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How To Get A China Tourist Visa

Wherever you are travelling to, always check the visa requirements in advance.  You should also factor in visa cost to your travel budget as these things don’t come cheap!

Applying for a China Tourist Visa (L)

New rules have recently come into effect making slightly more tedious to obtain a China visa.

When should I apply?

Allow yourself plenty of time to organise your visa. Application forms can be lengthy, require specific photos and also supporting documentation e.g. birth certificate.

Ideally apply one month in advance of your trip.  Too far in advance and the visa will become invalid as a single entry is typically valid 3 months from the application date.

How should I apply?

Like many countries, you have the option in Hong Kong to organise your China Visa directly at the embassy or pay an addition fee to do this through a Travel Agency e.g. China Travel Service.  If you go direct to the embassy, remember to check opening times.  The China Embassy in HK is open 09:00 – 12:00 and 14:00 – 17:00.

You can find the new form here.  The embassy will no longer accept a handwritten version so you will need to type in the fields and print it out.

What supporting items do I need?

You can tell the one on right has modelling experience!

You can tell the one on right has modelling experience!

  • A passport photo (I advise to go to a photo printing shop and have them take a professional one)
  • If you have hold a China visa in old passport, you will need to bring this
  • Flight confirmation e.g. e-ticket
  • Hotel confirmation e.g. hotel voucher, Expedia printout
  • For children born in HK and first time China visa applicants, you will need a copy of their birth certificate
  • HK ID cards for both parents
  • If any discrepancy in maiden name, bring your marriage certificate

How long will it take?

You can pay extra for a rush service e.g. 1 to 2 days.  Typically it will take 4 working days

How much does it cost?

China Travel Service charges HKD $610 per single entry visa.  If you go to your local Chinese Embassy it should be far cheaper (I’ll do that next time.. I was just being lazy as CTS is closer to my house!)


For more information on getting your China visa, check out the comprehensive China Travel Guide


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