How to Get a China Visa in Bangkok

By Mark Wiens 112 Comments

Latest Update May 2014 (Thank you to all who have left feedback and latest updates)

Getting a China Visa in Bangkok, Thailand, can be straightforward or it can be extremely challenging. However, one thing is certain, you’ll need to come fully prepared and have all of your documents in order.

China visa Bangkok
Extra requirements for a China Visa in Bangkok

Here’s what you will need for a visa for China:

Americans: If you are American, you will need to fill out 2 of each forms, and have 2 passport photos – A and B and 2 photos.

Itinerary: Some people have recommended that you put together and print off a detailed itinerary of exactly where you’ll be going and what you’ll be doing – they might ask as well.

These are the official documents required for getting a China visa in Bangkok. Basically what this is saying, is come well prepared with just about every legal document and its photocopy that you possess.

People have told me recently that they are strict with the employment letter, so if you do have a job, be sure to get a letter officially stating that you’re employed. If you’re a freelancer like I am, or not working at the moment, you’ll probably need to do some persuading.

You can try to pre-download and fill in the forms, but I wouldn’t recommend it as the forms seemed to be different. Not sure if they would accept it, so I didn’t take the risk. It was pretty easy to just show up and fill in the applications there.

China Visa in Bangkok
China Visa Hours in Bangkok

Apply for China Visa:

You must apply for your China Visa in Bangkok on a weekday from 9:00 am – 11: 30 am at the visa application office – different from the Chinese embassy (directions below).

I arrived at about 9: 30 am and though there were a lot of people there, the whole process ran smoothly and went pretty fast.

(My friend Tim Ong, who recently got his China Visa told me that it’s probably best to arrive nowadays about 8 am – 8:30 am to claim a good position in line.)

After walking in, you’ll be greeted by a man with all kinds of application forms. Tell him where you are from and what you want to apply for and he’ll pick the correct application forms out for you.

China Visa Office in Bangkok
China Visa Office in Bangkok

Here are a few things you’ll need to answer on the application form:

I guess depending on what type of visa you are applying for, they will be more strict about the information. I just applied for a single entry 30 day visa and didn’t have most of this information – and I got the visa.

After filling out your application forms and getting together all of your information for the visa, you grab a ticket number (at the door of the office) and wait for your turn.

It went really fast for me, I only waited about 5 minutes.

You hand in your applications along with your passport. The person at the desk will make sure you filled in everything correctly and then hand you a little pink slip of paper (which you bring back for your passport and visa).

Pick up China Visa:

However fast you decide to get your visa, the pick-up time is at the same location in the afternoon from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm. You will pay the fee when you go to pick up your visa.

Getting a China Visa in Bangkok
Cost of China Visa in Bangkok

How much will the China Visa in Bangkok cost?

That depends quite a bit on where you are from and how quickly you want your visa. Take a look at the chart above to see the prices (as of July 2011).

Single Entry L visas which are usually good for 30 days are the least expensive and the cheapest way to get it is to take 4 days. If you are in a rush, you can choose a faster option, but you pay more.

I’m American and I got a 30 day Tourist L China Visa in 4 days and paid the big 4560 THB ($153.51) fee.

NOTE: You do NOT pay until picking up your visa.

Where is the China Visa office in Bangkok?

Update: May 18, 2016. 

The current location for applying for your China visa in Bangkok is at the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre on the 5th Floor of the Thanapoom Tower. You can get there from Petchaburi MRT station, or from Makasan Airport Rail link station.

Thananpoom Tower
1550 New petchaburi road

Here’s a map to make it easier:

View China Visa in Bangkok in a larger map

Final note…

Please be aware that there are so many variables and nearly everyone has a different story when it comes to applying for a China visa in Bangkok (some people have no problems, others have many). My advice is to come prepared with all the documents you can come up with, and just go for it.

All the best for getting your visa.

If you have any extra tips / recommendations about your experience, please share them in a comment below, so we can all benefit.

Thank you.

112 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

  • Geno

    5 years ago

    Hi to everyone at the moment I am travelling to Thailand and I am planning to go to China to Study Kung Fu for 6 months or one year , I contacted the school in China and they told that they will send me a letter of invitation (to do this I will have to pay $100 or 150) do anyone know if Italians can apply for visa in Bangkok..I been sent messages I been called them (visa centre ) but not answer at all 🙁 ..Would be great if someone can help before to pay the school and go in Bangkok without successfully receive the visa..Thanks so much for your help G

  • Akie

    5 years ago

    I am a traveler and my hotel reservations are not done. Like it really depends where will I be on a particular day! what to do?

  • Noqtr

    7 years ago

    It is possible that China has gone berserk. With no international body to stand up for the rights of travelers any country can just do whatever it wants. Why do you want to go to China anyway. The fun travel factor us like visting a morgue, besides everything you want to see, worth seeing cost entrance fee, even crossing a old town or a city park. I suggest, chinese start paying fee for crossing Trafalgar sqare or any old town in Europe, then see how they will feel. Nature with ticket booths, ha, ha! And where do you think these money is going… into weapon production, so they can bully the other countries for some island… think twice before suport chinese visa scam.

  • Ivan

    7 years ago

    Hi guys,

    Not sure what is all about this 30 day waiting? Maybe a some sort of scam from visa agencies to use their services. Today I applied for visa in BKK and tomorrow i can pick it up back. I’m tourist from europe on 30 day tourist visa in Thailand.

    • Bhutia

      6 years ago

      Hello friend. I am from India. I am goin to Bangkok next week because I really need China visa. So Is there any Agency that can help me to get visa? Please send me some agency address if u have…….thank u so much !

  • Liam

    7 years ago

    If you haven’t got long term Thailand visa, forget it. Seems new regulations from May 1

  • Sophia

    7 years ago

    Hey guys,
    I was just at the china appl. center. They told me it lasts now 1 month to get the visa here in Bangkok. Anyone know why it takes suddenly so long. I read everywhere that it takes about 4 to 7 days

  • Sue

    7 years ago

    The lis of documents is still accurate, but right now there is a temporary regulation that foreigners without a work permit or a long term residence visa have to wait a month for a chinesse tourist visa, I guess for background check? Not sure but I went today and that is what they told me.

    • onthayarat

      7 years ago

      I ‘m German guy, also get same problem. How do you get visa to China? Visa on Arrival at Guang Zhou is possible? Please advice.

  • Andrew McNerlin

    7 years ago

    I was at the visa application centre this morning and here are copies of the guidance they are giving to foreigners applying for L visas in Bangkok:

  • maya

    7 years ago

    hi mark!
    thx a lot for this very useful information!!
    i applied for a chinese tourist visa (L) just today and was quite well prepared. i had the visa application form, an invitation letter from a person living in china, my flight booking confirmation in and out china, a copy of my passport, copy of the stamp of immigration in thailand, a copy of my vietnamese visa (as i’m flying to vietnam from china) and a few photos of myself. a proof of my financial situation was not required. but i still needed to take a new photo, as they just changed the rules (bare, frontal view of the whole face as required for passports, shoulders covered, light background, ears visible and no earrings). additionaly i had to write a short statement, why i want to go to china (because i’m not a thai citizen and not working in thailand). there is a small shop at the second floor of the tower, where you can photocopy or print documents (15 bath each) as well as take correct photos of you (it was approximately 150 bath for 6 pictures).
    they also increased the visa fees.
    note that if you want to apply for a express visa (processing time 2 working days, so you get your passport back the next afternoon), you must be there before 11am! i’d recommend to be there latest at 9 (the office opens then). i was there at 9.20 and was queing for 40min. then i had to take the photos and write the statement, so i was back at 10.30, which was fine.

    @mark: i can send you the photos of the latest information, if you want to update your website =)

  • Alex

    7 years ago

    Hey Mark, I just thought it could be good if you mentioned in your guide that the visa center doesn’t give out tourist visas of more than 30 days, no matter how hard you try or where you come from. This information doesn’t seem to be found anywhere, so we were caught unawares, along with many other tourists the same day.
    But, in Yangon, Myanmar, it is SO much easier to get the visa, and they give out more than 30 days depending on where you come from (as canadians, we got unlimited number of entries of 60 days each for a period of 10 years! And it only cost 150$). If people are going to Myanmar before or after Thailand, I definitely recommend getting the visa there instead. Bonus: staff is very nice and helpful.

    Best of luck to everyone!

    • Chris

      7 years ago

      Hi Alex,
      This is really helpful, actually. I was hoping to transit through BKK and pick up a Chinese visa for a 6 week trip I’m planning (UK citizen). So you’re saying that despite the sign showing that half year multiple entry visas are available you can only get a 30 day visa from the embassy in Thailand?

    • Alex

      7 years ago

      You can get multiple entries, but they will only be of 30 days max, so you have to leave the country after 30 days and come back in. The “6 months” only means that you have to use the visa within 6 months starting from the moment when they give it to you.

    • Chris

      7 years ago

      Thank you! I guess I’m going to Myanmar first then! Oh well, worst places to go.

