Monday, June 16, 2008

Applying for a Visa to China these days...


Applying for a visa to China has officially become a hassle. For the past couple of months, and up till the time of the Olympics, Singaporeans also must apply for visas (they normally have a 2-week grace period).

And wouldn't you know it... my visa expired, and I am planning a trip at the end of the month.

When you have to apply for a visa to China these days, it is best to allow at least half a day for it. I was in an incredibly long queue this morning... and that was just to pick up the application. From there, you've got to fill it up, then queue again to hand it in. Four days later, you can collect it... if it is approved.

Oh, and nowadays, you can't apply until after you've bought and paid for your tickets. You have to show return tickets and a hotel voucher for the period you are in China. Without that, you won't even be able to apply.

And, of course, fees are a fair bit higher than normal. My single entry visa this time will cost more than double what it did before.

All of this is supposed to revert back to normal after the Olympics. If you can wait till then to go to China, I would advise that you do wait. It will save you money and a whole lot of hassle.

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