Embassy reports: Chinese visa in Phnom Penh

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steven
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Embassy reports: Chinese visa in Phnom Penh

Postby steven » Tue May 07, 2019 6:39 am

Please post your questions and reports on the Chinese embassy in Phnom Penh below.

We summarize all info in the China visa article.
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Re: Embassy reports: Chinese visa in Phnom Penh

Postby steven » Tue May 07, 2019 6:40 am

Via e-mail:

I’m a US citizen and have been traveling outside the US for over a year. I’m currently in SE Asia and want to head up to China to start the trans-Siberian railroad. Figuring out the visa to China was tricky. I originally was going to try to get it in Hong Kong, but with Turkish stamps in my passport I had to reevaluate. I was then going to get it in Vietnam, but I read that the consulates there are hit or miss and that the line just to get inside the consulate is crazy. I also didn’t want to risk paying the $140 price for US Citizens and not get the 10-year visa.

The option I ended up going with was actually in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It was extremely easy but also much more expensive. Basically, any travel agent can get the visa for you. All you have to do is give them your passport and 2 passport photos, and 4 days later you’ll get the China visa. No one has to fill out any forms or provide any proof of hotels, flights, etc. They guaranteed the 10-year visa for Americans. And I think it’s the same exact process for any other nationality (without the 10-year visa). The only catch was that it was significantly more expensive: the best price I found was $320.

I asked about the price, and the travel agent told me that the embassy charges them a much higher price in return for providing an extremely simple process. I don’t know how much they charge for non-Americans, but I imagine it’s a decent markup on the embassy price.

So in summary, it’s by far the most expensive option, but it is extremely painless and there’s no risk in not getting approved. It could be a good option for people who are worried about visa approval or who don’t want to deal with filling out applications, booking hotels/flights, etc.
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Jealgu
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Re: Embassy reports: Chinese visa in Phnom Penh

Postby Jealgu » Tue May 07, 2019 12:32 pm

"No one has to fill out any forms or provide any proof of hotels, flights, etc."

I am pretty sure someone has, probably the travel agent. Based on a quick search it should also be possible to do so yourself at the embassy in case you do not want to spend the money, but are willing to deal with bureaucracy.
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Re: Embassy reports: Chinese visa in Phnom Penh

Postby bwv812 » Tue May 07, 2019 6:43 pm

Well, kickbacks and bribery are pretty common in Cambodia (even considering regional standards), so I wouldn't discount the possibility of embassy employees making good money from the travel agents and giving their applications little/no scrutiny.
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Re: Embassy reports: Chinese visa in Phnom Penh

Postby Albuquerque_snorkel » Sun May 12, 2019 10:16 am

I’m the one who submitted the information by email. Just to add some clarification:

I’m pretty sure no one had to fill out any forms. I asked about the pricing, and each agent was adamant that the increased price was coming from the embassy in exchange for making the process significantly simpler. I’m not sure why this is the case in Cambodia and not anywhere else, but it does seem like this is the deal the embassy has with *all* travel agents, not just select ones, which makes me think it’s not under the table. I also was not even given a (cheaper) option of submitting the forms through an agent.

From what I can tell, though, it’s still possible to go to the embassy on your own and apply with the normal process/fees.
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Re: Embassy reports: Chinese visa in Phnom Penh

Postby julistan » Mon May 27, 2019 8:36 am

Lucky Lucky agency (on googlemaps) is very reliable.
They were charging 50$ for a month visa/double entry back in december 2018.
Some consulates dont want you to see applicants by themselves and prefer dealing with agencies. PPenh seems to be one of them.
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