This post is about our Chinese Visa Application experience. We are Philippines and Ukraine Passport holders (Filipina and Ukrainian) who are temporarily residing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Chinese visa application here in Kuala Lumpur was done through the Chinese Visa Application Service Center. It is currently located in the address below:
Level 5 & 6, Hampshire Place Office, Jalan Mayang Sari, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.
We applied last July 2019 and entered China in September 2019. Philippines passport holders need a tourist visa Category L to enter China if he or she is going to tour the country for a few days and not just transiting there. Ukraine Passport holders also need a Category L visa to enter China and to be able to spend more than 72 hours in the country. Out reason for travelling to China at that time was because we needed to support the Philippines national basketball team in the recently concluded FIBA World Cup Basketball 2019.
A. The following were the requirements we submitted to be able to apply for Category L Chinese visa for tourists:
Original Passport. We photocopied our passport’s data page and the stamp of our latest entry to Malaysia.
Visa application form. We downloaded the form from the Chinese Visa Application Service Center’s website www.visaforchina.org and printed it. Then, we filled it in legibly by hand.
2 pcs identical photos. The photos must be taken within six months from the date of the Chinese visa application. The photos must be taken against a white background, and its dimension must be 48mm x 33mm or passport size. If you do not have a photo, do not worry because the Chinese Visa Application Service Center has a dedicated service for picture taking and printing for a fee.
Proof of legal status. This is actually the current visa in Malaysia if the Chinese visa applicant is temporarily residing in the country. We photocopied our visas.
Photocopy of the previous passport and the Chinese visas if applicable.
*For more detailed information on the basic requirements based on your Nationality and case, please visit www.visaforchina.org website.
We also submitted the following supporting documents:
Round trip air ticket booking. We bought the flight tickets through AirAsia. It was a promo fare, so we just bought it even if we were not sure we would get a Chinese visa at the time of ticket booking.
Hotel or Accommodation booking. We actually booked our accommodation through Airbnb.com We just printed our Airbnb itinerary and submitted it.
Email confirmation from the FIBA tickets seller. We submitted this, but the officer did not take it during the document screening.
B. The Visa Application Procedure.
After gathering all the documents above, we went directly to the Chinese Visa Application Service Center during their operating hours. We did not book an appointment online. Although, they encourage that you do it before going to the centre. We were just lucky on that day because there were fewer applicants.
The first part of the process was the document screening. They checked every document, removed all staple wires and returned to us the unnecessary documents, for example, the flight ticket invoice. After that, the security guard assisted us in getting a priority number for the final document screening.
The final document screening was simple. The officer took all documents and original passports. He encoded our details in their database and gave us a collection receipt. At this point, we did not pay anything. He told us to come back after one week.
C. Passport collection day.
My husband went alone to the Chinese Visa Application Service Center for the payment and passport collection procedures. We really did not have an idea if our application was approved or not. After arriving in the office, he took a priority number to be able to approach the officer who did the final screening of our document. The officer instructed him to go to the next floor up to pay RM400.00 for the two visa applicants. So my husband paid the visa fees, he came back to the officer’s window, gave him the payment, and the collection receipts. The officer gave our passports and there we got our first-ever Chinese visa category L for tourists!
D. There is a little problem with our visas!
We applied for 17 days visa based on our round trip tickets. The thing is that China gave us 15 days – Chinese visa category L for tourists! The officer said there is not much he can do about it. To solve the issue, we just rescheduled our AirAsia flight ticket arrival to China a day later. It means spending 14 days in China instead of 15 days. Who would want to be illegal in China! We just prayed that there would not be flight cancellation or delays, and thank God the trip went smoothly.
E. Border crossing experience in Baiyun International Airport, Guangzhou, China.
After disembarking the plane, you will have to walk a few meters to reach the immigration section in the airport. But before that, it is advisable to use the fingerprint capturing system which is located before the queue to the immigration desk. We did that thing and then headed to the queue. The immigration interview was done one person at a time but of-course the little kids get to stay with their parents or guardian. I went ahead first, and the immigration questions were the following:
1. What are you going to do in China?
My answer: I am here for tourism. My Philippines national basketball team will play in the FIBA world cup, and I am going to support them.
2. Can you show me your return ticket?
I showed it to him, and he asked: “Oh, you are going to Shanghai?”
My answer: Yes. After Guangzhou, we will go to Foshan, then Beijing, then Shanghai and then go back to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
My husband was also asked the same questions and his relationship to me. I’d say mainland China’s immigration is the best at what they do. It is advisable to prepare documents before border crossing and make sure you go there as a tourist and be a tourist if your visa is a tourist visa.