Travel

Chinese Visa Questions

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 27th, 2018 9:43 am
[OP]
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Chinese Visa Questions

I haven't been to the Mainland in 9 years. I'm planning to go either later this year or the middle of next year. I heard that there is now a 10 year multiple entry visa available for Canadians. How much is that and what are the details of this visa? Since I haven't booked airfare yet, is it still possible for me to get the visa now? The problem is that I work during the weekdays and unless I'm mistaken, the consulate office in Vancouver is only opened on the weekdays. I have the next couple of Mondays off and I just want to get it so that I don't have to find the time to get the visa later. Are they picky about photo sizes now? I think I read somewhere a couple of years ago that is the case. The last time I applied for the visa, I just used a regular passport size photo without any issues. I also can't find my old passport with a Chinese visa at the moment. I think I read somewhere that if I present an old visa, it'll help speed up the application process?
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Jr. Member
Aug 9, 2015
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Sylvan Lake, AB
From what I recall:

- There are regular(5-7 days), rush(2 business days), next day rush services.
- You must have a passport that will be valid for at least one year after you arrive in China to be eligible fo 10 year multiple entry. So say if you arrive March 1 and your passport expires in December, they will only issue a 6 month visa.
- Itenary is not required. You need to show hotel bookings if you staying at hotel. Or if you are staying with friends or family, you need a signed invitation letter from them and a photocopy of there chinese I.D cards, front and back.
- The Chinese visa photo requirement is not standard. Costco couldn't do it and Walmart took a while to cut them. The best way is to have the photos taken at the visa application center. It's about $15 for two.
- When you fill out the visa application. They will ask if you've had previous Chinese visa's. Fill out the previous visa information and bring the old passport with the Chinese visa with you. The application will definetly be processed quicker.
- If visa is for business you will need a photocopy of business license.
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Jan 27, 2006
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I just got one last year - here's the site with all of the confusing details -> https://www.visaforchina.org/YVR_EN/

Basically, they have one price for a visa and it doesn't matter how long it is (up to 10 years that is). They will date it to the expiry date of your current passport so if you have 9 years left on the passport, you get a 8.5 year visa.

An itinerary or a letter of invitation is required. So, unless you have been invited by someone in China, you need to book your ticket as well as hotels.

You can get a Chinese regulation photo done at BCAA or pay the extra and get it done at the application center.

Bring your last expired Canadian passport as well... they want to see where you have been before issuing you a visa.

Here's the list of documents required as listed on the website I linked to above -
1. Basic Documents

(1) Passport
Original passport with at least six months of remaining validity and with blank visa pages, a photocopy of the passport's data page and the photo page.

(2) Visa Application Form and Photo
One completed Visa Application Form with a recently-taken colour passport photo (bare-head, full face) against a light background (size: 48mm x 33mm) attached.

There are two ways to prepare your application form. You may complete an Online Application Form (where a Visa Centre provides such service), print it out and sign it; or, you can download the application form from our website and fill it out manually and sign it.

Please remember to bring the completed form to the Visa Centre to submit your application.

(3) Proof of legal status (applicable for those not applying for the visa in their country of citizenship)

If you are applying for a visa in a country that is not the country of your citizenship, you must provide the original and photocopy of your valid certificates of residence, employment or student status, or other valid certificates of legal stay provided by the relevant authorities of the country where the Visa Centre is located.

(4) Photocopy of previous Chinese passports or previous Chinese visas (applicable for those who were Chinese citizens and have obtained foreign citizenship).

If you are applying for a Chinese visa for the first time, you should provide the last Chinese passport held and a photocopy of its data page.

If you have obtained Chinese visas before and apply for a Chinese visa with a renewed foreign passport that does not contain any Chinese visa, you should present the photocopy of the previous passport's data page and the photo page if it is separate, as well as the previous Chinese visa page (If your name on the current passport differs from that on the previous one, you must provide an official document of name change).