    • Alex

      7 years ago

      Correction: it only costs 75$

  • Lawrence

    7 years ago

    What are these forms “Filled out visa application form – A and B Form” ?

  • Alice

    7 years ago

    Thanks, this is a brilliant post-so informative!
    Do you have an Instagram account? If so can you add us @travel_mooners so we pm you for any other tips 🙂

  • Suresh Savaliya

    8 years ago

    This is very helpful. I have Thiand my own business company and I have also work permit in Thailand and I have multiple Thailand business visa and I been many time china before and that all visa apply from India but now I want need apply china 1 year Multipe business visa from bkk so what need about documentation and how much fees for 1 year Multiple business visa for china visa

  • Jonas

    8 years ago

    On the following Website are also a few usefull informations:

    I gonna apply tomorrow for a single entry cultural 6 Month F visa.

  • Voney

    8 years ago

    This is an amazing site. Thank you for putting it all up for is, so so appreciate this!

  • Hannah

    8 years ago

    Hi, just wanted to say thank you – what a helpful and clear explanation! Really appreciate it!

  • Ian

    8 years ago

    I didn’t even consider China in this year long trip I’m taking. But now I’m intrigued. I’m Currently in Thailand and may apply for a Chinese tourist visa. My plan is to head up to Mongolia then Russia for the transmongolian train. I’m wondering did you have to buy onward tickets out of China? Did they ask for an onward ticket when you went to the Chinese visa application center in Bangkok? Did immigration check for it when you finally went to China? I usually like to travel on an open itinerary. Apologies for the run of questions there.

  • Laura

    8 years ago

    Just been to this building to get my visa and it has moved to:

    Thananpoom Tower
    1550 New petchaburi road

  • mourine Musimbi

    8 years ago

    Am a Kenyan who is planning to come to Bangkok next month, am also thinking of applying for a Chinese visa there, I don’t know how possible it would be for me to get it, being that I am just a university student in Kenya, and I need a Chinese tourist visa.

  • Jarrd kirchhof

    8 years ago

    Great info…although please take note the visa application office location has changed to the following address: 5th floor 1550 thanapoom tower, new phetchaburi road, makkason, bangkok 10400. Approx 5-10min away via taxi scooter. Also seems that the hours are open later which is a bonus 9.00-15.00. Hope this helps.

  • Paul Kasal

    8 years ago

    Hi Mark,

    Here are the most recent changes to the visa application for US Citizens, as of 12, April 2016.

    1. Original Passport
    2. Visa Application form and one 2-inch photo
    3. COLOR, full page copy of your passport page. The paper MUST be 8″x11″, even if the photo does not cover the entire page.
    4. COLOR copy of Thailand Immigration Stamp. **Should cover the date you leave Thailand** The paper MUST be 8″by11″, even if the photo does not cover the entire page.
    5. Photocopy of previous Chinese visa (if have)
    6. The letter of certificate yourself (because you just a tourist who don’t have a resident permit in Thailand) (see example below)
    7. Proof of flight ticket (go and back)
    8. Hotel reservation in China (even if you are not planning to stay at a hotel, but just jumping out of the airport for a day trip, they require a hotel reservation. The lady told me to make the reservation and then cancel it)
    **If you want to stay with your friend who has residence in China, You need:
    1 Invitation letter from friend with friend’s signatiure
    2. Photocopy of friend’s passport and resident permit
    3. If inviting is Chinese citizen, you can use photocopy of ID card.

    If you are missing anything, they will send you down to the second floor of the Thanathoom Tower to a small shop. Here you can have 20 minutes free access to the Internet for booking hotels. Also, they have copy machines, printers and a can make passport photos. Prices are very reasonable, however it is very busy since this is the only place to retrieve the necessary documents in the building.

    EXAMPLE LETTER OF CERTIFICATE YOURSELF (must be typed, not hand written)

    To whom it may concern,

    My name is *your name*. I come from *country*, holding passport number *passport number*. I’m a *what is your occupation*. Now I’m *what do are you doing in Thailand (on holiday, working, etc)* and will be *what is your purpose to go to China (on holiday, working, etc)*. During I stay in China, I will pay for this trip.
    I apply for the Chinese Visa because I want to *travel in China not for working/for business trip*

    Best Regards

    *Type Name*

    • Paul Kasal

      8 years ago

      By the way, the current costs for US Citizens are 5060 THB for regular service (4 working days to process) and 6110 THB for Express service (2 working days). They do not offer Urgent/one day processing.

  • Travellor

    8 years ago

    Hey mark,

    I am required to travel on business to China. Its only been some 5 months that I am in Thailand and I have my workpermit and can obtain all paper work (employment letter, Invitation letter) etc.

    However the embassy now informs that a foreign national (not thai) needs to be in thailand atleast 6 months before appying from their Bangkok Embassy. Furthermore If the application at their bangkok office is for the first time, then the foreign national needs to get a Govt letter from China for the invitation.

    This is a catch 22: it means I can never travel to china is it? for I cannot get the visa from the embassy in my home country, as they ask for employment letter and will reject my application saying that my employer is not in the country where I apply!

    o you have any idea about this starnge rule??

  • Smith

    8 years ago

    Thanks very much for your direction. It was 100% helpful to me. Pls place to apply for Chinese visa has changed. You need to move now to Thanaphum Tower floor 5. It’s at Phetchaburi Rd. Thanks

  • Mike Mason

    9 years ago

    The Chinese Visa Application Service Center has moved, as of Sept 2015. The new address is now 5th loor,1550 Thanapoom Tower, New Petchburi Road, Makkasan, Ratchathewi, Bangkok, Thailand, 10400. Visa / Passport photos are available on the 2nd floor, as are computers for printing out forms or documents. It is located at the Petchburi station on the Metro. The staff was great, helping, and friendly,

  • Autumn

    9 years ago

    First off, I want to thank you for this page. It was a huge help since the embassy website gives little to no information on the topic. I just picked up my z visa from the office today. I haven’t read all of the comments here, but I thought I’d let you know some of the different things I experienced.
    1) There is no longer a same day express option for the visa (without consulalor approval, I think it what they said). I was able to get my visa the next day though.
    2) You don’t need a medical exam to get the visa (just after you enter China). This is how it was when I applied in America for my last China visa as well.
    3) They only need copies of your invitation letter and supporting documents your employees should send (not the originals)
    4) Only need one application form completed (not two)
    5) Didn’t need proof of flight into or out of the Thailand (to China), Thailand hotel booking or address after you arrive in China
    6) Lastly, the pricing for the visas has changed since your photo. Not too different, but I noticed.

  • Lizad

    9 years ago

    Hi guys,

    This is very useful website. I recommend people reading it before they go there.

    I’m a Thai who has been traveling, studying , working in many countries around the world.

    and i have to say this Embassy in Thai is totally bs.

    a few of my advises.

    1. Go somewhere else to do the visa if you can – Singapore / Hongkong / Malaysia
    2. Hire some agent to do it for you. believe me its way better than you have to face that kind of service.

    They are kind of people who prefer to kick you out of embassy than actually help you get through it.

    I went there like 3 times each time they kept coming up with new required documents.

    and if you happen to face a new person that will be even worse.

    a lot of things are just like what people wrote in this site. Their website doesn’t show all the requirements. They will keep asking more and more and more.

    Obviously other embassies or in other countries are not like this so.

  • dave

    9 years ago

    I’m an American, with a retirement visa, living in Thailand. I went to the Chinese visa section last week looking for that 10 year M visa, armed with the following:

    * 2013V form filled out (via PDF editor) – with visa requested “10 year multiple entry”, visa type L (tourist visa).
    * 1 roundtrip ticket to shanghai
    * hotel reservations for a 7-day stay
    * one photo
    * copies of passport pages: previous china visa (received on a transit through shanghai), retirement visa page, picture & data page, last Thailand entry visa page.

    My only task at the visa section: glue my photo to the form. After waiting an hour or so I handed in the docs; there were no questions. My “itinerary” was staying at a hotel in Shanghai for 7 days.

    I came back two days later – I had to pay the fee at the bank next door first, 5360 baht because i wanted 2-day service – and then picked up my visa. It took longer to pay (30 min) than it did to collect the passport (about 5 min).

    And sure enough, I got a 10 year M visa with 60 day stay.

    Thanks to the poster, and the commenters on this website for a stress free experience.

  • iris

    9 years ago


    About the required return ticket. I’m not flying out of China, I’m taking the train to Mongolia. Is the train ticket sufficient? This all seems so complicated.. :O

  • brian

    9 years ago

    guys thanks….this information is very helpful….. today i went to Phuket chiniese consulate for a visa and they said I will have to go to bangkok for this service. crossed fingers !!!

