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Re: Visas to China

2010-01-14 12:01:36
Just wish to remind people that China requires passports to have at least 6 
months before expiration during your visit.

This might mean renewing your passport before getting visas.



----- Original Message ----
From: Andrew G. Malis <agmalis(_at_)gmail(_dot_)com>
To: Fred Baker <fred(_at_)cisco(_dot_)com>
Cc: Ole Jacobsen <ole(_at_)cisco(_dot_)com>; IETF-Discussion list 
Sent: Wed, January 13, 2010 8:11:15 AM
Subject: Re: Visas to China

If you are a US resident, also note that China has multiple
consulates, and the consulate that you will use for your visa depends
on where you live. See this map for details:


On Tue, Jan 12, 2010 at 3:51 PM, Fred Baker wrote:
I'll echo Ole and Brian. In general, I find the Chinese consulate/embassy
not very demanding. If you have a business reason for a multi-entry visa,
get one, but in general the standard tourist visa is simplest to get and
works fine.

Not advertising the service, but to give you an idea of what it looks like,
I'll point you at the web site of the company Cisco uses for visas.
To get a visa to China, you need a visa application (download from the web
site) and a color "passport" photo. If you go for a "business" visa, you
need some demonstration of the business. "business" implies you're trying to
sell something or staying there for an extended duration; to attend a
conference such as an IETF meeting one generally gets a tourist visa. Some
countries need letters of invitation; I would expect the host will have a
facility up to get such.

The visa process at the Chinese Embassy is usually on the order of a week;
safety would suggest two. My multiple entry visa will expire just before the
meeting, so I plan to file for a new visa sometime in October.

Interesting reading from the Los Angeles PRC Consulate.

Non-US folks should of course look at the web site of whatever consulate is
relevant to them for specifics of the relations between China and their

On Jan 12, 2010, at 7:26 AM, Ole Jacobsen wrote:

Since Andy mentioned visas I would like to give some vague and
unhelpful advice :-)

It turns out that the DURATION of your visa depends on what country
you are from, and even what consulate or embassy you apply at. In
all cases the clock starts running the day the visa is issued.

Real example: As a Norwegian, applying in San Francisco, I was only
grqnted a single-entry visa valid for 3 months. I applied in March
2009 which was a mistake since the trip didn't happen until August,
so I would have had a visa that expired sometime in June. They all
say "must not arrive after ". I was able execute an "undo"
on this particular occasion and came back again in July and received
a visa that covered the period of my visit.

Your mileage may, no, WILL, vary, so check the wiza wizards,
consulates, embassies etc. Fred Baker regularly gets a one-year
multi entry visa, but he's American and he uses the visa brokers,
something I clearly should have done instead of foolishly applying
too early.

The form has a box which asks when you intend to arrive in China, but
that information is NOT used to start the clock for the validity of
the visa itself, in some sense that date isn't used for anything, at
least as far as I can tell.

How long you can stay in China again depends on what country you are
from and what kind of visa you have.


Ole J. Jacobsen
Editor and Publisher,  The Internet Protocol Journal
Cisco Systems
Tel: +1 408-527-8972   Mobile: +1 415-370-4628
E-mail: ole(_at_)cisco(_dot_)com  URL:

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