Sunday, November 2, 2014

How To Apply For A Chinese Tourist Visa in the Philippines



Best friends, you travel for them. 
Our trip to Baguio way back in 2012

I traveled to Malaysia last year to visit one of my Amigas working there. Before that trip, I already booked a flight to Shanghai, and a flight out from Beijing. My other Amiga, Sarah, also booked her flights. That’s more than a year in advance purchase! The planned trip has a total of 18 in China, including flight days. I crafted an itinerary for Shanghai-Pingyao-Datong-Beijing.

Applying for a Chinese visa is a straightforward process. Submit all the requirements, and you’ll be granted a visa. You can choose to submit your application via a travel agency, like we did, or go to the Chinese embassy yourself and submit the application. We chose to fork over some money for the travel agency fee instead of going to the embassy ourselves. The visa fee and the processing fee costs Php 2,000. We used Lucky Travel for our China visa.

Visa requirements that I submitted:
  •  Filled-out visa application form with attached photo
  •  Valid passport
  •  Certificate of Employment/Consultancy
  • Bank Certificate with receipt of payment. This costs Php 100 for BPI. Indicate in the BPI application form that the certificate is for China Visa. The teller provided me with another format of the bank certificate reflecting my average daily balance. She said she used the same format for the UK Visa. She said they have another format specifically for China visa but it will take 4-5 banking days to accomplish that. (The bank certificate for UK visa sufficed). I had a Php 100,000 ADB because I had my emergency and travel fund one of my savings account.
  • Bank statements (downloaded from BPI Online)
  • BIR Income Tax Return
  • Roundtrip flight bookings
  • Hostel bookings

The way I understand it, the Php 100,000 China visa requirement is imposed by travel agencies, and not by the embassy of China. I didn’t find the Php 100,000 rule anywhere in the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines website. The travel agency will still accept your application even though your bank ADB is below Php 100,000. Reading stories from other travellers, they were granted visas even though they did not fulfil this requirement.

We submitted this to Lucky Travel, located in 6754 Ayala Avenue, Makati city. Their office is open during Saturday, morning til’ lunch time.

The application was only supposed to take four working days. However, we submitted our application a week before the Golden Week of China so the waiting game was stalled by a week because the Chinese embassy was on a holiday as well. Finally, after four working days (China calendar), I got the call from the travel agency.

The good news is that we were granted with tourist visas.
The bad news is that we were only granted visas for 14 days.

14 days, single entry

ARGGGGGGGGGGH!!!!!

According to the travel agent, China embassy grants a single-entry of 14-days for first time applicants. KAINEZ LANG HA. That must be an unwritten rule – like the Php 100,000 ADB in the bank rule. Our travel agent told us we could just extend our visas when we are in China but he had no concrete ideas how to execute this. Where? Who to contact? How much? Documents needed? Nadah. We were running out of time. We got the visa on a Thursday and we were flying out Tuesday night.

I researched and searched online. The answers were discouraging. To extend a tourist visa validity, you must present a validated bank certificate from a bank in China. Ano raw? Pano yun? For 4 additional days, the hassle was not worth it. How do you adjust your itinerary if you’re not even sure if the visa extension will be granted? We didn't want to cut our vacation short and buy a pricey ticket going back - rates were already at CNY 1,200/ Php 11,000ish during that time. 

So... we decided to fly out of China before our visa expires, and continue our vacation elsewehere.

Elsewhere became Singapore. :)

Despite the hassle, we were happy that we were granted visas. I'll take the 14-day visa over no visa. 

7 comments:

  1. Nice Blog, I'm always search for best travel blog for getting information about the best places for film shooting.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well I think I need to save more money before getting a Chinese tourist visa so that I can pass to the requirements of the agency.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for this post! By the way, for Visa Extension in the Philippines, visit: Sure Visa Manila.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice blog. Thanks a lot for sharing the useful information's. Keep sharing.

    www.noorivisa.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  5. Our China Visa application prices start from £135. We can help with all visa types and our experts will gladly guide you through the steps to make the process as simple as possible. We can help you process the application, including helping to liaise with your company in China to get the invitation letter. We are committed to providing China Visa Application with a memorable service to our customers; we aim to make this a hassle free service. We always do our best to help our valued customers, especially helping with the preparation of documents from China; we offer our help and advice to you and your partners in China, to ensure an all necessary documents are submitted onetime with our application.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. do you have contact number here in the Philippines?

      Delete
  6. Hi!meron po akng chinese boyfriend and he want me to go in beijing china. He will cater everything. Kaso po naghahanap po ako ngayon ng agency na pwdi makatulong sa akin sa pag process ng visa dito sa Davao. Kaso wala po ako mahanap. Baka may makatulong po sa akin. Thank you

    ReplyDelete

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