Thursday, November 21, 2013

China: Applying for a Chinese visa in the Philippines

Applying for a Chinese visa in the Philippines is very straightforward. It's a matter of completing all the requirements and submitting them to the Chinese Embassy Consular Section (2/F The World Center with entrances along Buendia/Gil Puyat Avenue or H.V. dela Costa). Here are things you need to prepare before proceeding to the embassy:

1. Passport that is valid for at least six (6) months with at least one blank visa page. Note that you will need to photocopy both the front and back pages of your passport, meaning the passport's information or photo page and emergency contact page which you can find at the back. Make sure the blanks of the emergency contact information is filled out before you photocopy.
2. Visa Application Form which you can download here. Note that you should not leave any field blank and write "N/A" if the question does not apply to you.
3. One (1) colored Passport Photo (48mm x 33mm) affixed to the Visa Application Form (note that it has to be glued; photos that are stapled, taped, clipped, detached, etc. will not be accepted). The photo should be recent, front view, white background, without head covering.
4. Travel itinerary
5. Round-trip airline ticket
6. Hotel reservation
7. Invitation letters from China (if applicable). Invitation letters must contain the full name, gender, date of birth and passport number of applicant; purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, relations between the applicant and the inviting entity or individual, financial source for expenditures; and name, contact telephone number, address, official stamp, signature of the legal representative of inviting entity or the inviting individual. 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.
8. If you have been previously issued a visa, photocopies of the issued visas, and old passport(s) if the visa(s) are in your old passport(s).

For first time visa applicants, you will also need to submit the following:
9. Bank certificate of deposit balance
10. Bank statement showing the past 6 months history of your bank account (at least Php100,000 average daily balance)
11. Receipt for payment for the certificates (issued by the bank)
12. BIR-stamped income tax return form
13. Letter from your employer detailing your salary and the length of your employment (for employees)
14. Business registration certificate (for business owners)
15. Professional ID (for professionals)
16. Certificate of enrollment (for students)
17. A letter of explanation if you could not provide the above-mentioned documents

If you are visiting Tibet, you will need a special permit. Submit a letter from an Authorized Travel Agency in China (which you can get from your local travel agent if they have a partner in China) if you plan to join a tour. But if you are going on your own, you will need to contact the Tourism Administration of the Tibet Autonomous Region (Telephone No. +86 891-6834313; Fax No. +86 891-6834632) in advance and provide a Visa Notification issued by them.

How to submit visa applications
Once you complete all your requirements, proceed to the Consular Section of the Chinese Embassy (location map of The World Center here) anytime between 9 to 11 a.m. from Monday to Friday. No appointment is required. You may ask another person or a travel agency to submit on your behalf, but with an authorization letter. Messengers should have an authorization letter on company letterhead. Note that you may be required to go to the Consular Section for an interview if necessary. Address of the Consular Section is 2/F The World Center, 330 Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue, Makati City.

Visa fee is Php1,400 for a single entry visa, Php2,100 for double entry, Php2,800 for six months multiple entry and Php4,200 one (1) year multiple entry. The regular processing time is four (4) working days. But visas may be expedited with extra fees: Php1,100 pesos for three (3) working days and Php1,700 for two (2) working days. Visa fees are paid (cash only) when you claim your passport.

For information on requirements for other visa types, visit the Chinese Embassy website.
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