It’s a first time for everything, and at one point we had to apply for a visa manually (other countries we have been to where we had to have visa we applied online or got it upon arrival). We had no idea on the procedure when we booked the trip to China, but we read it could be tricky as Norwegians, especially after the Nobel Peace Prize conflict in 2010.
Some companies provide a service where they do everything for you, but we didn’t want to pay 1000NOK extra to get a visa. And in a way it is a part of the travel experience – it’s kind of exciting too.
Having gone through the process (successfully), we wanted to write a guide on “How to Apply for Chinese Visa” for Norwegians. We have no idea if it’s the same procedure in other countries, and it’s different fees, but at least here is a guideline.
To apply for a visa you need:
- A completed visa application with a recently taken color passport photo (we cut the photo down to the size of the box on the form. And the face covered most of the photo).
You can find the ‘Visa Application Form’ on the web page of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Kingdom of Norway. Print the form and fill out the application with a blue or black pen and write in English capital letters (Æ=AE, Ø=OE, Å=AA). Tick off with a ✓ in the relevant boxes. If the question is not relevant for you, type in N/A or None.
- Original passport with at least six months of remaining validity and a double blank visa page. In addition you need to bring a photocopy of the passport’s data-/photo page.
- Documents showing the itinerary, copy of air ticket booking (round trip), proof of a hotel reservation or an invitation letter.
We didn’t have any invitation so we wrote a plan of our trip; what we wanted to see and do, and we also mentioned a three days guided tour we had booked.
You can read more here: New Regulations on Applying for L Visa.
It isn’t possible to send this in the mail and it has to be delivered at the Consular & Visa Section (Holmenveien 5, Oslo – second floor) between 9:00-11:30 on workdays. Note that this isn’t at the Embassy.
You do not have to come by the Consular and deliver it in person, but do not forget to sign the form before someone hands it over.
We arrived around 08:45 am and lined up outside the door. Already at that time we weren’t alone, and right before 9am we were about 10 people standing in line. At exact 9am they opened the door and we walked into the reception to line up for delivering the application; they take a quick look at your papers, so be sure to have all the right documents. You get a receipt (don’t lose this) and they tell you when you can get back. After approx. 1 week it’s time to get your passport (hopefully with granted visa); you deliver the receipt at the pick up desk and then you get your passport back. Take a quick look at the visa to ensure that everything is okay before you pay. The visa fee is (at this date: April 2016) 600NOK, which you have to pay with card (they only accept bankaxept).
You can’t predict how many people will apply for/collect their visa, so be prepared that it can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour.
They advice you to apply for the visa one month before your intended date of entry into China, but do not apply more than three months prior to your journey.