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China Visa Query - can anyone help?!

Travel Forums Asia China Visa Query - can anyone help?!

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1. Posted by lulatravels (Budding Member, 5 posts) 21 Jan '13 15:30

Hi! I'm travelling to China in February. I want to explore the country and would like to take my time doing this. Also want to travel to some other Asian countries whilst there, my return flight (from China) is booked for December. I am therefore applying for a one-year multiple entry visa. My question is - for the application, do I need to have a booked ticket to show I am leaving the country within three months of entry?
Also, does Hong Kong count as leaving China?
Hope someone can help!
Thanks very much!

2. Posted by Andyf (Respected Member, 299 posts) 21 Jan '13 15:52

A couple of links:
http://www.realrussia.co.uk/visas/chinese/
http://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/China#Get_in

They both say a one-way ticket is fine.

And yes to go back into China from HK you need double or multi-entry visa.

However the big problem I can see is that neither of those sites talk about a one-year visa being available, they say most travellers are limited to 30 days. Or have you some plan for this like getting a work permit (which seems to require an employer to get it for you) and do monthly visa runs out to HK or Busan?

3. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru, 810 posts) 21 Jan '13 17:15

I agree with Andyf. I definitely could be wrong, but I've never heard of travelers getting a one-year visa unless its a student or working visa. An exception is if you are a resident (even temporary) of Hong Kong. But even then, you have to first get a one-month visa, then a 6-month visa, and then work your way up to one-year after you have permanent residency in HK. They were nice enough to give me 4 back-to-back six-month visas.
As mentioned, as soon as you enter HK, your visit to China ends.

4. Posted by aboo10 (Respected Member, 118 posts) 22 Jan '13 01:27

I believe you can also get a 60 day visa now, even on multiple entry.

I think if you can supply a loose itinerary, they are reasonably flexible with unbooked flights.

But I'd recommend making sure that you stay on top of official entry and exit dates so you don't inadvertently overstay at anytime.

5. Posted by nickl (Budding Member, 21 posts) 22 Jan '13 15:28

Hi Lulatravel,

Hong Kong does indeed count as leaving China.

As for apply for a longer visa, you can grab a 180 day China visa from Chungking Mansion in Hong Kong for about $150

I travelled to China on a 30 day Visa (arriving Shanghai departing Hong Kong) in August

If I was visiting again I would definitely travel in the opposite direct and buy my visa there...

just a thought...

Cheers,

Nick

6. Posted by lulatravels (Budding Member, 5 posts) 24 Jan '13 06:10

Guys thank you SO much for your posts - all helpful. You're right - most sites don't mention the multiple entry.

I found this: "Tourist Visa applied for outside China, can be for a maximum of 12 months with multiple entries with the final entry date stated on it. In fact, a multiple entry visa with a maximum stay of 2 months per visit allows you as many entries as you like until the final entry date is reached, then you are allowed 2 months as your final period. So in the above situation you can get up to 14 months."
On this website: http://www.travelchinaguide.com/embassy/visa/entry.htm

I'm actually going to check out a few places for work (teaching English), so maybe I should just apply for the double entry. Probably wont need the year-long one.

Thanks again for your help!

Lula

7. Posted by Andyf (Respected Member, 299 posts) 24 Jan '13 15:41

Wow there's a lot of conflicting information out there...

This one says "There are no multi entry visas for tourists."
http://www.chinesevisadirect.co.uk/tourist.htm

This one says "US citizens may apply for a Single Entry (valid for 3-6 months), Double Entry (valid for 6 months), Multiple Entry (valid for 6 months or 12 months) "L" Visa as needed."
http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/hzqz/zgqz/t84246.htm

This one says "If multiple entries are desired, a detailed letter explaining precisely why the multiple entry visa is necessary."
http://china.visahq.co.uk/

If you're going for the double entry visa, doesn't your second entry have to be within a period? (Sites saying variously one month, two months, or 180 days!) Think you're talking about entering at the end of your year, is that a problem?

8. Posted by rogerbinny (Budding Member, 10 posts) 25 Jan '13 02:19

is it very difficult to get visa from china right?

9. Posted by lulatravels (Budding Member, 5 posts) 25 Jan '13 02:42

Thanks Andyf - yes the information is so conflicting. And yes, the problem is that my flight leaves near the end of the year. Going to embassy next week will let you know how it goes!

10. Posted by Hien (Moderator, 3906 posts) 25 Jan '13 09:23

There's definitely a multiple entry tourist visa (L), according to the official site of the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre:
http://www.visaforchina.org/LON_EN/visainstruction/250020.shtml
Fees shown are for the UK. Change the country (click Global View on the top right) to get the fees charged by the Chinese Embassy in your country.