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! [I:http:http://localhost/fas.com//wp-content/uploads/2015/07/JonnyBlair18.jpg]
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 is on the border with China, there are quite a few immigration checkpoints. Personally I have been to 5 of them recently. Before you go there however you need a China Visa!! Unless you are Chinese!
To get a China Visa in Hong Kong you don’t need to look far! There are hundreds of Visa outlets in and around Hong Kong so seriously this city is the best place to get a Visa for the big next door neighbour!
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.
If you’re getting a China Visa for the first time, go for a Single Entry Visa. That’s what most travellers do, then later on when you realise you love China, you can get a double entry or a multiple entry visa. Where should you get the visa? I work on a budget but I also use agencies sometimes to cut out complications and save time. Try the China Travel Service in Hong Kong which has branches in various parts of the country. They also open on Saturdays and Sundays which can be extremely helpful. [I:http:http://localhost/fas.com//wp-content/uploads/2015/07/JonnyBlair2.png]
They have a lot of branches but believe me just turn up in Tsim Sha Tsui or Mong Kok and wander round the streets and you will see a place doing China Visas.
The application for a China Visa is very straight forward and the process is a fast one in Hong Kong
Here’s what you’ll need:
1. A valid passport with more than 6 months and 2 empty pages left in it
2. One passport photo
3. Your completed application form with these main points:
– They will ask for entrance point – always put Shenzhen as that way they know you are crossing the border on foot – which you will do if you go HK – China. I’ve always put Shenzhen. Thousands of tourists and business travellers pass the Hong Kong to Shenzhen border every day.
– expected date of travel – make it up if you’re not sure – you will get 3 months to enter China from the date they put on the visa.
– 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).
– Do you have Medical Insurance? Just write ‘No’ in the box. Trust me!
– type of visa you want – go for a single entry of course if this is your first time, if not pick the visa you want (note they can turn multiple entries down easier)
4. The payment – normally less than $50 but depends on nationality.
5. Attend in person to hand in the form and voila!!
If you want your visa quicker you can pay more and collect within a day or two.
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!!
I’ll write separately about crossing the border itself – also very easy and enjoyable.
Have a great time doing China and enjoying a lifestyle of travel!
Jonny the travelling Northern Irishman