Generally speaking, visa applications through mail, internet, or any express delivery service such as UPS, FedEx are not accepted by over 98% Chinese embassies or consulates. Among them some require applicants to come to the embassy or consulate-general in the consular jurisdiction where they live to submit the application in person, or if they cannot come personally, they may entrust someone else or a travel agent to process applications on their behalf, but the application form must be filled and signed by the applicants themselves; some requires a face-to-face interview, thus applicants must go to the embassy or consulate-general in person; some even requires applicants to apply through Chinese Visa Application Service Center or authorized travel agencies instead of individual application such as Chinese Embassy in London, UK, Chinese Embassy in New Delhi, India, Chinese Embassy in Seoul, South Korea.
Only a few embassies offer mail service, such as Chinese Embassy in Denmark, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Micronesia and Papua New Guinea. However, Chinese Embassy in Canada does not accept any straightforward application sent by mail or courier, applicants applying for Chinese visa by mail or courier need to send the applications to their clients or travel agencies in Ottawa; mail-in application is only available for ACT, South Australia, or Northern Territory resident in the Chinese Embassy in Australia.
Usually, even those embassies and consulates offering mail service strongly recommend that applicants apply for visa in person (by themselves or someone else, namely their friends, relatives or travel agents) due to the long processing time and the likely risks of documents’ safety if they send the application by mail. Only under special situations when they are unable to apply in person, can the embassy accept their mail-in application by express / registered mail or DHL, TNT, Fedex.
For mail application, applicants are requested to meet the rules, submit all the documents needed and enclose all the necessary fees.
Basic Requirements to be Enclosed for Mail Application
A. A completed and duly signed Visa Application Form (PDF) without any unanswered questions, with a recent passport photo glued to the photo place in the form.
B. Applicant’s passport with at least two blank pages and six-month validity left.
C. Round-way air ticket and hotel reservation.
D. When applying business, work or study visa, etc., other necessary documents must be attached such as “Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Unit” or “Confirmation Letter of Invitation”, Working Permit issued to foreign experts by The State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, approved Foreign Student Visa Application Form (JW201 or JW202) issued by the Chinese authorized unit, Physical Examination Certificate for Foreign Citizen, etc..
E. Applicants in a third country may be also required to provide additional information, such as valid visa or residence permit.
Please be reminded that the fee is different according the visa applied, for it also includes the handling service fee. Normally, 5-10 US dollars should be paid as the additional handling service fee per package. For a group of applications in one pack, only one handling service fee is required, if all applications are sent back as one pack. Only payable money order, cashier’s check, or company check is acceptable. Personal checks, cash or credit card are not acceptable. Meanwhile, applicants also have to prepare a self-addressed pre-paid return courier bag or envelope with enough stamps..
The process time for handling the mail application is about 2 weeks since applicants post their application. No express service is available for mail application. Moreover, applicants are not able to make any inquiry regarding the status of their application within 10-15 days after the date of submission.
Upon sending the mail visa application, applicants would be fully aware of the risks they are undertaking. All the embassies and consulate-generals offering mail service state that they are not responsible for any loss, damage or delay of applicants’ passport or documents during the process of mailing, and are not responsible for any delay or cost incurred by not paying enough visa fee and mail handling fee, not providing correct or enough documents, or change of applicants’ planned trips due to longer-than-expected processing time of applicants’ mail application.