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Obtaining a Visa to visit China?

Knoxville, Tennessee
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for Pigeon Forge
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Obtaining a Visa to visit China?

I've found that visiting Beijing and most other parts of China means getting a visa prior to arrival. I've also read about companies who obtain them for you from an embassy or consulate for a fee. Reading info on the official China website indicates you can get them at several locations around the USA including Chicago, DC, NYC and Houston. We're thinking about a 'warm up' trip to one of the cities and going to the embassy ourselves to get them ourselves.

Has anyne here done so on your own? If so, how long does the process take? Do you have to leave your passport and they ship it to you later? Or can you obtain them in a matter of minutes or perhaps hours during one visit?

Thanks for any help.

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1. Re: Obtaining a Visa to visit China?

I'm leaving June 1, so I just jumped through the hoops. If you use a service, such as A. briggs, will cost you $50-$60, then they charge you $29 to ship it EACH way, then a $10 check processing fee. Throw in the $140 for the visa itself and you've just dropped $260 before you even get to China.

To apply in person, its the same $140 plus $30 same day processing. Drop off by Noon, pick up after 230pm (for the D.C. Office anyway). But check the embassy website, your state residency determines what office you can get your visa.

china-embassy.org/eng/hzqz/zgqz/t84246.htm

See ya on the Great Wall!

Sherbrooke, Canada
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2. Re: Obtaining a Visa to visit China?

Usually, the speed at which they process it depends on how much you are willing to pay. The options should be on the embassy website.

Knoxville, Tennessee
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3. Re: Obtaining a Visa to visit China?

Boy am I glad I posted the question here and that you replied! I had spent some time looking through their website learning how and where to obtain the visas but somehow had missed the fact that your state determined which office you must visit to obtain them! Members of our group are from two different states and wouldn't you know it.........are required to go to two different offices. That messes things up a bit but not as much now as it would have had we gone to an entirely different one (third) one and found out the hard way.

Thanks!

New Jersey
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4. Re: Obtaining a Visa to visit China?

We leave for china 5/21. We ordered our visa through CITS USA. We did not expedite. Used standard return service. Cost was $170 plus mail fees.

Taiyuan, China
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5. Re: Obtaining a Visa to visit China?

Yes, you must go to the correct consulate! I always use one of the agencies--I used USChinavisa.com a few times. They don't have the greatest website, but I've had no problems and the service charge for one visa is about $29 and return shipping was around $20. Of course you also have to pay the $140 visa fee no matter how you process the application.

It sounds like CITS (China's main international travel company) is about the same price. $140+$30. So there are some reasonably priced options.

Boston...
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6. Re: Obtaining a Visa to visit China?

My understanding is that the New York consulate (where I would have to go) will not guarantee same-day service for any price and that the express service means within two business days (so 2 days later assuming no weekend intervenes). I think all of the consulates require you to collect your passport and visa in person if you don't go through an agency. That means paying for 2 nights' accommodation in New York for me (plus days lost from work since the consulate only operates during normal working hours). A. Briggs is a high-end outfit and charges higher prices for the same services that other agencies provide for less. You can have a visa processed and returned to your home city for $30-50 (in addition to the consulate's $140, which you'd have to pay anyway). This is obviously much less than 2 nights' accommodation in New York, so that's the way I will go. Another advantage of going through an agency is that they are pros and will provide you with the correct visa application and advise you on exactly what information is needed. I understand that the applications are not always very easy to understand, and any failure on your part could result in rejection of your application. This is another reason to use an agency even if you live in the same city as the consulate.

7. Re: Obtaining a Visa to visit China?

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