Currently writing this blog after finally getting into the Chinese embassy in Ha Noi being up from 3am so apologies in advance if it’s not the best first post in the world but there hasn’t been an updated post about this subject since Nov 2017.
So after reading a few blog posts about doing this visa in Ha Noi
This is what the actual China embassy says you need for the tourist visa:
Here are the documents you shall prepare before submission of visa application:
- Basic Documents
(1) Passport: Original passport with at least six months of remaining validity and blank visa pages, and a photocopy of the passport’s data page and the photo page if it is separate.
(2) Visa Application Form and Photo: One completed Visa Application Form with a recently-taken color passport photo (bare-head, full face) against a light background attached
(3) Proof of legal stay or residence status (applicable to those not applying for the visa in their country of citizenship): If you are not applying for the visa in the country of your citizenship, you must provide the original and photocopy of your valid certificates or visa of stay, residence, employment or student status, or other valid certificates of legal staying provided by the relevant authorities of the country where you are currently staying.
(4) Photocopy of previous Chinese passports or previous Chinese visas (applicable to foreign citizensthose who were Chinese citizens and have obtained foreign citizenship): If you are applying for a Chinese visa for the first time, you should provide your previous Chinese passport held and a photocopy of its data page.
If you have obtained Chinese visas before and want to apply for a Chinese visa with a renewed foreign passport that does not contain any Chinese visa, you should present the photocopy of the previous passport’s data page and the photo page if it is separate, as well as the previous Chinese visa page. (If your name on the current passport differs from that on the previous one, you must provide an official document of name change.)
Documents showing the itinerary including air ticket booking record (round trip) and proof of a hotel reservation, etc. or an invitation letter issued by a relevant entity or individual in China. The invitation letter should contain:
(1) Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)
(2) Information on the planned visit (arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, etc.)
(3) Information on the inviting entity or individual (name, contact telephone number, address, official stamp, signature of the legal representative or the inviting individual)
This is what all the other posts i’ve read have said you need:
- Photocopy of passport information page and Vietnamese visa
- One passport size photo (we took a 2×3 and a 4×6, but they took the smaller one)
- Completed application form
- Flights entering China
- Flights exiting China
- Accommodation for your first destination
- Copy of your travel insurance policy
The reason for me writing this as its not like it says in all the blog posts that I linked in this post at all and not as simple as they had it. So I had three times going there!!
- Attempt one going too late due to the fact that the opening hours are only 0830-1100am so just ended up mooching around the city and bought a vintage camera, Vintage Cameras.
- Attempt two after having my wake up call from my hostel legend at Chien Hostel at 630 so I could eat, was still to no avail this being as the queue was huge luckily the thing was I got there at 7am thinking yes I’ll make it inside but this didn’t happen at all! I didn’t have an application form already filled out and the good thing is I met a Dutch and Australian couple that said when they open the doors you can run to the door and grab an application form and get back in the queue and rush filling it in, don’t do this I didn’t make any mistakes as I had help from the couple filling it in! I pre advise to download the form. So after all this waiting and being there for three hours waiting no food or drink I didn’t get in!!!! When that door closes at 11am that’s it no more, no more! On this particular day the Vietnamese police outside were not helpful at all most not knowing English and just do not want to physically help you at all!!
- Attempt three knowing all this and the whole queue situation I was determined to get in and get that damned visa! Got my man to give me a wake up call at 0330am but it was instead 0320am! Had time for a shower and walk to the Circle K to grab some supplies.
So I arrived at 0420am with me saying to the guard “I wait for visa” yes you may think this is crazy but in fact it was the best idea! You are probably thinking “You crazy man” well in fact its not, I was the first in line obviously second after that a local Vietnamese lady with her other part or what not who kindly offered me a smoke. Slowly after this a Swiss couple who this happened to be their third attempt also then all the locals turn up then the Dutch man from attempt two with his girlfriend arriving later before it opening. So between 6-7am the queue is huge now people from the previous day then also all the locals. Today’s guards were more friendly and talkative to be honest I mean I showed dedication 4am come on. This being said I smashed all my food and chained smoked all my remaining smokes only 4 then had to rely on Snus, I’m English but previously lived in Oslo.
At this point I’m dying for a toilet the Dutch guy goes to a restaurant that was luckily open down the road when he gets back I ask him to keep my front place and give him my passport hoss it down and no one spoke English of course. I’m like “I pay you, I pay you” then an English speaking woman comes along and lets me use it then then I hoss it back in line.
