Get a China visa in Macau: Latest report from the scene

This is a first-hand report from the China Travel Service (CTS) agent in Macau, from a friend of mine. No guess. Real experience.
 
The restrictions imposed on Hong Kong are now applied to Macau as well. Like Hong Kong, 33 countries’ citizens are banned from applying for a China visa in Macau, unless they are working or living in the city: Afghanistan, Tunisia, Algeria, Bangladesh ,Congo, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Iran, lraq,  Mali, Libya, South Africa, Morocco, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan,  Malaysia, Philippines, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Nepal, Pakistan, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Turkey, Mauritania, Saudi Arab, Sierra Leone, Syria.

The ban is being vigorously implemented. A Nepalese trying to get a Visa in Macau had been going to the CTS for three days in a row, but each time, he told my friend, his application was turned down. There is no other alternative but he has to go back to his home country to apply for a China visa.

If your country is not on the list, do not assume that you can still get a 30-day or 60-day tourist visa. You will be given a 7-day visa only! And for this 7-day visa, you have to show the following:

1. financial statement
2. foreigners are required to show the hotel reservation during the period of travelling in China
3. a flight booking of leaving China is also necessary in order to prove their schedule of departure

You will get a small piece of paper with the above instructions (in the exact wording) when entering the Macau CTS office (the one in the city centre, not at the pier) for a China visa. So these requirements are “official”.

For item 1, you can choose to show cash equivalent to US$700, if you do not show your financial statement.

“I saw a European couple put down US$700, flight tickets and hotel coupon on the table, and the staff examined them. It is a serious business,” my friend reported.

For a 7-day visa, you pay 500MOP (Macau Pataca) if you want to get it the following day. Or you pay 210MOP for a normal service that requires 4 working days.

A Lebanese, in chatting with my friend, said he had business in Guangzhou, and could not extend his visa there. So he came to Macau to try his luck. He first went to the Commissioner’s Office of China’s Foreign Ministry in Macau, only to be told that “it is illegal to issue him a visa”. So he came to the CTS office and was given a 7-day visa, a visa that is far shorter than he wanted, but then it is still a visa.

It seems that it may be easier to get a China (tourist) visa through the CTS rather than through the government channel, and Hong Kong and Macau may no longer be the haven for China visas, at least not until the Olympics is over.  

Related:

Get a China visa in Macau

Get a China visa in Macau (part 2)

China short-stay visas not available

On the heels of the ban of multiple-entry China visas, China is cutting off short-stay visas previously available at checkpoints. But this measure may not affect too many travelers/business people.

Here’s April 8 report from South China Morning Post:

Foreign passport holders will not be issued short-stop visas at border checkpoints as part of a series of entry restrictions imposed by mainland authorities last week.

The move, in addition to a ban on multiple-entry visas, was revealed by local travel agents as security tightens ahead of the Beijing Olympics.

Travellers are now restricted to single- or double-entry visas valid for a month and three months respectively. Multiple-entry visas that have not expired are still valid. Travel agents say they have been told the ban will last until mid-October.

Michael Wu Siu-ieng, chairman of the Hong Kong Association of Travel Agents, said that, since last Tuesday, the Office of the Commissioner of the Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong had been processing all applications for mainland visas.

“In the past, travellers could apply for short-stop visas when they arrived at the border. But we were told the authorities there were no longer handling applications,” he said.

Mr Wu said the new rules applied to travel agencies that applied for or renewed visas on behalf of visitors at checkpoints.

A spokeswoman for the commissioner’s office said the changes were due to “computer system upgrades”. She refused to say when the previous practice would be resumed.

According to the office’s website, updated last Tuesday, visa applicants will have to wait for at least one day for the “rush service” and two days for “express service”. Previously, same-day service was available.

“A longer waiting time is expected as all visa applications are handled by one office,” Mr Wu said.

Carole Howlett, a Hong Kong resident who holds a multiple-entry visa, said the restrictions were an inconvenience for foreigners who might simply want to do some shopping in Shenzhen. “The restriction is disgusting. Many of my friends will have to think again before crossing the border because they will have to apply for visas days before,” she said.

Mr Wu understands the tightening of entry restrictions is related to the Olympics. “Of course we hope they are merely temporary measures,” he said.

