Thursday, February 21, 2013

From Germany to China for Vacation

Planning to head to China from Germany for a vacation but holding a non-German passport? No problem!

There are currently four branches in Germany to whom you can visit to (whichever more convenient for you):
1. Chinese Embassy in Berlin, Germany
*** Click the links for their website.

There are two ways on how to apply for your Chinese Visa:
1. Apply at the center (which how we did ours)
2. Apply by Post (yes, thru mailing)

Basically, all the things you needed are written at their websites: unless they ask for additional document(s) from you. If you wanted to have a Travel Agency to process your visa (maybe you are a busy person or something) or simply wanted to entrust someone to process the visa for you -- yes, you can!

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Our situation: My husband is holding a German passport while I am holding a PH passport. We wanted to visit a city in China for a quick vacation. We personally went to the center to submit our Visa applications. Here are the things we did to get our visas:


1. Prepare the documents needed
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***1.1 Visa Application forms 
   -- You have an option to answer the forms online then print it, OR, print the blank application forms then answer it by hand. Eitherway, the most important part of it is your signature that must be written in ink.
   -- Don't worry incase there are some questions you are unsure on how to answer. At the center, they will double check your application forms and will guide you.
   -- Each person who are applying for the Chinese Visa, irregardless of what passport you are holding, must have their own Visa Application set (4 pages).
   -- affixed a passport size photo of yourself (not older than 6 months) on your application set
  
***1.2 Supplementary Visa Application forms
   -- If you are holding a non-German passport (such as myself), you need to answer one set of these forms (2 pages). Your German partner do not need to have this set.

***1.3 Copy of Round-trip airline tickets or e-tickets 

***1.4 Copy of  hotel reservation(s) 
   -- have a seperate copy for each person

***1.5 Original & Copy of the following:
    -- German passport  holder: Id card or Ausweis
    -- non-German passport holder: 
        (1) Residence Permit ID card or Aufenthaltstitel (valid at least for 6 months),  and 
        (2) Resident Registration (profile) paper or Anmeldebestätigung (not older than 6 months) * You can get your  profile paper at the Local Civil Office (Ortsamt): present both your passport & residence permit card and pay a fee of 10€.

***1.6 Travel Passport
   -- Make sure that the validity of your passport are at least 6 months from date of application & have at least 2 or more blank pages. 

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2. Make an appointment for submission online (optional)
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  -- Your waiting time at the center will be slightly shorter if you make an online appointment. But this is not mandatory. 

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3. At the center, obtain a queue number on your arrival
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-- At least at the branch where we went, there is this automated queue machine which offer instructions in Deutsch, English or Chinese languages. You can choose your mode whether you have an online appointment, walk-in (those without appointment) or passport(s) pick-up.

--When  its your turn, submit all your requirements and the agent will check it. The agents can speak in Deutsch & English, and some, in Mandarin. 

-- If all is well, they will get all the required documents & your passport(s). They will give you a claiming letter which indicates the # of passport(s) to be claimed (yes, on the collection date, one person is enough to get all the passports) and the claiming date for the said passport(s). You do not need to pay anything at this point.  

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4. Collection of your Passport(s)
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-- Back at the center, get a queue number for Passport Pick-up.
-- Pay the total amount of fees & claim your passport(s). 
-- They accepts cash or debit card as mode of payment.
-- To calculate how much you needed to pay, this is the formula: 
        VISA FEE    +    SERVICE FEE  +  MWST  (service fee x19%)
-- It is best that you check their website for the list of fees since they differ based on:
     (1) Visa Categories (how many entries, length of your stay in China, going as individuals or as a group)
     (2) Citizenships (German, US, Other Country or Romanian citizens)
     (3) type of service (how long are you willing to wait for your visa): (1) Regular or 4 working days, (2) Express or 3 working days, or (3) Urgent or next working day. 
   *NOTE: Check the official website as some center do NOT offer the Express or Urgent services.
-- For idea purposes only: For a 10 days single entry visa to China for 2 persons, it cost us around 135€  (inclusive of service fee & taxes).

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OTHER INFORMATIONS:
-- The China Embassy encourage applicants to submit their Visa Applications one (1) month before intended flight but NOT three (3) months in advance. 
-- Our experiences only limited to Tourist Visa Application to China and are NOT applicable to other kind of Visas to China or other countries. 
-- Kindly check the official websites for other important reminders or for changes of rules. 

Hope this helps! Happy planning!!!

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