  • Robert Thoreson

    9 years ago

    I live near the Chinese border in Thailand. I’m american. I have been curious to cross over into china and look around. I wrongfully assumed that, like virtually every other country in the world, i could get a visa-on-demand for china. So i checked. And of course one cannot. China seems to be very keen on making it difficult for people to go there and spend money. So be it. I have decided not to go or to spend. After reading this site it’s clear I simply do not need the aggravation. There are plenty of other countries who want my money more, whose tourist policies are lightyears more logical, and whose people are infinitely more pleasant and polite, and where my experience as a visitor would be so much more enjoyable. So long, China. Don’t need ya that bad.

  • Lyn

    9 years ago

    Your blog is really helpful. It’s the Chinese embassy that really just sucks.

    I applied for a tourist visa this morning (complete with all the requirements, employment letter, bank statements, etc.) and got rejected for the only reason that I am a foreign resident working legally in Bangkok for less than 6 months. I told the consul that their visa application guidelines online doesn’t mention any of that and she just told me, not all regulations are published. I was told to go back to my home country to apply, which was ridiculous!!! Such a waste of time and money.

    • Barry

      9 years ago


      I am in China with a Q2 Visa, need to renew it. I am Australian and resident of Australia. Can I apply for Visa to China in BKK?

      Assistance would be appreciated as I do not wish to fly back to Australia just for peperwork.

  • david

    9 years ago

    if you need to get to china without the work visa then you can get a 30 day tourist visa and then, when you get there, after a month, fly to Hong Kong and apply for the work visa. this will only work if you have a contract to work in china, of course.

  • Little J

    9 years ago

    I posted on here about a year back about getting a Chinese tourist visa from the embassy here in Bangkok. It was quite a hassle back then, but as long as you had your documents in order then the process went pretty smoothly. Well I went through the process all over again last week, but this time I wanted one of the new 10-year tourist visas being issued to Americans. The good news is that this time around it was shockingly easy, and yes – I did successfully get the 10-year visa.

    I walked into the visa office at about 10 AM on a Friday morning, and the place looked half empty and extremely calm compared to last year. I got a queue number from the side counter, and then literally the second I was handed my queue number ticket, one of the front counters started flashing my number. So the wait went from over an hour last year to only a millisecond this time.

    This time the woman at the counter took the following documents from me:

    -My American passport
    -A copy of my passport
    -A copy of my most recent Chinese visa (from 2014)
    -A copy of my Thai non-imm B visa as well as my latest Thailand entry stamp
    -A copy of my work permit
    -A letter of employment written and signed by my supervisor (with an official letterhead)
    -A copy of the receipt of my round-trip plane tickets (Bangkok to Changsha and vice versa)
    -A copy of my hotel reservations
    -A completed V.2013 form (with a passport sized photo glued on)
    -An invitation letter written by my Chinese girlfriend (maybe not necessary, but the woman at the counter took it)

    I also brought an official bank statement (which cost me 100 baht to have printed), but she didn’t want it.

    I told her I wanted the 10-year tourist visa currently being issued to Americans, and she told me to write “10-year visa” in the “Visa – other” field on the V.2013 form. Other than that, she didn’t say a word to me. She simply took the forms and gave me a receipt – no questions asked.

    I went to collect my passport and new visa five days later on a Wednesday afternoon. The visa cost me 4,560 baht, which is the same as the previous single-entry visas for Americans. The visa is indeed valid for 10 years, it’s multiple-entry, and it grants me 60 days per entry. It’s very nice to know that I won’t have to go through this process again, nor will I have to cough up 4,560 baht for the next 10 years. I’m a regular visitor to China, and I’ve lived there in the past, so this new 10-year tourist visa for Americans is a godsend! Get one now before it’s too late!

  • Richard Dewar

    9 years ago

    Just collected visa. No problems. British Nationality.
    flight and hotel reservation which I asked for from a Travel Agency in BKK, explaining I needed it only for visa application. 300 baht, if you get what i mean.
    Copy passport plus Thai visa stamp
    Copy last China visa
    Copy of Healthy Bank statement
    My own typed letter of self employment (which i had to head to internet cafe to write in Soi 3)
    Passport photo.

    I had no invitation letter.

    Asked for next day collection 1900 Baht total

    Arrived about 9 15. about 20 mins wait, just enough time to fill in application form.
    Collection less than 10 mins.

    Good luck

    • jeroen

      9 years ago

      We’re in Bangkok and doing our homework for applying our chinees visa. Which travel agency you have used for you flight bookings ?

  • Jay

    9 years ago

    Seems to be buy one get ten years free in Bangkok at the moment, just picked up my 10-year multi for China (US passport) after applying originally for a one month single (I was told to change to a 1 year multi since it is the same price, and they extended to 10 years).

    • Little J

      9 years ago

      I’m just curious as to how many days per entry you’re allowed to stay in China on the ten-year tourist visa that was issued to you? 30, 60, 90, other? I will be applying for my second Chinese visa in Bangkok tomorrow, and I’m hoping to get the ten-year one as I’m also an American citizen. Fingers crossed!

    • Nathalie

      9 years ago

      I’m a US passport holder in Taiwan currently, planning to go to Bangkok in March in order to apply for a China visa. Would REALLY like to get a multiple-entry visa – the 10-year visa would be great, but I’m just looking to maximize my chances of getting more than one entry at all. Little J, were you able to get a 10-year visa?

      I’m also wondering about the proof of flight requirement – my flights will be (if I get two entries) Taiwan -> China roundtrip and then Taiwan -> China and China -> USA. Is it okay that they won’t be from or to Bangkok?

      And one last question especially for the people who got 10-year visas – did the process still only take one day?

      Thanks very much, and thanks Mark for this post!

    • Little J

      9 years ago

      Yes, I got one! Check out my comment below (dated February 6, 2015) for more details.

  • Didier

    9 years ago

    Hello Mark and other, this blog was helpful for me. I follow all your advices and I got my tourist visa. Thank you for helping others

  • Hawk

    10 years ago

    I went to this embassy today and they told me that because i don’t have a long term visa here, they can’t accept my documents at this location (I’m a foreigner). I am employed here, but don’t have the work stamp yet…
    i don’t understand then how do foreigners who are traveling through thailand apply here for travel if they are not thai residents and certainly don’t have a job here?

    Wish there was a way around it!

  • paolo

    10 years ago

    hi Mark, it was easy to get to your website just searching china visa application in bangkok. I really liked your indications. I may apply for multiple entry visa for biz, and will update you if anything has changed. I applied many times for multiple before (I have been working travelling to China since 1999) but i sold my company last year and this would be the first time I apply by myself.
    I live and work near Asok now, just moved from Singapore. anytime you are around we may have a drink

  • David

    10 years ago

    Dear All,

    Searching for some quick advice if possible?

    I need to visit Zhongshan province for 2 days. It is unpaid work, as my client has an issue at their factory. So, i plan to stay in Hong Kong and catch the ferry across.

    Could anyone advise me of what best to do? Can i get a ferry ticket without a visa? Or is it just like immigration? If i do need a visa, would it be best to apply in Hong Kong? If so, are the requirements the same?

    I am Australian, living in Bangkok with house register and married to a Thai, and have a work permit and Non-immigrant visa. I plan to fly direct to Hong Kong also.

    Thanks in advance.


  • Max

    10 years ago

    Well, things have changed a lot since last summer. I had all sorts of Chinese visa’s in the past, usually 1 year, long term ones. But they are getting harder to get, as the Chinese authorities are eager to crack down on the perpetual ‘English Teacher’. From 5 years experience of living in china and applying for visa’s I suggest the following to anyone wanting to visit:

    1. dress decently when visiting the embassy/consulate/visa centre (its about giving face to the clerk). Ripping up some papers in anger in front of the clerk does neither yourself nor others any favours ( although I can understand the frustration…)

    2. address them politely but to the point. Chinese tend to be very direct, but sometimes without spelling it out/

    3. Don’t offer information/details/letters etc if they not asking for it. Stick to the required forms and information

    4. If you need a short term/tourist visa, u may need bookings for transport and hotels. Have a look at the English version of the Chinese websites: or You can make confirmed hotel bookings there without paying for them (and free to cancel)

    5. If you after a long term (6-12 months) visa, then do a bit of research. The most likely category you will get are X (study), M (business) or Z (work) visa. All require considerable amounts of paper work from your home country and/or the company/school in China. However for M you could use an agent, which can arrange it for you in HongKong. One such agent is:

    Rm 916-917,New Mandarin Plaza,Tower B, 14 Science Museum Rd T.S.T East Kowloon
    TEL:852-23693188 FAX: 852-23122989
    [email protected]

    also have a look here:

    I have used both in the past, and they have been reliable. But things change frequently, so ask all the info before you send your passport or arrange your visa with an agent (above or otherwise)

    Good Luck

  • chris

    10 years ago

    I am planning on going to China,leaving from Bangkok in September.I am American and just wondering,if I don’t have a job while out of the US,will they still require a employers letter or do I just say I’m unemployed?

  • wydruki

    10 years ago

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  • Falk

    10 years ago

    Hey guys,

    this site helped me a lot. Let me briefly add my experience.

