Prior to Your Trip to China ~ be prepared!
Our children are teaching in China ~ This afternoon I was wandering around Chapters looking for the 2012 Writer’s Market Deluxe Edition (Writer’s Market Online) unsuccessfully I might add, when I noticed a couple looking through books on China and Thailand. “Are you going to China?” Snoopy me asked.
When these really nice people admitted they were going to China, of course I had to brag that I had just returned from visiting my son who lives there. One thing led to another and they said they were visiting their daughter who was teaching in Dalian. It is a small world. Their daughter is teaching at a school that my son taught at last year.
They had a few questions that I hopefully answered to their satisfaction and of course I had a few suggestions for them I hope will be helpful. Once I left Chapters I gave some thought as to what some of those questions were and questions I needed answering when I initially was planning my trip. Do you need a Visa?
Applying for Visa’s to China (Canadians)
Make it easy on yourself and arrange for your visa through a travel agent. The Chinese Consulate in Vancouver will not accept visa applications through the mail. I arranged my visa through a travel agency and paid them $50 to look after the visa application. They used International Visa Passport Service Corp. Which then cost me approximately $145 plus courier expenses of approximately $45. Their website is www.ivpsc.com and you can work with them directly if you like.
My time was limited and I didn’t want to have any errors so used the travel agents services even though my trip was booked previously online through Expedia Book your Adventure Travel on Expedia.com: Explore, discover and escape!. If I lived in a major city I would have contacted the Chinese Embassy directly and taken care of it myself but since I live a couple hundred miles away it was easier but not cheaper to work with a travel agent.
Be prepared ~ you will need:
Your passport with at least one pair of blank facing pages and at least 3 months validity beyond the duration of the visa yo
u are applying for and in any case a minimum of 6 months. If you don’t have this you will need to get a new passport first.
A passport photo – if you buy one from a recognised passport photo retailer you will ensure that you get photos of the correct dimension and background colour. I used the passport photo department at Wal-Mart and was completely satisfied with the result.
The application fee
The address and phone number of where you are staying. Although I was going to be traveling throughout China I listed my son’s address as my destination.
Determine the purpose of your trip
They wish to know whether you have medical insurance covering you during your visit and if so will want to know the name of the insurance company and policy number.
They will want to know if you have visited other countries in the last 12 months. For Canadians who do some cross border shopping this will apply to you – you will need to say when you last were in the US and the purpose.
Have you ever been refused entry into China or refused a visa?
Have you ever overstayed your visa or residence permit in China?
10. Do you have any criminal record in China or any other country?
11. Are you affiliated with a serious mental disorder, infectious pulmonary tuberculosis or other infectious disease of public health hazards?
12. Did you visit countries or territories infected by infectious diseases in the last 30 days?
And that’s it. It really isn’t all that difficult but take the time to fill out the forms completely and accurately before submitting them.