Most nationalities will need a Chinese visa, exceptions are Japan, Hong Kong SAR and a few other Asian countries. If you do need an official invitation we can supply the documents for you. Hong Kong is a good place to apply for the Chinese visa as it is both cheap and quick.
For full info on visa regulations, please consult the Wikipedia page.
Hong Kong Service
The application is straight forward in Hong Kong, but you must be there in person to make the application as the consulate checks for a valid HK entry stamp in your passport. You also need to provide proof of onward tickets (flight or train), and hotel booking in China.
No Beijing Service
We do not offer a Chinese visa service in Beijing as you must apply for this visa before entering China.
If you do not plan to travel to Hong Kong you will need to make the visa application yourself at your local Chinese Embassy or Consulate. UK Embassy in London http://www.chinese-embassy.org.uk
If the embassy does ask for visa support paperwork our Beijing office can help arrange the offical invitation. We can only supply the invitation if you have booked a Trans-Siberian/Mongolia trip with us.
‘Visa Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Peoples Republic of China in Hong Kong’
5th floor, lower block
26 Harbour Road, Wanchai
Tel: 3413 2424 and 3412 2300.
Enter the China Resources Building on the side of the exhibition center at street level for the elevator. From Kowloon the easiest way is to take the Star Ferry to Wanchai ferry pier.
What happens if I overstay my Chinese visa?
Never overstay your visa, it will cost you at least 500 RMB per day!
Can I get a visa extension whilst in China?
If you are travelling on a 30 day tourist visa, it is easy to apply for an extension in China. The first one month extension is easy to get (price varies) and you often require a deposit paid into a local bank account, but a second extension will be more difficult and can cost from 300 to 600 RMB!
I am planning a trip to Hong Kong, is it the same visa?
Hong Kong is visa-free for most nationalities. If you plan to travel from China to Hong Kong and back again, you will need a double-entry Chinese visa or else apply for a new visa while in Hong Kong.
I heard you can get a visa on the border?
We have too, but never tried it because it can cause huge problems. First of all you may not be allowed on your flight if you don’t have a visa. Secondly, they may not actually grant you a visa on arrival in China, or it may be a short transit visa. It is also possible to apply for the visa onboard the Japan to Shanghai to ferry, but again this is not recommended as another passenger was given the wrong visa and had troubles leaving China. To make matters more complicated, Japanese passport holders can enter China visa-free for 15 days and so the visa office on the ferry is likely to be shut!
I was given a 'group visa' from Kathmandu - can I get an extension in Beijing?
Be aware the ‘group visa’ you receive in Kathmandu if you are travelling to China via Tibet has limitations – it is normally only valid for 15 days and getting an extension can be near impossible, as you will need a letter of introduction from the agency (In Kathmandu) that originally prepared your visa application.