How to Get a Chinese Visa in Hong Kong

How do you get a Chinese visa in Hong Kong?

It seems to be a popular question in many traveller forums, and I too was a bit confused about the application process before applying for my visa here in Hong Kong.

Chinese Visa - Flickr CC barockschloss

Flickr CC barockschloss

Having just successfully received my Chinese tourist visa, I figured I would write about the process in order to help any travellers who may be thinking of applying. I had my application done through China Travel Service (Hong Kong) Limited in Mong Kok, and once I had all the required documentation ready, the process was actually quite easy.

What you will need:

– Your passport

– A passport sized photo

– Completed application & supplementary application form (available there)

– Photocopy of your accommodations in China

– Photocopy of your ticket in and out of China

– Visa processing fee (I paid HKD $360, but I have a Canadian passport so the visa fee will vary according to nationality.)

Where do I drop off my Chinese visa application in Hong Kong?

China Travel Service (Hong Kong) Limited is located in the Tak Bo Building in Mong Kok on 62-72 Sai Yee Street. The two nearest subway stops are Mong Kok or Mong Kok East. Once you hit the corner of Sai Yee Street and Nelson Street, the red sign with white letters is hard to miss. Go inside and walk up to the second floor; this is where you’ll take a number and wait to be called up.

Where to get a Chinese Visa in Hong Kong - Map

When it’s your turn, an agent will ensure you have filled out all the appropriate boxes and they will make any additional photocopies as necessary. You will have to pay the visa fee upfront in cash. You will then be given a slip of paper which you will need to show when it’s time to pick up your visa. Don’t lose it! Should your visa application not be successful, you will be refunded everything minus HKD $50, which the offices keep as a processing fee.

How long does it take for an application to be processed?

The regular visa application process takes 4 working days, however, if you are in a hurry and need yours done a bit quicker, you can pay to have it done in either 2 days or 1 day. Visa pick-ups are done in the afternoons starting at 2:30 pm.

How can I enter China from Hong Kong?

Aside from flights, train travel seems to be the most popular way to enter China from Hong Kong. You can book train tickets to China from the main train station in Hong Kong, Hung Hom, however, these trains only go to a few select cities in China. If you are buying your tickets in Hong Kong, you will only be able to go to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou or Shenzhen. If you are not travelling to one of these four destinations, all is not lost. Travel agents in Hong Kong are licensed to book onwards transportation for you.

Happy travels around China!

Note: This post is meant to be used as a guide. The process might vary according to your nationality and what kind of visa you are trying to get. 

32 Comments

  • I should send this to my friend who is planning a trip to Hong Kong next year. Great post, thanks for sharing!

    Happy travels 🙂
    Lauren Meshkin recently posted..Escape Central London & Explore Richmond!My Profile

  • Raymond Waruhari says:

    That’s very helpful. China is one of those countries which prefers that you use an agency to process your visa.
    Raymond Waruhari recently posted..The Best of Wildlife Safari in KenyaMy Profile

  • Claire says:

    Excellent! Getting visas on the road can be daunting; thanks for covering this!
    Claire recently posted..You Need an AdventureMy Profile

  • Cole Van Horn says:

    I totally understand. I just went through that process except I was in the States. But the China Visa service is definitely the best way to go. They got mine through… It was a hassle, but we got it back just in time. It’s great That you put something like this on here to help people though.

    I gotta say I love China so far. It is a beautiful place with beautiful people. What are y’alls travel plans like while you are here?

  • Agness says:

    Me and Cez know how troublesome it is to apply for Chinese visa (especially the Z one – working). Hong Kong is pretty flexible and if you are in a real rush, you can visit one of travel agencies located in Chungking Mansions. They can do it for you within 12 hours and it’s not that expensive.
    Agness recently posted..Postcards from I AMsterdamMy Profile

    • juan says:

      Hello, I´m in Hong Kong and I need to apply for a visa and I´m staying at the Chungking Mansion, do u remember the name of the travel agency?

  • I was wondering bout this process. Thanks for the info. Still, I think would prefer to have it all prepared from home.
    Laura @Travelocafe recently posted..Dining in The World’s Oldest Restaurant – Sobrino de Botin, MadridMy Profile

  • Such a great idea for a post! I have met many a traveller who don’t realize that visas can typically be acquired as easily on the road as from home, so it’s wonderful to read an article detailing simple straightforward instructions and options!
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..ANTARCTICA: The Haunting Beauty of Icebergs in AntarcticaMy Profile

  • I didn’t know you could get a visa on the road like that! good to know!
    Kenin Bassart recently posted..Lauren’s Weight Loss Update – Week 1 of The 90 Day ChallengeMy Profile

    • Audrey says:

      It’s actually quite easy to get tourist visas on the road. I tend to do that as opposed to getting them back at home because it gives me more flexibility when I travel.

