Hong Kong Visas
Don't worry about a Hong Kong visa. US Citizens can stay up to 90 days in Hong Kong without a visa (6 months for UK citizens). However, they will stamp your passport on entry and departure, so budget half a passport page for each visit to Hong Kong.
Types of Chinese Visa
1 and 2 month single entry Tourist visas are usually available when applying in the UK.
Note that visa expiry dates are not all calculated the same way:
Chinese Visas in Hong Kong
The Japan Travel Agency in Kowloon seems to be the best place to go, with low prices, no hassle (tell them what sort of visa you want, give them your passport and a passport photo, and then pay on collection) and services ranging from same-day to 3-day.Rm 507-510, 5/F, East Ocean Centre, 98 Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Tel +852 2368 9151 Fax +852 2723 6120 Their opening hours are: Mon - Fri : 9am - 6pm, Sat : 9am - 12pm, Sun & Public Holidays : Closed.
Note that in 2003 the Chinese government doubled visa prices for passport holders of some nationalities. Regardless, it is still cheaper to get your visa in Hong Kong than abroad in most cases.
Chinese Visas abroad
You will need:
Your current valid and actual passport, with at least six (6) months validity left before expiration and at least one blank page left in it.
Tips for filling out your application (for a Type L Tourist visa):
Visas issued overseas are only valid for 90 days after their issue, so don't apply too early.
Online the embassies claim to want a copy of your airline ticket and itinerary before issuing a Chinese visa, although no-one on a Hong Meigui expedition has ever been asked to provide this.
Chinese Visas in the US
To obtain a Chinese Visa in the US, you must go through your local consulate.
The Embassy & Consulates do not accept personal checks. Please pay in cash, money order, or bank check. Please make the check payable to Chinese Embassy or Chinese Consulate.
A Single entry 30 days visa costs $30. For mail service, they charge an addition $5.
Chinese Visas in the UK
Applicant should come in person to the Visa Section of the Chinese Embassy during office hours. Due to the reason that problems occur constantly in the procedures of postal visa applications, it is recommended that all applicants apply for Chinese visas either in person or through third parties (e.g. travel agencies, delivery agents, etc.). Those that have real difficulties in doing so may make applications by post, but an extra 20 pounds per applicant will be charged as the postal service fee and two weeks processing time is required. There is no express mail service. Cash or Postal order only. Applicant can also apply from the Chinese consulates-general in Manchester or Edinburgh:
A visa is normally ready for collection at the Visa Section during office hours in 3 working days (72 hours) from the date that the application is accepted. 24-hour service is also available upon request.
Address of the Visa Office in London:
Telephone: 0207-6311430 (14:00-16:00)
Visa Section Office Hours: 09:00-12:00 (Monday-Friday)
24-hour Visa Information: 09001-880808
Web Site: http://www.chinese-embassy.org.uk
Address of the Chinese Consulate-General in Manchester:
Address of the Chinese Consulate-General in Edinburgh:
Cash only. Pay on collection.
A 60 day visa can be extended to 90 days by going to the Public Security Bureau (PSB = police) and filling out a form. In Kunming processing takes 3 working days, and costs 125 Y. Note that in Kunming the PSB has moved to posh new digs on East Renmin Road, about 4 blocks east of Beijing Road on the #47 bus route. Don't forget to bring a passport sized photo--otherwise you'll have to pay 40 Y for a sheet of not very flattering photos. They might also ask to see a receipt from your hotel, or a room key.
If you are involved with a chinese Work Unit, it may be possible to get an extension on a 6 month Type F (Business) visa. You will need the Work Unit to write a letter to the PSB (police) Visa Office, bearing the Work Unit's official stamp, requesting that they extend your visa. It is quite possible, however, that the request will be denied.