This topic appeared to be very confusing when I was researching on how to go about this. There are a few blogs online which helped me but were incomplete so I went into the Chinese Resources Building in Wanchai, Hong Kong unsure if what I had with me was enough. Here’s how I went through this process, I hope it helps answers some of your questions.
So you may be wondering why didn’t just get my visa whilst I was home (UK)? You have to enter China within 3 months of obtaining your visa, as I was starting my travels in August with plans to visit China late November, I just fell out of the 3 month window. I had read that I would be able to get it in Hong Kong so left it to be worried about later… and it was only slightly stressful.
Here is a list of everything I needed, you can find the latest forms and visa information here:
- Visa application form
- The regular visa for tourism is visa type ‘L’
- I filled out the form using a pdf editor and a pen for all the sections I couldn’t fill out using the computer (e.g. some telephone numbers and for signing)
- One passport picture
- My passport + a photocopy
- My Hong Kong arrival slip + a photocopy
- You’re given this little devil of a slip when you land in Hong Kong, it looks like a receipt and is so easy to lose. If you’re anything like me you will throw it away with a bunch of receipts, see below on how to get a replacement if this happens to you too.
- The application asks for a full itinerary for which I also had to provide booking confirmations for so, I had:
- Copies of all my hotel bookings (We booked a bunch on booking.com with free cancellations to amend later, it’s very common to do this)
- A copy of my outbound flight information
- Copies of my flight information to Taiwan and back to China as I was applying for a double entry visa. Note UK citizens cannot apply for a multiple visit visa in Hong Kong. Important note: all booking documents must have names on them, my Taiwan flights did not have my name as Jasmin had booked them and forwarded on the confirmation to me. So we had to find a printer to print out the e-ticket. We ended up using a hotel business centre. Paid 13 HKD for one page I believe there is a print shop close by, we just didn’t look hard enough.
- Cash in HKD. I would check the website for the latest prices here . I paid around 100GBP for the visa including the 3 days express service, which turned out to be cheaper than what it would have been back home.
Getting a replacement Hong Kong arrival slip
I had handed over all my documents to the lady at the visa office, she looked at the copy of my arrival slip and asked for the original, where I thought OH NO! I told her it was back in my hostel (which it was, I would have just had to rummage through the bin – gross!). With my hostel being a 20 minute walk away and the immigration office only 5 minutes, she told me to walk over and get a replacement (plus my Taiwan flight booking confirmation with my name) and come back to her – no need to wait in line again, yay! The Immigration Tower took us a little bit longer than 5 minutes to find, but its on the same side of the road as the Chinese Resources Building and I remember they are connected somehow using the footbridge. The address is: Immigration Tower, 5th Floor, 7 Gloucester Rd, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.
At the top of the escalators I turned left and went to the windows directly behind me. I handed over my passport, filled out a short form to explain how I lost my arrival slip and I was given a waiting ticket. After about 20 minutes my number was called and the kind man behind the window handed over my passport with a new arrival slip. This was a new slip with a different reference number so I had to make a copy of this too – which I did for 2 HKD on the same floor, right by the escalators.
You are not doomed if you lose your arrival slip, don’t listen to those who have said so! I panicked initially when I realised I had dropped it in the bin, but look how happy I was that I had finally submitted the paper work.
3 days later I went to pick up my passport and there it was, my ticket to the People’s Republic – and what an adventure it turned out to be…