Chinese visa for Filipinos: tourist and transit processes
Is it hard to apply for a Chinese visa for Filipinos? I’ve been to China many times and I can say it gets easier as you keep visiting the country! Here are the steps on how to apply for a Chinese visa for Philippine passport holders.
Reader Mail: Hi Trisha! I read your blog about Mexico visa for Filipinos. Thank you for the great information! You mentioned there that you flew through China to get to Tijuana. My question is, did you apply for a Chinese visa? If yes, do I need a transit visa or a tourist visa?
I would love to visit Mexico soon and I can’t seem to find a good route from Asia. Since you have experience with China, I hope you can give me more information. Thank you!
– JJ, Philippines
Thank you for following! I really appreciate it. You are right – I had to fly through China because that was the cheapest flight I could find. I applied for a transit visa to China and it was a very easy process.
I’ve also been to China many times and have applied for a Chinese visa on different occasions. In this post, I will share with you how to process your Chinese visa for Filipinos including my personal experiences with the application.
Relax, it’s pretty easy! Feel free to contact me if you have any other questions. Have a great trip and let me know if you make it to Mexico!
Is China open for tourism?
China is currently closed for tourism and Philippine passport holders cannot enter China. At the moment, only holders of a residence permit are allowed to enter China.
See also: How to apply for a Japanese visa
Life in China is back to normal but each region is imposing lockdown depending on the outbreak of the virus. There are new variant cases of the Delta virus in the city of Nanjing and most cases are from airport personnel.
Life is largely back to normal, but things can change fast in China — regional lockdowns have been imposed every time there are new outbreaks of the virus.
Who can travel to China right now?
Only people who are coming to work in China and travelers for humanitarian reasons are allowed to enter and lounge new visa applications to China.
Humanitarian reasons include reuniting with family. APEC Business travel cardholders are also allowed to go to China. Business travelers from South Korea and Singapore are also on the list as per the Fast Lane Agreement with China.
You may also like: Living in Nanjing, China – what’s it like?
All other travelers who are not in this category can only go to China if they are vaccinated with Chinese-made vaccines (14 days before travel or earlier).
It is very unclear if you can only go to China with a Chinese-made vaccine but the Chinese Embassy in the USA confirmed that you are also eligible to enter with Moderna, J&J, and Pfizer vaccines.
For more information about COVID vaccines accepted in China, please call the Embassy near you.
Chinese visa for Filipinos: a step-by-step guide
Step 1: Gather the requirements
Below are the requirements to apply for a Chinese visa for Filipinos. Bear in mind that incomplete requirements will not be processed as you can walk into the Embassy without an appointment.
The Chinese Embassy in Manila is not that big and is always crowded so you’ll just waste your time to fall in line if you come with incomplete requirements.
Chinese visa for Filipinos requirements
#1: Chinese visa application form
Complete the Chinese visa application form and do not leave any fields blank. Make sure to put N/A to fields that are not relevant to you. You may download the Chinese visa application form here.
#2: Visa photo
The exact photo size for a China Visa is 33mmx48mm. Please make sure you have the correct size because the Chinese embassy is very particular about this.
For digital photos, the horizontal pixel should be 354-420 px and 472-560 px for vertical.
I did not have to worry about this because when I went to a photo studio, the guys already know the correct measurement so make sure you clarify that the visa photo you need is for China.
Photo studios also have blazers for you to use but feel free to bring your own. Black blazers preferred. Take note that your photo must be taken within the past 6 months prior to application so you definitely need a new photo!
#3: Passport (original and photocopy)
When you submit your application, the Chinese Embassy will take your passport but that doesn’t necessarily mean that your visa is 100% approved. They will also ask for a photocopy of the information page of your passport with the signature.
Your passport must be valid 6 months prior to travel to China, otherwise, they won’t accept your application. Also, make sure that you have at least 2 extra visa pages.
#4: Previous visa to China (if applicable)
If you’ve been granted a Chinese visa for Filipinos before, you need to also give them a photocopy of that visa. If that visa is not in your current passport, bring your old passport and submit it as well.