    First: If you only read the article, you will definitely get the wrong impression. Things have changed. Mark, you should consider adding a small paragraph on top of the article to make that clear.

    What I learned:

    Be there at 8:30 am. I arrived at 09:02 and got number 111 – three hours of waiting.

    Also, the embassy employees seem to like letters (as an addition to forms and booking confirmations) that make two points absolutely clear:

    1. You have a job, keep that job and you will not work in China. Bring a letter of your boss with his address and telephone number that says that you are an employee of the company at the moment and that you are just on holidays. Also, bringing a bank statement might help. I was sent away to bring such a letter. If you don’t have a job at the moment, bring a letter by yourself that states that you won’t work in China.

    2. They want to know exactly where you will be for every day. So write it down on an extra sheet as detailed as you can in chronological order. Flights or trains into China, traveling inside the country and your hotels or hostels. Also, what you do before entering the country, if you don’t fly directly from Bangkok. Then proof it with reservations and tickets as good as you can. Try to avoid gaps.

    Plan 4 days to pick it up, because for foreign passports (had the experience with German and Danish passports) you won’t be able to get the express service.

    If you have all the necessary documents and can convince the embassy personal about the two main points above, you should have no problems to get your visa.

  • Carol

    10 years ago

    Hello I was wondering maybe if you can help. I study in china but my visa expires next month so I need a new one, the school gives me the papers I need but the only thing is that I need to do the visa outside china. Here’s the problem: of course I’m not chinese, but I’m not Thai either. You think is possible to apply for the visa in Thailand even if I don’t live there? Hope you can help. Thanks 🙂

    • Henry

      10 years ago

      Carol – I think that you should be fine. The Chinese Embassy in Bangkok will issue a visa to anybody with the right paperwork (not always easy) regardless of their nationality or where they live. Just make sure that your paperwork is OK, especially flight tickets and invitations (presumably from the school) and you should be fine.

      I hope that you get what you want when you want it!


  • Bernt Aslund

    10 years ago

    Hi, I am a Swedish citizen but I live in Thailand.
    I like to go to Kina for a week or 2. It is moore easy to fly to Hongkong and make a tourist visa there or make it in Bangkok ???????

  • Nicole

    10 years ago

    Does anyone know when is the pick up hrs , I assumed it was in the afernoon, but someone mentioned above its in the morning , and is no info in the ambassy website

    • Henry

      10 years ago

      Nicole – I believe that you can pick up your visa any time that they are open. Submission of applications is mornings only, but I was there a couple of weeks ago to apply and some people seem to have been picking theirs up at the same time. I really hope that this information is true, but you could always ring them on +66-2-2478970 (that’s 02-247-8970 if you are already in Thaland) (afternoons only) and check.

      Slightly in answer to my own question posted above, it’s not easy to get a visa to go overland, especially if you are not going trans-Siberian. We tried, getting a train from Urumqi to Astana in Kazakhstan, but they wanted an invitation from a travel agent in Urumqi before they would allow us to go there. The best way, apparently, to get an invitation is to go there and find a travel agent to invite you to go there…

      Good luck,


    • Nicole

      10 years ago

      Thanks Henry for the info ,
      I confirm the passport pick up is from 9 till 11.30 am and 3 till 4 pm

  • Henry

    10 years ago

    Help! Has anybody tried to get a visa to visit China entirely overland? My wife and I plan to go through from Vietnam to Kazakhstan in May, but cannot buy train tickets until much nearer the time, and so cannot give the embassy any concrete information in the form of bought and paid-for travel arrangements. Will they accept a detailed ‘proposed’ itinerary, together with confirmed hotel bookings, etc?

    All help and advice gratefully received, and my thanks in advance –


  • Jane

    10 years ago

    You really need to add an update to this entry saying that the Chinese visa process has tightened up considerably since it was published. If someone reads this article thinking it’s a breeze, you’re doing them a disservice.

    • Wil

      10 years ago

      Hi, I am an urgent question and hope someone can help me with the answer……Will the embassy keeps my passport while waiting for the China visa?
      I will go to the embassy next Monday to apply for the visa, but I have booked a flight to Krabi in the afternoon so I need my passport. Sounds tricky???

    • kumar

      10 years ago

      Hello… Mr. Mark wiens… An indian get chinese visa from bangkok..
      Please reply

    • Edward

      9 years ago

      Thanks Mark for this insightful blog.
      I am applying for a Chinese visa, its my first time in china. They requested for a letter from the china tourist authority. Do you know anything about this, or where i can get such a letter from.


    • Edward

      9 years ago

      Yes that’s what i was told. Apparently if you are an independent tourist you will have to get such a letter that’s what they told me and what i read from blogs. And you only get this letter from China. So one has to either have a link or just process a different type of visa altogether.

    • Davelifestyle

      9 years ago

      Hey Edward, did you ever find out where you get that form from the ‘China Tourist Authority’? I’m an independent traveller. Just wanna go be a tourist.
      I read above that they give americans a 10year visa even if you simply want a 30 day one… I figure I’ll get hooked and want to go back.
      I’m want to head to Xing Xiang province though which is a politically tense place. I gather they want independence.

      Hope to hear from you. Thanks.

    • Eric Portnoff

      9 years ago

      Thank you, Mark, and all of the other contributors for this wonderful article and thread. It was very helpful to me as I tried to get a multiple entry business visa for China from Thailand.

      Based on my experience, my advice is to go to Chiang Mai if possible. I tried to get the visa in Bangkok and it was one probably after another. First, they said I needed to provide a letter stating that I am a freelance teacher. Then, when I returned to pick up the visa a week later, they said I needed to apply for a short-term work visa instead, and needed a different invitation letter from the company I would be working for. As I had a train ticket to Chiang Mai that night, I just gave up and took my passport back, figuring I’d deal with it later.

      In Chiang Mai, I decided to try my luck. I submitted exactly the same documentation and requested a 1-year business visa with multiple entries. The office was small, not crowded, low key. The staff was polite, friendly and helpful. My application was accepted with no questions. Four days later I show up and discover they have granted me a 10 year business visa with unlimited entries!

      If you can, go to Chiang Mai! It’s much easier, more pleasant, and the outcome will be much better. I met a couple who had been told at the embassy in Kuala Lumpur that they needed to live in Malaysia for 6 months to get their visa renewed. They came to Chiang Mai and also had no problem.

      Hope this helps.

  • Little J

    10 years ago

    Sorry, I forgot to mention that in addition to the documents I listed above, I also submitted two copies of form V.2013, along with two passport-sized photos. I downloaded this form online, filled it out using Adobe Reader (to be 100% safe, I filled it out in all CAPS), printed two copies, and hand signed them. The form is 4 pages long and asks for things such as your name, passport number, home address, an emergency contact, what kind of visa you’re applying for, etc. Just your typical visa form.

    Avoid accidentally printing out form V.2011A, as there’s a possibility it may no longer be accepted at the visa office. Good luck, everyone.

  • Little J

    10 years ago

    I successfully acquired a double-entry S2 Chinese visa (valid for six months) today from the Chinese embassy in Bangkok. Each of the two entries into China allow me to stay in China for 40 days. I informed the visa office I would be in China for 37 days, so they gave me a visa good for 40 days per entry. For everyone’s reference, I’m an American citizen.

    An S2 visa is for foreigners intending to visit Chinese nationals or family members living in China (such as a son who’s working in China). In my case, I’m intending to visit my Chinese girlfriend’s family in Heilongjiang province for 37 days. My girlfriend also lives with me in Bangkok. We’re both teachers.

    A little more about myself, just for reference:

    -I first traveled to China in late 2009 on an L visa.

    -A few months later I moved to China and worked at an international call center in Liaoning province. During that time, I lived in China on a residence permit.

    -Before this upcoming trip, I already had four Chinese visas in my passport.

    Anyways, here’s the documents I needed to acquire the S2 visa in Bangkok:

    -A letter of employment signed by my boss (I was asked why I didn’t print this on an official piece of paper with a letterhead, however, it was still accepted).

    -An invitation letter written and signed by my Chinese girlfriend. The letter states the dates I will be in China, my travel itinerary, and the fact that I will be staying at her parents’ home (not a hotel). It also has her Thai phone number, her parents address in Heilongjiang province, as well as their Chinese phone number.

    -A copy of my Chinese girlfriend’s national ID card (the one every Chinese citizen has). Both the front and back of the card were copied onto a single sheet of paper. She also signed her name on the sheet of paper.

    -My round-trip plane ticket receipt (the same one you can print online).

    -A copy of my passport’s front two pages (the pages with my photo, passport number, and signature).

    -A copy of each of my four previous Chinese visas.

    -A copy of the front pages of my Thai work permit (the pages with my photo and work permit number).

    -A copy of my Thai Non-Imm B visa, as well as a copy of my most recent Thailand entry stamp.

    -My passport.

