This was last updated in 2016. Requirements might have changed already. Please check the embassy’s official website for the updated list.
China was one country I had always tried to dodge in the past few years. There was just so much negativity going on between China and the Philippines — the dragging territorial disputes, the execution of Filipino drug traffickers, and a few unsavory stories from friends who were detained upon arrival for a random inspection. Not to mention that they had one of the most demanding list of visa requirements among our Asian neighbors. All these things, in a way, made me a bit hesitant to book a ticket.
But this vast, vast country cradles many of the places in my Must-Visit-Before-I-Die list: the Great Wall, the Tianzi Mountains in Zhangjiajie, the Li River in Guilin, the Rainbow Mountains in Danxia, and Tibet. Flying to China was bound to happen sooner or later. Sooner, it turned out, so I had to get myself a Chinese visa earlier this year.
Thankfully, Chinese visa processes seem to have loosened up a bit over the years. For starters, they no longer require SSS Contribution proof and NBI Clearance.
Here’s how you can get a Tourist Visa from the Chinese Embassy in Manila.
WHAT'S COVERED IN THIS GUIDE?
1. Complete the basic requirements.
The following are the documents you need. This was last updated in 2016. Requirements might have changed already. Please check the embassy’s official website for the updated list.
a. Passport. Must be valid for another 6 months. Must have at least one empty page.
b. Photocopy of the passport BIO (Page 2) and the Emergency Contact pages.
c. Duly accomplished application form. Important: Don’t leave any field blank. If the question or item does not apply to you, write N/A. You can download the form here.
d. 2 recent color photos. Size: 48mm x 33mm. White background. Must be glued to the designated space on the Application Form. Taped, clipped or stapled photos will not be accepted.
e. Travel itinerary. There is a space provided on the Application Form. But you may use a separate sheet if necessary. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply indicate the dates, the activities, and where you will be staying (ie hotel address).
f. Roundtrip plane ticket. Yes, you will need to book tickets first before applying.
g1. Hotel reservation. Only if you’re staying at a hotel. The automated itinerary email from the hotel or booking website will do, as long as the details (address, name of guest, travel dates) are readable.
g2. Invitation letter. Only if you will be staying at a friend’s or relative’s. The letter may be in the form of email print out, fax, or photocopy. It must also contain the following information:
- The applicant’s full name, gender, date of birth, passport number, and other relevant details.
- The inviting person’s full name, contact numbers, address, signature, stamp, and relation to the applicant.
- Information about the visit: purpose of travel, arrival and departure dates, the places to be visited, who will be shouldering the expenses.
Note that the above list of requirements apply to tourist visas only. The Embassy demands a separate set for Work, Student, Family Visit, Transit, Journalist, and others.
2. Prove that you can afford this trip.
How to do that? By submitting the following documents.
a. Bank certificate. Must indicate the deposit balance and the past 6 months history of your account.
b. BIR-stamped ITR (Income Tax Return).
c. Company ID
d. Certificate of Employment, detailing your position, your salary, and how long you have been with the company.
e. Business registration certificate. For self-employed individuals only. Ignore if you’re a company employee.
If you can’t provide the above documents, you need to produce a letter explaining why not.
3. Submit all the documents to the Chinese Embassy.
You’ll be shocked to learn that the Chinese Embassy has several addresses in Metro Manila. Where you need to go is their CONSULAR SECTION. And this is their address:
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China,
2F The World Center, 330 Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue,
Visa Application Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 9am-11am.
For our readers based in the Visayas, Cebu might be the wiser choice.
Consulate General of People’s Republic of China,
Cebu Fil-Chinese Volunteers Fire Brigade Building,
Don Julio Llorente Street, Brgy. Capitol Site,
Visa Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30am-12nn
When you get there, look for the staff by the door. They will inspect all your documents and tell you if you miss anything. If everything’s fine, they will give you a number. You will then have to wait for your number to be called.
After submitting all the docs, you will be given a RELEASE SLIP, which indicates the date you should claim your passport.
PROCESSING TIME AND FEES:
Note that it is up to you how fast you want your application to be processed. The standard processing time is 4 DAYS, and it costs P1400.
You can have it as soon as 2 days after filing. But remember that the shorter it gets, the higher the cost.
On the day of release, return to the Consular Section and get another number from the door staff. You will get the passport after making the payment.
For more information about Visa services, visit their website here,
or contact (02) 8482395
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
2F The World Center,
330 Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue,
Makati City, Philippines