Applying for a Chinese Visa

So if your traveling to Hong Kong and you are an American citizen then you do not need a visa for Hong Kong. Now if you want to travel into Mainland China then thats where the visa comes into play. Last year I often traveled to Shenzhen on a daily basis. Visa fees are different depending on nationality but I will say up front if your an American or British your going to pay more than any other nation… Some speculate that it’s a political statement on how America and England are imperialist nations and thats why our visas cost more. Well I actually spoke with my Chinese teacher and he told me that America charges this outrageous price for Chinese visitors, so China has just copied the price.

I actually wish they would extend the visa to two years because this will be the second time I’ve had to apply for a Chinese visa. I just went last year! So I wish I could just use the same visa I had last year. Anyways back to applying for the visa. Another major problem with applying for a visa to China is you cannot just mail in your passport and application. They require a physical person to hand them the application. Therefore you have to go with a service that exclusively takes people’s passports to the Chinese passport office. This adds even more to the cost of your visa. This year I am traveling to Hong Kong by myself so I am using a service called There price is fairly cheap… at least compared to some other services. Plus my friends that live in Hong Kong have greatly recommended this service to other foreigners that are traveling to China.

If you want to save some money and a trip to mainland China is secondary, then you could always travel to the Embassy in Hong Kong and perhaps you can obtain your visa there. Most of the time people are not denied visas but it does happen. Since traveling to mainland China is a major priority to me, I am making sure I have my visa before leaving the country. The cost will not be cheaper due to the currency exchange, the Chinese government is pretty good at keeping the cost as close as possible to what we pay here in the States or for the people in Britain. The only cost eliminated is the fee a third party service charges for their service. Other than that it is equal to what you pay in the States. So try and get your visa as soon as possible and if I were you just go for the 1 year visa. Who knows you might want to travel again to China before your visa runs out. The one year and the six month visa are the exact same in price. **I plan on traveling back to China next May to visit my sister Vicki and her husband Ben and my two neices, that is if they would like for me too!**

~ by branhow on May 6, 2009.

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