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Do I need to get a Visa to China?

Answer: Foreigners traveling to Mainland China, whether for business or pleasure, require a visa, which should be obtained in advance. You are exempt from this requirement if you travel and stay only in Hong Kong or Macau for less than 30 days. If you travel beyond Hong kong, even for just a few hours, you will need a Chinese Visa. Most people only need to apply for a single entry. The best time to apply is one month before your departure.

What is an acceptable passport type photo?

Answer: The Chinese consulate requires a photo similar to the one in your passport. They only accept photos which are head-only, full frontal, with white background, approximately 1-1/2 x 2. Cutouts from personal photographs are not acceptable.

Can a visa be issued on a blank amendment page at the back of my passport?

Answer: No, amendment pages at the back of the passports are specifically for changes and endorsements to a passport after initial issuance. Chinese Embassy and Consulates generally refuse to recognize the usability if an amendment page for visas.

What are the fees involved to process a valid Visa?

Answer: Total cost of visa is $160, which includes the Consular Fee, service fee, and shipping costs.

What are the customs regulations?

Answer: Tourists must fill out a baggage declaration form (in two copies) and hand it in to customs, retaining the carbon to show upon exit.

Personal belongings will be admitted duty free, including food, two bottles of liquor and two cartons of cigarettes. Wristwatches, radios, tape recorders, cameras, movie cameras, and similar items may be brought in for personal use but cannot be sold or transferred to others and must be brought out of China.

Gifts for relatives or friends in China, or articles carried on behalf of other, must also be declared.

Visitors can bring in an unlimited amount of foreign currency and Chinese renminbi traveler's checks, and the unspent portion can be taken out.

Bringing in the following articles is prohibited:

1. Arms, ammunition, and explosives of all kinds

2. Radio transmitters-receivers and principal parts

3. Renminbi (Chinese currency) in cash

4. Manuscripts, printed matter, films, photographs, gramophone records, cinematographic films, loaded recording tapes and videotapes, etc. which are detrimental to China's politics, economy, culture, and ethics

5. Poisonous drugs, habit-forming drugs, opium, morphine, heroin, etc.

6. Animals, plants and products thereof infected with or carrying germs and insect pests

7. Unsanitary foodstuffs and germ-carrying food-stuffs from infected areas

8. Other articles the import of which is prohibited by state regulations

On leaving China, tourists must again submit the baggage declaration form for customs inspection (the second copy). Travelers by ship are exempted.

Items purchased in China with RMB converted from foreign currencies may be taken out or mailed out of the country after receipts are presented for customs inspection. In cities where a Customs Office does not exit, this can be arranged through the local Friendship Store.

Taking out the following articles is prohibited:

1. Arms, ammunition, and explosives of all kinds

2. Radio transmitters-receivers and principal parts

3. Renminbi (Chinese currency) in cash and negotiable securities in RMB

4. Unratified foreign currency, foreign notes or drafts

5. Manuscripts, printed matter, films, photographs, gramophone records, cinematographic films, loaded recording tapes and videotapes, etc. which are detrimental to China's national security

6. Rare and precious copies of books about Chinese revolution, history, culture and art that are not for sale

7. Valuable animals, plants, and seeds

8. Precious metals, pearls, and jewels (things declared to the customs are exempted)

9. Other articles the export of which is prohibited by state regulations

What do I do if I lost my passport when traveling in China?

Answer: If the passport is lost in China, report to the local public security organization as soon as possible. Also contact the embassy or consulate of your own country applying for an exit document with a certificate issued by the local public security organization.

What cautions should foreigners take when buying Chinese antiques?

Answer: When purchaing expensive articles, choose the shops owned by the government, if possible. Make sure that the antiques you bought carry a wax seal indicating that it is authentic and is able to be exported from China. Antiques dating before 1795 cannot be legally exported. Keep the purchase receipts and show it to the customs when leaving China. 



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