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China visa process from the UK - some guidance

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by amysdad, Feb 26, 2019.

  1. englishdragon

    englishdragon Occasional commenter

  2. ryanpkenny

    ryanpkenny New commenter

    I had the same issue when doing mine, as long as the visa covers the date you out then you will be fine. For example I fly out on the 29th july and my visa runs till 14th august. The departure date from China can be left blank they didn't mind that as well as the flight number. As long as you take all your documents and are polite the staff will help you with absolutely everything.

    1.Copy of your passort
    2.Application form completed and printed
    3.Work permit in Chinese and English
    4. Passport style pictures printed and cut to size (I took a few just in case but only needed the one)
    5. Anything special for your case (marriage stuff or anything like that)

    I also didn't know this but my appointment was at 9:00 in the morning and I dropped off my documents but I then had to go back at 2:30 as they check your work permit with the consulate before accepting your application. You then pay for it then

    Thank you hope this helps
  3. suem75

    suem75 Occasional commenter

    Hi Ryanpkenny, which visa centre did you go to? I'm not just being nosy; it's because I'll be going to the Edinburgh one next week.

    Also, regarding having no 'return' flight booked, I think it's the airlines who enforce that. I encountered that for the first time coming here to Tanzania. My employer booked the flight and had booked a 'ghost' return (a kind of fake booking, which they cancelled immediately on receiving the itinerary) which the airline demanded proof of otherwise they would've denied boarding.
  4. ryanpkenny

    ryanpkenny New commenter

    I went to the Manchester one :)
  5. medusa888

    medusa888 New commenter

    Hi! I'm nearing the end of the whole getting-to-China process (thank God!). Not only have we had to jump through all the hoops with all the usual documents and medical checks, chest x-rays etc, but I've also had to go through a Leave to Remove court case for my 2 children.

    I've filled out the visa form and there is a page that I seem to have continually repeated myself on - Section 6 - travel information. I've put my employer down as my "inviting organisation" but also as my "sponsor - foreing/domestic". Does anyone know if this is correct?

    Also - does my emergency contact need to be in the UK or Cn?

    Thanks in advance!
  6. medusa888

    medusa888 New commenter

    I'd also like to know when people actually apply for their visas? On the website it says the perfect time is precisely 1 month before you travel, but since flights are booked I don't want to risk them not having time to see me - if I put my application in 6 weeks before we travel, do you think this is adequate time to get a visa?

    Also - getting a white background on the photo was hard work! We used an online background converter for £5 in the end as they declined the Jessops one!
  7. ryanpkenny

    ryanpkenny New commenter

    I did the same thing as you did medusa88 and put them down for both sponsor and inviting party and they didn't seem to mind :) I got my visa near 2 months in advance which was totally fine as long as your visa covers the date you fly out (so no longer than 3 months from the date of issue for my visa)

    I put my contact as one in the UK as I don't know anyone in china and it was fine
  8. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Make sure you get your Degree Certificate notarized and legalized and not just your highest qualifications. Some staff read the guidelines and only got the MSc or PGCE done and have been now told by the UK Chinese Visa office to get their Degrees done.
  9. medusa888

    medusa888 New commenter

    Thanks all - visa application appointment seemed to go ok! FYI for all that follow - hints I would have found helpful:

    The London visa application embassy has a photo booth - presumably giving a white background if anyone is really struggling. I took along printed passport photos for each member of my family along with the application forms, but they only needed the printed photo for my son, as it had not accepted his photo on the online application form.

    If applying for family S1 visas as well as printed application form (in colour) remember: original marriage certificate (and photocopy), letter from Cn inviting you over x the number of applicants (I have 3 on the family visa), original birth certificates (plus photocopies - I took the shortened and full versions - they only took the full), photocopy of the your (z work visa applicant) photo passport pages (x number of applicants), and copies of flight out details. I also took a photocopy of each person's passport on the S1 visa which I think they also used.