    I brought an official copy of my Kasikorn bank statement, as well as my bank passbook, but they were not taken. That surprised me a bit. My Chinese girlfriend was also with me during this whole process, but that was definitely not necessary (we figured it wouldn’t hurt, though). Other than the simple question about why my letter of employment lacked an official letterhead, I wasn’t asked anything else.

    I arrived to the visa office at 8:30 AM on a Tuesday morning, and there were already about 15 people waiting in line ahead of me. Once I got inside at 9:00 AM, it took about 30 minutes for my number, number 21, to be called. I gave all my documents to the lady in the counter, she checked them all, gave me my receipt, and told me to return the following Monday. All in all, including my wait outside, I was at the visa office about 75 minutes.

    Six days later, on a Monday morning at 9:15 AM, I returned to the visa office to get my visa. First, I paid 4,560 baht at counter 14 on the far left, and then I waited in line at counter 12 about 5 minutes before receiving my passport back.

    The whole process was very painless. I strongly suggest coming with all the proper documentation to avoid any potential hassles. Being over-prepared is not a bad thing. I also suggest dressing at least semi-formally, to leave a good impression on the staff. It sucks that Americans have to pay so much for Chinese visas, and it was somewhat of a hassle rounding up all the proper documentation, but I’m happy to report the process wasn’t nearly as bad as some people on here made it out to be.

  • Carlo

    10 years ago

    Please note that you will also need a letter of employment and maybe a bank statement (for a tourist visum! seriously!). The Chinese government issued stricter visa rules and the visa office in Bangkok takes them very serious.

  • Karsten Ranger

    11 years ago

    Hi all,

    thought that I can help someone by telling you my story as it involves different persons and VISA types. I went to the Chinese embassy on 09th Sep and applied for the VISA of the new category “M-Business” for me (German national), “L-Tourist” for my wife (Thai national) and also “L-Tourist” for our two kids (German nationals).

    I arrived there at around 8 am and there were almost 20-25 people already waiting. Close to the opening at 9 am there were an increasing number of agents flowing in and when the gates opened, almost 30 of them got preferential access thorugh a separate line, they went in single files. Consequently these guys got the first ticket numbers so that “normal” people had to comply with the subsequent numbers although some of them might have been arrived much earlier before 8 am. Guess some lubricating makes the procedure happen that way but no chance to change.

    Advantage is that the handling of these guys is done pretty fast and I saw not one agent being hassled or returned. The drama started when the first “individual” Westerners being called up whereas the process for Thai nationals went pretty smoothly. At one counter there were three guys being returned in succession for reasons unknown. At another counter a French guy started to put himself in front of the counter like a bouncer cross-armed and willing to stay I won’t budge until I get my matter cleared; guess what, he succeeded in getting the red slip which entitles to collect the VISA 4 days later. The single details for guys being returned are unknown (I guess soemtimes only copies) but it was not encouraging to watch these scenes going on.

    At around 10 am after 1 hour of waiting inside I was called up. I was really overprepared and submitted almost 1 kg of documents and copies for us four. The lady at the counter was a bit astonished to see that pile. Although I handed in the original invitation letter in Chinese and English from our Chinese subsidiary with every single detail being stated, she asked me about the purpose of my visit, i.e. why do you think we should allow you to enter the Middle Kingdom. I explained again and referred to the text of the invitation letters. She again glanced through but it became clear that her Chinese and presumably also her English aren’t that proficient. Generelly speaking, all the ladies at the counters appear to be Thai and some of them are very tough (I know this already from the German embassy in Bangkok when applying for German VISA for my wife after getting married). Yet, I guess they are just instructed to be like that by the Chinese superiors for reasons unknown. My personal process at the counter took almost 20 minutes for four persons but in the end it went pretty smoothly and the lady could also laugh at the end.

    The documents she really asked for are as follows:

    – Original invitation letters for all persons including the kids
    – Copies of current bank accounts
    – Hotel bookings – in my case I showed the copy of my housing contract (6 months) or the
    temporary residence permit issued by the local Public Security Office as I travelled from
    China to Bangkok to pick up my family.
    – Medical insurance certificate
    – Copy of main page (incl. the picture) of the passprt, copies of previous Chinese VISA
    inside the passport and copy of Thai entry stamp or VISA
    – Flight tickets to enter and exit China.

    As for the application form, I used the new one V.2013 as I found in the internet that only this one is allowed to be used starting from 01.09.2013. It is 4 pages long and you are to type it, print it out and sign it. Word versions or PDF versions are available as download in the internet. Yet, I was a bit worried while waiting as I found that I virtually was the only one using the new form. All the other applicants I saw used the 2 older ones, namely V.2011A and V.2011B. Currently both are permitted being used but it could be that in the near future only the new form is accepted. Anyway, it is very easy to type thus I strongly recommend using the new form so make sure you have access to a PC before going to the embassy. I saw some persons struggling with the older forms almost for the entire time I was waiting inside the hall. And, there is still the danger that you get rejected when some handwritten parts are too hard to decipher for the ladies at the counters. It was said that the new form is to be typed absolutely flawless and there aren’t any handwritten changes allowed. Yet, for all 4 forms submitted, minor handwritten changes were allowed by the lady so it isn’t handled that strict.

    All in all, it was absolute no hassle for me and the service of the lady was ok. Yet, I was so overprepared that she just couldn’t find any point justifiying a rejection. Anyway, watching the scenes around me, I unfortunately have to confirm there is still some hassle going on like mentioned previously by the other guys mentioned above, especially for Westernes so ensure that you prepare as much as possible. The basic reason is the tit-for-tat policy of the Chinese government as I know personally that in an increasing amount of cases, Chinese person’s application for VISA into the EU were treated ridiciously sluggish. Standard process time is 4 days so I could collect the VISA on 12th September. This process took 5 minutes. Getting VISA allowing multiple entries and valid over 30 days seems to be very difficult so we all got single entry valid for 30 days which can be prolonged at the local Public Security Office.

    Wish all good luck and be prepared !!

    Best regards


  • Kerim

    11 years ago

    Hi Mark

    I have read your report and am very thankful for this information you have provided us with.

    The main problem i have is that i will leave China during the Chinese public holiday from
    October 1 – 4
    And according to this webpage:

    It looks like the consul will be closed for holiday too. I also have a valid visa with one more entery. But i need a visa with multiple entries for a half year.
    What would you do in my position?
    I’m a Qatari passportholder.

    Thank you.

  • Cameron

    11 years ago


    Thought I might share our experiences. We didn’t have a lot of trouble with the application. Best advice we can give is 1. Get there early (We were there at 7.50 am and beat the crowd. Straight inside and only had to wait 30 mins to get to the counter). 2. Be prepared. We saw many people getting frustrated and there’s no need for this if you follow what people have done in the blog above. Print out everything that is needed.

    Two minor problems we had. We are Australians but are flying to Korea first (from bangkok) before going to China. We printed out our flight from Korea to China. They did however need our flight from Bangkok to Korea as well. So we had to duck down the road to print this out.

    Also. We are unemployed so did a letter stating we were unemployed. The boss had a talk to us and wanted us to also write down our previous employer, address, job title and phone number.

    To be honest we found the staff to be quite polite. Not the horrible monsters that have been previously been described. Just get there early and be organised.

  • Piyush

    11 years ago

    I want chines Visa from Bangkok.
    Can I get visa 1 year multiple

  • Brian

    11 years ago

    I will be applying for this visa soon, I think I’ll go for the 6 month multiple entry. I had a question relating to the photo – what size do they require? This question isn’t answered in the visa FAQs on the embassy website.

    thanks in advance

  • Romanus

    11 years ago

    I applied for Chinese visa for me and my Thai girlfriend in the embassy in Bangkok last month and I got it without any major problems that many people mentioned above – maybe I was just lucky??? It took me not more then an hour to submit applications and just 15 minutes to collect our passports with visas attached after 4 business days.

    The required documents are:
    visa application A
    visa application B (for non Thais)
    copy of passport
    copy of Thai visa or entry stamp
    bank statement showing that you have at least 50000 baht (they did really ask for it!)
    flight booking (possible one way if you tell them you’ll exit China overland)
    hotel reservation (fake from )

    nothing else!

    One more thing worth mentioning is that if you apply for your Thai girlfriend`s visa as well as yours you need to show her bank statement with 50000 baht as well as yours, even if you pay for her trip!

    So it was not really so tough and scary as you may think after reading all the above! 🙂

    Again maybe I was just lucky or because I was not an American 🙂

    Actually getting an American visa is 100 times tougher and more humiliating than that!!! 🙁

  • Nate

    11 years ago

    Just received a visa from the Chinese consulate in Chiang Mai, a few notes:

    -I did not visit the embassy in Bangkok, however, the one in Chiang Mai is open from 9-1130 M-F and very few people in line until after 10. There was also no line prior to getting into the AC. You take a number and wait in the cool air.
    -I’m American, and only needed one copy of each application. They did not want the copies of my passport or Thai visa that I had prepared, nor my bank statement. If you do not have an invitation then they’ll want reservations and a plane ticket, and they need hard copies. We booked the reservations and cancelled them afterwards, and copied and pasted some flight number information with the airline jpeg at the top and that worked. It was only a one-way flight, not sure how closely they looked at it.
    -The application asks for health insurance information and previous countries traveled to.

