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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 updated on Sep. 06, 2023 by Brenda Lian -
Questions & Answers on Apply for China Visa in a Third Country
Asked by Umamaheshwari from PAPUA NEW GUINEA | Sep. 25, 2023 23:59Reply
Chinese businesses /tourist visa
We are trying to visit China for a sign expo and we applied how ever the Chinese embassy here in Papua new guinea say we need to get the documents from department of foreign affairs in China which is impossible and irrelevant as we have no means to apply that.. I really need some assistance
Answers (1)
Answered by David | Sep. 26, 2023 18:24

I'm sorry but if the consulate staff said so, it is hard to do anything to help. You may try to contact the host of the expo and see if they can offer some help.
Asked by Chris from UNITED STATES | Sep. 21, 2023 05:52Reply
Hi im a US citizen currently in hong kong for vacation, im wanting to go to mainland china
If im in Hong Kong China as a US citizen, how would i go about getting a Visa for about 10 days to sightsee in mainland china?
Answers (1)
Answered by Molly | Sep. 24, 2023 19:20

You may try to obtain a visa in HK. There is a China visa application service center there.
Asked by Bella from RWANDA | Sep. 13, 2023 22:11Reply
With S2 Visa (not more than 180days) Can I apply new S2 in Macao after my current S2 Visa expired?
I'm in China on S2 Visa, Meanwhile I have to leave at 180 days, I'm with my brother who works in shanghai and we wanted to get a new S2 Visa in macao after my current Visa expires, Will this be possible to apply in Macao?

Answers (1)
Answered by Lydon | Sep. 14, 2023 18:22

The success rate is low. Before doing it, I advise you to try to extend your current visa at Shanghai entry and exitt bureau. Also, it's more pratical to do it in HK, where there is a China Visa Application Service Center.
Asked by Max from UNITED STATES | Sep. 09, 2023 20:24Reply
Applying for visa from third country
Hello I just completed my application for my L visa and set up a time to go in person. I think I messed up though I have a US passport and am going to be in Milan and wanted to go to china from there so I filled out my application through the Milan Chinese consulate and also made my appointment there. But now I am reading that If you are not applying for a visa in the country of your citizenship, you must provide the original and photocopy of your valid certificates of residence or valid Italian identity card, or other valid certificates of legal stay provided by the relevant authorities of the country where the Visa Centre is located.(European Union citizens must provide a valid certificate stating the residence in Italy or a valid Italian ID card, non EU citizens must provide a permit of stay “permesso di soggiorno” I don’t have any of that I just have my passport what should I do
Answers (1)
Answered by Molly | Sep. 11, 2023 20:35

I'm sorry but the best way may be applying your visa in your home country. In fact, it is hard to get a visa in a third country.
Asked by Julia from GHANA | Sep. 06, 2023 03:38Reply
Ghanaian in China with F Visa
I’m currently in China and sought to apply for a visa change at PSB but was asked to go to Hong Kong. Will it be possible to apply for a student visa in HK with my current passport and Chinese visa?
Answers (1)
Answered by Ivy | Sep. 06, 2023 20:41

It's not guaranteed. In principle, one needs to apply for the student visa at the home country. Anyway, you may give it a try.
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