  • Ryan says:

    I’ve been struggling to figure out Thai Visas, but I’ll be definitely visiting China at some point so this is super useful!
    Ryan recently posted..Am I not Prepping Enough? 60 Days until my trip to Thailand!My Profile

    • Audrey says:

      Thai visas are a bit tricky. If you arrive overland you’ll get 15 days, but if you arrive by air its 30 days. If you want something longer than that, it’s best to apply back home. I hope the prepping is coming along well! 🙂

  • Makis Giokas says:

    This was actually very helpful! Thanks a lot Audrey! You answered all the questions in my mind. Now.. where to get started for my Hong Kong plan.. 🙂
    Makis Giokas recently posted..What is a must see in the medieval city of York in EnglandMy Profile

  • Stephanie says:

    Hi Audrey,
    I was just wondering if you got your Chinese visa in HK before or after Sept 1st. I heard they changed the guidelines but I can’t seem to find any concrete information about it.
    Thanks and happy travels!
    Stephanie
    Stephanie recently posted..Norway: Land of the Midnight SunMy Profile

    • Audrey says:

      Hi Stephanie, I did apply after September 1st. I’m not entirely sure what the process was like before, but the person who helped us out with our applications explained that they had only recently started asking for photocopies of accommodations and return tickets in order to enter the country.

  • Fra says:

    I did my Visa in June in HK without any problem 6month and they deliver me it in 10 hours
    – HOWEVER –
    I have heard that from September 2013 it is not possible to have Visa for China in HK for a period more that 30 days.

    Can you confirm ?

    • Audrey says:

      I only needed a 30 day single entry visa for my visit, so I don’t have any experience applying for longer ones. I think I remember seeing the option for longer visas on the application form, but this is just from memory – you better double check that with the embassy or a visa processing agency.

  • Frugal Traveler says:

    So you can book a train ticket from Hong Kong to go all the way to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou or Shenzhen? How did you enter?

  • Abby says:

    Going through Chinese visa issues right now. It really is a pain. My friend who lives in Hong Kong just went in person to one of these locales, waited three hours, didn’t get her visa, and booked a trip to a spa in the Philippines instead. Next time! (I sent her this lol.)
    Abby recently posted..Sacrifices in moving: Leaving Las VegasMy Profile

    • Audrey says:

      Oh no, that’s too bad her visa didn’t work out, but on the other hand, a spa in the Philippines doesn’t sound so bad! 😉

    • Jason says:

      May I ask what happened with her visa application? I’m going to be going to HK soon to get my Z visa and don’t want to run into any problems…

  • Chris says:

    I’m in Bangkok and having no luck at all getting a Chinese visa!
    They wanted to see proof of unemployment as I had checked ‘unemployed’ in the occupation section of the application form.

    Did they not ask you for this?

    • Audrey says:

      Proof of unemployment? How do you even prove that?! I had actually tried checking employed since my last job was teaching, but when I couldn’t list a current employer, they just told me to tick off the box for unemployed. I hear that in some places it’s easier to go through a visa agency as opposed to going through the embassy. Maybe try that instead…

  • Laura says:

    Not everyone can have rush service, there are 17 nationalities that cannot have it since summer 2012. I think they are most part European nationalities, is a must to wait 4 working days.
    For China visas, Z visas, is not always good to use a visa agent, when we talk about employment they like to see your face.

  • Gonzalo says:

    Thanks for the post.
    I had mine in the Philippines, and 90 days after, I went back to re-apply for 90 days more and got rejected. My passport is from Spain. I’m going to try that place in Hong Kong now.
    Are you familiar with budget hotels for 1 person in the area?

    Thanks!

    • Audrey says:

      Good luck with the visa situation! In terms of accommodations, I used AirBnB to find private rooms. Prices start at about $35-40 a night.

  • Yann says:

    Hi,

    It seems it is no more possible for HK non-resident foreigners to apply for a Chinese visa at HK.
    Read note n°7 of the Chinese minister of foreign affairs here : http://www.fmcoprc.gov.hk/eng/zgqz/hzsyjbtk/

    “7, Applicants without HK resident status are required to submit their applications through the Chinese Embassy or consulate office around your resident country. “

  • Sarah says:

    Hi Audrey, thanks so much off this information! It so really useful.
    My husband and I are heading from HK to China in April. Do you know how many days your visa is for please? As we don’t know what date to book our return. We want to stay 2-3 months but I don’t think that is possible.
    Thank you
    Sarah

  • Christine Reiter says:

    hey 🙂

    I am wondering if it is the same process for a business visa?

    • Audrey says:

      You’re better off contacting your consulate/embassy for that. The process varies depending on where you are from, length of trip, type of business, etc.

  • Ember Swift says:

    Thank you fellow Canadian! I’ve been looking everywhere for how much it’s going to cost and the exact location. Hurray!

  • John says:

    Hi, I am John from the Philippines with an existing working visa that will expire on August, I am planning to invest in a company here mainland china by August 2015 as my current visa expires. I would like to ask if someone could help me with this. what are the requirements to for the visa needed?

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