Visa and a day trip to China from HK

Old Mar 31st, 2009, 03:32 PM
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Visa and a day trip to China from HK

I'm an Australian citizen planning to visit Hongkong in May 2009. I assume I need no visa to enter HK.

But if I want to do a day trip to China I guess I will need a visa.... Is it best to:

1. Get the visa in Australia before I leave for HK?

2. Or is it possible to get a 1 day visa on (a) arrival in HK or (2) on arrival in China?

I'm planning on going to what was previously called Canton simply to have a bit of a look....

Ideas of visa costs would be appreciated also.
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Old Mar 31st, 2009, 06:36 PM
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You can get a visa for China in Hong Kong, various prices depending on how soon you want it. You cannot get a visa on arrival in China. Which to do depends on how easy it is to get one in Australia and how much of your vacation you are willing to spend getting a visa in Hong Kong.

Alas! The city formerly know as Canton was a huge , polluted industrial city when I visited in 1994 or 95, and is bigger and more polluted now. At the time, the one thing I really enjoyed about my visit was a Han Dynasty tomb that was discovered by accident during construction. A museum was built atop the tomb, where you can see the contents of the tomb (such things as a full suit of jade armor) and can go to the level of the tomb and see what remains in situ. The tomb and museum were located a block away from the China Hotel.

Let us know you impressions of the city.
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Old Mar 31st, 2009, 06:47 PM
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You don't need a visa to enter Hong Kong if you hold an Australian passport. You can get a visa for the PRC while you are in Hong Kong, the fee is something like AUS$105. To the best of my knowledge it takes 3 working days, but can be done on an expedited basis in one-day for a bit more. Note that the PRC consulate in Hong Kong is only open from 9 am to 12:30 on Saturdays and is closed on Sundays (and PRC and Hong KOng public holidays which can be different), so if you are arriving over a weekend or public holiday) you may have fewer days than you think to obtain the visa. as If you are going to try to get the visa in Hong Kong, bring passport-size photos as you will need them for the application, and you won't waste time getting them taken there. You can also use a travel agent here in Hong Kong to help you obtain a visa.

Office of the Commissioner of PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong
7/F Lower Block, China Resources Building
26 Harbour Road
Wanchai, Hong Kong

Tel: 852-3413-2300 (24 hour recorded info on making application, press 2 for English)
852-3413-2424 (9:00-12:00 am; 2:00-5:00 pm, Monday-Friday)
Email: [email protected]

Also, as you hold an Australian passport, if are employed in Australia, you might want to consider getting the APAC Business Travel Card, which will let you into the PRC an unlimited number of times without needing or paying for a visa. The APAC card is a visa-waiver program for a large number of countries in Asia-Pacific. It costs AUS$200, which is a bit more than the PRC visa cost, but may save you money in the long run if you plan future trips. See http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/business/apec/index.htm for information on obtaining the card in Australia; it takes some time to apply and obtain it, but would be quite valuable to you if you can get it, especially if you plan to travel to other countries in Asia over the next few years (it is good for like 3 years).

With an APAC card, in addition to not needing a visa for many countries, you will also be able to go into the shorter immigration lines in the countries which participate in the program (including Hong Kong, for which you don’t need a visa but you can use the faster APAC card line at immigration).
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Old Mar 31st, 2009, 07:21 PM
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According to this page, the Chinese Foreign Ministry's visa office in HK is only open Mon-Fri 9-12 and 2-5. No mention of Sat hours. Holidays are listed:

http://www.fmcoprc.gov.hk/eng/zgqz/bgfwxx/

Also, basic service takes 4 days (Mon drop off, Thursday pick up, etc); with 3-day and next-day service costing HK$150 and $250 more respectively. I have heard of same day service, but again it's not on that website.

Australia is not listed as one of those with reciprocal (i.e. higher) fess, so single entry should be HK$150 (, double $220, multiple 6 months $400 and multiple 1/2/3-year $600.

If you get it in Australia, those same visas cost A$40/60/80/120:

http://au.china-embassy.org/eng/ls/t286322.htm

Takes the same time (4-day), and 3-day will cost A$30 more, next-day A$50 more.

So, from those official Chinese consulate/embassy sites, it may indeed be a little cheaper to get it in HK.
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Old Mar 31st, 2009, 07:29 PM
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Oh yeah, Guangzhou is not worth the visa fee to visit.
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Old Apr 1st, 2009, 02:39 PM
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Thanks everyone. As usual, you are all helpful!
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Old Apr 17th, 2009, 04:03 AM
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Looking into this myself. As most of the travel guides suggest just doing it in Hong Kong, I was thinking about doing so when I am there next week. However, on the PRC consulate website, it says this:

Visa applicants are increasing in a large number and need longer waiting time in the visa office recently. If you don't reside or work in Hong Kong permanently, you are required to apply Chinese visafrom the Embassy or Consulate-General of Peoples' Republic of China in your resident country

Any thoughts? Has anyone done a Chinese visa in Hong Kong recently?
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Old Apr 17th, 2009, 10:00 AM
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No, but that may be a standard issue twice a year around the Spring and Fall Canton Fairs. But this year, attendance is down sharply, so I doubt it will be a problem.
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