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Visas for China

Visas for China

Postby judgegeoff » 05 Nov 2017 14:45

We are spending 3 nights in Beijing and one night in Shanghai next year prior to a cruise to Japan and then back to Shanghai for the flight home, although we are currently trying to arrange a few extra days in Shanghai. To visit China we will need double entry visas as we will be entering at Beijing, leaving at Shanghai (for the cruise) and then re-entering at Shanghai (after the cruise). These visas are not cheap and there are several companies that will apply on our behalf, without us travelling to the Chinese Embassy in London, for around £175 each (Eek!), considerably more than applying in person at the Embassy.

At first we thought that we would make the submissions ourselves but, when we factor in car parking fees, return rail tickets to London, taxis and meals etc., I am not sure if we will save much money. Has anybody any experience of obtaining Chinese visas, either by themselves or through a company? I would be very grateful of any other forum member's experiences.
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Visas for China

Postby khkate » 05 Nov 2017 16:14

China Visa Bureau

Never travelled there myself - but found this link, which might be useful for you. It seems to specialise in visa for China, for people going on cruises - and thus might be of some use to you.
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Visas for China

Postby judgegeoff » 05 Nov 2017 16:32

Many thanks Lesley, there are a few organisations that can obtain visas for us, but it is good to know that one specialises in visas for cruise passengers. We cannot apply yet as we need to supply details of flight numbers etc., but forewarned is forearmed, so many thanks. :) :thumbup:
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Visas for China

Postby Borneo » 05 Nov 2017 19:00

Visited China years ago with Saga. Saga delt with visas etc, but we weren't allowed off the ship until we had all had our passports checked individually, it took forever. Then another long que for currency.

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Visas for China

Postby judgegeoff » 05 Nov 2017 19:30

Borneo wrote:Visited China years ago with Saga. Saga delt with visas etc, but we weren't allowed off the ship until we had all had our passports checked individually, it took forever. Then another long que for currency.

Julia


Oh dear, I am not good at queueing. :( But thanks for the information Julia. Could you not purchase the Chinese currency in the UK?
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Visas for China

Postby Borneo » 05 Nov 2017 20:04

judgegeoff wrote:
Borneo wrote:Visited China years ago with Saga. Saga delt with visas etc, but we weren't allowed off the ship until we had all had our passports checked individually, it took forever. Then another long que for currency.

Julia


Oh dear, I am not good at queueing. :( But thanks for the information Julia. Could you not purchase the Chinese currency in the UK?


I can't remember. It was our first cruise so not very savvy, so not sure if you can get it here.
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Re: Visas for China

Postby khkate » 06 Nov 2017 10:11

Looks like you can get Chinese yuan from the Post Office, so probably can get it from other foreign exchange bureaux too. Reading online, there may be issues with changing money in smaller places, and in some types of banks too.
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Visas for China

Postby judgegeoff » 02 Jul 2018 20:15

I have just found out that, since April of this year, applicants for a visa to visit China have to attend their Embassy in London or one of their Consulate Generals in Manchester or Edinburgh in order to provide fingerprints. Additionally, application forms have to be filled in electronically and not by hand. We will therefore probably apply in person rather than apply via a Visa Agent as we will have to make at least one visit to supply the fingerprints. Nothing seems to come easy these days!!! :x :x :x
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Re: Visas for China

Postby tomvet » 02 Jul 2018 22:49

I filled out the form , enclosed the fee, a SAE and the passport and all returned in a week.
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Visas for China

Postby judgegeoff » 19 Jul 2018 11:51

Well, as usual, things are never as simple as they should be. When I enquired about going to London to supply our fingerprints for the Chinese Visas I found out that, although they were supposed to introduce fingerprinting in April 2018, it has not yet commenced. They advised me that they no longer accept postal applications and, faced with two trips to central London (not my favourite place) we decided to use an agent, 'Star Visas'. Had we done it ourselves it would have involved car parking charges in Ashford, train trips to London, tube travel around London, meals etc (x2) and we believe that this would have cost more than using the agents.

We completed the application forms and sent them off last Thursday, together with our passports, to 'Star Visas'. This morning our passports have been returned to us, complete with Chinese Visas allowing multiple entries for a period of two years. We were very pleased with the service and can now look forward to our holiday, knowing all the paperwork has been completed. :D


One thing we found that was of note - Tourist Visa costs for UK and USA citizens are considerably more than other Countries!
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