    It mostly went smoothly, had a visa after 4 business days.

  • Calos Barril

    11 years ago

    Hola, this website is really interesting.
    I am spanish, and i will go to Chine from Spain to study a chinese course in July, and i have a tourism visa. But next i will do a travel around SOuthEast of Asia and in September i will start to study in Yunnan province (China), for three months. So i need a new visa. The chinese uni will provide me a document called JW202 and admission notice. So i would like to know if i can apply for visa in Bangkok better, or if not in Hong Kong, and what doccuments are required for that in each city if you know, price and how many days i need. And if it would be a problem apply on ending of July for this visa for september (maybe too soon?). Sorry about my english. and Thank you very much in advance.
    Kind regards

  • Amy & Adam

    11 years ago

    Just wanted to say a huge thank you for this information. It’s so helpful, I wanted to pass on my thanks to encourage you to keep doing what you’re doing.
    Amy & Adam

  • sanna

    11 years ago

    Firstly, big shout out to everyone who has contributed to this page, which has been immeasurably helpful and left me looking like a true expert at the consulate this morning.

    Secondly though, expert or not, the consulate has now won a special place in my heart as the world’s most needlessly hateful, inefficient and infuriating place. The great people I met in the line notwithstanding (amazing what you can learn when you’re standing around for 3.5 hours), the staff were indeed rude, unhelpful and completely arbitrary in their decisions.

    Ashley’s list above is great. All required by all people, no exceptions, and Marty is correct that if you are unemployed, you need a letter to say so. They guy in front of me seemed to whip this up himself and got through. Another guy did the same and wasn’t so lucky. Insurance not required but worth taking if you have it. take a student card if you have it. Take a urine sample if you think it’ll help, the whole thing is ridiculous.

    The embassy was closed on Monday and Tuesday for Thai public holidays, despite the fact that most other embassies opened and these dates weren’t listed on the website or phone service. This left me with a very short timeframe. I arrived at 8.15am to an already 50m line. We were promptly allowed in at 9am, and then waited in line for another 45 minutes. On handing over my forms I was told that the express visa was not available. At all. 2-3 day visa not available. At all. Okay, fine, what can you do? I agreed to the 4 day processing period. In doing so, I was instructed that as my flight is in two days, I would have to go and book a new one for after 4 days. They would not accept my application without this. Ok, done. $300 down the drain. I return. Wait in line for 90 minutes. A different line this time. It’s touch and go. I get quizzed on THE FORMAT of my bank statement (?), asked for a copy of my student card and why, if it expired last week, I’m still unemployed. Um. Then I ask for the visa express service and am told that I should have come earlier for that service. I DID COME EARLIER! So we settle on the 2-3 day period, and I’m stuck in bangkok for a week longer with a lot less money, and the mere promise of the possibility of the visa. No promises.

    The whole thing was horrendous. If you can avoid it, do. If you can’t avoid it, go early, go prepared and do some sort of meditation beforehand. I was out by 12.30pm. The lines are relentless and seeing the miserable looks on the faces of other applicants is depressing.

    I went in all perky and prepared and came out exhausted, irritated and prepared. I don’t have a temper but I can now completely empathise with Bryn’s rage! David’s experience above sounds dreamy but I’m afraid it’s not the norm.

    Good luck…

  • David

    11 years ago

    Just wanted to leave a note saying how useful this blog and the follow up comments have been — it gave me a much better idea about the process of obtaining a Chinese visa.

    I applied for a 30 day tourist visa. I went to the office today (got there around 8:30 — the line was about 20 people deep). At 9 we were let into the office and we had to form lines for the different counters. I was about 10 people back on my line and it took me about an hour to get to the front. All in all I was out of there by 10:30.

    Once at the counter, the lady (much nicer than I expected) reviewed my documents (the list Ashley provided above is accurate). Because I was American, I had to go back and fill out a second A and B application form (these can be found on the Chinese embassy website – they are up-to-date), as well as attach a second picture. Once I had done this, I went to the front of the line (people will give you mean looks, but just say you’ve already been to the front already) and left it.

    A couple of notes: I wanted to get my visa processed in 1 day (rush service) but the lady at the counter said that was not available to me (not sure if it is for others). The second thing is that because I work for a NGO in Bangkok, the lady was unsure if I would require further documentation from my organization stating that my travel was not on official business (on top of the employment verification letter). Instead of sending me back to get the paperwork, however, the lady was nice enough to say she would start processing it and would call me if further documents were needed.

    So, fingers crossed, I get my passport back on Wednesday. Good luck to everyone else trying their luck at the visa office!

  • marty

    11 years ago

    I visited the consulate with an application for a tourist visa on 8th March 2013 and, after queuing for 3.5 hours was shouted at/sent away by the rude woman I encountered and ordered to bring back information about my employment status (I am self-employed). In other words, I have to write a letter to the Embassy about myself (ridiculous). I am not sure why there is a requirement for bank statements/employment info. I previously got a visa in London and they didn’t require this info. Furthermore, the whole process in London was quick and very professionally handled. The Bangkok office is a shambles, run by low-level clerks who need training in customer service and how to talk to its customers. An absolutely diabolical experience. If I wasn’t visiting my brother, I would tell them where they might stick their fourth-rate service.

    • Keith Taylor

      11 years ago

      The last time I used this embassy (mid-2012) I was taken aback by the fussiness of the staff. I’ve visited China four or five times and never had any problem applying in either the UK or Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and I’ve never before had to provide any documents beyond the standard proof of flights and accommodation.

      In Bangkok, however, I was asked to provide a letter from my employer to confirm that I was on holiday. No explanation was offered as to why this was necessary, and as I’m self employed and the business I claimed to work for doesn’t exist I had to return the following day to repeat the process.

      On my second attempt I told them I was unemployed and provided proof of finances. My papers were judged to be in order, but when I submitted my application at the counter the lady serving me told me she could not pass my forms on to her boss. She said he’d ask her why I hadn’t applied for the visa in my home country (UK), so I had to spend five minutes explaining that I hadn’t been home in several years. There were other westerners present who seemed to have no such problems, so I have no idea why she decided my application was such a challenge.

      Eventually, after much sucking of teeth from her and pleading from me, she agreed to accept the application on the understanding that I’d only be given a 5 day tourist visa (I only needed five days to reach the Mongolian border from Beijing).

      A few days later I returned to collect my passport, and sure enough there was a 5 day visa attached. In fact, it was a 30 day visa with the ’30’ crossed out in pen and replaced with ‘5’.

      Now, almost a year later, I have to return for another damned visa. This time I’m going armed with flight bookings, hotel confirmations, a letter of invitation from my hotel in Shanghai, financial documents and printouts of my previous Chinese visas, current Thai Visa and the photo page of my passport. At this embassy it’s seems you can never be too prepared.

    • Keith Taylor

      11 years ago

      Just returned from the embassy, and the situation is much the same as it was last year. I arrived at 08:40 to find a queue maybe five car lengths long. The office opened promptly at 9, and as I hadn’t filled out the form ahead of time (I don’t trust that the forms available online are current) by the time I’d completed my application the five or so windows open each had queues 20-25 people deep.

      It took a little over two hours to reach the counter. During that time I’d say around 50% of the westerners in the office were sent away without success. Lots of whispered arguments and pleas with the staff along the lines of ‘I have it, but I don’t have it with me.’

      The lucky ones were just missing photocopies of their passport pages (photo page, current Thai visa or visa waiver stamp, previous Chinese visa if applicable), and they were sent to the copy shop down the street and allowed to rejoin the queue at the front on their return. The unlucky ones, though, we’re sent home to get their papers in order before trying again.

      I had with me an invitation letter from a hostel in Shanghai, a booking confirmation from a hostel in Beijing, incoming flights from Bangkok to Shanghai, a typed itinerary, a bank statement and passport pages showing Chinese, Thai and Mongolian visa. My application was approved with no problem, and I wasn’t asked about my onward journey (I’m taking the train, so I had no ticket). In all, this was 1000% more pleasant than my last visit, but this is still clearly a difficult embassy to use.

      One unusual thing worth pointing out is that the Bangkok embassy has begun to tailor visas to each itinerary. A 30 day L visa is usually issued whether you’re staying in country 5 minutes or 29 days, 23 hours. However, since I specified a 24 day stay on my form I was given a 26 day visa. If your plans aren’t set in stone you should be very careful about the visa you ask for. As it happens I planned to stay as long as 30 days if the mood took me, but as I’ve struggled with this embassy before I wanted to make my itinerary seem more believable. My mistake.

  • Ashley

    11 years ago

    I’m an American and went to the Chinese Embassy twice this week to try to get a 6-month F visa. I had what I thought would be more than enough documentation, but discovered that I was a few key documents only once I read the signs posted in the visa office – why they can’t publish these requirements on the Embassy website makes no sense.

