My passport came in the mail today, so I'm eligible to start buying plane tickets, and I want to go in June of 2012 to China. I am looking at flights and see some cheap ones available. Should I go ahead and buy without having a Visa? Is it difficult to acquire the visa? I just want to know is it safe to buy a plane ticket without having a visa and when the time comes will I be guaranteed a visa into china?
To my knowledge you get the visa 3 months prior and its good for 30 days once you land in china. would seats still be readily available at a good price come that time?
Hi Hoozah again,
It's difficult to predict for anybody what the visa situation will be like in the future as it may change. Usually, it gets a little more difficult (but not impossible) when there is any big event coming up.
However, I recently obtained mine in Europe and it was almost surprisingly straight forward.
Just out of curiosity - have you managed to find a route you'd like to travel?
I should check this one out thoroughly via the Chinese consulate.
When I bought our Chinese visa in Vietnam it was a single entry for 30 day and from date of issue, not sure if you can by so far in advance or if you can get a window of use.
Certainly don't book anything without knowing about this because you will not get in without one and don't overstay.
I love China have been twice and will go again, the people are very helpful and friendly.
It's simple... If you hail from the 1st world, it should not be an issue, even if China is hosting the Miss Universe and the Miss World in the same year.
If you are American, you'll be paying more than the rest of humanity. But it's not that expensive, considering the strenght of the dollar compared to other currency.
There are many kinds of Visa... If it's tourist, then it is the L visa, which should be convenient. It varies in duration, depending on your country or what you applied for. Some Malaysians can even get 2 year tourist visa, but they have to make exits every 2 months or something. So if Malaysians and some European have that privilege, no one from the west should worry about tourist visa application.
When I got my China visa some years ago, they asked where I was going and when, so you need an itinerary. However there is no pressure to stick to it as no one checks up on you other than entry and exit to China. So make something up.
Pick up a Lonely Planet guide to China and decide where you want to go and what you want to see.
Distances are such that air travel is often the best way of getting around, and sometimes costs little more than a train which crawls at a snail's pace.
When there, look out for China Travel Service offices. They are very helpful tourist offices and usually speak English. They can also find you accommodation if necessary.
some good responses. i want to see all of china, but don't want to rush what seems to be such a beautiful country, so i think i'll stick to beijing and it's close surroundings my first trip kichikacha. if I am planning to leave say June 2 (I believe it's a saturday) when should i shop for my ticket and visa? I'd only need a single entry visa, and am I better off going directly to the embessay? I believe there's one in edmonton (4 hour drive away) or just mailing in for one?
and I already bought a DK china travel guide and a LP china guide, and I think I might buy a guide strictly for Beijing.
[ Edit: Edited on 26-Oct-2011, at 20:57 by hoozah ]
Although usually issuing visas without any problems, no embassy would guarantee that you will get a visa. That is why every embassy would recommend you not to get the flights until you get your visa.
Chinese single entry visa is usually valid for 3 months from the date of issue and allows you to stay in the country for 30 days.
The double entry one is valid for 6 months from the date of issue and allows you to stay in the country for 30 days as well.
The embassy would not accept your documents earlier than 2 months before your trip.
As for the trip to the embassy, you need to check on their website. Some of them accept postal applications, so don't. Usually there is also an option of getting a travel agent/ visa agent get the visa for you. You may want to have a look into that if you can't apply by post.
Is it possible to get a double entry visa for a china first timer?