Thursday, April 21, 2011

Do-It-Your Own Tourist Visa Application for Beijing

You can apply for a Tourist/Family Visit Visa to Beijing without going through a travel agency!  We saved some money that we just added to our travel fund plus the indescribable feeling that we got it through our own efforts.

Unlike in our tourist visa application in South Korea where we downloaded the form and have it ready for submission when we arrived in the embassy, for Beijing, you have to get it from the embassy itself. So be sure to be early so you can have enough time to fill-out the form and have more time to review. (Update: My travel buddy, Anna, shared in her blog the PDF copy of the application form. Get it from here!)

When to apply:

At least a month before the scheduled flight, apply for a tourist visa.  For us, we applied for Tourist/Family Visit Visa (L) on March 22, 2011 for our April 14, 2011 flight. So prior to that, make sure that all the necessary and required documents are already available.

What are the requirements:

For first time applicants, be ready with the following:
1. Passport with blank pages and at least 6 months validity left before expiration. Photocopy of the page with your photo and passport number (in front) and the emergency contact information page (last page). Emergency contact info should be filled out.
2. Completely filled application form affixed with one passport-size or 2x2 colored photo, with white background, full-face front view, and no hat. Photo must be glued on the application form. Stapled photo and scanned photo will not be accepted.
3. Copy of round-trip ticket (if not coming from the Philippines, present an onward flight tickets)
4. Print copy of hotel reservation with your names noted as travelers or letter of invitation (from a friend or relative living in China)
5. NBI Clearance, original copy, valid for travel abroad (I renewed my NBI clearance in Park Square 1, Makati). Here is the list of Renewal and Application Centers in Metro Manila as posted by
6. Original bank certificate with RECEIPT or original passbook, updated within the month that you are applying (around Php60K-90K bank balance is already acceptable)
7. For employed persons, also provide the following:
             A) Certificate of Employment
             B) Photocopy of company ID,
             C) TIN ID or latest ITR
             D) SSS ID or E-1 or static information or contributions info (maybe a print-out from SSS Online.)

Note:Personal appearance is required for applicants ages 16-21 yrs old.

Where to Apply:

Apply for the tourist visa at the Consular Office of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China

Address: 2F/3F World Center 330 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave (known as Buendia), Makati City. World Center.

How to get there:
World Center  is located adjacent Mapua Institute and beside Planters' Bank.
Getting there can either from Taft Avenue or EDSA:
1. From LRT station (Taft Avenue), if you take the Makati Ave or Guadalupe bound jeepney, alight at the front of the World Center. But, if you'll take the Ayala-bound jeep, get off in RCBC Plaza and walk for about 5 mins  to World Center going to the direction of Makati Ave.

2. From MRT station (Buendia/EDSA), you may take jeep or FX going to LRT/Buendia and get off in the intersection/traffic light before Mapua Institute. (just tell the driver to get you off in Mapua). Cross to the other side of the street and walk for about 5 mins to your right going to World Center (towards the direction of RCBC Plaza/Makati Medical Center).

Important Notes:

·         Monday  to Friday  9:30 to 11:00 am – Acceptance of  visa application
·         Be very early when going to the Embassy. Queue would start as early as 6am.
·         Regular processing time is 4 working days. For express service, additional fees of 1,700 PHP/per for next-working-day releasing, or 1,100 PHP/per for third-working-day releasing will be charged.
·         Visa must be used within 3 months of the date of issue (this is indicated on the visa sticker), and is good for 30 days from date you enter China.
·         Visa Fee 1,400 PHP to be paid when you claim your passport with visa sticker.

Additional Tip!

   Make sure that you have the complete documents. If there's any lacking documents, you will be rejected right away or asked to re-submit (but will require another queue #).  If approved, you will be issued with a pink slip with a date as to when you can claim your visa with processing time of four days. So after four days, we claimed our visa and paid Php 1,400.00 processing fee. As easy as that!

Note: Credits to Anna for sharing some info.

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