How to apply for a Chinese Tourist Visa | Switzerland

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In order to travel to China, Swiss and EU citizens require a visa. The visa must be obtained before departure at the responsible consular office in Switzerland. In this article, we will explain you step by step on how to receive your visa for China.

visa type

1. Determine visa type

There are no less than 15 different types of Chinese visas and each one of them comes with different requirements. It is, therefore, an imperative to first determine your required type of visa before applying. In most cases, "L Visa" (tourist visa) or "M Visa" (business visa) is required. We are providing an overview of all different visa types and trip types in our FAQ.

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visa letter of invitation

2. Book your trip

In order to apply for a tourist visa, you will have to prove your trip and the planned route of the said trip. You will, therefore, have to provide the copies of your flight and hotel bookings at the consular section.

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visa documents

3. Collect visa documents

For your Chinese business visa, you will have to provide a genuine collection of your documents. For a business visa the following documents are required:

Visa form, Passport (plus one copy), Letter of invitation, Passport picture, Copy of the residence permit (non-CH citizens)

We provide tailored and always up to date overview of the required documents on our website

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visa prepare for consulate

4. Prepare for your visit to the consulate

Chinese visas in Switzerland are issued at the consular offices in Bern and Z├╝rich. Visa applications in Geneva are not possible. The consular sections do not accept any postal applications, therefore you will have to go in person.

The consular sections are open from Monday till Friday from 09:00 to 12:00. It is not possible to make an appointment in advance. Due to the high volume of visitors, we recommend arriving early enough, in order to secure your place in the queue. Waiting times of several hours are possible. For security reasons, you may have to queue outside, and we recommend dressing appropriately for the weather.

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visa application

5. Hand in your visa application

After you have prepared your documents you can visit the closest consular section. The consular officer will do a preliminary check of your documents. You may have to answer a few additional questions regarding your travel arrangements. If all documents are completed and present, you will receive a pick up form and a date, from which you can pick up your visa. Normally the processing time is 3-4 working days.

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pick your visa

6. Pick up your visa

Using the pick up form, you can pick up your visa on the planned date. Please note that the consular fees must be paid at the pick up. The payment is only possible with Mastercard, Maestro or Visa, and no other payment methods are accepted (no cash, Postcard, American Express, etc.)

Please make sure to check the visa for completeness (name, travel dates, etc.)

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visa for traveling to China

7. Travel to China

Upon arrival, the visa will be voided and it cannot be used for further entries (except double or multiple visas)

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8. Conclusion

Applying for a visa requires a lot of time and a good preparation. You can easily make a mistake or forget something and you might have to repeat the whole process.

You should, therefore, leave the visa applications to the professionals. Apply for your visa online with Viselio. Our intelligent system helps you fill the application form. After payment you will just need to print out the documents, sign them and send them to our visa center in Bern. We will obtain the China visa on your behalf. Just a few days later you will have your passport and your processed visa at your door.

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Visa at Embassy
(on your own)

No waiting in line check sign x sign
Apply from where you are check sign x sign
No trip cost, no waste of time check sign x sign
Clearly outlined requirements check sign x sign
No form filling check sign x sign