China visas

(2 Posts)
AlessandroVasectomi Wed 06-Mar-19 16:25:15

Does anybody have authoritative knowledge of obtaining visas for visiting China? DW and I have spent a couple of days getting to grips with the process and requirements, but the one issue that is unclear relates to timing.

We are proposing to apply for ordinary visitors’ visas (type L) for a visit of 3 weeks’ duration. The issue we can’t answer from the info on the Embassy website is whether the visa has to be in force for the duration of your visit, or is it just to get you into the country? Our problem is that we are out of the country until 2 weeks before we depart for China and if the visa has to be valid for the duration of our visit, our only opportunity to apply is during that 2 weeks window. Given that the process takes a few days (at least), that doesn’t leave us much wriggle room. Ideally, we would like to submit the application now so that it’s all done and dusted well in advance, but if the visa is valid for 30 days from the date of issue, it won’t cover all of our trip.

Any advice would be very much appreciated. We are within the 3 month period prior to departure by the way, so we are eligible to apply at any time from now on.

OP’s posts: |
ShanghaiDiva Fri 08-Mar-19 09:00:44

You can apply now and all tourist visas are now valid for 2 years so your trip will be covered. (My son obtained his last month). Visa price is GBP 175 per person (I think) and you also need to a registered envelope for your passport to be returned to you.
You need to take all your documents to the visa office (London, Manchester, Edinburgh or Belfast - I think) and be fingerprinted. It will take about one week to process the visa. It's an expensive and time-consuming process - welcome to the Middle Kingdom!

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