September 26, 2010

NI HAO MA CHINA: Anti-histamines and a Chinese Visa

Acquiring a Chinese Visa is much easier than applying for a driver’s license, no lines, no irate tellers and shouting while trying to communicate through a thick window, no interviews, no sweat! All you need is your passport and 2000 pesos (assuming you let your travel agent get the Visa for you) and 99% of the time you will be granted entry to the Peoples Republic of China.

That was 6 months ago.

Now, entry to the land of siomai is as painful as applying for a driver’s license, but don’t worry, the NO’s I mentioned above is still a NO. Aside from your passport and application fee, a long list of documents now falls behind it:

Copy of roundtrip tickets
Hotel reservations
Original NBI clearance valid for travel abroad
Original bank certificate with receipt or original passbook updated within the month you are applying
Employment certificate/company i.d.
SSS i.d. and contributions
Tin i.d. and latest ITR

The additional requirements weren’t that much of a hassle but nevertheless, it was stressful, especially when our agent informed us that the Chinese Consulate has become rather strict in granting visas making an example of her gynecologist client who was denied entry to China.

Stress took its toll on me and later manifested through an itchy skin rash that wouldn’t go away even if I drowned myself in bottles of benadryls and anti-histamines.

Applications usually take only four working days, but in our case, it took 2 long weeks. Talk about prolonging the agony right? The itching grew even worse and I was beginning to lose sleep, all this stress just because I wanted to taste the best siomai in the world. After a substantial amount of prayers to the siomai gods, we finally got our visa.

So did my rash finally go away? I’m afraid not, because even with the visa, there's still a problem.

My visa specifically says that I should enter China before September 9, but my plane is scheduled to arrive in China on September 8 at 1145 PM. The visa didn’t say ON or BEFORE September 9, so I only have a 15 minute window before I get to the immigration desk or get my ass deported back to the P.I. So you can only imagine the fidgety state I was in the whole 3 hour flight and the mad dash from the plane to the immigration.

But oh, how the siomai gods smiled on me, well, maybe not exactly a god, but the smiling face of the immigration officer felt like the most beatific I have seen and the sound of the stamp's contact on paper is the most melodious I've ever heard. PAK!

And I'm in!

TIP: Since the Chinese Consulate has offices only in Manila and Cebu, it's better to hire a travel agent to process your application, it usually only cost around 2000 or 2500php.

For more information about Chinese Visa Applications:

Or you can also call our agent Lily of Rosch Travel: 0922-8519196 or (82)225-1527 

written by KIM


  1. ilang days binigay sa inyo ng embassy?nakakastress nga talaga.ako nag worry noon sa sss id ko but it turned out di naman pala nila tinitingnan ibang documents masyado


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