A First-timer’s Guide To Getting A Chinese Tourist Visa

Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

Shenzhen was just added to Cebu Pacific’s flight routes, rounding up the list of Chinese destinations. There are already tons to do in the available destinations—Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Xiamen—but here’s the top five destinations you need to hit first:

  • Stand atop the Great Wall of China. This Chinese symbol, arguably one of the most iconic and recognizable landmarks of the world, stretches over 21,000 kilometers from Dandong in the East, to Lop Lake in the West. It is accessible from Beijing.
  • Visit a traditional Chinese Garden. Yuyuan (or Yu) Garden in the Old City of Shanghai was created in 1577. The surrounding architecture is reminiscent of that period; while the garden itself is beautiful, other sites like the Temple of the City God, is right nearby and makes for a perfect day.
  • Shop, shop, shop in Guangzhou. This city is paradise for the shopper who enjoys a little chaos; the city can offer everything if you’re willing to go looking for it. For a unique shopping experience, check out Qingping Market, which is one of the biggest for traditional herbal medicines.
  • Admire Shenzhen’s cityscape from the country’s fourth tallest building in the world. Located in the business district of Shenzhen, this skyscraper is 599 metres tall, made of glass and stone, with an observation deck that offers a great view of China’s Silicon Valley. It’s the HQ of Chinese insurance company Ping An, but over 9,000 visitors come in daily.

You may be planning a trip there as soon as possible, so we’ve laid out the nitty-gritty details to getting that tourist visa. Here’s what you’ll need to collect:

  • Your Philippine passport, valid for at least another 6 months with a blank visa page
  • A photocopy of the information/photo page of your passport
  • A photocopy of the emergency contact page of your passport
  • The completed and signed visa application form, downloadable from gov.cn.
  • Two pieces of a recent passport-sized (48mm by 33mm) photo; colored with a white background. The full list of photo requirements is available on china-embassy.org.
  • A copy of your travel itinerary
  • Proof of your round-trip airline tickets and hotel bookings or an invitation letter from someone living in your destination along with a photocopy of their national ID or passport and residence permit.

There are additional requirements for first-timers, depending on your employment details, which are outlined pretty clearly on the guide on cebu.chineseconsulate.org.

A visa costs anywhere from 1,400PHP to 4,200PHP depending on how many times you plan to enter the country and over what period of time. The embassy doesn’t take scheduled visits, but they accept drop-ins for applications from 9:00AM to 11:00AM, Monday to Friday.

According to official announcements, it takes roughly four working days to process a tourist visa, but any traveler knows it’s always better to leave some breathing room.

Happy travels to China!

*Nina Unlay is the editor of thegoodtrip.ph

Cebu Pacific travels to various China cities from Manila and Cebu. cebupacificair.com

Written by

Nina Unlay

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