HJDS Travel Group

The Easy Way to get a Visa for China

by on Jan.21, 2013, under China

  • Sumo

China is a must see country and I have become aware that a few travellers have found it difficult to obtain a visa, so I’m stepping in to tell you an easy way to get it – get yourself to Hong Kong. I will be heading to China again very soon and have recently had no problems getting my Chinese visas in Hong Kong. It borders China for a start!

In terms of defining a country, as far as I’m concerned Hong Kong is one. It has it’s own currency, flag, visa regulations and national football team. It was also British for a while, and that ended back in 1997. These days, lots of nationalities can get to Hong Kong without a Visa. You will get a stamp on arrival at the airport. If you arrive on a UK passport you can stay for 180 days no problem! A lot of nationalities also get a 90 day entry stamp – check with your embassy.

Hong Kong borders China, and there are about 5-6 different border entry points. I have passed through 4 of them in the last 12 months. But before you get there you will need a valid China Visa, unless you are Chinese or a nationality that doesn’t require one (possibly Cuba or other ‘Communist’ countries – check with your embassy).

Seriously in Hong Kong there are lots of places to get a Chinese Visa. This has to be the easiest and best place to get a China visa in the world. You’re next door to the beast for a start! I did once get a Chinese visa in London (2007) but these days as a nomad, Hong Kong is the best place to do it!

In Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong there are countless guys on the streets who can all sort you out with a visa but while they may be legitimate, be careful. My advice is head to an agency and sort it out – there are loads of agencies and they will take you through the process.

These days, I get double or multiple entry visas for China. But my first ever China Visa was a single entry, so do that for starters unless you are planning two trips. So where should I get the Visa done? Well as I mentioned there are countless agencies that do them in Hong Kong (and although it might be cheaper to go to the Embassy – DON’T). Use an agency. You’ll get your Visa easily, no problem, on time and can collect even after normal closing hours. They will even help you fill in the form and if you don’t have the things you need they will tell you what to do. These agencies often open all day Saturday, weekday nights and some even a half or part day Sunday. Yes, I know agencies charge a bit more and I’m a budget traveller but I also believe that “time is money” and these agencies are fast and helpful so they save you time. An agency I have used recently is China Travel Service (Hong Kong).

There’s a host of these China Travel Services branches everywhere so you can’t miss them!

The application for a China Visa is very straight forward and the process is a fast one in Hong Kong

I’ll shorten it for you here to make it easy, these are the things you need:

1. A passport, valid for at least another 6 months and with space for 2 pages in it

2. A recent passport photo

3. A completed Application Form, the key points are:

– entry point to China – put Shenzhen as then they know you are crossing a land border HK to China. 1000s of tourists do this route every day.

– They will ask for for expected date of travel – just make this up if you don’t know when you are heading – you will have three months (I think) from the date printed on the visa to enter. No big deal this question.

– There is a section for hotel/where you are staying. I normally just write a hotel name in the city I’m visiting on that trip, or write – staying with friends. On none of my 4 recent trips have I actually stayed in the place I wrote on the form. They never check. If they do then you will need to book a hostel or hotel online and print it to show them (I’ve never heard of this actually happening though).

– Have you got medical insurance? Always write no, believe me!

– what type of visa are you getting – most likely a single entry but if you want more just take your pick! you won’t always guarantee to get your visa mind you.

4. Payment (this varies depending on nationality – a single entry can be between 350 – 500 Hong Kong Dollars (less than 40 or $50 US).

5. Hand the application in yourself.

You also have the option of collecting it in a rush in ONE working day (for an extra cost), 2-3 working days (extra cost) or just what I do – regular 4 – 7 working days (the normal price).

SO there you have it folks! It’s easy to get a China Visa in Hong Kong. What are you waiting for? Get out there and see it!! China is an amazing country and to be honest it’s one you should never neglect. I’ve been 6 times and counting! Here’s 3 top photo highlights so far to get you in the mood to do China!!

A separate post will detail the border itself – not too tricky

Have a great time doing China and enjoying a lifestyle of travel!

Jonny Blair

To read other articles like How to get a Chinese Visa in Hong Kong head to Jonny Blair’s insightful site a lifestyle of travel for more travel advice and stories.. Unique version for reprint here: The Easy Way to get a Visa for China.

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