26 Q&As about Applying for Chinese Visa in Hong Kong SAR During the COVID-19 Pandemic
(March, 2021)

I. Will a Chinese visa be issued for the following circumstances?

1. Q: My mother-in-law is ill in critical condition/ deceased in China, can I apply for a visa to visit her / attend the funeral by the reason of emergency humanitarian purpose?

A: No. Applicants visiting the mainland of China for emergency humanitarian purposes refer to visiting an immediate family member (could be a foreigner) in the mainland within three generations (including spouse, parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren) who is in critical medical condition, or arranging funeral matters of the deceased immediate family member in the mainland. Other family members such as mother-in-law and father-in-law etc. are excluded as they are not the blood relatives to you.

2. Q: My father is ill in the mainland of China and needs to be hospitalized for surgery. Can I apply for a visa for an emergency humanitarian reason by providing a diagnosis certificate?

A: It depends on how serious of illness and emergency of the visited immediate family member. If it is indeed urgent, a critical notice issued by the hospital must be submitted. It may also be required to provide the diagnosis certificate, hospitalization certificate or other materials as supplementary documents if necessary. It does not meet the visa requirement for the emergency humanitarian reasons if only the diagnosis certificate or the hospitalization certificate provided.

3. Q: I work in HKSAR, but my parents, spouse and children all live in the mainland. They often travelled between the mainland and HKSAR before the Pandemic. In order to minimize the risk of infection for the elderly and the weak of my family during the Pandemic, I prefer to travel more frequently to take care of them. Can I apply for a visa for that right now?

A: The visa applications for such cases will not be accepted for the time being, according to the announcement jointly released by the National Immigration Administration and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in March 2020 and the Notice on Requirements for Chinese Visa Application During Covid-19 Pandemic issued by the Commissioner's Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in HKSAR.

4. Q: I have a property in the mainland, but I cannot go back to pay the bills after 28 March 2020 due to the Pandemic. I need to be back to go through the relevant procedures urgently. Can I apply for a visa in this case right now?

A: The visa applications for such cases will not be accepted for the time being, according to the announcement jointly released by the National Immigration Administration and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in March 2020 and the Notice on Requirements for Chinese Visa Application During Covid-19 Pandemic issued by the Commissioner's Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in HKSAR.

5. Q: Can I apply for a student visa right now?

A: The visa applications for such cases will not be accepted for the time being, according to the announcement jointly released by the National Immigration Administration and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in March 2020 and the Notice on Requirements for Chinese Visa Application During Covid-19 Pandemic issued by the Commissioner's Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in HKSAR.

6. Q: I am ill in serious condition, and used to go to Guangdong Province for medical treatment regularly. Can I apply for a visa in this case as I need to go back to continue my treatment?

A: The visa applications for such cases will not be accepted for the time being, according to the announcement jointly released by the National Immigration Administration and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in March 2020 and the Notice on Requirements for Chinese Visa Application During Covid-19 Pandemic issued by the Commissioner's Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in HKSAR.

7. Q: I am holding an invitation letter (PU) or invitation letter (TE) [hereinafter referred to as "invitation letter (PU) or (TE)"] issued by the foreign affairs office or the department of commerce of the provincial (including autonomous regions and municipalities) government or the headquarter of central state-owned enterprise. In addition to the basic materials, can I apply for a visa only with this sort of invitation letter?

A: In general, you can submit the visa application by providing the invitation letter (PU) or (TE) issued by the above units together with other requested basic materials such as the Visa Application Form and photo etc. In addition, a letter from the inviting party to describe the purpose, the necessity and urgency of the visit may also be required if necessary. A final decision on whether the visa is approved or not would be made by the Commissioner’s Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in HKSAR.

8. Q: I am holding an invitation letter (PU) or (TE), and want to apply for a type of R visa. Can I use the letter to apply for visas for my wife and adult children as well?

A: It is required to submit the High-end Talent Confirmation Letter issued by the relevant authorities in the mainland but not the invitation letter (PU) or (TE) while applying for a type of R visa. By providing the proof of kinship, your spouse and minor children (under the age of 18) can apply for the S2 visa at the same time when you are applying for a R visa if their personal information clearly indicated in the confirmation letter. However, if your children have grown up, they will not be eligible for getting visas in such cases during the Pandemic.

9. Q: I am holding an invitation letter (PU) or (TE), and want to apply for a type of Z or M visa to the mainland of China. Can I use the letter to apply for visas for my spouse and children together?

A: No. Due to the Pandemic, visa applications for accompanying persons have been suspended.

10. Q: I have an invitation letter (PU) or (TE) issued within 3 months. My plan is to apply for a M visa in UK, but the local Chinese embassy is not open to the public at the moment. Can I apply in Hong Kong with the invitation letter (PU) or (TE)?

A: You can apply for a visa in HKSAR only if you met the two requirements as follows: firstly, according to the current HKSAR immigration regulations, the entry to HK by non-HK residents from abroad will be denied. However, if you are a HK permanent resident or a valid HK resident identity card holder, you could contact the Chinese Visa Application and Services Center in HK to make an appointment and submit the application after completing the compulsory quarantine requested upon arrival in HK. Secondly, the invitation letter (PU) or (TE) will be acceptable in HK only if it is addressed to the Commissioner’s Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in HKSAR, rather than other missions of China.

