Chinese Consulate Los Angeles – 4 Easy Steps to Apply for China Tourist and Travel Visa
Have you been to China yet? If not, when you arrive you will stand in awe at the magnificence of the thriving cities. Beijing, where you can visit the iconic Great Wall of China or spend time exploring the palaces, museums, and temples. Shanghai, with its striking skyline, especially beautiful in the evenings, art centers, and many parks to enjoy the surroundings. There is something for everyone in this fascinating country! In this article learn more about how to apply for China Visa at the Chinese embassy in Los Angeles, California, China visa appointment booking, Processing time at the China visa application center, China Visa Application Process at the Los Angeles consulate, itinerary or round trip air ticket booking or flight reservation, Chinese visa types, insurance, Hotel reservation or proof of accommodation.
Citizens of the following countries do NOT need a visa for China:
- 90 days – Bosnia and Herzegovina, San Marino
- 60 days – Mauritius
- 30 days – Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Ecuador, Fiji, Grenada, Qatar, Serbia, Seychelles, Tonga, United Arab Emirates
- 15 days – Brunei, Japan, Singapore
If you are from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, or Turkmenistan and are traveling in a tour group, you can enter China for a maximum of 30 days. However, you must be accompanied by a representative of the tour company and the company must be registered in both countries.
If you are from any other country and currently reside in the US, you can apply at the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in your area. The consulate in Los Angeles deals with applications from people living within its jurisdiction of
The US Pacific Islands including Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa.
If you live in any other area, check the website of the Chinese Embassy in Washington for other Chinese missions located across the US.
Types of visas for China
The type of visa you apply for will be determined by your reason for traveling to China. You must choose the correct one based on your circumstances, otherwise, this could lead to your application being rejected:
- D – Permanent residence in China
- F – Exchanges, visits, study tours, and other non-business activities. Issued as single or double entry
- G – Transit through China en route to your final destination
- J1 – Foreign journalists stationed in China (180 days or more)
- J2 – Foreign journalists who intend to engage in short-term news coverage in China (up to 180 days)
- L – Tourism purposes. Issued as single, double, or multiple entry
- M – Commercial or trade activities. Issued as single, double, or multiple entry
- Q1 – Family reunification with Chinese citizens or foreigners with Chinese permanent residence for 180 days or more. Issued as single entry.
- Q2 – Family reunification with Chinese citizens/foreigners with permanent residence up to 180 days. Issued as multiple entry
- R – Professionals whose skills are urgently needed in China
- S1 – Dependents under the age of 18 or parents-in-law of someone who is working or studying in China OR to those who intend to go to China for other reasons for 180 days or more. Issued as single entry.
- S2 – Dependents under the age of 18 or parents-in-law of someone who is working or studying in China OR those who intend to go to China for other reasons up to 180 days. Issued as multiple entry
- X1 – Study for 180 days or more. Issued as multiple entry
- X2 – Study up to 180 days. Issued as single entry
- Z – Employment in China. Issued as single entry only
China visas are usually issued as:
- Single entry – valid for 3-6 months
- Double entry – valid for 6 months
- Multiple entry – valid for 6 or 12 months
For more information regarding China visas, check the website of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles.
Applying for your China visa from the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles
In order to apply for your visa for China, go to the website of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles and click on: “Visa and consular services”:
Then, on the next page, click on: “Visa for China”:
On the next page, you’ll find all the information, including requirements for each type of visa, you need to apply for your China visa:
The Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles processes visa applications in 4 working days, so if you submit your application on a Monday, you can pick it up on Thursday.
They also offer a rush processing service and your visa can be picked up on the next working day after you submit your application, and an express service for visas to be picked up on the 3rd working day after you submit your application. However, both of these additional services must be approved by the consulate and there is an additional fee which must be paid.
Please note, some types of visa applications may take longer to process, but, if this is the case, you will be notified by the consulate when you can collect your passport and visa.
You should try to apply at least 1 month prior to your departure date. If you apply too early, your visa may expire before you are planning on traveling. If you apply too late, there may not be enough time for your application to be processed.
The visa application process can appear difficult, but it’s not if you follow these steps:
Step 1: Complete your application form
The first step is to complete your application form. It’s important to note that you cannot submit a handwritten form, so you must download it onto your personal computer and type the information before you print it. The consulate in Los Angeles will ONLY accept applications that have been completed in this way.
Go to the website of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles, click on: “Download forms”:
Then, click on: “Visa application form of the People’s Republic of China”:
You will be directed to the application form:
Step 2: Get your documents ready
Step 2 is very important because if you don’t hand over all the required documents with your visa application, the consulate will not accept it and/or it will be rejected. Therefore, it’s wise to spend time looking at what is required for your type of visa.
The consulate’s website has information on this, so check this out before you do anything else:
In addition, your documents should be originals, but you must also provide photocopies of everything. If you don’t, your application won’t be accepted, so don’t forget to do this.
Required documents are:
1) Passport with at least 1 blank page and valid for at least 6 months
2) One photocopy of the data and photo pages of the passport
3) Visa application form – completed in full and typed in black capital letters
4) One recently taken, color photo on a light background. Please see the full requirements for acceptable photos
5) Itinerary OR Invitation letter
– Invitation letter – with a copy of the Chinese host’s ID. Should include: information on the applicant, details of the visit to China, and information on the inviter
6) Proof of legal status of the non-American applicant. For example, a certificate of residence, employment, student, or another legal status
7) Previous Chinese passport or Chinese visa
8) Confirmation form for foreigners permanent residence status issued by the Ministry of Public Security of China
9) Guarantee letter issued by the relevant company
10) Onward travel ticket with confirmed date and seat to the destination country
11) Visa notification letter and an official letter issued by the relevant authorities (for journalists)
12) Proof of family relationships and passport of inviter – birth/marriage certificate etc.
