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Travel, Teach, Live in China

How to Get a Multiple Entry Tourist Visa to China
By:Kent Ninomiya

You must get a multiple entry tourist visa to China from an embassy or consulate of the People's Republic of China. Its government makes this process fairly straightforward but insists that all the paperwork be in order. The Chinese government will not hesitate to deny a multiple entry tourist visa application if a single document is out of order. It is also important to allow adequate time for a multiple entry tourist visa to China to be processed. If you wait until the last minute, you may not get it before your depart on your trip to China.

Check that you passport will be valid for at least six months after you plan to leave the People's Republic of China for the final time on your multiple entry tourist visa. China will not allow you to enter if you have less than six months validity left on your passport. If you have a multiple entry tourist visa in the expiring passport, it will become worthless. You will need to get another one with your new passport. If your current passport is close to expiration, get a new one before applying for a multiple entry tourist visa to China.

Go to the website for the embassy of China and download a multiple entry tourist visa application. Be sure to download the form for the "L" visa. A link to the application is provided in the Resources section. Be sure to fill out the forms completely and sign them. A multiple entry tourist visa for China is valid either six months or one year. If you are a Chinese American born in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong or Macau, you can get a multiple entry "L" visa valid for 24 months.

Attach supporting documents requested on the application form. This includes one passport size photo, a copy of the applicant's round-trip airline ticket, and proof of hotel reservations. If you will be staying in a private home in China, you must include a letter from your hosts stating that they will be housing you during your visit.

Pay the application fee for a multiple entry tourist visa to China. This is $130 regardless of whether you are applying for a six-month multiple entry tourist visa or a one-year multiple entry tourist visa. Since they are the same price, you might as well request the one-year multiple entry tourist visa for China. Payment can be made with a money order or personal check.

Add the additional fee if you are in a hurry to obtain your multiple entry tourist visa to China. Standard processing time is four days from the time the application arrives at the embassy of China. For a $20 express service fee, processing is reduced to two days. For a $30 extra express service fee, processing is done on the day it is received.

Submit your application for a multiple entry tourist visa to China. Place all your documents inside a large mailing envelope. Send it by registered mail or a courier service to the address on the application form. The Chinese embassy will not accept applications sent any other way.

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