How to apply for a tourist visa to China for Philippine passport holders? It is relatively easier to apply for a tourist visa to China for us Pinoys than for a Japan tourist visa.
As always, your passport should be valid for six months on the date of travel and should have one full blank page for stamps. My passport would expire July 2016 and the travel date was 4 months prior so I had to renew the passport but the problem was, by February 1st week, the available slots were for July too. So I had to get the services of the express passport and paid / sent a photocopy of my old / expiring passport via LBC. The fee for this is PhP 2,000 but I got an appointment two weeks after I applied.
Go to any photo processing booths and have them take your photo for a Chinese visa, you don’t have to dress up for it, as they can always photoshop your photo for the classic coat-and-tie business attire look. Your photo will not appear in the visa itself once stamped in the passport, so don’t worry about how you looked there.
You will be required to supply the airline itinerary as proof that you are coming back, along with your hotel or airbnb accommodation. We flew to and from Beijing via Cebu Pacific (ticket booked in August 2015 and the flight was March 2016 for less than PhP 10,000 RT for 2 pax) so it was easy to print the itinerary bearing our name. There are a lot of hotels that allow you to reserve without a payment so you can present the document along with your application.
Here’s a sample hotel reservation that I printed (but have not paid yet at the time of visa application):
Proof of income (BIR-stamped Income Tax Return and Certificate of Employment with compensation package) is also required. For those who are not employed, a bank certificate showing the deposit balance for the last 6 months will suffice. There is no specific amount needed, but try to present a balance of fifty thousand pesos to be sure. I had less than that but then I had a used Japan tourist visa and a multiple entry visa to the U.S. – not sure if both had bearing in the approval.
My partner has been to Hong Kong and Macau prior to her application and she got approved too, with a little above 50,000 in the bank.
CHINESE EMBASSY IN MAKATI
When all your requirements are ready, go to the Chinese Embassy along Gil Puyat.
Take a bus from either Baclaran or anywhere from the north (SM north or Cubao) with a sign that says Ayala. Tell the driver or konduktor to drop off at Ayala crossing Buendia. You can walk from there or take a jeep that says “Makati Avenue” and again tell the driver to drop you off at the embassy
The building where the embassy is, faces Buendia in one exit, and Salcedo in the other. So if you’re taking the cab or driving there, consider that as a tip.
The embassy would only entertain visa applications from 9-11am weekdays, but they accept inquiry calls at 63-2-8482395 from 9-11am and 2-4pm.
A single entry visa for Philippine passport holders costs PhP 1200. For the rest of the fees, click here.
Regular processing is 4 working days and you will have to come back on the date stamped at the back of your pink receipt to pick up your passport.
Note that most travel agencies may process tour visa for you if you’re part of their organized group tour. If you’re doing it yourself, you’d have to process it without the agency’s help. Also note that you can have a representative submit your requirements and claim your passport, which is really convenient.
When we got the visa approved, we immediately sent the payment to the hotel and tour package. Between local tour providers based here in the Philippines and those of China, we chose the one that’s based in China – they have english-speaking guides and they obviously know the country better than anyone.
The reason we got a package instead of doing the itinerary ourselves are that we anticipated the language barrier, and because China isn’t just a country. It’s a powerful country with a different form of government and the frictions between our home country and theirs have escalated for many reasons.
From the airport, be careful on being lured by good-looking, english-speaking drivers who yell “taxi”. Do not follow them down the basement until you’ve reached an agreement on the charge.
Also, before leaving, make sure you coordinate with the hotel of choice if they can allow early check-in and if they can allow you to leave your luggage if you have a late flight but you have to check out at noon. The hotel we checked in at, allowed a 6am check-in and baby-sat our luggage for a good 6 hours, and even called a cab for us, albeit in broken english.
Print your airline itinerary, your hotel booking, and your tour package. Prepare a few useful sentences in english with chinese translations, in case you get lost.
Do you have any other tips in getting a tourist visa to China for Philippine Passport Holders? Please comment below.
Or if you need help, I will try to answer your questions as much as I can. Good luck!