Since March 15, the Chinese Embassy in Singapore has resumed issuing all types of visas to foreigners, a long-awaited lifting of the suspension that happened in 2020. However, the 15-day visa-free facility for Singaporeans travelling to China remains suspended.
Following the latest announcement, news reports have revealed hundreds of people queuing along Robinson Road to apply for a China Visa at the China Visa Centre.
Before you bring your own mat and portable chairs to prepare for the long wait, here’s a guide on how you can apply for a China Visa.
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How To Apply For A Chinese Visa
In order to visit China, you must have a valid China Visa, which is a permit issued by visa authorities of the People’s Republic of China in accordance with its laws and regulations for a foreign citizen’s entry into, exit from or transit through Chinese territory.
To apply for a visa, applicants have to first complete the visa application form online.
Image Credit: Chinese Visa Application Service Centre
Registration is free and only takes a few minutes to complete. Registration provides access to the following features:
- Quick access to previously submitted application forms, booked appointments and visa application status inquiries.
- Fill in future application forms easier by using data from previous application submissions.
- Keeps a full history of your application.
To ensure a smooth operation and smooth out the flow of applicants over the working day, the Visa Centre strongly encourages applicants to make an appointment well in advance for submitting a visa application. Based on experience, the submission peak hours are between 10.00 am and 1.00 pm, so try to avoid this period if possible.
The Visa Centre allots a certain number of appointments in each 30-minute timeslot. Upon arrival, you need to either show a printout of the appointment information or e-mail or simply mention your name, and you will then be given a queue number on a first-come-first- served basis. This should guarantee a wait of only a few minutes.
You can click here for the location of the Visa Centre and office working hours. You can submit the application yourself or authorise a third party to do so.
The Visa Centre accepts visa applications from Singaporean citizens or citizens of other countries staying in Singapore with appropriate legal status. However, it cannot accept the application if you are not physically in Singapore when your application is being submitted.
If you are not currently in the country in which the centre is located, you have to apply from where you normally reside, or apply after you return to the country.
You may also be required to go to the Visa Office of the Embassy (Address: 150 Tanglin Road, Singapore 247969) in person to have an interview as deemed necessary by a consular officer.
- Do note that no mail-in/online/fax applications are accepted.
- You or your agent will be able to pick up your passport with visa on the date printed on your pick-up slip unless otherwise notified by the Visa Office of the Embassy.
- Mail-back visa service is not provided.
- You must pay the visa fee once your application is processed and approved.
CVASC Address: 80 Robinson Road, #16-01/02/02A, Singapore 068898
For more enquiries, you can visit CVASC website at www.visaforchina.com.sg or call +65 67139380.
What To Do On The Actual Day Of The Application Appointment
On the day of your visit to the Centre, do be punctual. Once you arrive you will obtain a queue number for submitting your application; please wait for your number to be called. Then you need to submit your application at the counter designated for handling the particular queue number.
You will receive a pick-up form, which is a receipt showing the information of your application and expected date for collection. Do check all the particulars on the pick-up form; should you have any questions about the information printed on it, contact the staff immediately. Always carefully retain the pick-up form as it must be shown when collecting your passport.
The CVASC provides a 24-hour online facility to track the status of your application. You can click here to enter track your application status page and bookmark it. Or you can easily find the tracking page from Quick Access on the homepage of the Visa Centre’s web site.
How Long Will My Application Take To Process
Due to the high demand for visas in recent days, the embassy advises applicants to make appointments in advance and schedule their itinerary accordingly. It advises individuals to make an application well in advance of the planned travel date – apply one month in advance but no earlier than three months.
A regular application will take four business days and an express service is expected to take three business days.
The processing time is or reference only as some applications may require longer processing time that a pick-up date cannot be confirmed until notified by the Visa Office of the Embassy. Try to give more allowance in application response time, before you secure your flight tickets and accommodation.
Can You Enter China Without A Visa
Visitors who can enter China include tourist groups from the ASEAN regional grouping, and you can enter Guilin in Guangxi without a visa. There are also visa-free travel to Hainan Island and arrival on cruise ships to Shanghai.
Those who arrive on a cruise ship to Shanghai Cruise Port can get 15 days of visa-free travel to Shanghai and other coastal provinces, regions, and municipalities including, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Liaoning, Hebei, Tianjin, Shandong, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang.
Another place in China is the Pearl River Delta. To be eligible, the tour group must depart from Hong Kong or Macao, and be people from countries that have established diplomatic relations with China. You can travel to the nine mainland Chinese cities of the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region (Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen, Zhaoqing, and Huizhou) for up to six days without a visa.
There are also a few countries that enable visa-free travel to China for citizens holding ordinary passports. These citizens can travel to China without a visa for up to 30 days for tourism, travel, business, and visiting family and friends. (Citizens from the following countries will still need to apply for a corresponding visa to China if they intend to work, study, or settle in China, or intend to stay for longer than 30 days.)
The countries are Armenia, The Bahamas, Barbodos, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dominica, Fiji, Grenada, The Maldives, Mauritius, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Suriname, and The United Arab Emirates.
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