I’ve applied for a number of travel visas in my day but the Chinese Visa has by far been the most difficult and time consuming. This article will outline the steps necessary to acquire a Chinese Visa as you want to get it right the first time around.
STEP 1: DETERMINE WHICH CONSULATE YOU NEED TO APPLY TO
If your applying for a visa within the United States you must apply in person through one of the 6 consulates. Depending on where you live will depend on where you must to apply. Check this link http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/zmzlljs/t84229.htm to determine what consulate you will be. applying at.
STEP 2: DECIDE TO GO THROUGH A 3RD PARTY OR DO IT YOURSELF
Once you’ve figured out what consulate you’re applying to will determine if you do the process yourself or if you go through a 3rd party, as someone (it doesn’t have to be you) needs to apply for the visa in person and it must be at the consulate in your jurisdiction. When I was applying for my Chinese Visa, I was living in Vail, Colorado and the consulate in my area was in Chicago. Since getting to Chicago was not convenient or feasible I went through a 3rd party company VisaHQ. They serve as the middleman and go to the consulate for you and the best part is that its all online There is a service fee for this process but it well worth it is as they ensure all your paperwork is filled out properly, you have all the required documents and its you don’t have to leave your town to do it.
I have heard horror stories about people going to the consulate to get the visa, having one mistake or typo or not all the documents and having to go home fix the mistakes and come back another day. So if you the consulate you are applying at was an inconvenience getting to in the first place, having to come back another day and reapply would be a nightmare thus, going through a company that made sure you had all the proper paperwork before hand would be worth every penny.
STEP 3: DETERMINE WHICH VISA CATEGORY YOU’LL BE APPLYING FOR
There a several different categories you can choose from depending on which visa you will be applying for. Here is the link to determine which one best fits your need. For example a student visa would be different from a tourist visa.
STEP 4: FILL OUT THE VISA APPLICATION FORM
Once you have determined which visa you are applying for, you must fill out the form. Everything must be typed, checked, and marked clearly as directed. If there is something scratched out or filled out improperly they will not accept the application and you’ll have to go through the process again. And ain’t no body got time for that.
STEP 5: GATHER AND MAKE COPIES OF ALL DOCUMENTS NEEDED
This step is the most tedious of them all as you have to provide copies all your travel documents with your application. You need to have your plane ticket in and out of the country, your hotel bookings or letter of invitation if you were invited by someone, and your travel within the country. This is why going through a 3rd party is very helpful and beneficial because they make sure you have all the supporting documents and that the form is filled out correctly.
Now you got the hard part out of the way, go have some FUN!