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Apply for China Visa in a Third Country

It’s a common scene that travelers need to obtain China visas in a country which is not their home country, usually called a third country.

Can you apply for a Chinese visa in another country?

While it is possible to apply for Chinese visa outside home country, you may run into more difficulties compared with applying from your own country. Some consular offices do not accept applications from temporary visitors in the country concerned. In some cases having a visa for that country is considered OK, but this might be of no help if you are in a country where you do not require one.

There is no simple answer to this issue, nor is it clear exactly why this rule exists. The first option is to try at every Chinese consulate en route in the hope that one will grant you a China visa. Some people may courier passport and application to a friend or agent in their own country to apply for China visa, but this will be in vain because the applicant is required to be physically in the application country.

Requirements for Applying China Visa in a Third Country

1. Passport with a remaining validity of six months and blank visa pages
2. A completed China Visa Application Form
3. A 48mm x 33mm recent color photo
4. Proof of legal stay or residency in the third country, which can be your visa, residence permit, student certificate or employment permit in the country
5. Other documents supporting your reason for the intended travel, such as travel itinerary, round-trip tickets, or an invitation letter from a China travel agency

Apply for China Visa in Hong Kong and Macau

Hong Kong and Macau are considered as foreign territory on this regard so they are considered as 'third regions'.

It’s possible to apply for a Chinese visa in Hong Kong or Macau, but maybe for shorter duration of stay compared with applying from your home country. If you have an ID card or long-term visa there, it may facilitate the application.

Generally speaking, you can only get single or double entry China visa if you are visitors in Hong Kong without HK ID Card; if you have previous entries into mainland or you are Hong Kong student/work visa holders, you possibly can get a multiple-entry visa to mainland. The same rule applies to Macau.

As there is chance that your application may get refused, here TravelChinaGuide advises that you had better arrange Chinese visa in advance in your resident country to reduce the risk of visa refusal. If you have to apply from HK or Macau, you need to go to the China Visa Application Center in Hong Kong or the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC in Macau.

China Visa Application Center in Hong Kong

Address: 20th Floor, Capital Center, 151 Gloucester Road, Wanchai
Opening Hours: 09:00 - 16:00 from Monday to Friday (except public holidays)
Telephone: 852-29921999
Fax: 852-29891116
Email: hongkongcenter@visaforchina.org

Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC in Macau

It is quite small and some travelers suggest it is less generous than the Hong Kong office.

Address: No. 208, Av. de Marciano Baptista
Telephone: 853- 87915404
Fax: 853- 28726900
Offices Hours: 09:00 - 12:30 & 14:30 - 18:00 from Monday to Friday (except public holidays)

Cost for Applying from Hong Kong & Macau

China Visa Fee US Canada UK New Zealand
Apply in HK HKD 1,340 HKD 850 HKD 1,180 HKD 1,070
Apply in Macau MOP 1,130 MOP 630 MOP 1,190 MOP 850

* For reference only.
* It takes 4 working days for visa processing. If you want to get it within 2-3 days, you have to apply for rush service or express service by paying extra money.

 Note: Foreigners residing in Taiwan can apply for China visa either from Hong Kong or Macau, or from their home country.

Further Reading:

How to Apply for a China Visa
How to Apply a China Visa in Hong Kong
China Visa Application Requirements

- Last modified on Apr. 16, 2020 -
Questions & Answers on Apply for China Visa in a Third Country
Asked by Wayne from UNITED KINGDOM | May. 18, 2020 20:07Reply
Can you apply for the Z visa if you are not in the country of the embassy you are applying from?
I am trying to apply for the Z visa, however I am in UK and I want to to apply for the visa from Uganda. I am planning to send all the documents over to Uganda for a third party to apply for me.
Answers (1)
Answered by Nick from UNITED KINGDOM | May. 20, 2020 23:06

Wayne, generally speaking, you must apply for a visa in the country you are physically in. So I advise you to apply for it from the UK. However, due to the pandemic, the visa office in both UK and Uganda may be closed temporarily, so you need to wait for a while.
Asked by Herman from HONG KONG | May. 04, 2020 01:41Reply
C Visa denied in HKG, can I apply for a C or M Visa in Macau prior to the three month restriction?
Answers (1)
Answered by Eric from SPAIN | May. 05, 2020 20:26

Yes, you can have a try.
Asked by Mary from ARMENIA | Apr. 13, 2020 16:28Reply
Residency permit extension
Hello, I am in Hanoi, but I live in China. China closed the border before I could enter, and my residency permit will expire at the end of the month. So could you please tell me if I can extend my residency permit from here if I already have my work permit extended? Thank you!
Answers (1)
Answered by Kira from AUSTRALIA | Apr. 15, 2020 19:51

Sorry, you can't extend your residency permit from Hanoi, which means you may need to get a new visa in order to reenter China.
Asked by Juliet from UNITED KINGDOM | Apr. 07, 2020 08:05Reply
American living in UK as an Italian Citizen
I am a dual citizen, Italian and American. I live in the UK as an Italian citizen. But my work visa and residence permit for China are in my American passport. I was set to go back to China in May to renew my visa, but we do not know yet if I will be able to go due to the outbreak. I would not be able to get a new visa in the UK for my American passport, even if I can prove my residency in the UK?
Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by Mario from UNITED KINGDOM | Apr. 12, 2020 22:41

Juliet, this case is a little complicated. I advise you to contact the China visa application center in the UK to get an answer.
Asked by Dimitris from UNITED KINGDOM | Apr. 03, 2020 05:07Reply
GR passport applying in UK for Chinese visa
Hello, I just want to ask if is possible to apply for tourist visa in October 2020 and travel in China in February 2021?

Answers (1)
Answered by Sally from UNITED KINGDOM | Apr. 06, 2020 19:13

Dimitris, if the virus situation ends before October 2020, I think you can apply for the visa in October 2020 and travel to China during its 3-month validity.
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