11. Q: If I have a work residence permit that expired after 28 March 2020, can I submit the work visa application without providing an invitation letter (PU) or (TE)?

A: No. Whether you ever held a work residence permit, you are requested to apply for a new work visa by providing the following documents.

1. An Invitation Letter (PU) or (TE) issued by the Foreign Affairs Offices or Departments of Commerce of Chinese provincial government or Central State-owned Enterprises;

2. An invitation letter issued by the inviting party in the mainland of China to explain the emergency and necessity of the visit in detail, and the photocopy of the business license of the inviting party;

3. One of the following approval documents:

(1) Notification Letter of Foreigner’s Work Permit issued by the State Bureau of Foreign Experts or;

(2) Permit for Foreign Experts Working in China issued by the State Bureau of Foreign Experts or;

(3) Valid Registration Certificate of Resident Representative Offices of foreign countries’ (regions’) enterprises issued by the Chinese authorities of industrial and commercial administration or;

(4) Valid letter of Invitation to Foreigners for Offshore Petroleum Operations in China issued by China National Offshore Oil Corporation.

If you are holding a Permit for Foreign Experts Working in China, a photocopy of the Decision on Approval of Administrative License and the information page of your Permit to prove its validity are required.

12. Q: I provided a negative nucleic acid test report when I applied for a visa. Can I enter the mainland with the same report?

A: It is required to provide a negative nucleic acid test report issued within 72 hours by a medical institution designated by the HKSAR Government at the time of submitting the visa application. Upon arrival in the mainland, a nucleic acid test report within the time limit shall be provided as what required by the government of destination. For example, if you are requested to present a negative nucleic acid test report released within 24 hours upon your arrival in the destination of entry, you need to re-conduct the nucleic acid test after getting the visa and enter the mainland with the new report.

13. Q: Besides holding a Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macau Residents that expired a couple of days ago, I have a valid foreign passport as well. Can I visit the mainland of China by applying for a Chinese visa with my foreign passport?

A: Since you have already held a Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macau Residents, the Chinese Visa Application and Services Center in HKSAR will not accept the visa applications from such foreign passport holders according to the Nationality Law of China. Please check with the relevant department for the Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macau Residents.

14. Q: I was ever issued a Chinese visa before, but why could not I apply for a visa now by presenting my new HK ID card marked with the “three stars” due to the changed conditions of my stay in HK or renewal of my HK ID card in accordance with the policy of the HK Immigration Department?

A: If you have been issued a Chinese visa recently in HKSAR after changing a new HK ID card, the Chinese Visa Application and Services Center can still accept the application. Otherwise, you are required to submit the Declaration of Change of Nationality issued by the HKSAR Immigration Department when applying for the visa in order to clear the current status of your nationality.

15. Q: My 5-year-multiple-entry Chinese visa is still valid, but temporarily suspended due to the Pandemic. Could it be used again after the Pandemic if I apply for a new Chinese visa this time?

A: Normally the previous valid visa will not be cancelled on the condition that the purpose of your visit for this time remains unchanged. It can be used as usual if it is still valid after the Pandemic. However in other cases, such as a holder of valid Q2 visa applying for a M visa this time, the original Q2 visa will be cancelled after the issuance of M visa.

II. Questions on Visa Application Appointment and Procedures

16. Q: My father passed away suddenly in the mainland. I urgently need to go back for the funeral, but it is too late to make an appointment for visa. What should I do?

A: A “Green Passage” service will be always available to those applicants for such cases. If applicants for emergency humanitarian reasons who failed making online appointments in advance could contact the Chinese Visa Application and Services Center in HKSAR for this special service (Tel: +852 2992 1999, Email: hongkongcenter@visaforchina.org, from 9:00 to 16:00 every Monday to Friday except the public holidays. A dedicated person will answer the phone and reply the email). If confirmed, those applicants can submit applications directly to the center. Please be aware that the services are partially available at the Chinese Visa Application and Services Center in HKSAR during the Pandemic. Therefore, the service of “Green Passage” is ONLY available to those who meet the requirement of emergency humanitarian condition. Please do not attempt to use it if you are not in urgency above-mentioned.

17. Q: Can I walk straightly to the Chinese Visa Application and Services Center in HKSAR for enquiry?

A: It is recommended that you contact the Chinese Visa Application and Services Center by phone or email (Tel: +852 2992 1999, E-mail: hongkongcenter@visaforchina.org), instead of walking straightly to the center in order to minimize the risk of cross-infection during the Pandemic. A member of staff will be dedicated to answer the phone and reply the email from 9:00 to 16:00 every Monday to Friday except the public holidays. Those applicants who failed making online appointments in advance will NOT be allowed to enter the center.

18. Q: I haven't made an appointment yet. Can I make an appointment at the Chinese Visa Application and Services Center on site?

