Since writing with joy about obtaining a 10-year tourist visa to China last November, I’ve fielded a steady stream of question from friends (and strangers) about the new visa and how to get it. So I decided to put a post together about some things you need to know about the visa. They are in no particular order.
1. It’s real. I admit that when it was announced that China would be issuing a 10-year tourist visa last fall, I was skeptical. But I applied for it and got it, so I know first hand that it is real.
2. This new validity period is the result of a bilateral agreement between the United States and China that was announced in November and designed to encourage more travel between the nations. Visa requirements for Chinese tourists and students coming to the US have been relaxed as well.
3. In section 2.1 of the application form, check “tourist.” (see an application example here)
4. In section 2.2 of the application form, check “other.”
5. This 10 year visa seems to be the new standard issue visa; however, the embassy/consulate reserves the right to issue it at their discretion.
6. You need to submit evidence of a booked flight itinerary. This can be a ticket or evidence of a booked, but not necessarily purchased reservation.
7. You need to submit evidence of confirmed lodging. You can book a hotel online, and cancel it later, if need be.
8. The visa is multiple-entry; this means that in the 10 years of its validity you can enter/exit China as many times as you want, staying up to 60 days at a time.
9. It is valid for 10 years even if your passport expires, SO LONG AS you retain possession of your expired passport and have it with you upon entry into China.
10. The cost is the same as the 1-year tourist visa, which means its ten times cheaper!
I used the good folks at Allied Passport in Washington, D.C. to obtain my visa. They were great to work with and I had my passport in hand in less then one week. You can visit their site for a detailed explanation of the requirements to obtain this visa, as well as a sample application form.
And in the interest of full disclosure, I have signed on to their affiliate program. When you apply for a visa through Allied, you can write my name (or the name of this blog) on your order form to get a $5.00 discount. In addition, I’ll get a referral fee.
The way I see it, everybody wins!
Image credit: Coming Up, by ronx ronquillo, via Flickr