    Here are the documents required as per signs posted throughout the visa office:

    – visa application A (with passport photo)
    – visa application B
    – copy of your passport
    – copy of your Thai visa (I saw most foreigners turned away b/c they didn’t have this)
    – copy of previous Chinese visa (if have)
    – copy of work permit (if have)
    – employment letter (I’m a student so they requested a copy of my student id)
    – invitation letter (for business visa)
    – bank statement
    – flight booking
    – hotel reservation

    There is a copy shop less than 100m from the visa office in case you need to make copies and/or get passport photos. As an American trying to get an F visa (business), despite having an invitation letter from an organization where I would be interning, they would not give me a visa longer than 30 days without an invitation letter from the Chinese government (Here is a link to the form: )

    Other tips = get there early, I got there at 8:15am and once I had all the proper documents, left by 9:45am.

    Good Luck!

  • Elliot

    11 years ago

    Hi. I am from the uk. I am currently in china but coming to bkk to get a new Chinese visa. I have invitation letters, proof of address and bank statements. I was just wondering is it possible to get a years multiple entry visa ? Thanks

  • Hounddog

    11 years ago

    This is very helpful. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Yokan

    11 years ago

    now i have a chinese visa also still in china now,but for apply working visa i need out and enter china again,33 country banned from HK for apply visa,do you have any information Turkey citizens can apply from thailand visa

  • Yokan

    11 years ago

    merhaba şuan çinde bulunmaktayım çalışma vizesi almam gerekiyor bunun için TR ye donmek ısteımıyorum acaba taylanddan alabılırmıyım bılgınız varmı yardımcı olabılırmısınız?

  • Bibek

    11 years ago


    do you know the size of the photo? and any changes on rules etc?

  • Bryn

    11 years ago

    Hi guys,

    Was at the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok two days ago and can only really add to a lot of the negative feedback on here.

    After reading all of the comments on this site and others I decided to add a return flight to my one way, ensure I had hotel bookings for the 29 day duration I asked for, a bank statement showing more than enough money, and I detailed my itinerary and intentions for the period. This last point actually proved to be something of a ‘mistake’ as within this short letter I included that I was keen to learn more about Chinese culture and the language.

    Firstly, the wait in excess of two hours wasn’t much fun but was helped by chatting to an English girl (I’m also from the UK) who was there for the second day running after being turned away the day previous (the first day she didn’t have a bank statement, a return ticket and, most notably an array of details and documents pertaining to the English friend she was going to visit in Guangzhou).

    On being called to the counter things seemed surprisingly smooth (compared to people at other booths remonstrating vocally for reasons unknown), until, the woman read my short letter of itinerary and intent. I was then asked what school I was studying language and culture at and I explained that I wasn’t, and as a tourist I simply wanted to do this as a tourist does, by travelling and mingling. This was understood but not accepted. After deliberation with a supervisor I was told I would need to get an invitational letter from a ‘culture school’ or language school to proceed (n.b. this is not a stated requirement on the official Bangkok website). I then myself began to protest that this was not possible, nor was it the point of my visit. Long and short, things got slightly heated and I ultimately acted somewhat immaturely (for a 35-year-old) by ripping into pieces my application and supporting documents and tossing them through the kiosk, such was the anger and bewilderment I by then felt towards such a ridiculous process and the terse, condescending words coming in my direction. Some of the paper came flying back out at me and I turned and left, and that was that. Needless to say I won’t be going back there and neither will I be going to China (this would have been my 7th visit – last one 5 years ago on an old passport – but if the visa procedure is going to be like this then it will be 6 and out).

    I spoke to the English girl again after this and she had been granted 10 days without the itinerary letter and without a return flight booked. She told them she was going onwards overland to Hong Kong.

    So the long and short of this experience from an objective point of view is that it that the whole process appears quite arbitrary to say the least. An invitational letter from a Chinese school or whatever would boost one’s chances but having a friend there (you merely need more docs and nonsense whereas a hotel booking – one you could cancel later – would suffice equally and with less hassle) wouldn’t really.

    And from a personal point of view I simply won’t put up with such garbage and will instead go somewhere that the embassy isn’t such a (bad) joke. And out of spite, perhaps, I won’t go to China either. If you feel in any way like me and don’t have the energy to jump through hoops and listen to illogical nonsense, I would urge you to avoid this embassy if at all possible and go elsewhere for your Chinese visa.

    • Jim

      11 years ago

      Thanks Bryn for sharing your experience.
      My blood was boiling as I read your account it as I need to go to China beginning of next month and it seems that no matter what preparation you make in advance you can still be turned down or asked to jump impossibe hoops.
      But I must say I did get a chuckle from how you put it.
      I think I would have no doubt reacted the way you did or even worse.
      I have little tolerance for baseless authority and fear I may have strangled someone.
      I am also applying for my Thai girlfriend … so am not looking forward to it.
      Would you have any advice in my case?

  • Chris

    12 years ago

    Thank you very much for this article, it’s very helpfull!

  • Ed

    12 years ago

    I went to the embassy today to get an F class visa for 60 days on a contract job in Ningbo. I had invitation letters from an Australian company and the Chinese partner company, both stamped and signed, a real flight booking, travel insurance letter, letter from australian employer, both forms filled out, you name it. thought it would be a breeze. Dream on.

    For a start, the place is an absolute zoo. I got there an hour before it opened and was 28th in line, which was all good. Within 30 minutes, there were at least 300 people waiting, so be warned. Get there early.

    Then it got ugly. Even though the process is super simple in Australia, all the documentation I produced in BKK, which is the standard documentation in Melbourne, apparently was worthless. I have lived in Thailand for 15 years, and am used to bloody minded government workers, but this was a new low. The woman behind the counter went ballistic at me when I produced the letters. She started shouting at me heatedly and gave me one of those very cold off with your head looks at the end. The poor woman in the queue next to me was a manager at the Hilton and also got sent away because she didn’t have a copy of her bank statement (which she attempted to argue about given that the documentation she downloaded from the Thai embassy didn’t mention this requirement). There was a lot of effing and blinding from people as they walked away from the windows.

    I’ve paid $1200 for my ticket and travel insurance and am really in a bind now because my visa application was not even accepted, and I simply have no idea why. The office is closed next week. Ouch. Not sure what to do.

    Anyway, having lived in Asia for a long time, I realize there’s always a way. Still, I have to say that the Chinese embassy in Bangkok is a place that everyone is well advised to avoid if you can possibly do so. The person who wrote the original story on this site was either very lucky, or else things have changed massively.

    I’m going to try to get my visa in Hong Kong if things don’t work out here.

  • TravelingMan

    12 years ago

    I have to say that the agents at the Chinese embassy in Bangkok (BKK) were horrible in every way possible. Impolite, rude, and ignorant. Perhaps it was a particularly bad day because there were dozens of people who were angry at their incompetence and attitude.

    After an incredibly aggravating interaction, I decided to go to Laos where the people at the embassy were nice, efficient, helpful, and with almost no lineup. The only problems I encountered in Laos was with the inaccurate and misleading information that the agents in Bangkok had given me. I now realize why they have thick glass between the agents and the customers.

    The office in BKK was super busy, so perhaps they are hiring *ssholes to reduce the lineups.

  • Adam

    12 years ago

    Impressed how much your about Johnny, was directed to your , when searching for Thailand boat trips to China yeaterday, (loved the escapades u guys got up to by the way, sounded awesome)–So today I am searching China Visa from Bangkok, an wham bam–here u are again–Top Banana work bud–Thanks for all the Advice
    will be in Bangkok 5-11thSept if anyones about?

    Happy Days-Happy Travels 🙂

  • Sebastian

    12 years ago

    Hi all !

    I’m planning on applying for a Visa in BKK this friday. Any insights recently on multiple entries?

    2300 THB for a Single Entry seems a bit steep to me. I would try to apply for the one year but would probably be happy with the 6 months one as well (already have a double entry & multiple entry in the PP).

    Anyway… if nobody has recent news, on friday I let you know more about how it went.

  • Karin

    12 years ago

    Thank you for this excellent guide! Just got my Chinese visa in Bangkok on June 20, 2012. I have a Swedish passport and submitted the following documents:

    – Visa application forms A and B with photo
    – Copy of first page and Thai visa page in passport (I have a Non-B)
    – Flight booking (fake)
    – Hotel reservation (fake)
    – Letter from Employer
    – Business card
    – Work permit – original book and copies (be sure to copy every page except blank ones) I didn’t have to hand in the original book but they wanted to check the copies against the book.

    Documents that were NOT needed:
    – Bank statement
    – Proof of insurance

    I applied for a 30 day tourist visa but only got 15 days as my itinerary wasn’t detailed enough. My 30 nights in a Beijing hotel should have been supplemented with a plan of what I was going to see and do every day.

