It’s safe to say I was fretting about the whole visa process after some serious horror stories I had read online. I read stories of visa’s being rejected completely or not granted for the intended amount of time. Tripadvisor is full of mixed reviews of the whole process which only increased my anxiety about the application. However, I must say that I found the whole process relatively pain-free and I had the visa back on my doorstep within a week of posting the application. Preparation is key. We used this website which has a really useful guide for the application along with a checklist for everything you need to include when sending a postal application.
When applying for the visa, you will need confirmation of where you will be spending each night. If you are travelling in a group or a couple the proof must confirm the names of all people applying for a visa. On most websites the confirmation email will online confirm one of your names. However, Booking.com allows you to state the name of each person staying and will state all names on the confirmation email that they issue to you.
For the application form is extremely long winded; but not difficult. Again, you just need to be prepared. You will need all the usual contact details for yourself and next of kin, along with information from your passport. If you plan on visiting different areas of China you need to provide the exact dates you will be in each area and the full address of the hotels you will be staying in.
Along with the application form you must provide proof all accommodation, along with confirmation of your flights into and out of China. As well as this evidence and the application form, you must provide a signed declaration form and a payments slip. I was unsure of the whole payment process as the figure of £175 was given as a ‘guide’ but the price isn’t confirmed until your application has been assessed. My visa was in fact charged at £175 as quoted on the website and I was granted a 90 day visa permitting one entry into the country within the next 3 years.
Safe to say a massive weight has now been lifted with only a couple of months left before the big trip I feel like a kid on the countdown to Christmas. We plan on visiting Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai and Chengdu – so any recommendations of things to do/see/eat would be greatly appreciated!
**Please note, this is a detailed explanation of my experience but I am not a professional in this field. For any confirmation I would recommend you contact the Chinese embassy. This was an application for a tourism visa for a UK national.