Get a China visa in Macau (part 2)

To apply for a China visa in Macau, you can also go to the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in Macau, besides the China Travel Service (CTS) agent mentioned.

The advantage of applying for a visa here is that the fee is lower. But it also means that speed will be compromised. It normally takes three days to process a visa, regardless of the type of visa applied for. There is express service, but extra fee has to be paid.

Take one-entry China visa. CTS charges 210MOP, but you can have it the following day. If you go to the Office of Commissioner, you pay only 150MOP, but it will take 3 workings days before the visa is ready.

The good news is that the Office of the Commissioner has an English website to explain all the China visa matters.

Web: http://www.fmcoprc.gov.mo/eng/lsyw/default.htm
Add: No. 992, Avenida do Dr. Rodrigo Rodrigues, Macau
Tel: (00853)7915126
Fax: (00853)7915102

Related:

Macau Visa

Multiple-entry China visas stopped

Macau visa

Since my post “Get a China visa in Macau” has been extremely popular and many questions have been raised about visa to Macau, I thought I would just do a write up on visa to Macau. 

The following countries’ citizens do not need a visa to visit Macau:

Andorra Indonesia Norway
Australia Ireland Philippines
Austria Israel Poland
Belgium Italy Portugal
Brazil Japan Romania
Canada Kiribati Samoa
Chile (Republic of) Latvia (Republic of) Seychelles
Croatia (Republic of) Lebanon Singapore
Cyprus Liechtenstein Slovak Republic
Czech Lithuania Slovenia
Denmark Luxembourg South Africa
Egypt Malaysia South Korea
Estonia Mali (Republic of) Spain
Finland Malta (Republic of) Sweden
France Mexico Switzerland
Germany Monaco Tanzania
Greece Mongolia Thailand
Hungary Namibia Turkey
Iceland Netherlands United Kingdom
India New Zealand Uruguay
 Cabo Verde (Republic of)   Bulgaria (Republic of) U.S.A.
Commonwealth of Dominica      

If your country is not on the list, you need a visa to enter Macau. You can apply for the visa at the border for a fee of MOP100 (about USD13), and you will be allowed to stay 30 days.

It is required that you have a valid passport, a return/onward flight ticket, and proof of funding during your stay (MOP500 per day) when you enter Macau.

Enquiries (immigration service office):

email: sminfo@fsm.gov.mo ; phone:(853)28725488

Source of the above information: website of the Immigration Service Office of Macau Government (in Chinese and Portuguese only )    

Get a China visa in Macau

If you travel to China and think about getting a China visa, consider stopping by Macau, the former Portugal colony. The city has a China Travel Service agency at the city centre, which can process a 90-day single-entry China visa for you within one day, for only HK$240 (about 24 euro). But be sure to hand in your application before 10:30am and you will get the visa at about 6pm the same day.

It is possible that you apply for a double-entry China visa in Macau. But you will have to wait until the following day, for HK$340 (about 34 euro).

Do not expect to have a half-day express service, though the agency’s website says so.

And remember that there is also a China Travel Service agency at the macau ferry pier, but it does not handle China visa applications. You must go to the one in the city centre. Bring the money and a photo, fill in a form, and you will have the visa.

Address of China Travel Services (Macau) in the city centre:

Avenida do Dr. Rodrigo Rodrigues, nºs 223-225, Edifício Nam Kuong, 1º andar “A” e 12º andar “A”, Macau

Tel: (853) 2870 0888; Website: http://www.ctsmacau.com ( unfortunately, mostly in Chinese only)

To view the China visa web page of China Travel Services (Macau), click here.

Hong Kong is also a good place for foreigners to get a China visa, but not as good as Macau. If you go to the many China Travel Service centres across the territory for a China visa, it takes normally 3 days, and you can get a one-month visa only. You have to show that you have been to China (such as a China visa stamped on your passport) in order to get a 3-month visa.

Well, there are a lot more flights to Hong Kong from different parts of the world. It is true that it is more convenient for you to stop by Hong Kong than Macau. But going to Macau from Hong Kong is convenient (one-hour ferry journey). You can also directly leave Macau for China – there are frequent daily buses going to Guangzhou from Macau.

Related:

Get a China visa in Macau (part 2)

Macau visa