How To Get A Chinese Visa In Bangkok

Getting a Chinese visa in Bangkok is relatively straightforward if you only want a 30 day tourist visa – and you know where to find the visa section, because it’s not in the Chinese Embassy

To get your visa, you need to go the Visa section of the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok. Note that the Visa section is NOT part of the main Chinese Embassy at 57 Ratchadapisek Road.

The Visa section is nearby, but in a separate building on Ratchada Soi 3.

The Visa section is open for visa application from 9 am to 11:30am, and then pick up from 3 to 4pm.

Chinese Embassy Visa Section Bangkok
Chinese Embassy Visa Section Bangkok

To get there, catch the MRT to Phra Ram 9, get out at Exit 1 and walk up Ratchadapisek Road for 200 metres until you get to Ratchada Soi 3. Turn left into the Soi and the entrance to the China Embassy Visa section is about 100 metres down the road on the left hand side. It’s the first building on the street. It’s not particularly well signposted. If you look at the photo above, it shows the entrance to the Chinese Embassy Visa Section. The big shiny silver pillar is about the only distinguishing mark – there’s no actual sign that I could see. There tends to be a few people hanging about here too. If you arrive at a 7-11 on the left hand side of Ratchada Soi 3, you’ve gone too far.

Once you locate the building, the Visa section itself is on the 2nd floor. Go upstairs and fill in the form.

UPDATE: Chinese visa rules change frequently and seem to have become more and more difficult in Bangkok. If you read through the comments below, you’ll see that the Chinese visa authorities in Bangkok seem to actively look for reasons to NOT give you a visa. Expect to be asked for proof of hotel booking, flights out of China, a day by day itinerary of your movements in China, and a letter from your employers to prove your job, a letter from your university to prove you are a student, or a copy of your bank balance if you’re unemployed. Most importantly, I would suggest you contact the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok directly before going there to find out what their exact criteria are.

The forms are immediately in front of you as you walk in. You will need 1 photo. You may also need proof of your return flight and hotel reservation. (It’s technically required but often not asked for). If you are a US citizen, you need 2 photos, and you will need to fill in 2 copies of the form. You will also be charged a much higher fee for the visa.

Once you’ve filled in the form, you will need to take a number from the ticket machine. This is to the left of the table with the forms, along the back wall of the room. There were a lot of people standing around it hiding it from view when I was there, which left me a little confused at first.

Once your number is called, you hand over your passport, filled in form, photo and get a receipt. You don’t pay until you come back to collect it.

When you return, you simply queue up at the Cashier window on the far left, present your receipt, pay your fee and then go to the next window to collect your passport with Chinese visa stamp inside it.

You can normally only collect your visa in the morning, unless you have paid for the one day express service.

I would definitely recommend going early, both to drop off and collect your visa. The office opens at 9 and visas applications are accepted until 11 am (I think). By 10 am the place is heaving. That said, it is extremely efficient and the queue at both windows moves very fast.

Below is a photo of the Visa prices as at September 2010 as displayed on the wall of the Chinese Embassy. USA citizens pay far higher fees. Thai citizens pay 100 baht less than everyone else.

Current rates for the most popular 30 day tourist visa are 1100 Baht for pickup in 4 days, 1900 for 2-3 day express and 2300 for 1 day express service.

Chinese Embassy Bangkok Visa Prices
Chinese Embassy Bangkok Visa Prices

Be aware that China changes its visa rules frequently – during the Olympics it became almost impossible to get a visa (truly bizarre) and recently French nationals were having trouble getting visas due to a diplomatic spat between the two countries.




Comments

  1. Thanks ever so much for the info. The embassy page for China doesn’t have any relavant information at all. Thanks for this!
    Alex

  2. You’re welcome Alex. Please add any extra info you think is worthwhile once you’ve visited the embassy yourself. Cheers, Chris

  3. Alexander says:

    Dear Chris, did you see if it was at all easy to get a 6 month double-entry tourist or business visa from the visa section in Bangkok. I’m thinking of going over there but need some more info first.
    Thanks.

  4. Hi Alexander – all I saw was the pricing that’s up on the wall and shown in the photo in my post. The 6 month visa seems to be an option there, but whether you are actually allowed to apply for it I can’t confirm. I know that in the runup to the Olympics these visas were impossible to get in Bangkok – I would assume that’s now been relaxed but I can’t be sure.

