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Obtaining Multiple-entry China Visa for American in Hong Kong

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Oct 20th, 2014, 09:40 AM
  #1
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Obtaining Multiple-entry China Visa for American in Hong Kong

I'm currently living in Hong Kong and hold a US passport and Hong Kong ID (valid until early-April 2015). I'd like to get a multiple-entry visa for China so that I can make a few trips to mainland China over the next 6 months. I went to a travel agency here (China Travel Services on Queens Road in Central) and they told me that one cannot get a visa for multiple entries unless they already have a China visa in their passport. So, because I've never gotten a visa for China before, they told me that I have to first get a visa for 1 or 2 entries, and then go back to them and reapply for a multiple-entry visa. Is this true or is it just CTS trying to get me to use their services twice and thus pay more money? Is there another agency that others recommend here that might give me a multiple-entry visa right off the bat? If I just apply directly through he government instead of using a travel agency, is that a better option?

Finally, one of my husband's coworkers, who's a Chinese national, advised us to use a travel agency to obtain the visa because he said that doing it ourselves is too confusing (filling out the paperwork etc). Is that true or is it not difficult to do on your own?

Thanks!
lmschmale is offline  
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Oct 20th, 2014, 02:21 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Of course you can do it on your own. But if you go to an agency they'll prompt you in certain cases to give the 'right' answer--the one that will help the application go smoothly. Avoid mentioning Xinjiang, Tibet, or any area currently undergoing unrest; do not put down any profession that involves journalism, publishing, or photography; if you're self-employed or unemployed be prepared to invent an employer.

If you have permanent residence in Hong Kong and a Hong Kong ID than getting a multiple entry visa should be no problem. However, being turned away from CTS (slow and expensive for visas) suggests you have no such document. It is quite common for those with previous visas in their passports to have an easier time of it.

US passport holders have been frequently turned away from the usual agencies in recent years, but the situation changes all the time. For most of us these provide next-day service at no extra charge (so much cheaper than CTS) and with a lot less hassle than dealing with the representative office in Wanchai. Most are in Tsim Sha Tsui East, around Science Museum Road. Try calling these two:

Forever Bright Trading Ltd., Room 916–917, New Mandarin Plaza Tower B, 14 Science Museum Road, www.fbt-chinavisa.com.hk, 8.30am–6.30pm; Mon–Fri

Japan Travel Agency Ltd., Room 509–513, East Ocean Center, 98 Granville Road www.jta.biz/chinavisa/china_visa.htm, 8.30am–6pm; Mon–Fri.
temppeternh is offline  
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Oct 20th, 2014, 06:58 PM
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Thanks I'll definitely try those two! Their prices seem lower than CTS already. I don't have a permanent HKID card, but I do hold a HKID card and am here on a 6-month visa. (I have a dependent spouse visa, and my husband has an employment visa and is working as an attorney here.) I didn't get turned away from CTS totally; they would give me a single entry or two entry visa, just not a multiple entry visa.
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Oct 20th, 2014, 08:20 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Multiple-entry tourist visas are hard to get. Only American can get one as I thought that they have to apply in the US for this. Under previous rules I had multiple-entry visas and could never get more than a single-entry 30-day visa in HK. The agents are the real experts and they can give you a definite answer.
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Oct 20th, 2014, 11:46 PM
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Imschmale,

I think what CTS is trying to tell you is that without ever having been issued a visa previously, China is most likely going to refuse to issue you a visa that is valid for one year and for multiple entries.

Over the years, my husband has had to apply for Chinese visas many times. I remember for the first time, he was issued a single-entry one. Then for a couple years, he was issued double-entry visas valid for six months. All these despite his putting down on the application form for a multiple-entry visa. Finally, last month, with a couple of used and expired double-entry visas in his passport, he went again and applied for a one-year multi-entry visa and got it. I look at it as kind of like the Chinese government trying to figure out if you are multi-entry-visa-worthy.

By the way, he has always applied for them in our country of residence, which is currently Singapore. He previously applied for them in the U.S., Hong Kong and Germany. So you don't necessarily have to apply in the U.S. to get a multiple-entry visa.

Hope this helps.
ngodeia is offline  
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Nov 5th, 2014, 01:48 AM
  #6
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Thanks for the responses! I thought I'd respond with my final findings in case someone comes across this thread in the future.

As everyone told me here and elsewhere, it's not possible for an American to get a multiple-entry visa the first time. Trust me on this and don't waste your time trying to!

Ultimately, we were able to get a two-entry visa valid for 6 months (with each entry being for up to 30 days). We got our visa's through CTS on Queen's Road (between Pottinger and Jubilee Streets in Central). The price was HK$1360 each. This was basically the same as it would have been at Forever Bright Trading Ldt in TST, recommended above, but CTS's Central location was just more convenient for me. Note that Japan Travel Agency Ldt, also recommended above, no longer issues China visas (at least not for Americans). We had NO problems getting the visa and we got it on the first try 4 business days later. CTS told us that when/if we apply for a visa with these same passports again, then we'll be able to get a multiple entry. I'll report back when/if we cross that bridge!
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