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My Visa Application Experience

Date of application:

22 June 2013



Consolate or Agency:


Visa applied for:

Z visa

Documents required:

Government Letter of Invitation, Working Permit, Passport, 1 x Passport photo, Medical Examination

My invitation letter mentioned applying in Hong Kong specifically. I got it in Beijing.

Cost / Service:

660 HKD Next Day Rush Service

Reason for application:

Teaching English. My recent residence permit was for the purpose of study and it was not possible for me to transfer from study to work or to get a Z visa from within China. My work originally thought it woukd be possible as they recently helped some employees transfer from work to study after their contracts had finished.

Previous Visa History:

Have had a Z visa and X visa before this. As well as a couple of L visas. All of them within the past 4 years.


In the afternoon session there were no cups available at the water cooler!


The whole process took around 1 hour 45 minutes including queuing for 35 minutes before it opened. I think as long as you have everything you need and arrive early you can be in and out quickly. Even more so if you found the visa forms online and filled them in at home. I lent my pen to a guy who looked close to tears.

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Good stuff, I'll make this a sticky.

Edit: Perhaps something else worth covering is, if you have an invitation letter, did it specify 'apply in Hong Kong', and which province / city did you get it in. This has, i think, been an issue.

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I have no input to this thread. But I walk past that queue outside the visa office during lunch time several days every week, and would like to wish all visa applicants good luck. :)

PS - that stationery shop is quite good. There is an escalator outside the stationery shop and if you go up there (the place is called Brim 28) you can find many nice eating places/ restaurants.

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First hand reports like this are very valuable. So much of what finds on the internet is second or third hand. Thanks for writing it up and glad it worked out like you had hoped.

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What payment options are available? Can I pay in cash? If so, should I use Hong Kong dollars? Or can I use USD/RMB/other?

Last week the Istanbul consulate said that they accepted USD (cash). This was before they told me I wouldn't be allowed to apply.

Whether or not the visa fees themselves are to be paid in HKD would probably make a big difference for people when deciding how much money to exchange upon arrival.

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Passport: American

Visa history: around 10 previous visas (almost 4 years total), including F, L, and resident permits (with student status.)

Applied for: tourist visa

Date: July 29, 2013

No agency used; directly applied

Result: rejected (wouldn't even look at either of my application forms)

Reason: been in China for too long. I was told that I can only apply for a work visa, and (maybe?) that this could/should only be done in the US.

Documents needed: unknown, since they wouldn't look at my application materials.


A South-African passport holder I spoke with (has family in China) was applying for an F visa. He has been living in China. He said that they called his family (in China) to confirm the information on his application, and called the hotel which he is staying at in Hong Kong to confirm that he had provided correct information. They ended up not accepting his application today because he didn't have round-trip plane tickets booked, and (maybe) hotel bookings in China.

A German passport holder who I spoke with, who has lived in China for 1 year (with 2 work visas during this time) was granted only a 14 day, single-entry L visa. He wanted an L visa of longer duration, obviously. They didn't ask for any documents from him (tickets, hotels, etc.). He thought he was very unlucky until he spoke with me. He and I had the same possibly grumpy visa officer, and this may have contributed to our bad luck (she apparently got angry at him when he asked why he could only be given a 14-day visa, and asked him whether or not he realized that she could deny him right at that moment.)

Also: for the guy that did get a visa, no express processing was available. The quickest option was 4 days.

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The first agency I spoke with said this can be resolved; I did inform them that I had already been denied. One year or half year F visas are available for 6800/4800 HKD, respectively.

I will probably do this, and in 4 business days will let you guys know the result.

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Valikor, if they didn't take your forms, you maybe don't have an official refusal on your record? Which is actually halfway decent of them, they could have taken the forms and your money then refused you.

around 10 previous visas (almost 4 years total), including F, L, and resident permits (with student status.)

Sounds familiar - part of my reasoning for leaving China a couple of years back was that some day my visa situation was going to be unsustainable, so I might as well stroll out rather than be pushed.

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One-year and half-year F Visas do sound interesting, despite being so expensive (more than a double of the pre-July price), since it seemed those were not possible anymore. My current F Visa (from HK) expires in September and I'll be going home for a few weeks. I already took some steps towards getting a《外国人就业许可证》prior to my departure. If that won't go through and I thus won't be able to get a Z Visa at home, another HK trip might be in order... hope that it will still.be possible, be sure to report.

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I got my visa.


At consulate-- around 7/29/2013

Applied for L visa, with 8-10 previous visas (including L and F and X) over 4 years

Denied due to "being in China too long"; told I could only apply for a work visa. It was suggested that I don't come back.

Through an agency (Sunrise Int'l Travel Co. Ltd, 東明國際旅行社; same building as the visa center, on the 40th floor) 7/30/2013

Guy there told me it would be "very easy" to get a visa;

Paid 4800 HKD for a 6 month F visa (60 days per entry)

No documents required (just a photo; they prepared a business card for me)

Visa issued; Took 3 days

Visa says it was issued in Macau

12 month ones were available for 6800 HKD.

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Hey guys. Went to Hong Kong about 5 months ago to renew my visa. New absolutely nothing about it. Still don't. My girlfriend and her two friends were with me. I couldn't speak a lick of the language. Nowadays my mandarins getting pretty cool... Anyway I digress.

Ummm basically they lightheartedly coerced me into lying on the application saying everyone does this don't worry. The lady who worked there also helped me (lie).

So I made up a false business name and whatever.... Paid about 5000 hk$ and was out of there with a 6 month multiple entry visa.

Was shi--ing myself every time I went through customs....

Unbelievable. So who knows what will happen next time.

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