(5)A Chinese child born in Canada: The child should apply for a Chinese visa at the Chinese Visa Center if the parents’ status at the time of the child’s birth falls into one of the following three categories: a) Both of the parents were Chinese and residing abroad with the foreign permanent resident card; b) One of the parents was a foreigner and the other was Chinese residing abroad with the foreign permanent resident card; c) Both of the parents were Chinese, one of them residing abroad with the foreign permanent resident card. If the parents’status does not belong to the previously mentioned categories, the child needs to apply for the Chinese Travel Document at the Visa Office of the Chinese Consulate. If it is the first time to apply for a Chinese visa, the applicant should provide birth certificate (bearing parents' names) and parents' passports and foreign permanent resident cards (original and copy).


2. Supporting documents

Documents showing the itinerary including air ticket booking record (round trip) and proof of a hotel reservation, etc. or an Invitation Letter for Tourist issued by a relevant unit or individual in China.The invitation letter should contain:
(1) Information of the applicant (incl. full name, gender, date of birth, etc.);
(2) Details of the planned visit (incl. arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, accomodation arrangements, etc.);
(3) Information of the inviting party(incl. name of organization or person concerned, contact telephone number, address, official stamp of the organization, signature of the legal representative or individual).

3. Special notes

(1) The invitation letter may be in the form of fax, photocopy or computer printout, but the consular officer may require the applicant to submit the original of the invitation letter. An issuer of invitation letter who is an individual in China should also provide a photocopy of his/her Chinese ID.

(2) If necesssary, the consular officer may require the applicant to provide other proof documents or supplementary materials, or require an interview with the applicant.

(3) The consular officer will decide on whether or not to issue the visa and on its validity, duration of stay and number of entries in light of specific conditions of the applicant.
[OP]
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craftsman wrote:
Feb 11th, 2018 7:36 pm
I just got one last year - here's the site with all of the confusing details -> https://www.visaforchina.org/YVR_EN/

Basically, they have one price for a visa and it doesn't matter how long it is (up to 10 years that is). They will date it to the expiry date of your current passport so if you have 9 years left on the passport, you get a 8.5 year visa.

An itinerary or a letter of invitation is required. So, unless you have been invited by someone in China, you need to book your ticket as well as hotels.

You can get a Chinese regulation photo done at BCAA or pay the extra and get it done at the application center.

Bring your last expired Canadian passport as well... they want to see where you have been before issuing you a visa.

Here's the list of documents required as listed on the website I linked to above -
I have about 8 years and 2 months left on my current passport. Did you provide a copy of your itinerary and proof of airfare? I don't remember having to do that about a decade ago.

How much is it to do that at BCAA? I was hoping to do this at Costco since it's pretty cheap over there.
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Aug 18, 2005
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craftsman wrote:
Feb 11th, 2018 7:36 pm
- The Chinese visa photo requirement is not standard. Costco couldn't do it and Walmart took a while to cut them. The best way is to have the photos taken at the visa application center. It's about $15 for two.
Size is 48 mm tall and 33 mm wide.
I just got a US passport 50x50 mm size colour photo and told the Costco photographer to leave some space on the edges and top. And I cut it down to size myself using a guillotine paper slicer. Super-EZ. Smiling Face With Open Mouth
Sgt_Strider wrote:
Feb 12th, 2018 8:34 pm
I have about 8 years and 2 months left on my current passport. Did you provide a copy of your itinerary and proof of airfare? I don't remember having to do that about a decade ago.
I did not have to provide an itinerary.
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Jucius Maximus wrote:
Feb 12th, 2018 9:18 pm
I just got a US passport size colour photo and told the Costco photographer to leave some space on the edges and top. And I cut it down to size myself using a guillotine paper slicer. Super-EZ. Smiling Face With Open Mouth


I did not have to provide itinerary.
Yea, I think I'm just going to take my photos tomorrow at Costco and submit my application in without any confirmed itinerary. I think the only time I had to do that was for my first visa because I was studying in Beijing and Shanghai. The last time I applied, I just provided my old visa and the application itself. We'll see what happens. I think the visa photo requirement have changed since my last visa application. So just tell the Costco photographer to leave some space (how much?) on the edges around the photo?
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Sgt_Strider wrote:
Feb 12th, 2018 9:22 pm
So just tell the Costco photographer to leave some space (how much?) on the edges around the photo?
China Visa photo is Size is 48 mm tall and 33 mm wide.
American passport is 50 x 50 mm.

