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Frequently Asked Questions about Visas

1. Should I apply for a visa to visit the mainland of China?

2. Should I apply for a visa to visit Hong Kong?

3. Where can I apply for a visa?

4. What documents should I submit when I apply for a visa?

5. How long in advance before my planed trip to China should I apply for a visa?

6. How long will the visa process take? Do you have express service?

7. What is Entries? What should I do if the entries permitted becomes invalid?

8. What is Enter before? What should I do if the visa becomes invalid?

9. What is Duration of Each Stay after Entry? What should I do if I want to stay in China longer than the duration?

10. I am a Swedish citizen. I intend to visit Beijing and then Hong Kong for a short trip. After that I want to go to Shanghai. How many entries is suitable for my tour?

11. Can I apply for renewal of my visa at the Consulate General?

12. I am far away from the Consulate General, how can I apply for the visa?


 

1. Should I apply for a visa to visit the mainland of China?

A: Foreigners to visit China are generally required to apply for visas in advance. But ordinary passport holders from Singapore, Brunei and Japan can gain access to China without applying for visas for up to 15 days for business, sightseeing, visiting relatives and friends, or transit. They can enter and exit from the ports that are open to foreigners.

2. Should I apply for a visa to visit Hong Kong?

A: Ordinary passport holders from Sweden can gain access to Hong Kong without applying for visas for up to 90 days for business, sightseeing, visiting relatives and friends, or transit. If you are not a Swede, please click here to see if you need visa to visit Hong Kong.

3. Where can I apply for a visa?

A: For entry into China, foreigners shall apply for visas from Chinese diplomatic missions, consular posts or other resident agencies abroad authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, such as Chinese Embassies or Consulates. Each Embassy or consulate has its own consular districts. Usually, applicants are required to apply for visas from the relevant Embassy or Consulate.

Applicants who reside or travel away from the country of his or her nationality can apply for visas at a local Chinese Embassy or Consulate. Foreigners who are already in China can apply for an extension of duration at a local county level Public Security Bureau.

4. What documents should I submit when I apply for a visa?

A: Visa applicants are generally required to submit:

1) One completely filled out Visa Application Form;

2) One recently taken passport photo showing entire face and without a hat on.

3) Original passport with at least 2 blank visa pages and valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of application;

4) Other documents in accordance with your application (refer to relevant instructions in How to Apply for a visa).

It is your interest to ensure that you are fully prepared before submitting your application. Consuls will base their decision on the documents you provided. If you fail to fill out the Visa Application Form or the relevant application material completely and correctly, consuls may refuse to issue you a visa. According to the international practice, consuls make the decision on your visa type, entry and duration of stay, needless to explain the reason.

5.How long in advance before my planed trip to China should I apply for a visa?

A: If you apply for the visa too late, you may not have enough time for the application. If you apply for the visa too early, the visa may become invalid before you depart for China. Single-entry visas are generally valid for 3 months from the date of issuance. Two-entry visas are generally valid for 6 months. You are suggested to apply for the visa 50 days before your departure date.

Consuls will not take the applicant's air tickets into consideration. Applicants will take on the responsibility of any inconvenience caused by applying too early or too late.

6.How long will the visa process take? Do you have express service?

A: If your application meets all requirements, you may pick up the visa on the fourth working day after you submit your application for regular pickup. If you submit your application before 11:00 am and ask for the same day express, consuls may take your application in consideration. Your application may be expedited and you can pick it up from 11:00 to 11:30 by paying the extra rush fee of 250 kr per visa in addition to the regular visa fee. The next day or third day pickup express service fee is 170 kr per visa.

Applicants should come to pick up the visas on time by presenting the pickup form. Those who can not come on the pickup date should pick up the visas no later than 7 days after the pickup date. For those who fail to pick up the visa in the right time, consuls don't have any responsibility for the possible loss of the passports.

7. What is Entries? What should I do if the entries permitted becomes invalid?

A: Entries means the number of entries permitted during the period the visa is valid. Visas become invalid after the applicants fully use the Entries permitted. Entries permitted can not be added or changed. Applicants should apply for another visa after that. Visa becomes invalid if it goes beyond the date of Enter before even if there are some Entries left. Applicants should check if there are valid Entries permitted before they depart for China.

