Guide: Visas to China
I have gradually visited a number of countries where there is a visa requirement, but China must be one of the countries that is the most hassle and expensive to apply for a visa. Among other things, you must meet in person in Copenhagen to hand in your application, fingerprints, etc., which makes it especially difficult for you who live far away.
Facts about visas to China (January 2020):
- There is a visa requirement for everyone with a Danish passport to China (unless you are in transit)
- Price: 962.50 kr.
- You must appear in person at the Chinese visa office in Copenhagen
- It takes approx. 1 week from the time you apply until your visa is ready. However, I recommend that you apply for a 4-week pre-departure Express visa is available at an additional cost.
- Your passport must be valid for 6 months in addition to your stay
1. The itinerary must be ready before applying for a visa to China
You must document all your overnight stays on your trip to China. This means that you must have booked on all your overnight stays before applying for a visa. Together with your visa application, you must print and hand in all your reservations. In the application form, you must also state the name and address of all the places where you will be staying.
If you are going to be away for a longer period of time and / or would like to travel a little more impulsively, then it is annoying that all nights must be booked in advance. A trick may be to book hotels through one of the major hotel booking portals (eg hotels.com or Booking.com). They offer free cancellation at many hotels. After you have received your visa, you can then go in and cancel your reservations.
If you are going to stay with friends or family in China, then it requires a written invitation from those you are going to stay with. In addition to the invitation itself, the person in China must send you a copy of passport and visa / residence permit. It can make your application more cumbersome. Consider possible the trick of booking a hotel that you can cancel.
2. Passport photos – both on paper and digitally
You will also need a digital passport photo and a passport photo on photo paper.
There are a number of requirements for how the passport photo should be (you must not smile, among other things). You can see all the requirements here:
I would recommend that the two passport photos are identical. You must upload the digital passport photo when filling out the electronic application. You must hand in the physical passport photo when you show up at the Visa Center.
I got my passport photos from a photo dealer who was in control of the rules. I would recommend that you do the same.
3. The application form must be completed digitally
Once you have your travel plans and passport photos in place, you need to start filling out the application form. There are a lot of questions and it takes boat time and patience. (Printing it takes up nine pages!). Fortunately, you have the option to save your application along the way and complete it at a later date.
The application form can be found here:
China Visa Application Center
When you have filled in the application form correctly and submitted it, you will receive a visa number. Take good care of it. Because you need to use it when you need to book an appointment in person at the Chinese Visa Center.
Book an appointment in person at the Chinese Visa Center
It is a requirement that you show up in person at a Chinese visa center in Østerbro in Copenhagen. And that is whether you come from Skagen or Neksø. If you are a whole family going, then everyone must go to the visa center.
In order to obtain a visa, you must both hand in your fingerprint and be photographed. And it requires you to book time. Immediately after you submit your application, you can book an appointment. You can also do this at a later time. Here you need your Chinese visa number and passport number.
It is quite complicated to rebook your appointment, so be absolutely sure that you book a time when you are sure to be able to show up.
Arrive well in advance of your appointment at the Visa Center. Remember to bring all relevant documents printed. If necessary, use the checklist below.
The address is:
Chinese Visa Application Center
2100 Copenhagen Ø
You will find parking behind the center at Bryggervangen 12. The metro also runs almost to the door. The nearest station is Vibenhus Runddel on Cityringen.
If you are missing something, then you will be rejected and have to book a new time (no mercy!).
However, you can borrow a computer and printer if you have access to your missing documents
At the Visa Center, you will need up to three different counters. At the first counter, which is furthest away from the entrance, hand in all your papers and passports, which will be thoroughly checked.
If you need to print something, you can borrow a computer and printer.
At the next counter, hand in your fingerprints and you will be photographed. All your papers will be checked again.
At the last counter you have to pay for your visa (you can pay with cash and VISA or Mastercard).
Take good care of your receipt as you will need to show it when you need to pick up your passport again. Typically, it takes between 4-7 business days before your visa is ready for collection. You can get another person to pick up your passport for you – as long as they have the receipt with them. You can also choose to have your passport sent home, so it costs DKK 275 + postage an additional.
6. Pick up your passport with Chinese visa
After 4-5 working days, your tourist visa is ready. You must pick it up at the Visa Center. And you are now ready for a great trip to China.
Your tourist visa will typically be valid for 30 days and entry into China must be made within three months of it being issued.