Getting a Chinese Visa from Akita

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Getting a Chinese Visa from Akita

Postby jessica_stubbs » Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:11 pm

Hi guys,

I'm visiting China in 2 months and I'll need to get a tourist visa, but I'm having trouble figuring out how to do that from my home in Akita. Akita is in Sapporo Consulte's district but I can't understand their website at all- it's really bad designed! So I can't tell if I can apply by mail.

Otherwise- Osaka Consulate accepts mail applications, but can I apply to them if I'm not in their district?


Thanks for any help!

-Jessica
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Re: Getting a Chinese Visa from Akita

Postby Namisuke » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:58 am

What you could do is call the embassy of your country in Japan or visit their website. The one for Americans says this:

http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/hzqz/zgqz/t84246.htm

For some reason I had an assumption that you could go anywhere for 3 months without needing any type of visa beforehand. I guess some countries are an exception...? Do you need to get some kind of visa before entering China even for a short visit? What is the time maximum for touring there?
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Re: Getting a Chinese Visa from Akita

Postby Patryn » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:18 am

For China, you'd most likely need a visa to step foot outside of the international terminal regardless of the amount of time.

your country probably has agreements with many other countries, so you just need to get an entry/exit stamp. For Japan, you actually get a visa on entry for most countries (but not all I think).

It's actually quite rare to be able to go to a different country and not require a visa - just the process is easier for some and not others (depending on your citizenship) - upon arrival or pre-application respectively. Europe is a bit different coz you pretty much get a visa for the EU and any country within that is fair game.

EDIT: Also, not all places give you 90 days. They can give you however many days they want!
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Re: Getting a Chinese Visa from Akita

Postby Namisuke » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:34 am

Patryn wrote:your country probably has agreements with many other countries, so you just need to get an entry/exit stamp. For Japan, you actually get a visa on entry for most countries (but not all I think).

It's actually quite rare to be able to go to a different country and not require a visa - just the process is easier for some and not others (depending on your citizenship) - upon arrival or pre-application respectively.


I was under the assumption that you could go almost anywhere and as long as you don't have any reason to not be let into a country that you get an automatic tourist/visiting visa at the counter for a period of about 3 months. I only know that that is how Japan works though.

Sorry, I said "any kind of visa" instead of "any kind of special visa (requiring application)." When I read my post it just looks silly...whoops!
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Re: Getting a Chinese Visa from Akita

Postby jessica_stubbs » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:22 pm

Japanese people can stay for 15 days without a visa, but people from most countries (including Australia) need a visa of some kind to get in at all (many cynical people say this is a revenue raising activity, heh- and Americans pay like 3 times as much as anyone else!).

I'll be getting a tourist visa. I meet all the requirements for it, but so far physically getting it is the problem, since I don't live in one of the few cities with a consulate.
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Re: Getting a Chinese Visa from Akita

Postby AichiPA_Kevin » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:06 pm

Namisuke wrote:
Patryn wrote:your country probably has agreements with many other countries, so you just need to get an entry/exit stamp. For Japan, you actually get a visa on entry for most countries (but not all I think).

It's actually quite rare to be able to go to a different country and not require a visa - just the process is easier for some and not others (depending on your citizenship) - upon arrival or pre-application respectively.


I was under the assumption that you could go almost anywhere and as long as you don't have any reason to not be let into a country that you get an automatic tourist/visiting visa at the counter for a period of about 3 months. I only know that that is how Japan works though.


Japan works that way for some, but not all, other countries. For example, as a US citizen, I can walk up to the immigration counter at Narita and get into Japan with minimal fuss (assuming they don't have a specific reason to deny me entry). It's my understand that citizens of the Philippines, on the other hand, generally need a letter of invitation from someone inside Japan in order to obtain a tourist visa. These are just a couple of examples.

In the case of China, US citizens need to obtain a visa before traveling. (I can't speak to citizens of other countries.) The process isn't difficult, but you do need to do it before you go. (I remember a counter at the Beijing airport that said something about visas, but I was told this is primarily for people who need emergency visas for some reason. I don't think it routinely grants simple tourist visas.)

TL;DR - Always check out the visa requirements for citizens of your country before traveling to another country. You might need to prepare before you leave.
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Re: Getting a Chinese Visa from Akita

Postby Patryn » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:14 pm

jessica_stubbs wrote:Japanese people can stay for 15 days without a visa, but people from most countries (including Australia) need a visa of some kind to get in at all (many cynical people say this is a revenue raising activity, heh- and Americans pay like 3 times as much as anyone else!).


It's sometimes revenue raising, but it's usually because the country's citizens are charged to get a visa to go the other way as well. So US citizens need to pay to get to China, but Chinese citizens have to pay to get into the USA too. It's kind of a tit-for-tat thing. I know Argentina started doing that a couple of years ago, and there're many other countries that do it too. Of course, some countries choose not to do it because they rely a lot on tourism and the visa charge would reduce the number of tourists.
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Re: Getting a Chinese Visa from Akita

Postby glibberish » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:36 pm

Unless you are a Japanese, Singaporean, Brunei, or Chinese citizen, you will definitely have to get a visa. I recently went to China, and also live pretty far away from the nearest consulate in Osaka. Unfortunately, Chinese consulates do not accept visa applications by mail, so you have two options:

1. Go to the nearest consulate and apply in person, wait until the end of the processing period, and pick up the visa in person. The normal processing period is four days, but you can pay an extra 3000 yen to have it expedited to the following day. Because the consulates are only open on non-holiday weekdays (and visa applications are only accepted from 9 AM to noon at least in Osaka), this will probably require nenkyu or daikyu. Also, there is a chance that no one at the consulate will speak English; when I contacted the Osaka consulate, I had to speak in Japanese.

2. Have a travel company arrange the visa for you. I used the travel company from which I bought my plane ticket to China, and they charged about 10,000 yen for the visa service. They provided the forms I needed and advised me on how to fill them out.

In the end, although it's a little expensive, I would recommend the travel company option, because it still probably costs less that a trip to the consulate and overnight stay.

Also, don't wait to submit the form and make sure that you've dotted all your i's and crossed all your t's. My first form was rejected because it was on two separate pages rather than a single page front and back, and because the photo I attached did not fit exactly within the allotted area. By the time I got a new form to them, the application had changed, and so my second form was rejected as well. Although I had applied with two months to spare, these delays combined with the fact that all of these papers had to be mailed through the travel company meant that I didn't get my visa until four days before I was scheduled to leave for China. Also, if you're planning on going to Hong Kong and then re-entering mainland China, be sure to apply for the double-entry visa.

I hope that this helps! I had a very difficult time finding information about this subject. The whole process was completely different from applying for a Japanese visa or coming to Japan on a tourist visa.
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Re: Getting a Chinese Visa from Akita

Postby glibberish » Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:03 pm

tl;dr You can't apply by mail for a Chinese visa; you have to go in person or have a travel company go for you. Believe me, I tried to find another way!
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