The Visa Hassle – China

During the Big Trip, there’s (highly likely) only one country for which I, Mr. Fries, need a visa: the home country of Ms. Rice.

In the last 4 years, we’ve been traveling there minimum twice a year, so the Chinese visa application has been sort of a habit. After attaining several tourism visas, it’s now possible to directly apply for a “family visit visa”, a multiple entry visa which can last up to a year. The visa drill, almost exactly the same as a tourism visa, goes like this:
  • completed visa application form (online or on paper) including 1 picture. This also includes a small itinerary of the planned trip.
  • copy of passport
  • copy of previous Chinese visas (if applicable)
  • copy of flight tickets
  • invitation letter (stating reason of visit, identification of applicant and inviting party)
  • copy of id/passport of inviting party + copy of residence permit. In our case, these are the legal documents of the house.
It’s also possible to do it without an invitation letter, though you will need hotel reservations for the entire trip.
In Belgium, the processing time at the China Visa center usually takes up to 1 working week. We did not start the procedure yet (as from mid September), so we keep all of you posted !