So I told the photographer leave a bit of space a the top and some significant space on the sides.
Assuming it's a US passport size, you chop 8.5 mm off each side and 2 mm off the top.
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Jucius Maximus wrote:
Feb 12th, 2018 9:25 pm
China Visa photo is Size is 48 mm tall and 33 mm wide.
American passport is 50 x 50 mm.

So I told the photographer leave a bit of space a the top and some significant space on the sides.
Assuming it's a US passport size, you chop 8.5 mm off each side and 2 mm off the top.
Wouldn't you know for sure because you've already did it? Does it have to be very precise? Worse comes worse, the guys at the consulate office will take care of it for me?
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Sgt_Strider wrote:
Feb 12th, 2018 9:35 pm
Wouldn't you know for sure because you've already did it? Does it have to be very precise? Worse comes worse, the guys at the consulate office will take care of it for me?
Not sure what you mean. I asked them to take a colour US passport photo with a bit of extra room on the top, and plenty of extra room on the sides. Then I cut it based on the measurements I stated above.
I had no problem with my custom-cut photo. If it's 1 mm off, I doubt the consulate would care.
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Jan 27, 2006
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Sgt_Strider wrote:
Feb 12th, 2018 8:34 pm
I have about 8 years and 2 months left on my current passport. Did you provide a copy of your itinerary and proof of airfare? I don't remember having to do that about a decade ago.
Yes I did and they checked it over in front of me. A couple ahead of me was trying to get a visa without travel plans into China as they wanted to join a tour coming out of Hong Kong while they were in Hong Kong. They didn't book the tour yet as they wanted to see what was available in Hong Kong rather than buying the tour while in Canada. They were denied a visa and were still discussing it with the officials when I left....
Sgt_Strider wrote:
Feb 12th, 2018 8:34 pm
How much is it to do that at BCAA? I was hoping to do this at Costco since it's pretty cheap over there.
BCAA's passport picture computer system actually has a setting for Chinese visas so it's pretty much dead on. If I remember correctly the price was $10 but I have BCAA membership so it might be higher for non-members.
Jr. Member
Aug 9, 2015
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Sylvan Lake, AB
Sgt_Strider wrote:
Feb 12th, 2018 8:34 pm
I have about 8 years and 2 months left on my current passport. Did you provide a copy of your itinerary and proof of airfare? I don't remember having to do that about a decade ago.
The application has changed a little bit since last time you applied. Itinerary is still not required. I brought it with me last 3 times but every time they said it is not needed. You do need one of the following:

1. Letter of invitation if you are staying with friend/family member
or
2. Confirmation of hotel booking if staying at hotel.
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Nov 23, 2008
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Yes, the 10yr is available and easy.
Yes, having your old passport with chinese visa does speed it up.

Not sure in Vancouver, but here in toronto, most if not all chinese travel agencies will do the visa run for a fee (about $30 in toronto). And of course, travel agencies open on the weekends when you have free time to pickup/dropoff.
There's also a visacenter.ca - a non-chinese agency who does visa runs for you too.
https://www.visacenter.ca/contact
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You can save yourself the visa hassle if you just swing by on your way to a third “country”. You could do Canada Beijing (up to 72 hours) Hong Kong - Shanghai (up to 144 hours) - Canada.
Toronto is a very small part of Canada
[OP]
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Sorry for bumping this old thread. I finally got my visa photo. I still haven’t submitted my application. I’m planning to do that tomorrow. I don’t have my trip finalized yet, but I’m thinking of booking a refundable airfare and accommodation just to help get this application through. Any suggestions on where to book refundable airfare and accommodation?
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Sgt_Strider wrote:
Mar 26th, 2018 11:16 pm
Sorry for bumping this old thread. I finally got my visa photo. I still haven’t submitted my application. I’m planning to do that tomorrow. I don’t have my trip finalized yet, but I’m thinking of booking a refundable airfare and accommodation just to help get this application through. Any suggestions on where to book refundable airfare and accommodation?
I've had luck with 24 hour refund from Air Canada. Fora hotel, book a hotel that's cancellable and without putting money down.
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