  5. Thanks very much for the info – very helpful – just got my visa there 5 Nov 2010.\nJust a comment about the distances – when you come out of the MRT Exit 1 you have to double back on yourself, then I’d say it’s more like 400 metres up the main road. Once your at the Soi – signposted as Ratchadapisek 3, the visa office is the building actually on the corner – so it’s about 20 metres to the door.\nI applied on a Tuesday am and picked it up Friday am and was charged the 4 day price – even though it was 72 hours. So presumably ’1 day’ means same day.\nIncidently, although the visa section is definitely busier by 10.00, the MRT is rammed before 9.00 – so pick your poison! I was done by 9.15 for the application, and pickup took less than 5 mins at 10.00.\nCheers!

  6. Hi,\nThe 6month visa you can forget about getting in Bangkok. Im just back from a great holiday in Yunnan-Tibet-Sichuan. I had to get the double entry 1month visa (you need this if you are going to Tibet, because technicaly youre leaving China and have to re-enter China again. And here I was thinking China was doing everything in their power to try to prove that Tibet is part of China ;-) \n\nAnyway, The Bangkok embassy is only good for the shorter Chinese visas, if your looking for a longer one you better go to their embassy in Hong Kong, or even better some agent in Hong Kong. I have this way been able to get (3times) a multiple entry one year business visa without showing any documentation whatsoever, I have paid 1600Yuan (approx. 160Euros) for this “under the table” service. This didnt work during the Olymics though, so I had to go to Bangkok….

  7. Thanks for the info.

    Regarding longer multiple entry visa, it wasn’t a problem for me. I just got a 6-month visa, the same day, exactly as advertised on the wall of the Visa office. It may depend on your nationality though, mine’s Swedish.

    Just apply for the Visa you want, if they’re not going to accept it they will let you know and you can change the application.

  8. Thanks for the update Jon – appreciated

  9. Simon White says:

    Hi – thanks for the great info. To cut a long story short. I’m stuck in Kathmandu, and the required visa to enter Tibet and China has been declined as they are denying entry to Tibet in March (i would have been in and out by then anyway). I can only apply again on Weds and with no guarantee i will receive a visa for mainland China i will fly to Bangkok on Thursday to give myself another chance on Friday/Monday and Tuesday. However you have not mentioned Invitation letters here – are they necessary, or can i turn up with just my passport, a pre-booked travel itinerary in China, the application form, my photos and a confirmed flight into and out of China??
    All help appreciated as i’m a bit frazzled!

  10. Hi Simon – no letter of introduction is needed for the 30 day visa – or at least, I wasn’t asked for one. I didn’t have to show a prebooked itinerary either. That was for a visit to Shanghai last October. Hope you have good luck getting your visa. Best, Chris

  11. hi im in Pattaya can i apply for a china visa buy post?

  12. pretty sure that you can’t get it by post. There might be an agent in Pattaya willing to do it for you for a fee. Ask a travel agent.

  13. hi guys,
    i have applied for a business visa, but they want a visa notification form. i can’t get the visa notification. therefore, i want to change my application status from business to tourist as i have already paid for my flights and hotel. will this be a problem?

  14. Hi,

    I have a valid B visa in Thailand and i am a swedish citizen and have a Swed. passport.

    What application should i use to get a visa for China (tourist)

    and how long does it take?

    Are the any pubic holiday in near future in march

    Thanks for all kind answers.

  15. Great directions on getting there, though I agree with Kevin in that once you exit the MRT you have to double back. But then walking forward you can’t miss the shiny pillars. I got there at 8:20 on a Friday thinking I was well early but there was already a line. Now at 8:40 the line is well onto the pavement. Can’t think of any particular reason why there’s so much of a rush today or if this is the normal state of affairs.

  16. Update: Despite the line I still managed number 30 ticket for visas. As online form I had printed was obsolete I had to fill again, which took 5 min. I sat down and within 5 min it was my turn. Submission took a few minutes and I was out of there by 9:15. I’ve applied for same day processing and for that visa ONLY the pick up is between 3-4pm. There is no signage explaining this except for a small notice in the corner of the payment window. For all other visas pick up is from 9-11:30am.

  17. annemarie says:

    Has anyone been successful getting a 3 month visa for China, or has anyone applied for a visa from Tibet to go back into China.
    Thanks any help or advice is graciously accepted. Going to China in June for 3 weeks then into Tibet for 4weeks.
    Thanks
    A

  18. Jessica says:

    Not sure if this is true, but the signboard in the photo seems to say that although Americans pay much more, they pay the same regardless of the visa type. So an American perhaps would be just as well off asking for the one-year multiple entry visa. Since you are paying for it anyway. Although that might increase the documentation they then asked for.