    Basically, they submit each S1 visa application individually, so they need copies of all the supporting evidence for each applicant (including children).

    If you forget the photocopies, they have a photocopier there.

    I did hear one couple being turned away as they'd forgotten birth certificates.

    We also had to get a Specific Issue Order to get permission to take the children out of the country - we took it along to the appointment, but they didn't use it.

    Don't forget to sign the first page and page 8 of your printed application forms - and you sign for the children (in a slightly different place on p8 - please read the instructions!).

    If you want your visas posted out then there is a form you need to download and fill out your bank details - you don't need to fill this out if you are picking them up.

    I went yesterday - our appointment was at 11am, but we arrived just after 10am and we joined the queues no problem. We were there for a total of 2 hours and once we had paid (about £600 for 1 Z visa and 3 family visas), and we have been told our visas will be ready next Thursday - so not a long turn around.
  10. suem75

    suem75 Occasional commenter

    I'm pretty sure it was thanks to this thread that I had a smooth visit to the visa centre in Edinburgh earlier this week. It looked like 2 out of3 applicants had incomplete or incorrect paperwork. Mine was ok because I'd followed the advice here. Well, I think it was ok - won't be sure till my passport's returned. ;)
    amysdad and missmissmiss like this.
  11. jennyrosco1

    jennyrosco1 New commenter


    Quick question about authenticating docs please. My degree, TEFL cert and DBS were bound in one document so only got one legalization stamp from the Chinese Embassy. My school said this was unusual but would apply for the work permit anyway.

    Any thoughts?
  12. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    Probably OK, jennyrosco1, especially if HR are confident enough with it to try (they might know someone in the visa department who can wing it for them). Worst case is that "computer says no" and then you have to get them all done individually, causing a delay to your arrival - most schools here are used to that though and will hold your job for you.
  13. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I would get all documentation individually notarized and validated. Better for applications for your next job. If you have your police check attached to a bundle of documents the police clearance is only valid for 6 months.
  14. jennyrosco1

    jennyrosco1 New commenter

    Thanks Amysdad....HR is sending them off so we'll see!
    amysdad likes this.
  15. jennyrosco1

    jennyrosco1 New commenter

    Just a quick update...all good. Off to the consulate tomorrow to get my visa!
    amysdad likes this.
  16. charlie_d_harrison

    charlie_d_harrison New commenter

    A few questions

    1) Do i need to get my degree notarised OR is certified by a solicitor enough before i send to FCO for legazisation. Certified = £5, Notarize can be £80 per document :/

    2) i am currently in Thailand. I cannot get Basic disclosure because current address not in UK. Does anyone have experience with ACRO , whats the send out time roughly?

    3) After i get all my documents legalized chinese embassy. What is the next step....?

  17. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    1 - It depends. Most countries accept a copy of the original document for a visa process, but to get this legalized you have to get it notarized first (it is a slightly different and more expensive process to get it done in England than in Scotland, I found.) If you are sending the originals (a) beware, and (b) you don't need to get them notarized.

    2 - If you are in Thailand just now you will almost certainly need a police disclosure from there as well as the UK disclosure.

    3 - That will depend on your school - they have to send the letter of invitation after which you can get your Z visa. This usually doesn't happen until June for most schools so if you're looking at 2020/21 then loads of time.
  18. charlie_d_harrison

    charlie_d_harrison New commenter

    1) So If I send my original degree to the UK ....I don't need to notarise it first....just certify? and then can send it straight to the FCO for legalization??

    2) Do i need to notarize an original ACRO police check.......or can I also just send this straight to FCO for legalisation?
  19. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    On the degree point - I don't think so, but you must check with your school that it's the original rather than a copy which they need. From what I recall when they submit the application for the visa the paperwork supplied is retained, so if you send through the original then you might not get it back....

    For the police check - again, you need to check with the school. Mine did it through the parent school in the UK and handled it that way so I'm not sure exactly how it worked.
  20. jiveannie

    jiveannie New commenter


    Which company did you use?

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