13) Letter of consent and parent’s ID
14) Proof of permanent residence
15) Confirmation letter of high-skill talents issued by the State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs
16) Admission notice and visa application for study in China
17) Employment permit and/or approval of employment
If you’re planning to obtain your flight reservation for visa without paying for the ticket, all you have to do is follow the 3 simple steps below:
- Visit the Visa Reservation website to choose the right package
- Submit the travel details and make the payment online
- Receive flight itinerary in email
Step 3: Submit your application
There is no need to make an appointment when you submit your China visa application. All you need to do is to go to the consulate in Los Angeles and hand over your documents during their business hours. They are open, Monday to Friday from 9.00 am until 2.00 pm.
This particular consulate does not accept mailed, faxed, or online applications, so you must submit your application in person. You can arrange for someone to submit your file on your behalf, but if the consulate requires you to attend an interview, you must appear for that in person.
On the day you go to hand over your application, don’t forget anything. All the required documents should be handed over, otherwise, the consulate will not accept your application and/or it could lead to it being rejected.
If they need any further information from you, the consulate is within its rights to arrange an interview with you. They can ask you questions about your application:
- Is this your first time in China?
- What do you plan to do there?
- Do you have any family or friends in China?
- What do you plan to do when you return home?
If you get asked any questions like this, simply answer them politely and to the point. The consulate is only trying to find out all the information for them to make the right decision about your application.
You will also pay the fee for your visa. You can pay by credit card (Visa and MasterCard only), money order or cashier’s check payable to “Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles”
The fee is paid when you go to collect your visa once it has been processed. This fee is not refunded, even if your application gets refused or you do not use the visa. Plus, fees paid for express and rush services are not refunded, even if you do not pick up on the date you have been notified of.
China Visa Fee
Number of entries
Multiple entry for 6 months
|Multiple entry for 12 months or more||$140|
- Express service: an additional fee $25 per visa
You may also have to provide biometric data in the form of a scan of your fingerprints and a digital photo.
Step 4: Receive your visa
You can usually collect your visa on the 4th day if you have opted for the regular service. The consulate in Los Angeles does not offer a “return by mail” service, so you must go back to their office to collect your passport.
You must pay the fee before you can pick your visa up. If you pay the fee late or refuse, your application will be canceled.
When you submit your file, you will be given a pick-up form which will specify the date on which you can go and collect your visa. You should make every effort to collect your visa on the date given. If you can’t do this, you may collect within 1 week. If you fail to do this, your passport will be handed over to the US Immigration Department and your visa will be canceled.
Your China visa should be attached to one of the pages in your passport. Hopefully, this will be the case, but you should be aware of some of the reasons why visa applications get rejected:
- Missing information on the application form
- Purpose doesn’t match paperwork
- Number of entries isn’t available for the type of visa applied for
- Full hotel information not included
When you complete your application form, you must provide all the information. For example, if you check your employment status as self-employed, you must also fill out the next section with the relevant details. The paperwork you provide must match the purpose of your visit. For example, if you are being invited, you must include an invitation letter. Visas are issued as single, double, or multiple entry, and it’s different for each type of visa, so you must check before you apply. When you provide information about your hotel, you must include the name AND address of where you are staying.
The consulate in Los Angeles has a handy step-by-step guide to applying for a China visa. You can download this and refer to it as required:
Contact details of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles
Address: 3rd Floor, 500 Shatto Place, Los Angeles, CA 90020
Tel: 1-213-201-1765 – 10.00 am – 11.30 am, 2.00 pm – 3.30 pm
Please note, it may be difficult to contact the consulate by phone or email during busy periods, so it’s best to try and find answers for inquiries on the consulate’s website first.
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9.00 am – 2.00 pm
1) Is there a good time to arrive at the consulate to avoid queues?
You should arrive at the consulate before 10.30 am and avoid the 1st working day before and after weekends or holidays
2) I have a visa for China, but my plans have changed. Can I use the same visa?
If the purpose of your trip has changed, you cannot use the same visa. You must apply for a new one and specify the new purpose of your trip
3) I have a new passport, but my valid visa is in my old one. Can I use both passports to enter China?
As long as your personal information and the reason for traveling to China remains the same, you can use both passports to enter China. If any information has changed, you must apply for a new visa with your new passport
4) Should I make an appointment to submit my visa application?
There is no need to make an appointment. You just need to walk into the consulate during their opening hours
5) How can I pay for the fee?
The consulate in Los Angeles accepts credit card (Visa and MasterCard only), money orders or cashier’s check payable to the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles
6) I lost my pick-up form. What shall I do?
You can still collect your passport and visa, but you must present a photo ID with your name and date of birth
7) How do I pick-up my visa?
When you arrive at the consulate, you will pass through a security check and then you simply need to queue in front of windows 1 and 2 and wait your turn
8) What does “Enter before” mean?
You must enter China before the date specified. If you don’t, you will need to arrange a new visa before traveling to China
So, applying for your China visa from the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles is relatively simple. All you need to do is:
- Complete your application form
- Get your documents ready
- Submit your application
- Receive your visa
Once you have your visa in your hand, the next step is to enjoy the countdown to your fabulous trip to China!
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