  19. anyone manage to get a visa recently in bangkok? just wondering if there are any recent problems/changes to the rules. thanks

  20. I am Dutch citizen living in China on a tourist visa. Last couple of times, I flew Bangkok getting a 6months multiple entree tourist visa without any problems. Im wondereing if somebody can ensure me that this is still the case? It would be a great help, since I want to fly Bangkok within 2 weeks if it actually is still possible.

  21. Thanks man, i need the express one and it’s great to see some precise and clear information when you’re a bit stressed! Cheers

  22. Hey Chris
    I just wanted to say a huge thanks for this post. It was such a help today when I had to go and grab a visa. Honestly, I don’t know how anyone could have done it without such a great explanation.
    Cheers, Turtle

  23. Hi all,
    I will go on a around the world trip with a quick stop in china. Unfortunatley I can´t apply for a visa from germany due to a long trip before china. I spoke to the china embassy in germany today and two people told me that it´s not possible to apply for a chinese visa from Thailand unlees I live in Thailand. I´m slighly confused now especially when I read this here. Has somebody from the EU tried to get the visa without any problems?
    Many thanks for any feedback.
    Heike

  24. Hi Heike,
    das ist kein Problem. Ich erhielt bereits in BKK ein Touristenvisum für China gültig sechs Monate mit mehrmaliger Einreise in 2010. Die chinesische Botschaft in Berlin stellt selbiges nie aus.

  25. GREAT article mate – bang on the money, cheers

    johnny

  26. For those who do not read German, the Chinese embassy in Bangkok issues visas to non-Thais who have no long-term visa to stay in Thailand. The second week of October 2011, I got a double-entry visa no problem. I have an Irish passport. There were people there from various countries who also had no problem.
    Non-Thais need to fill out a short extra form (which they have at the embassy). Where it asks for a visa number, I just copied down the number on the stamp they put in my passport at the Bangkok Airport and where it asks if I can come back to Thailand on that visa, everyone was just writing “Yes”.
    Actually, I could not go back to Thailand on that visa (and the embassy folks must know that), but Thai immigration control would give me 30 days at the airport. Besides which I wasn’t going back to Thailand from China anyway. But the way it works is that you write Yes and they issue the visa.
    This is different from all the other Chinese embassies in other countries that I tried at or checked with. They will only issue visa to citizens of the country or foreigners with long-term visas. I had that experience in Taipei, Singapore, Copenhagen, and Vienna. Bangkok is the exception.
    One other thing. The week after the fall Chinese holiday week (“Golden Week”) can have very long lines.

  27. Valentina says:

    Hello!
    I`m a citizen of Kazakhstan Respublic!
    Now i`m travelling in Vietnam, and want go to Thailand.

    Could i get a China multi-visa for 6-12 month in Thailand??? before i was living in China for 1 year, and hadnt any problems with th law )))

  28. thanks for the article chris.

    I am in China now and I was thinking taking a short vacation to Thailand and getting a 6 months double entry visa.
    Do i need to bring any papers with me?
    Has anybody done this lately?
    Thanks!

  29. Does anyone know is its still :
    “Visa section is open for visa application from 9 am to 11:30am, and then pick up from 3 to 4pm…” ?
    Because I read that its only from 14 to 17…?

  30. Bob Thompson says:

    Your information was good but we found it did not go far enouph. You now need a copy of you flight and hotel information. They open the door at 9:00 but people are lined up. We got there 8:40 and waited over an hour past 9:00. Going to try again tomorrow.

  31. Hi Bob, yes, that’s why I wrote “You will need 1 photo. You may also need proof of your return flight and hotel reservation.” in the sixth paragraph.

  32. Did Bob Thompson get his visa? Or does anyone else know if this visa process is still the same? I am a US citizen hoping to get a Chinese short-term visa while in Bangkok…..Thanks!!

  33. Did Bob Thompson get his visa? Or does anyone else know if this visa process is still the same? I am a US citizen hoping to get a Chinese short-term visa while in Bangkok…..Thanks!!

  34. Edward Kelly says:

    I went today to get a tourist visa to Shanghai, but they told me to come back tomorrow which is Saturday – is it actually open to apply for Visa on Saturday morning? and can pick up same day at 3:00 PM?

