Embassy report: Chinese visa in Vienna

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Chris
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Embassy report: Chinese visa in Vienna

Postby Chris » Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:33 am

I'm opening this thread after my SUCCESSFUL application for a single entry, 30-days individual tourist visa valid for 3 months in Vienna. I had posted my passport via DHL from Bishkek and a trusted friend went to the embassy with my documents.

Since it's not all straightforward, and it took various phone calls and visits to the embassy, here's some tips from my experience:

First, the website of the embassy is very complete and you'll find address, opening times, required documents and visa form there - so I'm not gonna repeat it all here. http://at.chineseembassy.org/det/qz/

I am planning to go overland (hitchhike/bus) from Kyrgyzstan through China to Pakistan. So actually, I just need it for a couple of days to transit, but I was told by the embassy that I cannot get a transit visa for that - I need to apply for a tourist visa. Plus, I need to show proof that I leave the country, i.e. a flight or train ticket. So you need to flunker a bit...

For me the solution was as follows: I booked a (fully refundable!) return flight from Astana to Beijing, and a week's hotel stay in Beijing. Fill the visa form accordingly. That seemed to be all they wanted to see.

A small problem arose when my friend went to the embassy the first time: they asked where I am at the moment, and she truthfully said in Kyrgyzstan. They handed back the application and said I have to be in the country. After asking how they verify that, they just replied ' we trust you on that'.
When my friend went back 3 days later, (with the respective column on the visa form altered), the same clerk did not even ask where I was and accepted the documents. I opted for the express service, adding € 25 to the standard fee of € 60 - and my friend could pick up the visa on Wednesday after applying on Monday.

Some remarks:
- no letter of invitation needed, as long as you show hotel reservations plus airline tickets from the whole duration of the stay. If you have a LOI of a Chinese friend you still need the airline tickets, but no hotel reservations.
- I've been to China before with an old passport - I added copies of the photo page, visa and stamps to the application, and they did not ask to see the old passport. (Apparently in Germany people were asked for it)
- I had stamps and visa in my current passport, showing I've just been to Turkey for 2 months and to Iran for 6 weeks. It didn't seem to be a problem (recent reports from other embassies indicate that it could be!!)
- no appointment needed, but a fair bit of a line in the morning - so be there a while before they open.

As you see, it might be a bit tricky, but not impossible. A second passport would definitely make it a bit easier, so if you have the chance get one before the start of your trip (the Austrian government actually issues a second one, eg. for business travelers or if you want to got to Israel). For me sending (my only) passport home was the best option because that's also the only way to get a visa for Pakistan.

I hope that helps! Good luck!!
Chris
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