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Steve Gempeler and Peter Gulas at Allied Passport & Visa tipped us off to a new visa agreement between the United States and China!
The first 10-year Chinese visas issued to US citizens were issued yesterday, November 12, 2014, at the China visa office in Washington DC. Under the new reciprocal agreement between the United States and China, most short term business and tourist visas will be issued for 10 years.
The announcement was made shortly after President Obama arrived in Beijing for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders’ Meeting. John Kerry summed up the reason for this agreement nicely; “This [agreement] will pay huge dividends for American and Chinese citizens and it will strengthen both of our economies.”
Travel leniency between the US and China most recently began in early 2013 when Americans could visit select major cities in China on a 72 hour visa free visit. Now, with China visas being increased from six months (for most business visas) or one year (for most tourist visas) to ten years, the demanding application process will be at the very least, less frequent.
How to apply for a China Visa
Although the terms of longevity have changed for China visas, the procedure has not. US Citizens are required to have their documents and passport submitted by hand to the Chinese consulate in their jurisdiction. Due to security concerns, the China embassy has decided not to allow applicants to mail in their applications. Therefore, if you live a significant distance from your local consulate you can always hire a visa service to hand deliver your application for you. We recommend using Allied Passport & Visa. Allied does all the visa and passport work for TPG staff and offers a discount for their readers. It is important to note also that the Washington D.C. visa office does not enforce jurisdiction, so if you’d like to use Allied they can process your visa no matter which state you reside in.
You may have heard the visa process is daunting, but if you take a look at each bullet point requirement on their China visa page, it is relatively painless to gather:
Tourist Requirements for China Visas:
Applications must be typewritten. Hand written applications will not be accepted by the embassy.
- One completed China visa application. Save to your desktop before filling.
- One passport type photo
- Actual passport valid six months beyond trip completion and side by side blank visa pages
- One copy of flight itinerary from airline (required)
- Non-USA passport holders must provide your US Visa and I-94 or original green card
- One Allied Passport & Visa order form
The big question floating around the internet at the moment is: Will your China visa continue to be valid if your passport expires first? While there doesn’t seem to be any official word on this yet, our guess is that since unexpired US visas are not considered void after your passport has expired China will reciprocate this allowance.
One, final note and also a bit of trivia. There are only two countries in the world (well maybe three now) whose visas are considered valid if in an expired passport. They are the United States and Brazil. Simply travel with your new passport and your old expired passport with the unexpired visa and you’ll be granted entry.
Do you have any questions about the new China visa policy?
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