    Please let me know, they seemed to suggest this was normal. Its important because the consulate is closed most of next week due to Chinese holidays

    Thanks!

  35. Thanks for the info.

    The 1 day express service: does that mean it’s possible to pick up the visa the same day? Or is it the day after?

    Thanks

  36. Luke Pritchard says:

    Does the one month tourist visa start from the date of issue or from the date of entry into China?

  37. Luke Pritchard says:

    My experience of the Chinese embassy in Bangkok. As of today: 29th May 2012.
    Flight details and hotel reservations are a given, what we were not told is how to fill in/prepare for the ‘occupation’ question. We soon found out.
    If you tick ‘student’ you have to produce a letter from your university. If you tick ‘employed’ you have to provide a letter from your employer. If you tick unemployed you have to show a bank statement which shows you have at least
    $100 for every day you intend to stay in China.
    No amount of pleading will get around this.
    Bad times.

  38. Early June 2012 -
    One thing that is not listed and I was not expecting to be asked for – was a complete itinerary of activities for every day of my intended tourist visa. Not just hotels, flights and cities, every day – what will you do?
    I know many countries ask this, but that wasn’t listed as a document to bring. Don’t be surprised if they ask you for it when you get up to the counter.

  39. I was at the Chinese embassy in Bangkok yesterday (June 11th 2012) to apply for a tourist visa as I have a short one day business meeting with a company in Xaimen. I supplied the Chinese embassy staff (Thai girl) all relevant documents. Airline ticket, Hotel Booking, letter of invitation from the Chinese company. All the documents which are required on the Chinese embassy website and on the walls of the visa center. I was then told I need to to supply my marriage license and a bank statement which I did not have and as I live three hours outside Bangkok unable to get in time. You need to be aware the staff at the Chinese visa center in Bangkok do all they can ‘not’ to give a visa even when you supply all they require and are not in any was helpful.There are huge queues every day and long waiting for two hours or more. I had to cancel my trip to China and the airline tickets.

  40. Reading the last post, I am bit worried. Question: Do I need to apply in person or can I send a friend/staff?

  41. Rules are changing all the time. Now you need to show employment cert / proof of air ticket, hotel reservations, bank statement. Even worse for applying multiple entry. Another thing you have to deal with now is the increasing size of the queues and the speed they handle the numbers in the small office.

    I am hearing stories that the staff behind the counter are resigning a lot, unable to handle the screaming westerners blurts when told to get more paperwork. One guy beside me had the letter of invitation to visit as businessman. He turned away for some ridiculous reason like ask them to prove they booked your hotel!

    Better do it in hong kong. Its handled more professionally.

  42. One more thing is they are making it very difficult for agents to apply on your behalf, so try avoid paying an agent to fix all these demands.

  43. Hi,

    I have the most recent news. I came from Shanghai to Bangkok to do a 6 month multiple entry visa. Before I came I checked the documents on the website of the consular section of the Chinese embassy in Bangkok which was just a letter from the inviter in China.

    I arrived Friday the 16th at 930 and the queue was massive and I got to the counter at 1215 (I had a number 168). Anyways, when I got to the counter they told me I do not have 8 documents that are not listed on the website but on a small piece of paper stuck onto the wall in the consulate those being, passport photocopy, photocopy of Thai visa stamp, photocopy of last Chinese visa, return airplane ticket, hotel reservation, passport and visa of my inviter in China, bank statements that show I have 100 USD per day to stay in China so for me they wanted 6 months * 100 USD = 18 000 USD in bank account.

    Anyways, they told me to get the documents and come back on Monday.

    I came back on Monday at 0840 and got number 189 and waited to the counter until 1240. This time I was told that actually my documents are now ok but in Bangkok I can only get a 30 day business visa which can be multiple entry one.
    Having asked, why they did not tell me that on Friday or why this information is not on the website they replied that the website is not updated and that in Thailand you can only get 30 day visa. For a 6 month business visa I must go back to my country.

    The clerks are Thai and they are very unprofessional. There is no internet in the area, no printing or copying place and if you go to the shopping mall next door they have an internet cafe with no printer. Seriously. I now must go to Singapore to do it, and in Singapore I already confirmed that I can obtain 6 months, multiple entry visa with much less documents. I advise against going to Bangkok to do the visa. It is horrendous experience.

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