Requirements of applying for a Chinese visa from a third country

It often happens that travelers have to apply for a China visa in a country that is not their home country and is usually referred to as a third country.




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Can I request a Chinese visa in another country?

Although it is possible to request a Chinese visa outside your home country, you may encounter difficulties than requesting from your home country. Some consulates don't accept applications from temporary travelers to the country concerned. In some cases, a visa for that country is considered satisfactory, but this may not be helpful if you are in a country where you do not need a visa.

There is no clear answer to this concern, nor is it clear why this rule exists. The first choice is to try any Chinese consulate along the way in hopes of being granted a Chinese visa. Some people can send a passport and application to an agent or a friend in their home country to apply for a Chinese visa, but it will be in vain since the applicant must be physically present in the application country.

Requirements for Applying for a Chinese Visa in a Third Country:

1. Passport with six months remaining validity and blank visa pages.

2. A completed Chinese Visa Application Form.

3. A recent color photograph measuring 48mm x 33mm.

4. Proof of legal residency or stay in the third country can be your residence permit, study certificate, work permit, or visa of the country.

5. Other documents justifying your reason for planned travel, like round-trip tickets, travel itinerary, or a letter of invitation from a Chinese travel agency.

Apply for a Chinese Visa in Macau and Hong Kong:

Macau and Hong Kong are considered foreign territories in this regard and are considered "third regions."

It is possible to request a Chinese visa in Macau or Hong Kong, but potentially for a shorter stay length than requesting from your home country. If you have a long-term visa or an ID card there, it can make the application easier.

In general, you can only get a Chinese visa for single or double entry if you are a traveler to Hong Kong without an HK ID card. If you have already entered the mainland or are a Hong Kong work/student visa holder, you may be able to obtain a multiple-entry visa for the mainland. The same rule applies to Macau.

Since there is a possibility of your application being rejected, PassportsandVisas here recommends that you'd better organize a Chinese visa in your country of residence in advance to lessen the risk of visa rejection. If you have to request from Hong Kong or Macau, you have to go to the China Visa Application Center (CVAC) in Hong Kong or the Commissioner Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC in Macau.

Cost for Applying for a Chinese Visa from Hong Kong & Macau:

Chinese Visa  Fee    US         UK         Canada     New Zealand            
Apply in HK HKD 1,340 HKD 1,180 HKD 850 HKD 1,070
Apply in Macau MOP 1,130 MOP 1,190 MOP 630 MOP 850

For reference only:

Visa processing takes four business days. If you want to have it within 2-3 days, you need to apply for express service or rush service by paying extra charges.

About This Author

Philip Diack is Founder and Managing Director of Passports and, a national passport and travel visa service with offices in Atlanta, Miami, Washington, DC, NYC, Denver and San Francisco.

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