A: All applicants are required to make an online appointment through the official website of the Chinese Visa Application and Services Center in HKSAR in advance, and submit the visa application with related documents on site at the appointed time. The center releases appointment slots sufficiently for every working day (now temporarily from 9:00 to 16:00 on every Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays except the public holidays). Since it is impossible to make an appointment on the same day according to the system setting, you are required to appoint at least one day earlier through the center’s website. Please stay away from the illegal agencies who involve in price gouging by exaggerating the difficulty for appointment. Those for emergency humanitarian reasons but failing in making online appointments can contact the center by phone or email in advance.

19. Q: How long do I have to wait to get a visa after I submit my application?

A: In view of the current Pandemic, the collection date for all visa applications is to be determined, and will be informed to the applicants afterwards. Please leave enough time for the visa application to avoid any delay of your journey.

20. Q: I am staying in Taiwan region as a visitor right now. Can I apply for a visa by posting my passport and documents to the Chinese Visa Application and Services Center in HKSAR?

A: Neither would it be normally accepted for this circumstance, nor could the center provide mailing services. However, you can entrust a third party (agencies or relatives or friends in HK) to submit the visa application for you if you have a resident visa or ID for Taiwan region.

21. Q: Can the applicant apply for a visa if he/she is not in HK?

A: In general, the visa applicant, except those who are residing in Taiwan region, must be in Hong Kong while applying for a visa to the mainland of China at the Chinese Visa Application and Services Center in HKSAR. However, according to the pandemic prevention measures announced by the HKSAR Government, non-HK residents will be denied entry to HK. For the latest notice, please refer to the website at https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/. We recommend that you check with the Chinese Embassy or Consulate General in the place of your residence.

III. Questions on Information Sources

22. Q: I have seen a lot of information about applying for Chinese visas on many different websites. How can I know what information is correct?

A: For information about applying for a Chinese visa, please refer to the latest notice released by the Commissioner’s Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China or the Chinese Visa Application and Services Center in HKSAR. As a kind reminder, please apply Chinese visa through the Center and its registered agencies. Stay away from illegal agencies who involve in price gouging by exaggerating the difficulty for visa applications. If you encounter the above-mentioned illegal agencies, please call the police and also kindly inform the Center.

If you have any questions that not covered yet, you can refer to the Notice on Requirements for Chinese Visa Application During Covid-19 Pandemic updated on the official website of the Commissioner's Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in HKSAR, or enquire the Chinese Visa Application and Services Center by phone or email.

IV. Questions on Diplomatic and Official Visa Applications

23. Q: Are there any changes on the procedures and processing time for the diplomatic and official visa applications during the Pandemic?

A: A diplomatic or official visa could be applied directly at the Visa Section of the Consular Department of the Commissioner's Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in HKSAR located at 4/F, China Resources Building at 26 Harbour Road, Wan Chai from 9:00 to 12:00 in the morning on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays (public holidays excluded) without a prior appointment. A Verbal Note from the related Consulate General or branch office of International Organization in HK is required. Please email to fmcovisa_hk@mfa.gov.cn for any enquiries, which will be replied in timely fashion. Affected by the Pandemic, the date of visa collection is uncertain and will be notified by phone. Meanwhile, the business hours to the public will be adjusted from time to time according to the latest Pandemic situation. Please check regularly the updated notice released on the official website of the Commissioner's Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in HKSAR.

V. Other Questions

24. Q: Have the measures on the nucleic acid test and serum-specific IgM antibody test been in effect in HKSAR right now?

A: According to the latest prevention and control measures of the Chinese government, all passengers from abroad to the mainland of China by flight must provide both negative certificates of the nucleic acid test and serum-specific IgM antibody test and have to obtain the health code (for Chinese citizens) or the health declaration code (for foreigners) from the local Chinese Embassy or Consulate General before departure. Please refer to the website of the related Chinese Embassy or Consulate General for more details. If it is necessary to transit through a third place, new reports of the above-said two tests must be produced again at the transit place and a new relative code must be obtained as well. At present, the above-mentioned measures have not been implemented in HKSAR as the flights transit service from foreign countries to the mainland of China via HK has been suspended and non-HK residents are prohibited to enter into HK.

If you are a HK resident and came back to HK from abroad, you have to comply with the Pandemic prevention measures such as compulsory quarantine and nucleic acid test requested by HKSAR government. If you need to travel to the mainland afterwards, you are required to follow the Pandemic prevention arrangements between HKSAR and relevant provinces in the mainland. For details, please contact the HKSAR competent authority or the health department of destination.

25. Q: How to check the list of nucleic acid testing institutions recognized by the HKSAR Government?

A: For enquiries about local nucleic acid testing institutions recognized by the Hong Kong SAR Government, please refer to the website https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/.

26. Q: How to apply for / renew a Chinese passport or travel document or consular authentication?

A: For the services of applying for / renewing Chinese passport or travel document or consular authentication, please contact the Division of Passport and Travel Documents for Chinese Nationals of the Consular Department of the Commissioner's Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in HKSAR by email at fmcozgzj_hk@mfa.gov.cn or by telephone number at +852 3413 2454 (This temporary telephone number for enquiries during the Pandemic is available from 9:00am to 12:00pm and from 2:00pm to 5:00pm every Monday to Friday except public holidays).

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