China Visa Application Requirements for Filipino Tourists in The Philippines (Single / Multiple Entry)

by Visa Guides & Immigration0 comments

China is vast and because of that, it is definitely a melting pot of various diversities for activities, food, history, and sceneries that a lot of tourists seek. In fact, from the bustling city hubs to the quiet rural areas, it’s a destination that can offer just about anything for every type of traveler out there! (China Visa)

What to Do in China?

Come and check out this list of the top things to do in China which features the best activities and tours to do in places like Shanghai, Beijing, and more!

Top photo by: Shutterstock

But in order to visit the country as a Filipino citizen, you need to apply for a China visa first — unless you are arriving at the following destinations then fortunately, you are visa-free or visa-exempt:

  • Sanya Phoenix International Airport (SYX): Filipinos are visa-exempt for 30 days but you must stay within Hainan Province only under a stamped name list or invitation letter from a registered tourist agent in the province OR with a confirmed hotel booking, AND an onward ticket. You must enter and exit through this airport.
  • Haikou Meilan International Airport (HAK): Filipinos are visa-exempt for 30 days but you must stay within Hainan Province only under a stamped name list or invitation letter from a registered tourist agent in the province. You must enter and exit through this airport.
  • Guilin Lioangjiang Airport (KWL): Filipinos are visa-exempt for 6 days but you must be a part of a tourist group tour with at least 2 tourists organized by a registered travel agent. You must enter and exit through this airport.
  • Hong Kong (SAR): Filipinos are visa-exempt for 14 days.
  • Macau (SAR): Filipinos are visa-exempt for 30 days.
    • BONUS: If you are already in Hong Kong or Macau, you can visit the Pearl River Delta region (including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen, Zhaoqing and Huizhou) visa-exempt for 6 days as long as you are part of a tourist group organized by a travel agency in Hong Kong or Macao.

If you’re not going through any of the above visa-exempt destinations in China, don’t fret! After all, the China visa application is quite fast and easy. So in order to get a Chinese visa, I hope that my visa guide and tips below will help you get a successful application!

…But first, a disclaimer:

NO ONE can give you a guarantee on your China visa’s approval — not even a lawyer, a consultant, a travel agent, or an embassy employee. Anyone who says otherwise is most likely going to be a scammer.

That being said, what I can offer you here is a comprehensive guide with helpful tips to increase your chances of getting that China Visa.

Application Process for China Visa

Step 1: Determine the type of China Visa that you need to apply for

There are, of course, various types of China visas out there that you can apply for: a visa for studying, a visa for working, a visa for marriage, etc.

But for this particular guide, I will only be discussing the requirements for a visit or tourist visa since it’s an experience that I’ve gone through myself.

If, however, you have a complicated situation or a different purpose of visit, it’s best that you head over to this page for more information.

– – –

Step 2: Prepare required documents

Below are the required documents for acquiring a China visa.

IMPORTANT NOTES:
– Applications with incomplete documents will NOT be accepted.
– Every document must be authentic and complete. Forged and incomplete applications will be denied and flagged.
– If you filled any of the documents below by hand, please ensure that it is in black ink only and that there are no erasures.
– You can request for a multiple-entry visa on your visa application form but all decisions regarding the issuance of, number of entries and duration of a visa are at the sole discretion of the embassy, and it is not guaranteed that the embassy will grant your request.

