I didn’t want my first post on this blog to be a rant, but I just have to get this off my chest.
China, I love you, but your visa policies are so…. arghh!
Right, I’ve had a cup of tea and a biscuit so I feel calm enough to talk about this now.
I think the basic issue with the laying down of their procedures is that they didn’t think about backpackers spending months at a time abroad before coming to China and so:
You can only apply for a visa for up to three months in the future.
Really, truely what are you thinking, China? Why is this a thing?
Does anyone have any idea why this might be a restriction?
I know when we are going to China, I know our flights (we even booked them). I’m the perfect visa candidate, or so I think.
But then I check and I can’t actually ask for a visa because we don’t go to China for six months after we leave the UK. So I email them asking what I should do:
Next year me and my girlfriend are going backpacking around Asia
We plan to leave the UK in April and travel through various countries, eventually flying from Japan to Shanghai around the start of August and stay there for 21 days, current plan is 8th to 29th August 2015.
My issue here is the visa application service, which are only valid for 90 days of receiving it. At that point (according to my plan) I will be in The Philippines or South Korea.
What can I do? Is there any way to apply for a visa now but have it valid for August 2015?
I would really love to visit China but this is something that is making it quite difficult.
We suggest you apply your Chinese visa in another country before you enter China next year.
For more information, you have to find out by yourself.
I was shocked. Not only are they calling me a “customer” (which irritated me, but that could just be language so let’s try to let that one go… *deep breath*) but they are totally and utterly unhelpful.
you have to find out by yourself
They have a help email address and then totally refuse to give help.
I have no idea what they are thinking or why this silly policy exists, but I guess I will have to just suck it up and apply for the visa when we are in South Korea.
China… I can’t wait to visit you but please please think about backpackers!
We did manage to get our Vietnam Visa’s, which was an easier process. Read → here to find how we got them