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China Visa / Visas Master Thread (all you need to know)

Old Jun 4, 2013, 3:02 pm
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Visa Information for the People's Republic of China (PRC, Mainland China)

Important: China's visa terms and conditions changed effective 12 Nov 2014 as far as duration, and 1 July 2013 for requirements and procedures. Do not rely on information posted prior to that date.

Note new FT thread regarding up to ten year visa duration: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/china...ov-2014-a.html

The PRC allows certain foreigners to transit China without a visa if they will be exiting the country within 24, 72 or 144 hours provided various other conditions are met. Please see the separate China 24, 72, and 144 hour Transit Without Visa ("TWOV") rules master thread and Wikipost for detailed rules and discussion.

The best source of current visa and travel document requirements is IATA'S TIMATIC, as that is what the airlines rely upon to determine whether they will permit you to fly. Star Alliance provides a free, easy-to-use TIMATIC tool to help you identify your exact requirements based on nationality, residency and specific itinerary. The SkyTeam alliance website contains a link which also allows you free use of TIMATIC, including good printouts of the information.

Note that posts made prior to 1 July 2013 have been archived, but are still available for reference at China Visa / Visas Master Thread (ARCHIVED). The old FAQ: Visa-Free Transit / TWOV thread is also closed but available for reference.

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China Visa / Visas Master Thread (all you need to know)

Old May 27, 2023, 3:18 am
  #2161  
 
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Planning a trip to the mainland at the end of the year, and will need to apply for a visa. Question : last time I visited was 15 years ago on a L visa. Is it worth digging out that old expired passeport with the visa in it for future applications ? Only wrinkle is that there is also a Turkish visa (also tourisme, 1x) inside that expired passeport, which from what I read here, might cause a few wrinkles in the application process.
mlin32 is offline  
Old May 27, 2023, 6:10 am
  #2162  
 
Join Date: May 2018
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Normally they just need a copy of our previous visa, not the whole passport.
largedog is offline  
Old May 27, 2023, 6:20 am
  #2163  
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Originally Posted by largedog
Normally they just need a copy of our previous visa, not the whole passport.
Isn't the visa glued to a page in the passport? Unless you rip it off, it's best to hand the whole passport in.
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Old May 27, 2023, 8:56 am
  #2164  
 
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Yeah I gave them a photocopy of the old visa in the old passport but they wanted to keep the old passport
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Old May 28, 2023, 9:48 am
  #2165  
 
Join Date: May 2018
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Originally Posted by lsquare
Isn't the visa glued to a page in the passport? Unless you rip it off, it's best to hand the whole passport in.
Lol, I think you missed the words "a copy of". That's all they've wanted from me on a couple of occasions with new passports - not the original old passport and visa.
largedog is offline  
Old May 28, 2023, 9:42 pm
  #2166  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Originally Posted by mlin32
Planning a trip to the mainland at the end of the year, and will need to apply for a visa. Question : last time I visited was 15 years ago on a L visa. Is it worth digging out that old expired passeport with the visa in it for future applications ? Only wrinkle is that there is also a Turkish visa (also tourisme, 1x) inside that expired passeport, which from what I read here, might cause a few wrinkles in the application process.
One single visit for tourism is not going to raise any eyebrows. Only when you have a large number of stamps due to repeated visits will any alarm bells ring.
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Old Jun 6, 2023, 8:48 pm
  #2167  
 
Join Date: Mar 2023
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I have an upcoming appointment for a Q2 visa and wanted to see what others experience is and if i will run into issues:
  1. Because I had to complete & submit the application before I could book an appointment, and then it took me almost a week to actually get an appointment slot that was > 3 months out at the time, I won't be flying out on the original date I put in the visa application anymore (was too close to the appointment date).
  2. I'm now planning to fly there > 5 months later. The visa application site usually says to get it within 3 months of travel
  3. Because of the change in dates, the intended inbound / outbound flights that I put in the visa application have also completely changed (i.e. different flight #s / airlines / origin).

Will any of the 3 cause issues? Should I just book a refundable ticket for the original dates and not fly there?


How about the invitation letter? Should I update that with the new dates or keep original dates?
Elvasoshexai is offline  
Old Jun 7, 2023, 3:23 am
  #2168  
 
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I'm pretty sure you can complete a fresh application and submit that when you go to your appointment. You could also keep checking back to see if they release any earlier slots.
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Old Jun 7, 2023, 7:33 am
  #2169  
 
Join Date: Mar 2023
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Originally Posted by flyingpbandj
Thanks again for the recommendation. I went to my appointment today and got a pick-up slip that confirms the 10 year visa (well, actually 8 year somehow? I don't know if the embassy will actually give me until the end of my passport) and 120 days per entry.