Basic Requirements

  • Original Passport — It should be valid for at least 6 months with at least one blank page. Also include…
    • A photocopy of the passport’s bio and emergency contact page.
    • Old passports (if you don’t have any or have lost them, indicate this on your visa application form).
    • If the name in your new passport is different from that in your old passport, the official document (birth certificate/marriage contract) issued by the authorities for this name change must be submitted.
      .
  • Previous China Visa (if applicable) — especially if it’s affixed to your old passport, you must submit it to the embassy.
    • Submit a photocopy of your old/previous china visa page as well.
      .
  • China Online Visa Application (COVA) Form — Starting 2021, China requires the application form to be completed online.
    • Go to this link to accomplish the form. You can save and return to your COVA any time but it will only be saved for 30 days.
    • Prepare a digital copy of your passport photo because you need to upload this for your COVA form.
    • Make sure that all information is complete and accurate before you click the “Submit” button because once the application is submitted, you cannot make any changes.
      • Do not leave any field blank. In case the option to select ‘Not Applicable‘ is not available, just type ‘N/A’.
      • Print and sign the document after submitting the form online because you also need to submit the physical copy to the consular office.
      • Application form of minors must be signed by their parents or legal guardians.
    • Take note of your application ID because this is needed when making your appointment with the embassy.
      .
  • 2 Color ID Photos — They should be taken within the past 6 months and meet these requirements.
    • Photo size of 48mm x 33mm
    • Front view in white background with no head covering.
    • Stapled/taped/clipped/detached photos will not be accepted.
      .
  • Travel Itinerary — The dates stated here must correspond with your flight tickets and COVA form.
    • You can download a sample travel itinerary here.
      .
  • Travel Reservations — These are flight and hotel reservation(s) only for the entire duration of your stay in China.
    • Hotels: I usually reserve my hotel stays via Booking.com and/or Agoda.com.
      • With them, you can reserve a hotel with NO pre-payment and you can even cancel the booking a day before your arrival with NO cancellation charges at all. So yes, you can make reservations without any payment, you can change the reservation anytime, AND you can cancel them at no cost as well if in case your visa is not approved.
    • Flights: For the best flight deals, my go-to platform is Skyscanner. It scans through all the international airlines (budget and luxury lines) to present to you the best deals.
      • It must indicate a Passenger Registration Number or basically a reservation number.
      • If you’re not comfortable booking a flight ticket when you’re unsure if your visa will be approved, you can contact any tour agency instead and ask for a flight reservation (you’ll only need to pay a small fee to acquire this document, starting at about Php 1,000).
  • Invitation Letter (if applicable) — If invited by a business in China or a relative in China (you can be a family member of a Chinese National or a family member of a foreign national with a Chinese Permanent Resident Permit staying in China for less OR more than 180 days) you must ensure that the letter has the following information. This letter can be faxed, photocopied or printed out but the embassy might ask you to submit the original copy so it’s best to have it beforehand.
    • Information of the applicant: full name, gender, date of birth etc.
    • Information of the planned visit: purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, source of funds, etc.
    • Information of the inviting entity or individual: full name/company name, contact number, address, official stamp, and signature of the legal representative or the inviting individual.
      .
  • Proof of Relationship and Identification of Inviter (if applicable)
    • For proof of relationship between the applicant and the inviting entity or individual, this can be a marriage certificate, birth certificate, or certificate of kinship issues by the Chinese Public Security Bureau, or any notarized certification of kinship.
    • For identification, provide a photocopy of the inviter’s Chinese ID or passport with Chinese residence permit.

For First-Time Applicants

  • Bank Certificate — It should be an overview for the past 6 months. Submit the receipt that was issued for payment of this bank certificate with your bank.
    • As a standard, a minimum of Php 100,000 bank balance is required but there have been some cases wherein a Php 50,000 bank balance was approved. Nevertheless, the greater the amount, the better.
      .
  • BIR-Stamped Income Tax Return (ITR) — Start filing your local taxes as early as NOW; after all, a lot of embassies require an ITR. So if you’re looking for a hassle-free experience on Philippines tax compliance, I suggest registering with Taxumo because they can take care of literally everything for you: tax forms, payments, and submissions. I’ve been using them for years now and it has been such a time-saver.
    • Come sign up with my code AILEEN and you can get a 10% discount on all their subscription plans!
      .
  • If Employed, a Certificate of Employment — It should detail your salary and length of employment. Often times, they may also ask for a photocopy of your company ID.
    .
  • If Self-Employed, Your Business Registration Certificate — It can also help to submit other documents such as BIR registration, DTI permit, etc.
    • If you’re a PRC or Professional, submit your ID.
      .
  • If a Student, your ID — Submit your Student ID.
    .
  • Other Documents (as applicable) — Submit any other relevant documents that can prove your economic condition, assets, employment, study, as well as any document supporting your travel to China.
    • It doesn’t hurt to submit a cover letter as well to give more context on your travel purpose.

If necessary, the embassy may require you to provide other documents or supplementary materials, or even require an interview.

– – –

Step 3: Schedule your China visa application appointment at “AVAS”

Unlike before, the Chinese Embassy NO longer accepts walk-ins, and starting 2021, everyone is required to book appointments on the AVAS (Appointment for Visa Application Submission) website.

For the Philippines, there are 4 locations to choose from: Cebu, Davao, Laoag, and Manila.

  • When filing an appointment, use your application ID that was provided when you filled out your COVA form.
    • You can ask someone to book an appointment on your behalf as long as they have your application ID details.
  • After successfully booking an appointment, you must print the confirmation page and bring it to the embassy along with your other documents on your scheduled date.
  • Once you have made an appointment, you cannot change it anymore. If you need to reschedule, you must first cancel your booked appointment by going to the ‘Check/Cancel an Appointment’ page.
    • When cancelling, you must do it at least one (1) day in advance, otherwise your application ID will be revoked and you will need to make a new COVA application.
  • You can book one appointment for a maximum of six (6) applicants, but all applicants must go to the embassy/consulate together.
    .

– – –

Step 4: Submit your documents at the Chinese Embassy on your appointment date

You must arrive at least 20 minutes in advance of your appointment time and please ensure that you have all your documents with you (AVAS confirmation, passport, COVA form, etc. — refer to ‘Step #2’).

