavy fine and a formal apology request based on a good justification (according to information collected on the net the fine is 500 yuan), running the risk of being banned from entry in China forever.
My first attempt to obtain the visa was at the Chinese embassy in Bangkok, which is a time-consuming and demanding task. It’s advisable to arrive early, as visa services only work in the morning, and yet there is no shortage of a wait of more than four hours, in a crowded room, which can be extended in the afternoon.
Even though I had arrived a little more than half an hour after the opening of the doors, I came upon a veritable throng which filled the vast hall with more than two hundred people.
According to information gathered from other tourists who are more accustomed to this process, it is practically impossible to apply for an entry visa in China if there is no copy of a return plane ticket, which I did not have because my objective was to enter China along the border with Laos. It is also necessary to provide proof of accommodation reservations during your stay in China.
I gave up! Following some advice, I chose to apply for a visa elsewhere, which in Thailand may be in Chiang Mai, or in Vientiane, capital of Laos, which in my case was more favorable.
I choose Laos because it was on the way to China…. the process in Vientiane proved to be simple and easy, taking no longer than 10 minutes, including the time for completing the application form, for a total of four pages.
Documents required for visa application to China:
- Passport valid for 6 months;
- Visa application form: it’s available in the embassy, duly filled in, which in addition to identification data, company name and contact details of the employer (may be fake data because this information is not verified by consular services) , should also include the planned itinerary and the number of days and should be excluded allusions to a visit to Tibet ;
- Photograph with light background;
- Copy of passport
- Copy of flight ticket: it is enough to one-way ticket; if you choose to enter China by crossing land border, the best is to forge a ticket based on any another, changing dates and names using Photoshop or other image editing software;
- Copy of bank statement proving financial means to bear the expenses of the stay;
- Proof of booking of accommodation: just send a few emails to various hotels or hostels to book room for the dates outlined in the application form for a visa; is then re-contact these entities to cancel the reservation; if they not accept reservations without payment of a percentage (the case of many lodges associated with Hostelworld), just take the email reply and edit the text confirming the booking.
Single Entry $ 30
Double Entry $ 45
Multiple Entry valid for 6 months $ 60
Multiple Entry valid for 12 months $ 90
Multiple Entry valid for 24 months $ 90
This amount can be paid in dollars or in local currency. In Bangkok payment is made in the embassy services, but in Vientiane is necessary to go to the Bank of China to make the payment, which adds a payment of 1,000 kip for bank charges.
For citizens with American passports the visa fee is $130.
- Visa is ready in 4 days.
Embaixada Chinesa em Vientiane, Laos (Chinese embassy in Vientiane, Laos)
Email: [email protected]
Ambassador: Mr. Bu Jianguo
Address: Wat Nak Road, Sisattanak, Vientiane, Lao P.D.R (P.O.Box 898)
Office Hours: 8:00-11:30, 14:00-17:00 Monday-Friday
Email: [email protected]
Office Hours: 9:00-11:30 Monday-Friday
Embaixada Chinesa em Bangkok, Tailândia (Chinese embassy in Bangkok Thailand)
Email: c[email protected]
Ambassador: Mr. Guan Mu
Address: 57, Ratchadapisek Road, Bangkok, 10310, Thailand
Tel: +66-2-2450088, 2457043, 2457044 (direct)
Office Hours: 09:00-11:30, Monday-Friday
Tel: +66-2-2457033, 2457036 (24 hour Auto Answer), 2478970 (14:00-17:00 Working Day)