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Is an in-person visit to a consulate required for a China?

Is an in-person visit to a consulate required for a China?

Old May 17, 18, 10:23 pm
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Question Is an in-person visit to a consulate required for a China?

Hi all:

I am booked for PEK on Tuesday (22nd), and I only just found out tonight that I need to go to a consulate with information in-hand to get the visa - at least, that's how I understand it. I didn't know the visa process was so intense, and neither did the company which is sending me there. Actually, I didn't realize a visa was required at all for such quick travel until this week.

I have the documents I need to acquire a visa, but I am wondering: is there another way to go about this than to go to a consulate? Is there any agency that handles this kind of thing? I live in New Brunswick, which is not one of the five consulate locations in Canada (surprise!), and I'd love to not have to take a special flight to YYZ a day sooner to take care of it. But... it'd at least be an option. I'm cramming work in before heading out, so it'd suck to lose an entire day, but worse things can happen.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks in advance for any help!

Rob
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Old May 17, 18, 10:30 pm
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Exclamation

As this is a China visa question rather than an Air Canada question this this thread has been moved from the Air Canada forum to the China forum for further discussion.

tcook052
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Old May 17, 18, 10:40 pm
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In person visit is not required and there are agencies that can get the visa for you, but you're really pushing it since the 22nd is next Tuesday. I got my first Chinese visa through an agency that sent my passport to the local consulate, however, I had a month to get it. You on the other hand have only Friday and Monday to get your visa. I wouldn't trust an agency to get that quick a turnaround time, and I'd personally just go in person and get the rush service. The SF consulate can do it in 1 day (which I think means same day if you go early enough in the morning) for an additional fee.
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Old May 17, 18, 10:53 pm
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If OP is Canadian, he/she probably is required to apply for the visa through a Chinese consulate in Canada unless he/she has a USA green card.

Assuming OP has a passport from a country that qualifies for the 144 hour (IIRC currently the case for PEK), I think the only feasible solution would be to rewrite the plane tickets to go through a third country on the way back from China so that TWOV can be used for the itinerary. Assuming that the current ticket has a reasonable change fee, this is probably the cheapest solution too.

Check the big sticky TWOV thread here for details on the exact rules for TWOV.
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Old May 17, 18, 11:03 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
If OP is Canadian, he/she probably is required to apply for the visa through a Chinese consulate in Canada unless he/she has a USA green card.

Assuming OP has a passport from a country that qualifies for the 144 hour (IIRC currently the case for PEK), I think the only feasible solution would be to rewrite the plane tickets to go through a third country on the way back from China so that TWOV can be used for the itinerary. Assuming that the current ticket has a reasonable change fee, this is probably the cheapest solution too.

Check the big sticky TWOV thread here for details on the exact rules for TWOV.
Really depends on what the OP means by "quick" travel. If "quick" means a short trip, then sure. If "quick" means short notice, but the trip itself is long, then TWOV may not be an option.
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Old May 17, 18, 11:35 pm
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We'd need to know more about the OP's itinerary before suggesting the TWOV route. I agree though that getting a visa in Canada for a Tuesday departure would be nigh-impossible. There is also the possibility of arranging a visa on arrival, but I've never read of anyone who's done it. For all I know it's just a theoretical option, but one the OP can explore.
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Old May 18, 18, 12:18 am
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Originally Posted by STS-134 View Post
You on the other hand have only Friday and Monday to get your visa.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but isn't Monday a holiday in Canada? Won't the consulate and the visa agencies be closed? That leaves you with Friday as the only day to accomplish this task.
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Old May 18, 18, 12:31 am
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Originally Posted by STS-134 View Post
Really depends on what the OP means by "quick" travel. If "quick" means a short trip, then sure. If "quick" means short notice, but the trip itself is long, then TWOV may not be an option.
Good point. Perhaps a couple weekend visits to Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, etc. are required as part of this business trip to keep the entire itinerary TWOV compliant.
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Old May 18, 18, 12:35 am
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Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but isn't Monday a holiday in Canada? Won't the consulate and the visa agencies be closed? That leaves you with Friday as the only day to accomplish this task.
Yep, you'd be correct. Holiday Schedule 2018
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Old May 18, 18, 1:48 am
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Best bet will be transit without visa if quick means under 6 days. Book your flights Canada - PEK - Hong Kong or Tokyo or Seoul - Canada to qualify.
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Old May 18, 18, 4:02 am
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If the OP goes for the 144-hour Beijing TWOV he needs to know the restrictions: he can't travel beyond Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei; his flights can't make any other stops in China; and his flights have to comply with the transiting-between-two-different-"countries" rule. Just because he's flying into Beijing doesn't necessarily mean he's staying there.
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Old May 18, 18, 8:51 am
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If you are in Toronto, you do not go to the Consulate. You go to the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre.
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Old May 18, 18, 9:55 am
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The OP is in New Brunswick.
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Old May 18, 18, 10:51 am
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Add my vote for twov in this case. Sure this adds to the cost of the plane tickets, and unnecessary connections are a pita, but last minute visas can be expensive.
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Old May 18, 18, 11:15 am
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Hi all:

Apologies for leaving out vital information. I'll rapid-fire this so as to not write a novel:

The trip was booked under a month ago, and I'm set to be there for 4 nights; never leaving Beijing.

I've never heard of TWOV, as I've never needed a visa for any other destination before (I didn't realize how much Taiwan spoiled me, traveling there). Ditto for 144-hours; I'll read into it.

I thought there was a holiday on Monday, but Google gave me nothing last night. I thought I was home free on that front.

The company sending me is planning to handle all visa-related fees, but it feels like not even all the money in the world would get this done as quick as I need it to be. TWOV or "144-hours" sounds like my only option. Does it make a difference if the company sending me has offices there? San Diego-based, but has a Beijing office.

I appreciate the excellent advice you guys have provided here. It's amazing... I sometimes feel like I've finally got this travel thing nailed down, but then something major pops up and proves to me, "You know NOTHING!".
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