Has anyone on here recently applied for a visa to China?
What was your experience? I have heard that recently they have got rediculously strict where a standard E-Ticket which is the norm now a days is not good enough as proof of flight in to the country and a pre-arranged tour through China, central Asia and Russia is not good enough to prove you plan on leaving. I also heard that you need to have accommodation vouchers as a letter from a tour company is not good enough proof to get a visa anymore.
Is this the experience anyone reading this has had who has applied in the last 3 months, or was it fairly painless like it was when I applied a couple of years ago?
I am interested to hear any responses to this too as I will be applying for my visa in the next couple of months. I have an e- ticket, so if this isn't enough I'm not sure how I am supposed to prove my flight details!?
Not able to help much. But when I went from Nepal to China Through Tibet last month overland, I had no problems. Other than the riots.
I had the same permit throughout China, and no official batted an eye until I left through Shangahi, and the official noted I was the only name on a group visa. But he just laughed.
The other's I met in China coming and going through air and never mentioned any problems. I think the issue some people have with immigration is an e-ticket going in, and no e-ticket going out. This causes problems (and not just in China) Immigration get confused when you say you are flying in, but leaving overland, as really its not so provable. An e-ticket has a reference with one specific airline, while a ... Russia tour lets say, means little to the immigration people as its Russia and not China, and probably through a tour agency of which there could be countless. So in their little book of rules, they are told e-tickets only. It is similar for flight into Thailand, you need a return these days. Saying you are going overland will not do. So buying a cheap e-ticket to another country is the answer. The same might be the case for the China problem you are having.
The China embassy might be of help, if there's one close enough to you. Showing up with all documents etc and speaking with the "head of dept" could work (i did this for my Iranian visa, and it worked). If it's not near you then they can be painful on the phone, and of little use. But at least they might give you the details you need, or even online.
I have only ever heard of accommodation vouchers for Russia, never needed for China, though they do ask where you are going to stay. I would have an address, name, and telephone number ready. But Chinese hotels/hostels are actually pretty good, and should you need anything I would imagine they would send it to you, via email.
All the best
I am going to China on the 29th for a study abroad programme and have just given my travel agent my visa application. Over the past couple weeks they have changed a few things (because of the Olympics I think) and it is probably easiest to go through an agent. For US citizens: You will need to submit a bank statement with your application (weird I know, but I just blackened out my account numbers for security) as well as proof of ticket. It seems to be a pain in the ass but my Chinese boyfriend (who is American now) tells me that China almost never denies visas for US citizens...they just want to get the money from the application and require many of the same things that the USA govt. requires for their citizens to come here. Good luck