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.