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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 Jan. 15, 2023 -
Questions & Answers on Apply for China Visa in a Third Country
Asked by Thomas from AUSTRALIA | Jan. 14, 2023 04:28Reply
Can I apply for a tourist visa from Pakistan as an Australian citizen?
I am in Pakistan as a tourist, with a tourist visa.
Answers (1)
Answered by Linda | Jan. 15, 2023 18:23

China tourist visa is not availabe yet. Sorry for that:(
Asked by Devon from CHINA | Feb. 10, 2022 16:37Reply
Can I get a China work visa done in Macau
I am currently in mainland China, my work visa will expire at the end of the month, because I am waiting for my new passport to be ready for pick up, at the American Embassy in Shanghai.So right now, I am on a temporary passport. Would I be able to go to Macau to apply for a new work visa for mainland China. Is there a quarantine time? Also must a nucleic acid test be done before entering. Would it be possible to reenter mainland China?I have never left since the covid 19 pandemic began.
Answers (1)
Answered by Brian | Feb. 23, 2022 09:46

Anyone who has traveled to a medium or high risk area needs to be quarantined for 7 to 14 days when entering Macau. And you need to go to the designated institutions for COVID test, and hold the negative result to enter.
Asked by Albert from ZIMBABWE | Jul. 09, 2021 04:41Reply
China Visa from Hong Kong: I’m just wondering has anyone been to Hong Kong from Mainland China
Hello , I’m just wondering has anyone been to Hong Kong from Mainland China in the past two months and applied for their Chinese Visa from there ?

Are foreigners travelling from China and do not need a Hong Kong Visa, being permitted to enter Hong Kong now, having taken all Covid 19 precautions?

Any info would be great, thanks.

I just received a job offer in China but I need to exit while my work permit is being processed . It’s not possible for me to get a T visa .
Answers (4)
Answered by Sharon | Jul. 18, 2021 20:05

Sorry, I haven't heard of foreigners in mainland go to Hong Kong without a visa during the last months, however I'm not sure whether this is allowed.
Answered by John | Aug. 13, 2021 03:11

I just did it, coming from Shanghai to Hong Kong. I had to stay a week in quarentine. Now I'm trying to apply for a work visa in order to go back to China.
Answered by K. L. | Sep. 23, 2021 15:29

John, have your attempt for the visa applying been successful? I have a totally same situation - wanna go to Hong Kong to Shanghai and issue the working visa.
Answered by K. L. | Sep. 23, 2021 15:30

Sorry, to Hong Kong from Shanghai
Asked by Carlo from ITALY | Jul. 04, 2021 12:53Reply
Macau from Taiwan for receiving a work visa
I am an Italian currently living in Taipei and applied for a work visa for China. I was granted with the work permit and already have the documents needed to get the work visa. According to my understanding, I need to travel to Macau do a COVID test 24 hours prior departing Taipei, do a 21 day quarantine in a designated hotel assigned by the government and then process my work visa in the ministry of foreign affairs PRC in Macau which would take 2 to 4 days. After that I travel into China and do 7 days of quarantine? Is this the proper process?
Thank you so much for your support and help
Answers (1)
Answered by Anna from CHINA | Jul. 11, 2021 20:00

Yes, this is basically the process, but you need to do 14 days of quarantine after arriving in mainland China.
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