How to Get a Chinese Visa in Hong Kong For Foreign Travelers

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.

How to Get a Chinese Visa in Hong Kong For Foreign Travelers
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
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. 

Join the Conversation

32 Comments

  1. says: Cole Van Horn

    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?

  2. says: Agness

    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.

    1. says: juan

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

  3. 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!

    1. says: Audrey

      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.

    1. says: Audrey

      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! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. says: Stephanie

    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

    1. says: Audrey

      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.

  5. says: Fra

    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 ?

    1. says: Audrey

      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.

  6. says: Frugal Traveler

    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?

  7. says: Abby

    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.)

    1. says: Audrey

      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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    2. says: Jason

      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…

  8. says: Chris

    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?

    1. says: Audrey

      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…

  9. says: Laura

    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.

  10. says: Gonzalo

    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!

    1. says: Audrey

      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.

  11. says: Yann

    Hi,

    It seems it is no more possible for HK non-resident foreigners to apply for a Chinese visa at HK.
    Read note nยฐ7 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. “

  12. says: Sarah

    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

    1. says: Audrey

      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.

  13. says: Ember Swift

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

  14. says: John

    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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