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Requirements and how-to’s in applying for a tourist visa to China for Filipinos


I considered it a challenge to successfully get a visa without the assistance of any travel agencies. Moreover, processing visa on your own if your situation and time permit proves to be a learning experience and saves half, or more of what you will pay to the agency.

The requirements for application of visa for tourism presented in this article covers the time I applied for Tourist Visa in China, around March 2012 as a first timer. Moreover, this is also applicable to Filipinos, or holders of Philippine Passport. The requirements for application of L Visa may differ from time to time so for official requirements, please visit the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Philippines

Generally, the standard requirements in applying for Tourist Visa or Family Visit Visa cover the following:
I. Passport with at least 6 months validity from the date of travel and enough blank pages for the visa. Prepare a photocopy of the front and back pages of the passport, namely the passport’s information/photo page and emergency contact page.

II. Invitation Letter – An Invitation Letter for Tourist signed by your relative/friend with his/her photocopy of Personal ID if the inviter is a Chinse citizen. If the inviter is not a Chinese citizen but holds long term visa in China, a photocopy of the inviter’s passport, together with a photocopy of inviter’s China residence permit is required. The latter applies to my case, therefore I DID NOT submit any copy of roundtrip airline ticket or hotel reservation. In fact, I have not purchased any tickets yet prior to my application. Only when I got my first L Visa approved that the ticket was purchased.

As stated on the website of the China Embassy in Manila, “If you can not acquire either of them (Invitation Letter and Contact Person’s ID), you must submit printout of round-trip airline ticket and hotel reservation.”

However, please call the Embassy about the necessity of return tickets and hotel reservations as they may have a new policy.


III. Completely and correctly filled out application form with glued passport size photo. Download the form here China Tourist Visa Application Form

IV. Photo, passport size- Recent passport size picture with white background, in 48mm x 33mm size without head covering. Glue the photo to the appropriate field on the application form. DO NOT staple or tape or clip the photo on the application form as these are unacceptable.

V. Previous Chinese Visa stickers. Submit a photocopy of the original passport’s information/photo page and the page containing the previous Chinese visa. Consider this previous sticker as major advantage (as long as you do not have a bad record in your previous stay China) because you have 100% chance to get an approved visa.

For first-time applicants/travellers, additional requirements are the following:
1. Original NBI clearance valid for travel abroad (original copy)
2. Photocopy of SSS ID and summary of contributions
3. Original copy ITR / TIN ID
4. Original copy of Certificate of Employment and Company ID
5. Original copy of Bank Certificate with Receipt

1. NBI Clearance for Travel Abroad. Before you start processing any documents for application of Visa, make sure that you have a valid NBI Clearance (current NBI clearances have Biometric scan present, and I have to get this new clearance even thou my old one is still valid.) as this takes some days to furnish for those who have not yet renewed their NBI Clearance. NBI clearance is one of the major document requirements from job application to passport or visa application. It stays valid for 1 year from the date of issue. The process to secure NBI clearance has improved and quite easy nowadays as this can be done online. Visit the NBI eClearance Facility.

2. SSS Documents: ID and Summary of Contributions
2A. Photocopy of SSS ID. If SSS ID is not available, as this ID takes nine months before release upon application, you may present:
*SSS E-1 form which is the personal record of SSS account holder; or
*photocopy of E-4 for those who made corrections or update of their personal information; or
*confirmation slip form from SSS for claiming of ID if your request is still pending; or

2B. Photocopy of SSS contributions for at least 3 months. For those who have online SSS accounts, you may just print your contribution record. This is the most efficient way to present supporting documents regarding SSS. Register at SSS portal, www.sss.gov.ph if you do not have an account online. Registration to online account requires your email address, personal information, SSS number and more importantly, the SSS number of any of your past or present employer.

For those who have chosen to be Voluntary Members of SSS, you may photocopy the RS-5 form/ Contribution Payment Return, which is the proof of your SSS contributions.

For those who are working in government institutions, GSIS documents apply.

3. ITR/TIN ID. Photocopy of your TIN ID. For employed applicants, original BIR Form 2316 issued by your employer. For self- employed, original copy of ITR within
the last 2 years.

4. Original Employment Certificate, Photocopy of Company ID. Provide original copy of Employment Certificate or letter from your employer detailing your salary and the length of your employment.

5. Original copy of Bank Certificate with Receipt – Furnish recent bank certificate, attached with original receipt issued by the Bank. Several online articles and forums mentioned that having at least P50k deposit is safe. Request from your bank, pay P150.00 (BPI) and you can get the certificate within the day. I got mine on February 23, 2012, in less than 2 hours upon request.

Upon completion of the requirements, I personally submitted my visa application to the Embassy in Makati. The complete address is:
Consular Section
2nd & 3rd Floor,
The World Center,
330 Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue,
Makati City.

Direction to go to the Chinese Embassy in Makati:
Take MRT and get off at Buendia Station. Ride a jeep near McDonald’s and get off at Mapua – Makati (Nicanor Garcia corner Buendia). Cross Buendia Avenue. Turn right at Buendia and walk to The World Center Building (approx 100-200 meters).

Landmarks and nearby places: ACS Building, ACT Tower, Ateneo Professional Schools – Makati, Elizabeth Place, Mapua – Makati, Yupangco Building

8 comments on “China Tourist Visa (L Visa) Application Requirements for Filipinos, Apply in Philippines

  1. thanks for this post. I found useful tips to apply for tourist visa in China. More power to you!

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  3. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s
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  4. Aaliyah on said:

    helpful post. It gives me a glimpse on what to expect when applying for a Chinese Tourist visa.

  5. thanks for posting this!

  6. Anne on said:

    Hi! I understand that you were given an invitation letter prior to coming over here in China. I want to do the same thing for friend. Would you know what else they might ask from me, aside from the letter. I’ve been working here in China for over a year now. I would appreciate your help.

    • admin on said:

      Hi Anne!

      Sorry for the delay in reply. Based from my experience, they did not ask anything from my inviter. We submitted a photocopy of his passport, his contact details in china and his china visa stamped in his passport, together with the invitation letter. He did not even receive a call from the China Immigration during my application.

      Goodluck to you and your friend :)

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