Issues getting a tourist visa to China?

Discussion in 'Travel' started by 101_Disciple, Dec 3, 2011.

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  1. I'm about to apply for a tourist visa to China (the People's Republic, so not Taiwan) for a holiday in the New Year (my g/f and I plan to go to the mainland (probably Shanghai) and Hong Kong). I'm interested to know if anyone has had any recent problems from the Chinese authorities when applying for one of these?

    I wouldn't have had any concern apart from two questions on the visa application:

    a. When the online form asks for occupation one of the options is "Active duty military personnel." Which to be honest I'm not quite sure what that means. I am in the Navy, but I will not be on active duty when I am there (I'll be on leave). I'm thinking I will go for the Government Official option instead, but clearly I don't want to be telling fibs on an official document.

    b. The other question of concern is "Have you ever visited other country(ies) of territory(ies) in the last 12 months? If yes, please specify date(s), name of country(ies) or territory(ies) and purpose(s) of the visit(s)." I've just come back from Afghanistan (the China trip will be part of my POTL) and clearly I was not there for personal reasons!

    Grateful for any feedback from anyone has who has recently travelled there. Please remember OpSec in any reply.

    Note - Although there are various regulations applying to military personnel which we have to be mindful of when travelling overseas, this question is not aimed at discussing these. Partly because of OpSec and partly because it is simply a case of looking these up.
  2. Just asked someone who's job is to handle visa applications for China and they can't recall any instances of military people being refused, it seems to be mainly media people who have difficulty but she did say make sure you enter all dates and state business as purpose.

    hope that helps
    • Like Like x 1
  3. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    By 'active duty military' they mean regular forces as opposed to reservist. Its the American term. I'd be tempted to ask advice from your unit security officer before filling in the application.

    My experience of the Chinese is that they are pretty easygoing but if they think you are lying to them it could all go pear shaped.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Mine too. If you tell them you're a government official they'll start asking all sorts of questions about your trip for protocol reasons as much as anything else. I'd expect "why weren't we warned to expect you?" to be one of the first.

    Telling the truth might just cause you a bit of aggro (never happened to me and I've always been open about my background) but nowhere near as much as being caught lying.

    If it's been sent from my HTC Sensation using Tapatalk then I'm probably pissed.
  5. Just got back, so thought I would update this thread. Application process for visa was smooth and no problems getting in or out of country. Thanks for those that provided advice.
  6. Hi there, Im applying for a chinese visa and i got stuck ont he same thing. So did u put Active duty military personnel then eventually?
  7. I did put "Active duty military personnel" and didn't have any problems. I'd advise you to talk to your Unit Security Officer though as well.

    Enjoy your trip.
  8. I agree with all those posting. China is on the CSSSR list. Definitely speak to your Unit Security Officer and read the nice leaflet written by the Int Corps. Oh and if you have any sensitive information on anything electronic don't take the electronic items - leave them at home. That's SOP's for most Mil Personel on official business, good drills when not on official business too.