Chinese Visa Application in Singapore

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Hello from the eastern lands of Fujian, China! This is the second extended trip of the year for me and I’m thankful for all the good things in life that has happened this year. But before I detail my adventures in this city, I would like to first document my Chinese Visa application process in Singapore, which wasn’t the smoothest.

Summary

Essential documents:

  • The visa application form, which should be filled in online via the website, printed out
  • A passport-sized photo of yourself
  • Your passport (to be detained during the visa application process, about a week)
  • A colored photocopy of your passport’s photo page
  • Your long-term pass (EP, S-Pass, etc), if any
  • A photocopy of the aforementioned pass
  • A printout of your flight itinerary
  • One of the following:
    • The travel itinerary as provided by your tour group (if applicable), or
    • Printout of the booking confirmation emails for each accommodation booked
    • Either one mentioned above must contain your name!

Documents that were stated as required in the visa application website, but didn’t seem to be necessary on the point of application:

  • (For tour groups) A photocopy of the tour group inviter’s identification card
  • If you had applied for a Chinese visa before, the old passport that contains the Chinese visa (and a photocopy of the photo page of the old passport)

Tips and Tricks

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  • Approach the receptionist at the front desk to have her check your documents for completeness.
  • The visa application centre offers printing services for $1 per page – that’s just absurd.
    • Luckily, you can easily find Unimax downstairs (pictured) near the application centre, which charges at a much cheaper rate of $0.30 per page, plus photocopying services as necessary.
  • Bring cash during the passport collection as I’ve been told that NETS payment will take a much longer time.
  • I went for both application and collection on Fridays.
    • On the application day, there was little to no queue and I had my application processed immediately.
    • On the collection day, the wait was sizable, and I waited for 12 people before my turn.

Rants

  • I have completely no idea why the travel itinerary document has to contain my name – I could’ve easily added it myself via my own computer.
  • Took me all the trouble digging for the old passport which contained my Chinese visa 16 years ago, only to have it casually disregarded by the counter lady.
  • The working staff in the application centre have a cold attitude – but since you die die need the visa, there’s nothing much you can do.
  • The application fee is $90 for foreigners, where I could’ve done it in Malaysia for RM140 =~ $45.

I was especially frustrated as it took me much longer than expected to consolidate the necessary documents for the application when I arrived at the application centre – thus I hope this post helps for whoever requires a Chinese visa in Singapore!

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