8. What is Enter before? What should I do if the visa becomes invalid?

A: Enter before means that you may use the visa to enter into China before 12:00am on the date printed on the visa if the visa has valid Entries permitted. Visas become invalid and cannot be extended after the date of Enter Before even if there are Entries left. You should apply for another visa. All visas come into effect on the date of issuance. Applicants should take all responsibility if they decide to change their journey and the visas become invalid. Applicants should check the Enter before on their visas before they depart for China.

9. What is Duration of Each Stay after Entry? What should I do if I want to stay in China longer than the duration?

A: Duration of Each Stay after Entry means the longest period the applicants are permitted to stay in China. Duration of Each Stay is counted from the date of entry. Applicants should apply for an extension of the duration at a local county level Public Security Bureau if he or she stays in China longer than the Duration of Each Stay printed on the visa.

Z, J-1, D and X visa holders should apply for resident permit at a local Public Security Bureau no later than 30 days after they enter into China lest they become an illegal resident.

Visa holders should frequently check the duration during the time they are in China.

10.I am a Swedish citizen. I intend to visit Beijing and then Hong Kong for a short trip. After that I want to go to Shanghai. How many entries is suitable for my tour?

A: Swedish citizens do not need a visa to Hong Kong for a short trip less than 90 days. Swedish citizens should have a valid visa for the mainland of China. From Sweden to Beijing is one entry, and from Hong Kong to Shanghai is another entry. So you should apply for a two-entry visa. If you have applied for a single entry visa, you may apply for another visa at the Consular Department of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong.

11.Can I apply for renewal of my visa at the Consulate General?

A: Chinese visas are printed and cannot be renewed. Applicants should arrange their journeys before they apply for visas and fill out the application forms completely and truthfully. Applicants have the responsibility to check their visa when picking it up.

12. I am far away from the Consulate General, how can I apply for the visa?

A: Applicants may entrust someone else (relative, friend or travel agent) to submit the application. The entrusted should appear in person. Please be noticed that the applicants should hold all responsibilities.

Applicants also can apply visa through mails, please read the Procedure for Applying for Visas through Mails carefully, and follow the instructions strictly. Any mail application that fails to meet the requirements will be sent back without handling. The applicants shall hold all the responsibilities.

The FAQs of the mail application are as following:

(1) I have prepared a self-addressed return envelope with enough stamps, do I still have to pay the mail service charge (40kr)?

A: Yes. The mail service charge is just for the handling of the mail application, not the postage of the returned mail. The service charge (40kr) can share one bank check with the visa fee. But different types of visa shall be put into different packages.

(2) If my application meets all requirements, when can I get my visa after I mail the application?

A: Mail application need much more time, normally it will take 10 days to get the visa. If you need the visa urgently, please come to the Consulate-General to apply for visas.

(3) After I mail my application, shall I make a phone call to track my application?

A: Due to too many applicants, we can not track mail applications one by one. Just be patient please. Normally you will get your visas back in 10 days. If you didn't get your visa 10 days after your application, you could contact us by telephone, fax or e-mail.

(4) How can I pay if I apply for visas by mail?

A: The applicants shall first calculate the visa fee and mail service charge, and go to a bank to apply for a check for all of them, then send the check to the Consulate together with your application material. Those who put cash in the envelope will bear full responsibility for any possible loss of the cash.

(5) Can I mail the application to you and come to the Consulate to pick up visa by myself?

A: For security reasons, we don't provide this kind of service.

(6) Can I put different types of visa application in one envelope?

A: The types and entries of visas in one envelope shall be the same, so different applications shall be put in different envelopes.

(7) What is the postage for one mail?

A: You have to pay 62 kr at least for a registered mail (for 1-2 passports). For more information, please contact the local post office.

(8) Why has my mail been returned?

A: Probably because your materials did not meet our requirements. For example, you did not mail some copies of the documents, your postage is not enough, please read the enclosed letter for information.

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