    So put some work into your itineraries! 😉

  • Craig

    12 years ago

    Just another update to the long list here. We tried to call several travel agents in Bangkok who all told us that agents can no longer handle China visa services, so we had to go ourselves. It’s best to take the subway as the embassy is quite a long way from the city center and the roads are always jammed with traffic. Rather than go early, we arrived just after 11am with our application forms already filled out. Americans have to fill out two copies of the application and paste a picture onto each application. As the morning rush had already passed, we easily got through the security check on the first floor and went to the second floor waiting room area. We got a number at the door (#196!) and then promptly stood in the line inside the room that leads to a small table near the front of the room where a woman was screening the application documents of each person before the numbers were called (ours was #196). The informal screening at the small table is not explained anywhere, but most people figure it out after being in the room a few minutes. They apparently do this to be sure that the application forms are filled out correctly and you have all the necessary documents. We had our printed flight itinerary and hotel reservations (fake ones that we made on, another site that does not require a deposit or credit card). The woman screening documents asked for a bank statement, but when we said we did not have one, she made it seem it was not necessary. When we asked about multiple entries and 3 or 6-month visas, she told us we could only apply for a 30-day single entry tourist visa.
    She had us run to a copy shop to make a copy of the first page of our passports and the page that had the Thai entry stamp, but I think this was because we are Americans and were visiting Thailand ahead of our planned visit to China, so probably not necessary for others to make copies of their passport pages.
    We had to wait from 11am to about 1pm before the numbers started to move faster. Many people who come and take numbers abandon their attempts when they hit the screening step, and someone ahead of us gave us their number at #170, so we made it to the window a bit sooner.
    At the window they gave us a slip of paper and told us to come back on Tuesday (we submitted on Thursday) and to pay the fee when we made the pick-up, so overall it was not too painful, but the room sure is overcrowded and the visa application forms have some unclear questions on them, so it’s good to have the screening before you get to the window.
    It might be good to have a printed copy of a bank statement in your back pocket in case they decide to require it in your case. Just glad we didn’t hit any bad bumps. Some of the others in the room were having trouble and some were arguing quite loudly at the window.
    Someday I hope the office can be better managed. The embassy website should have more information and should include updated information like the requirement for hotel reservations. Immigration offices everywhere could use much better professional management, but this is something we already know.

  • sophia

    12 years ago

    thank you so much for taking time to share your experience. it really helps us much in planning all. very helpful indeed!!!

  • von Richthofen

    12 years ago

    Thanks for a very informative page!! We got our visas today (Swedish passports) We are going overland, have no train tickets booked but that was okey because we had made a travel itinerary from Bangkok to Irkutsk. We only have two nights hotel reservation out of our two weeks travel in China. No need for bank account or insurance paper.

  • Xevronixussor

    12 years ago

    I also applied for a Chinese visa in Bangkok, on the 20th of March 2012. I got a tourist visa for 30 days.
    As I  the info on this page helped me a lot, let me give some additional insight based on my experience

    Getting there:
    – from Banglamphu area (Khao sahn road etc) you can take bus no 171 to Phra Ram 9, from where you can walk to the embassy in about 10 minutes. Prepare for morning traffic jams though

    – Officially (signposted at the windows), the “minimum” requirements are to present flight tickets and hotel reservations
    – As I plan to go overland from Laos, I didnt have, nor intended to buy, any flight tickets; I also definitely didnt have hotel reservations to all the places I intended to visit
    – Around Khao sahn road there are several travel agencies advertising “chinese visa”
    – Some of these refused to arrange the visa for me quoting the difficulty of the new requirements
    – others are willing to arrange the visa and produce the necessary documents (flight ticket reservations etc). You just have to give them your passport and they’ll do the rest (supposedly)
    – prices quoted were 2200-2400 thb for the single entry, 30 days, non-usa, 4 days peocessing time visa
    – in comparison, the visa fee for the above is 1100 thb; thus the document creation and application “service” of these agents would be 1000+ bath
    – I decided to try my luck myself

    – I made some hotel reservations to 3 chinese cities through This site doesn’t require advance payment or credit card numbers
    – I simply printed the “thanks for your reservation” messages from the webpage. My “reservations” did not cover 30 days, there were “gaps” between them, my printouts were totally lame and could hqve been just as easily forged. They accepted them nevertheless, so this seems to be just a formality
    – I wrote a nice “letter” about my intentions to travel to China, and requested to waive the requirement  of the flight ticket
    – to show I was a serious guy, I printed out a balance of my bank account and handed it in (this is not a requirement). The text and figures were all in Hungarian, so unless somebody spent half a day to figure out exactly how much money those millions of hungarian Forint mean, it was also just a formality
    – on the form, I listed the addresses of my “registrations”, but I didnt have phone numbers for them, so I left it blank
    – I had my thai visa in a different passport, which I showed to the clerk lady, who made some note about it. I didnt have to submit this passport 
    – the only thing they asked me to change on the form was the number of days I intended to stay in China. I wanted to try to get a visa longer than 30 days, so I went for 45 days, but apparently they only issue 30 day visas now, so probably it’s not worth trying (double entry may also be more difficult to get; to increase the chance of getting a tourist visa, it may be best to stick to the simplest version)

    Time required
    – I submitted my application on Tuesday and was afraid that I’d have to wait till next Monday (ie 4 working days). Fortunately I could come to collect the visa on Friday morning
    – probably to avoid the office being crowded, the guards in front of the building only let a certain number of people in at a time, the rest have to queue and wait on the street, sweating. So its probably a good idea to be among the first 50 people or so (I arrived 8:30 and was let in with the first wave a 9:00)
    – on the other hand, when collecting the visa you dont need to queue outside – just show your pink receipt to the guard and they’ll let you in from behind (to queue inside the office, first to pay the fee to the cashier, then to collect your passport, but it’s fast)

  • dave

    12 years ago

    Thanks for the info.
    I have to be in Bangkok and go from there to China. Do you still have the phone number of that agent you used?
    I need a visa for linger than 30 days.

  • Steven Meier

    12 years ago

    We (Swiss) successfully applied for a visa on the 16th of February ’12. They wanted to have a booking confirmation of a hotel and airplane tickets to China (in&out). As we travel overland from Laos to China and after that from China to Mongolia we do not have any reservations for hotels and planes. After some discussions they only wanted to have a booking confirmation for a hotel in China. They gave us a small paper so that we could go back directly to the counter without having to wait in the queue. There is a internet shop if you turn left by the first 7/11 (5 Baht per page) to make a reservation for a hotel (which can be cancelled for free afterwards if you do not plan to stay there).
    We were asking for 62 days but we only got 30 days. We had to bring the following documents:
    – Passport
    – Visa form A ( & B ( You get the same forms at the visa application office
    – 1 photo
    – Itinerary including telephone numbers of the hotels you plan to stay in
    Optional documents
    – Medical insurance (they did not use it and handed it back)
    – Copy of bank account

  • Fritz

    12 years ago

    It is quite difficult to get a visa currently. We made the queue and were told that we had to provide a hotel reservation, flight tickets (go to and return from China), and 100$ traveler cheques per day!
    We went there on a Monday and the queue was so long that not everybody was able to get inside. Once they closed the entry (at 11!) only agents were able to get in. We hired one and she was able get all required (fake) documents (no traveler cheques needed for her). In the afternoon, again after a long queue we got our visa.

  • Aurelien

    12 years ago

    Just an update, we applied for a chinese visa in Bangkok last week. They seem to apply a much stricter policy. You need a flight and hotel reservation confirmation… If you have none, they won’t accept you. But, we insisted, asked to speak to the boss… And eventually she accepted that we would travel to China overland through Laos and leave overland to Russia, but sill they wanted a hotel reservation. So, after another 10 minutes of negotiation they accepted instead of a reservation a copy of our bank accounts to prove that we have enough money.
    So, what we needed for a single entry visa 30 days:
    -Application forms (fill them in properly, write the adresses and numbers of some guestbooks, they ask for!)
    -Copy of bankacount
    -Travel itinerary (invent something)

  • Alena

    12 years ago

    Hi Mark,
    I was just wondering if an insurance is required to get Chinese visa.
    Thank you!

  • David Burlison

    13 years ago

    Well done travel site-very interesting/informative..


    (Feel free to post on our forum)

  • Mike

    13 years ago

    Mark: The good thing is that you can get a one-year muliple entry for $153, but yeah, that’s still steep. Actually, I’m in Chiang Mai now milking the fast, ubiquitous wifi. I haven’t decided what my next country will be. So far, I’ve only been entertaining the idea of China. I’ve still got time left on my Indian visa and may go back. Glad you were able to check out one or more of my cuisine posts. Sampling and falling in love with new and exotic foods is such a great aspects of travel.

    • Kevin

      11 years ago


      How many days did you wait for you visa? I’m going to try and apply for a 1 year multiple entry visa and get it in 1 day. The China embassy website doesn’t really work and I’m out of the city for a while so I’m trying to figure out if this is possible. Thanks.