Can I get a cheap visa for China? - TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards!



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Old 08-23-2009, 03:01 PM   #1
 
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Default Can I get a cheap visa for China?

Im leaving for Hong Kong in a week and then to China for 21 days. I am a US citizen and my (non-US) girlfriend (who has a free visa) did all the planning. She wanted to take control of the trip and since I ALWAYS plan our trips, I let her do it. I work part-time without a visa so after airfare and accomodation taken care of we have 400 GBP to spend. Problem is she didnt tell me that my Visa costs almost 100GBP until today! Thats a quarter of our budget! Had I known I could have saved a bit more but now we are screwed. Is there any way to get a cheaper visa or sneak in or anything? I am freaking out that we wont be able to do much at all. Thanks guys!
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Old 08-23-2009, 03:28 PM   #2
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Buy the visa in Hong Kong. A quick search from the Chinese govt shows that a visa in Hong Kong costs 150 HK dollars, approx 20 USD. Double check this on me but I didn't see a special fee of US citizens. Same website says processing time is 4 working days.

Hope this helps!

edited to add: Your entry to Hong Kong is visa free.

Last edited by Elizabeth; 08-23-2009 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 08-23-2009, 03:39 PM   #3
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I don't know much about this but I just googled a bit and found this:

Quote:
Notice about Adjustment of Regular Visa Fees for U.S. Citizens

Jan. 14, 2008

At the instruction from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, the regular visa fees for U.S. citizens will be adjusted on reciprocal basis, effective on Jan. 20, 2008. The details are as follows:

1. Regardless of the number of entries, the regular visa fee for an individual applicant will be adjusted to $130.
2. The regular visa fees for group visas will be adjusted to $110 per person.
3. Expedited service fees will remain unchanged.
4. Applicants whose applications are received by the Consulate General on or before Jan. 19, 2008, will be charged the current rate even if those visas may be issued on or after Jan. 20, 2008.


The Consulate General of People's Republic of China in New York
And that suggests to me that there's no cheaper way to get a visa and the fee was increased to that because the US probably jacked it up for Chinese visa applicants first Same deal as happened with Brazil I suppose...

Could you borrow a bit from family, or maybe use a credit card or something?
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Old 08-24-2009, 04:30 PM   #4
 
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Thanks for the replies but is there a way to get in without a visa? any lax borders or anything? Private boat, swim etc lol? if not we have 300 for 3 weeks for 2 people... thats for food, trains/buses and anything else we need. THIS SUCKS!!!!

cHINESE vISA
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Old 08-24-2009, 04:52 PM   #5
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Sorry to read about this, but even if you achieve getting in with no visa, you won't be able to get out of the country... You're talking of China, they don't mess around with illegals.

I found an old post (2007, so not sure how accurate it is) stating that daily budget in China could be as low as £5.2 for food and lodging. Long distance travel was also low.

Think of traveling on a night train, so that'll save you one hostel room.
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:47 PM   #6
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Like E said, it's China, man. That's a whole nutha world that doesn't mess around.

Crossing in illegally and we may have to send Bill Clinton to negotiate your return.
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:11 PM   #7
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Yep, I agree.... Dont play with China.... And night trains, great way to save a nights board for 2... Grocery stores. Probably complicated there, but you could probably manage and save money. Street food is always a nice cheap meal. Look for hostels that offer free breakfast. Wash your clothes with shampoo in the shower... Starve a bit. The memories will last longer than that temporary hungerpain.... And sadly, if you need to, cut some of the cities out, to save on extra $ spent on transportation... Keep us posted, Good Luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:11 AM   #8
 
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Thanks for the good advice all. We will be couchsurfing so lodging isnt a problem but I just hate to have to be completely broke from day 1. Especiall since my birthday will be celebrated on Sanya beach at Hainan island on the last 3 days of our trip. Looks like my dream of snorkeling the south china sea might not happen. But hey, Im going to China!!!!!! Wish me luck.
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