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X Visa Z Visa Seoul Hongkong


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Hi there!

I always thought I could avoid asking a(nother) visa question, but this time I really have to.

I am in China on an X Visa (student visa), which expires September next year. I would like to start working here in February 2008 and get a working visa (Z Visa).


Now, I know that I have to get the working permit (劳动许可) for the city I am at (Dalian), right? That’s what I was told by the officials. Then I leave the country and go to Hongkong to get a visa. Is this about right? I sure hope it is!

Now here’s the question: Could I get the visa in Seoul as well (I am a European citizen)? Are there any disadvantages to getting it done in Seoul? How long does it usually take to get it done and how much will I have to pay for fees and such (besides airfare and hotels, obviously)?

Thank you so much for your time, I for one find visa question very annoying, so thank you ever so much for helping me out!


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What do you mean 'working permit' are you referring to a 'foreign experts certificate' or to a 'residency permit'. If you mean the FEC, then yes you get that plus your contract form your employer and you can use that to apply for a Z-visa, enter the country again and get your residency permit. It may be possible, once you have a FEC to get the residency permit directly, without having to leave the country. We recently had a new teacher join us who had been here on a business visa. We got and FEC for him and went straight to the PSB and got him a residency permit. It's worth asking at the PSB to see if this is indeed the case for you on a X visa.

As for the choice of Sole over Hong Kong, I've done neither. Other posts on these forums mention a fast turn around of visas in Hong Kong which is probably one of the main reasons for going there. That and the fact that they speak English.

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Sorry I can't specifically answer your question regarding changing to a Z visa. I just thought I'd let you know that they do speak English at the Chinese embassy in Seoul. I was just there today, actually. I was applying for a tourist visa to China and they said it would take 4 days. I'm not sure if this is any indication of how long it would take for you, but if it is, you should plan on having to stay in Seoul for at least that long.

btw, nice name! I used to use that one on a different forum years back, but have now shortened it to my current handle.


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After getting a work permit and an official invitation letter, you can go to Chinese Embassy (Consulate) to apply for a Z visa. Since HK and Macau are Special Administration Regions, there are some special visa offices. You can go to HK or Macau to have it done. It's visa free for many countries' citizens in HK. Thus many people choose to go there.

If you go to Korea, is it visa free for you? :mrgreen:

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  • 1 month later...

At the embassy in Seoul, you can pay something like 55k won above the regular visa cost for 1 day service. Less for 2-3 day service. The cheapest visa fee entails a 4 day processing time. However, the cost of staying in Seoul (both accommodation and food) would likely make it worthwhile to pay for express processing if you don't care about doing anything else in Seoul.

For tourist visas, you can't go to the embassy in Seoul, you have to do it through a travel agent and pay additional fees to the travel agent. Other visas can go directly to the embassy. In any case, I had some questions about visas, so I called the embassy from a travel agent today.

Things of note:

1. Foreigners cannot apply for X visas at the Chinese embassy in Seoul.

2. Americans cannot apply for the 1 year multiple entry tourist visa in Seoul. The embassy in Seoul only gives out single and double entry tourist visas. You can get a multiple entry F visa if you have an invitation letter.

3. Effective yesterday, the visa cost for Americans has been raised again.

I noticed that the tourist visa cost for Americans has been raised once again.http://www.chinaemb.or.kr/chn/lsqz/ls_tz/t399498.htm (100k->120k won for US citizens, standard processing time)

http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/hzqz/t334452.htm ($130 in the USA)

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  • 2 years later...


"2. Americans cannot apply for the 1 year multiple entry tourist visa in Seoul. The embassy in Seoul only gives out single and double entry tourist visas. You can get a multiple entry F visa if you have an invitation letter."

I have an invitation letter from my company, so can I go straight to the Chinese embassy in Seoul to apply for a F visa? Also, am I able to do this in one day?

The reason I ask is because on the website http://www.travelchinaguide.com/embassy/korea2.htm

Important Notice on Methods Change of Individual Visa Application

1/ From September 1, 2007, the Consular Office of Chinese Embassy in South Korea will no longer accept individual application for Tourist (L) Visa, Business (F) Visa, Work (Z) Visa, Student (X) Visa, Residence (D) Visa, Transit (G) Visa and Crew © Visa. Therefore, Korean Citizens and other aliens in South Korea have to apply for China visa (Hong Kong Visa is not included) through travel agencies authorized by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Korea. Please refer to the website http://kr.china-embassy.org/chn/lsqz/ls_qz/ls_qz_13/t229558.htm to see the list of designated travel agencies.

So am I an individual applicant or not?



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