As previously mentioned, there are 4 China consular addresses in the Philippines and they operate from Monday to Friday at 9AM to 11AM only:

  • MANILA
    Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
    2nd Floor, the World Center
    330 Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue
    Makati City, Metro Manila
    (02) 848-2386
    [email protected]
    .
  • CEBU
    Chinese Consulate General in Cebu City
    7th Floor, Mandarin Plaza Hotel
    Archbishop Reyes Avenue Corner Escario Street
    Cebu City
    (02) 505-1037
    [email protected] / [email protected] / cebu.china-consulate.org
    .
  • DAVAO
    Chinese Consulate General in Davao
    Acacia Street, Juna Subdivision, Matina
    Davao City, Davao del Sur
    (82) 298-7471
    .
  • LAOAG
    Consulate of the People’s Republic of China in Laoag City
    No.216 National Highway, Brgy. 1
    San Francisco, San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte 2901
    (77) 772-1874 / 670-6355
    .

When you arrive at any of these consular offices, the staff by the door will inspect all of your documents. Once they confirm that you have everything they needed, they will usher you in; after which, you’ll have to wait until your name or number is called.

After they accept all of your documents, they will give you a release slip which will indicate the date that you should claim your passport and visa results.

Regular processing time is 4 working days, but if you are NOT a first-time applicant, you can apply for a rush or express service:
— Express service (release in 3 working days): Php 1,100
— Rush service (release in 2 working days): Php 1,700

.
This service fee is separate from the visa fee that you’ll have to pay when you claim your passport. Take note that only cash payments are allowed at the moment.

– – –

Step 5: Wait and then claim the results of your China Visa application

Go back to the consular office on the date that was mentioned on the release slip. You will get a queue number from the staff and once it’s your turn, you need to make another payment at the passport releasing window and this is for the visa fee. Depending on the visa that has been granted to you, you will need to pay as follows…

  • Single Entry: Php 1,400
  • Double Entry: Php 2,100
  • Multiple Entry valid for 6 months: Php 2,800
  • Multiple Entry valid for 1 year: Php 4,200

If you are granted a visa, please double-check that all the information is correct with no misspellings. Should there be any discrepancy, you must inform them immediately.

Unfortunately, if your application is refused, the consular office is not required to give you any reason for the refusal.

• • •

» Top CHINA Tours «

Shanghai Disneyland

Shanghai Disneyland
…the best place on Earth!

Safari World

Beijing Palace Museum
Enter the Forbidden City.

• • •

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

How early can I apply for my China visa?

You must apply at least 2 or 3 weeks before your departure date — but the earlier, the better!

Can I apply for a multiple entry Chinese visa?

Yes, you can! Just make sure to indicate this in your COVA (China Online Visa Application) when accomplishing step #2 above.

How long is a China visa valid for?

It will depend on the visa that the consular office will issue to you; but usually, a multiple-entry visa can last for 6 months or 1 year. Whereas a single-entry or double-entry visa typically lasts for 14 days only.

How much money should I show in my bank account?

The Embassy of China did not explicitly state a money requirement but as a standard, a minimum of Php 100,000 bank balance is best — or have enough money that should show how it will cover all of your travel costs. Anyhow, there have been some cases wherein a Php 50,000 bank balance was approved. Nevertheless, the greater the amount, the better!

How long does it take to get the results of my China visa application?

As stated above, the embassy typically processes applications in just 4 working days. If you want to have it processed faster, you can pay for an express or rush service (but this is only available to you if you are NOT a first-time applicant).

Will there be an interview?

For a tourist visa application, there’s usually NO interview. The consular officer accepting your documents may ask a question or two, but it’s only to verify the information regarding your documents or application.

My application was denied. When can I apply again?

Unfortunately, the embassy has given no information as to when you can reapply again. They also don’t provide any information as to why your application has been refused; but usually, the reason for that can be because of how…
— You have no strong ties in the Philippines (or a reason to necessitate your return; e.g. employment, etc.)
— Your documents or reason for travel is unclear or questionable
— Your financial capacity is not enough to support your trip

• • •

Booking Essentials

Book an AirBnB
Booking.com

TIP: It’s a good idea to crosscheck your World Nomads‘ total travel insurance price with that of SafetyWing because the latter is often priced cheaper (especially when it involves travel that spans for several weeks or months — and even years!).
.
However, take note that SafetyWing’s affordability typically means lesser coverage than World Nomads. So please always ensure that you read the fine print in order to decipher which travel insurance company is the right fit for you and your trip!

Looking for more travel tips for China?

Check out my other detailed China travel guides!

– – –

Applying for a China visa is relatively easy, and I hope that with this visa guide, I can help you prepare your documents and requirements better.

Let me know how it goes. Good luck!

• • •

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