Anyway gets to around I don’t know around 730am and and more higher up guard turns up getting people to stand up, me thinking that yeah it opens at 8am then the Swiss guy says no 45 minutes….. We all had a laugh. Around 8am starts collecting the locals ID cards as they write down their information down for what reason I don’t know! Us westerners thinking damn does this mean they go first to then a local saying “don’t worry you get in” still we thinking otherwise.
Gets close to opening time then the guards start letting us all go through I was like “YES FINALLY THE FIRST IN LINE OVER JOYED” there is two queues one for Chinese citizens and agencies and then the one for locals and westerners! Finally doors open up and I get in first of course a guy checks your application sees what you have and then scans you with a metal detector, then you go through a metal detector it going off with all of your belongings! This being said that they have an x-ray machine that they do not use at, so yeah anyone could have a bomb on em as they don’t even look in your actual bags well!
Once this is done you go up to another guy he looks at your form then presses the correct ticket slip for you, yeah I was number one again so happy with this! Still isn’t 0830am by this time then gets to the time and I give in my forms etc and and I’ll now tell you what I had used for my submission which I asked for a multi entry 3-6 month but was only granted single entry and 30 days and you had to change it to what they said also no express service was available. The way around this is crossing border in Hong Kong and paying an agency to do it for you to get another month etc.
So back to my documents I used:
- Filled application
- 2 standard photos
- Bank statement of my UK and Norwegian account
- Copy of my passport
- Copy of my Vietnamese visa letter
- Copy of my travel insurance
- Copy of first nights stay in the intended location you will be staying in use Booking.com and find one that you can cancel for free and that you don’t get charged then cancel after you get your visa.
- Copy of your intended flight out, I was told about an app which lets you book flights (message me about this app for more information).
- I didn’t have planned entry so said I would be getting a bus but I will be flying in at a later date and she asked if I had a ticket I said no.
Everything processed within 5 minutes after waiting from 0420am. 5 DAMN MINUTES. then you are handed a slip to pay at the bank on the specified date of collection this post being written on the 21/03/18 so I have to do that on the 26/03/18.
The important slip with information do not lose this at all! It only cost me $30 then the sheet below is the address of the bank that you need to go and pay, says 4pm pick up but pick up is between 1500-1630!
I plan on going early 0830am when the bank opens on the 26th to pay for the the visa and head there early to collect my Visa! This being said I’m heading back to Da Nang for a few days before Cambodia.
I will include a download with a filled in application just for you to have an idea of what to do it’s pretty simple and easy.
So it came to that time the 26th buzzing from the coffee I had from the local after breakfast at the hostel. Got to the ICBC bank to pay for the visa, did not have dollars on me of course so tried Vietbank then they sent me to ACB Bank both kept sending me to other banks so don’t trust them go to the Old Quarters to a place called Công Ty Vàng Bạc Quốc Trinh (27 Hà Trung, Hàng Bông, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội). Tried selling me $100 for 2M VND was like no I just need the $30 which he cave it to me for 690VND which was exactly the same as the converters ad a little as they round it! You need dollars to pay at the bank so have it with you!
Just use Uber for getting there was a fast 5 minute ride and only cost 18K cheaper than Grab and the locals. Once there they know exactly what you are there for then fill out a receipt for boom within 5 minutes you have your visa paid for!
Done all that thought maybe I’ll check at the embassy to see if one could cheekily pick it up so another Uber was only 16K this time so still cheaper then the locals! They said come back at 1500.
Had to wait like a few hours after checking out of the hostel so decided to get another coffee bad idea had major coffee highs! Any ways back to the important stuff!
Decided due to experience to get there early so arrived at 1400 which was a good idea as loads of people started coming after that! So as always time it right and you are sorted in line. So let in at 1500. Met the couple before as they had to come back to see if their visa is approved unfortunately it wasn’t but the friends was accepted she was in Switzerland still, so even though it was all the same documents and everything booked they got no reason why it was just denied so I feel for them to be honest everything was booked so it can go either way! They asked to see the manager and the woman was getting really worried and stressed it seems like maybe something was processed wrong!
Was in there for 42 minutes until they started calling numbers for people to pick up the visa’s within 5 minutes my number was called and there it was boom it went through got the visa me currently feeling like death on a coffee comedown was overjoyed!! AFTER FIVE DAMN VISITS I HAD IT IN MY HANDS!!!!!!
To be fair all the other posts had maps etc but you can easily find it all with searching it all! Prior or at you hostel what not! Just the other posts are outdated and not like it would seem as they had it all easier and it is not like that at all as it has all changed now! Which is not their fault but I felt there needed to be a new post up!
Anyway I’m currently waiting for my flight back to Da Nang to get El Cooko (DRUNK)