#5: Bank statement
Your bank statement should be recent (1-3 months only) and must clearly show your name, balances of the account that the date the statement was issued. Though there is no clarity about how much money should you have in the bank, I always just make sure I have at least 100,000 pesos every time I am applying for visas.
Make sure that the bank statement is authenticated by the bank manager (signature and full name). The Chinese Embassy doesn’t necessarily call the bank to certify if your statement is true but they sometimes will if they have doubts with your bank statement.
#6: Hotel booking
When applying for a Chinese visa for Filipinos, you are required to show a confirmed flight booking. I usually just use Booking.com because your reservation will get confirmed even without paying.
The problem is, they can only hold your reservation for 3 days. You can get a dummy hotel reservation in the meantime.
See also: How to apply for a tourist visa to India
#7: Flight booking
The Chinese Embassy also asks for a flight reservation. If you’re going to pay a visa company for your Chinese visa, they can definitely make this for you. If not, you can get your flight reservation here for as low as $15 USD!
#8: Other requirements depending on circumstance
Requirements may vary if you are employed, a student without financial proof, a minor, etc. Below are the different requirements for Chinese visa applications depending on the circumstance.
- You need to submit a letter from your employer with the company’s letterhead that states that you have been granted vacation time and that you will be returning to the same job.
- Your superior’s full name and signature should be in the letter, including your exact travel dates.
- Current bank statement for the last 6 months
- Income Tax Return (ITR)
- Original pay slips
- A copy of your business license
- Company bank statement of the latest 6 months
- Income Tax Return (ITR)
- You need to submit an official letter from your school that states your good standing and that you are enrolled for the school year.
- Bring your official enrollment records as well
- Proof of retirement fund
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Step 2: Submit your visa application at the Chinese Embassy
Once you have all the COMPLETE requirements, you can walk in the Chinese Embassy and submit your requirements. Please note that the Chinese Embassy allows an authorized individual to process your visa.
I actually did not do mine personally as it was affordable to hire an agency for a Chinese visa. Chinese embassies are always super busy and the lines are long so you’ll probably use at least 4-6 hours of your day to fall in line.
Again, you do not need an appointment to process your Chinese visa. Once there, the guard will give you a number and then you just need to wait for your number to be called.
Step 3: Pay the visa fee
You’ll do it all at once when you are already in the window. The process is really fast but they don’t tell you right then and there if the visa is approved or not. Below are the visa fees for your reference:
- Single entry: ₱1,400
- Double-entry: ₱2,100
- 6-mo multiple entry: ₱2,800
- 1-yr multiple entry: ₱4,200
You don’t need to go to a bank to pay for the Chinese visa fee (like other embassies in the Philippines). You will only need to go to the payment section of the Chinese Embassy.
Step 4: Wait for the results
I was not interviewed but the visa officer told me that I might be interviewed if necessary. The Chinese Embassy conducts an interview as an extra if they have questions and doubts about your application so be prepared!
The processing time for a Chinese visa for Filipinos takes 4-7 days. I got mine within 2 days but then again I’ve already been to China multiple times so it’s easier for me to apply and get approved.
Chinese visa for Filipinos: apply for a transit visa
When I was flying to Mexico, Beijing was the cheapest route I could find. I paid $990 USD (₱49,200) for a flight that goes from Beijing-Tijuana-Mexico City. I paid for the Manila-Beijing flight separately which was below ₱5,000.
I actually thought I wouldn’t need a visa to fly through but the airport in Beijing is designed that everyone will go out. It’s crazy that they don’t have a layover area!
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I already had a ticket so I knew I needed a visa. In all my visa escapades, I always bear in mind that if I am changing airlines in the layover, then I need a visa to that country where I’m stopping.
I processed my Chinese visa within 24 hours. They only needed the passport, a visa photo, and the flight booking confirmation to Mexico. They did not even ask me to fill out an application form! They granted me 10 days of transit in Beijing but I really just needed a few minutes to fly through.
You can walk into the Embassy and the process is the same as above.
Chinese visa for Filipinos on Pinterest: save it for later!