EDIT: I do want to add before I forget. These were the docs that I had to bring with me to the appointment at the Vancouver Visa Centre for a Q2 visa:
  1. Appointment confirmation (you get a PDF when you create an appointment with a barcode at the top)
  2. Full Visa application, sign the first and last pages (also don't forget your High School information... I missed that and had to write it down with a pen)
  3. Invitation letter using format from their website from my mother-in-law, and photocopy of both front and back side of her Chinese National ID
  4. Current Canadian passport + photocopy, additionally as I recently became Canadian, I also had to provide a copy of my Canadian Citizenship certificate.
  5. Old passport (my other nationality) with previous Chinese visa (was single-entry, already expired visa) and photocopy of old passport and visa (they kept my old physical passport as well)
  6. Driver's License + photocopy.
  7. A copy of my wife's passport + copy of marriage certificate. They also wanted to see proof of relationship between her and my mother-in-law, but after letting the agent know that she doesn't have a birth certificate, they said it was ok.
  8. A physical picture in the required size.
They asked me a bunch of documents they shouldn't be asking for (like proof of kinship for Q2 visas or Citizenship Certificate) but thankfully I had all of them with me so I just handed them over when requested. Will update once I pick up my passport.
Since I notice yours is in Canada also... Did you have to show proof of tickets for intended date of arrival / departure? and was your intended date of travel within 3 months?

It doesn't mention on the required documents checklist for Q2, but wanted to see if this mattered at all during your appointment. I had to change my dates and I have tickets for the flights, but it no longer matches the original arrival / departure dates and flight #s.


Originally Posted by largedog
I'm pretty sure you can complete a fresh application and submit that when you go to your appointment. You could also keep checking back to see if they release any earlier slots.
Has anyone applying in Canada (or in Toronto) confirmed to have done that, bring a new application with them to an appointment to amend the dates?

The earliest appointment is end of Aug.

Last edited by Elvasoshexai; Jun 7, 2023 at 7:39 am
Elvasoshexai is offline  
Old Jun 7, 2023, 10:29 am
  #2170  
 
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Assuming US is now using the same system as Canada: China Online Visa Application (COVA)

I think you can fill out as many applications as you want, and they only process the application when you make the appointment and actually go to the consulate. You can't reschedule the appointment (you have to cancel first) but you should be able to hold appointment slots with a second application, then quickly cancel and rebook it. [I haven't tried that]

By the way I just saw this
Visa Fee Increase_Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States of America

Based on the principle of reciprocity, the visa fee for U.S. citizen to China will increase from $140 to $185 (J1/J2 visa excepted). The increase will be effective on May 30, 2023.
gudugan is offline  
Old Jun 7, 2023, 4:40 pm
  #2171  
 
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Originally Posted by Elvasoshexai
Since I notice yours is in Canada also... Did you have to show proof of tickets for intended date of arrival / departure? and was your intended date of travel within 3 months?

It doesn't mention on the required documents checklist for Q2, but wanted to see if this mattered at all during your appointment. I had to change my dates and I have tickets for the flights, but it no longer matches the original arrival / departure dates and flight #s.



Has anyone applying in Canada (or in Toronto) confirmed to have done that, bring a new application with them to an appointment to amend the dates?

The earliest appointment is end of Aug.
Not for Q2. Only the invitation letter and other docs I indicated.
flyingpbandj is offline  
Old Jun 9, 2023, 10:39 am
  #2172  
 
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Originally Posted by gudugan
Assuming US is now using the same system as Canada: China Online Visa Application (COVA)

I think you can fill out as many applications as you want, and they only process the application when you make the appointment and actually go to the consulate. You can't reschedule the appointment (you have to cancel first) but you should be able to hold appointment slots with a second application, then quickly cancel and rebook it. [I haven't tried that]

By the way I just saw this
Visa Fee Increase_Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States of America
Which matches the US increase in visitor visa fees effective this month.
uanj is offline  
Old Jun 22, 2023, 9:29 pm
  #2173  
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Thoughts on this?

Compensation Arrangements for the Use-Suspension of 10-year Multi-Entry Visa due to the COVID-19_Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States of America

It appears to be a free 3-year visa when your 10-year expires if your visa was suspended by Covid.
Loren Pechtel is offline  
Old Jun 23, 2023, 8:33 am
  #2174  
 
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Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel
Thoughts on this?

Compensation Arrangements for the Use-Suspension of 10-year Multi-Entry Visa due to the COVID-19_Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States of America

It appears to be a free 3-year visa when your 10-year expires if your visa was suspended by Covid.
Great news. Is that only for USA? Or will they be doing the same for other nationalities?
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Old Jun 24, 2023, 6:08 am
  #2175  
 
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Originally Posted by IluvSQ
Great news. Is that only for USA? Or will they be doing the same for other nationalities?
The 10-year visa thing is not a common one. The U.S. allows Chinese passport holders to get a 10-year, so China reciprocates.

Apparently, it's just the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Argentina: https://www.travelchinaguide.com/emb...a/10-years.htm (unofficial link).
​​​​​
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