How to get a Visa for China in Vientiane, the capital of Laos (Lao republic), and cross overland into Yunnan. Without fly tickets or hotel booking (at least real ones)
When it comes to Chinese visa this usually means “headache”, especially for those traveling overland. Anyway this time it was easier than expected, and it seems to us that Vientiane could be a perfect place to arrange your tourist visa (or also other kinds of visa) for the People Republic of China.
We obtained the Chinese visa in Laos in 2016, the information contained in this article may not be valid at this time.
As usual, the requirements are:
- the annoying proof of flight in and out of China
- the stupid Hotel Booking
- the usual Application Form (to be collected and filled at the embassy)
- one passport size picture (on white background, ears visible)
The requirement include also a print of the bank statement, since this was a problem for us we simply didn’t show it and were asked nothing. So if your statement clearly shows that you are poor simply ignore it and you should be fine.
The Chinese embassy is located in the south part of town, not really walking distance if you’re staying in the city center, cycling there though is very straight forward, these are the coordinates:
Chinese Embassy in Vientiane, Laos
N 17 56’20.7″
E 102 37’17.4″
Opening ours of the consular section are from 9 AM to 11:30 AM, be warned to check about Chinese holidays, those can make you stuck in Vientiane for two weeks or even more. The long Chinese holiday are usually in the beginning of October but there are other festivities all year round so check on google.
The fee is 32USD for a 4 working days processing, 52USD if you want it in two days and 62USD to get it on the spot. The fee must be paid at the ICBC bank, quite far away from the embassy (they charge a 2USD service fee).
The receipt of payment must be shown at the time of collecting the visa, so you could call the embassy before making the payment, in order to be sure everything is fine, you don’t want to waste your money if for some reason they refuse you the Visa (everything can happen in Chinese embassies). Down below the coordinates of the bank.ICBC bank, Vientiane branch
N 17 58’49.0″
E 102 37’25.9″
The very good thing about this embassy is that is not busy at all, compared for example to the one in Bangkok. There was basically no cue at all when we went and both the application and collection was done in just a couple of minutes.
It could be that if you’re reading this post you plan to get to China overland, so you would have no fly tickets, and more likely you’re not interested in booking accommodations.
While you could do the trick on your own, booking and then canceling through booking.com or similar services for the hotels and make a fake fly ticket using photoshop or a pdf editor to modify an old flight confirmation file, there is an agency downtown that can spare you the hassle. For a fee of 5USD per person, they can make your flight and hotel reservation and then cancel it after you get the visa. It’s located here:
Agency to help you with Chinese Visa application in Vientiane
N 17 58’11.4″
E 102 36’15.3″
Anyway, they are not allowed to go to the embassy for you, you must go in person. If the youngsters are around, just ask for the boss, he’s the only one who knows the matter. He booked for us just 3 days in a hostel in Kunming and it made the job.
If you want to do it on your own be sure to make a fake for a flight that really exists, there are a lot of articles about faking a ticket on the web, follow the instructions. Anyway, we chose to rely on the agency, the ticket is real until you cancel it and it’s safer, we already been arrested in China once and we don’t want to experience this again.
Like all the single entry tourist visa for China you have three months time span to enter the country and are allowed to stay 30 days, it’s possible to extend the stay once for another 30 days, the process can be simple or complicated depending where you are, as a general rule small cities are more friendly than the big ones (don’t extend in Beijing of Shanghai if you can avoid, for example). This embassy also issues double entry visas and triple entry visas, but we don’t know much about that. What I can tell is that this allows you to stay in china for 30 days on one entry, than you have to leave the country and enter again, so you can stay for 30 days more. This probably can also be extended once but I have no reliable infos about this.The information in this articles are from September 2016, things can change quickly so double check. Hope this helps, let us know your experience in the comments and follow us on the social networks if you want to show your support.
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