How to Apply for a Chinese Tourist Visa (Cebu City, Philippines)

I’m such a sucker for airline promo fares and this time, we booked cheap tickets to China! I’ve always wanted to go to the Great Wall but I always hesitated because there’s currently no direct flights to Beijing or Shanghai from Cebu. (EDIT March 2018: There’s already a direct flight from Cebu-Shanghai through China Eastern Airlines) Also, China is one of the countries where a US citizen needs a tourist visa. :/

There’s definitely a first time for everything and this was the first time that I myself applied for a tourist visa! I was a little nervous, since I don’t have a lot of stamps in my Philippine passport.

First and foremost, I would like to let everyone know that the Chinese Consulate has opened again in Cebu on March 2017. Don’t bother searching it in Google because the address there is still the old address. I’m not sure why they didn’t bother to change it considering a lot of people follow what they see online – like me! It’s super misleading! We actually went to the Cebu-Fil Chinese building before the guard there directed us to its new location, at the Mandarin Plaza Hotel. So this is the complete address and contact number (where someone actually picked up) of the current Chinese Consulate in Cebu:

Chinese Consulate Cebu
25th Floor, Mandarin Plaza Hotel
J. Solon Dr, Cebu City, Cebu
(032) 505-1035
They only pick up from 9am-11am. You may also try to contact Mandarin Hotel (032 266-1111) and have your call forwarded to the Chinese Consulate if you can’t contact their number.

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You will first need to prepare the following requirements before applying:

1. Passport – Old and New
Bring the original passport and make sure it’s valid for at least six month and has a blank page. Bring your old passports which has stamps on them. They collected our old passports as well.

2. Photocopy of the information page and emergency contact page of your passport

3. Completed Visa Application Form
Make sure it’s typed, in capital letters, and not hand written. We actually had to go back the next day because our forms were hand written. lol Application form of minors should be signed by their parents or legal guardians.

4. 2 pieces Photo
Paste one at the application form and clip the other one with your documents. The size should be 48mmx38mm. It’s actually irregularly shaped compared to the normal passport size but photographers of photo shops usually already know the photo specs for the Chinese Visa Tourist Application. But if you want to DIY, click here for the photo specifications.

5. Travel Itinerary –ย Sample Itinerary

6. Roundtrip Plane Tickets
Yes, a roundtrip plane ticket is required to apply for the visa. You can choose to book a refundable ticket or be all confident and book nonrefundable tickets like us. It was on sale so we just crossed our fingers that our visa will be approved. lol

7. Hotel Bookings
I just made refundable hotel bookings at

8. Invitation Letter, if applicable, together with the inviter’s Chinese ID or Passport with Chinese Residence Permit. This did not apply to me but the following should be included in the invitation letter:

a) Information on the applicant: full name, gender, date of birth, etc.
b) Information on the planned visit: purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place(s) to be visited, relations between the applicant and the inviting entity or individual, financial source for expenditures, etc.
c) Information on the inviting entity or individual: name, contact telephone number, address, official stamp, signature of the legal representative or the inviting individual.
The invitation letter may be in the form of fax, photocopy or computer printout, but the consular officer may require the applicant to submit the original of the invitation letter.
The proofs of kinship refers to marriage certificate, birth certificate, certification of kinship issued by Chinese Public Security Bureau or notarized certification of kinship.

For first time Chinese Visa Applicants, here are the additional requirements:

1. Bank Certificate including a 6 month bank statement and the receipt for payment of the certificate.
2. BIR-stamped income tax return
3. Certificate of Employment (detailing the salary and length of employment)
4. Business Registration Certificate (if you are the owner)
We submitted a photocopy of my boyfriend’s DTI and Mayor’s Permit.
5. Professional ID/Student ID, if applicable
6. Other relevant documents proving the applicant’s economic condition/ employment/study, or supporting the applicant’s travel to China, or explaining the travel purpose (if applicable)

If you can’t provide any of the documents above, attach a letter to the consulate explaining why.ย For those who already had a previous Chinese visa, you should submit a photocopy of the old visa, and if the old visa is in an old passport, submit the old passport as well.ย Further details about applying for the Chinese Tourist Visa can be found here.

Once you have gathered all your documents, you’re now ready to submit them to the consulate!

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Now I’m going to share to you tips and some info when submitting your application:

1. An applicant may apply in person or through a representative. No appointment is required. Mail applications will not be accepted.

2. The consulate only accepts applications from 9am-11am, Monday to Friday, excluding holidays. In the two days that I was there, the wait time was okay. I think I only waited 30 minutes max before I got called at the window.

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3. Parking is free at the Mandarin Hotel. After parking, proceed to the lobby. You will see guys in blue uniform. They will escort you to the 25th floor.

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4. Slippers and shorts are not allowed so wear proper attire. My boyfriend wore shorts on the first day we were there so he wasn’t allowed to go up. Funny thing was, the guard manning the elevator was only wearing socks because one of the applicants borrowed his shoes. lol Don’t be that guy!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

5. If possible, leave your bag at the car. If not, you may leave your bags at the concierge. You may bring your wallet and cellphone to the consulate but bags, no matter how small, are not allowed.

6. You will go through security before entering the consulate. Take a priority number from one of the guards.

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7. After submitting your documents, you will be given a Pink Pick-Up form along with the Payment Instructions. You may pay at any Metrobank branch. Only cash payments are allowed.

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8. The visa fee for Filipinos applying for a single-entry tourist visa to China is Php 1,400. You may also apply for a double entry visa (Php 2,100), a six-month multiple entry visa (Php 2,800) and over six months multiple entry visa (Php 4,200).

9. The regular processing time is 4 working days. We submitted our application on Tuesday and we received our visa on Friday. They offer express service as well for an additional fee but it’s not available for first time Chinese Visa Applicatants. Make sure to bring your Metrobank receipt (deposit slip) and pick-up form (pink slip) when claiming your passports.

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10. Please also note that the Chinese Consulate in Cebu only accepts tourist visa applications from Filipinos. Foreign nationals should lodge their application at the Chinese Consulate in Manila.

And here we have it, my first tourist visa… and my boyfriend’s too. lol

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Sharing you a photo of me at the Great Wall & click here to read about the things we did in Beijing & Shanghai! โค



45 thoughts on “How to Apply for a Chinese Tourist Visa (Cebu City, Philippines)

  1. Hi, Im from Luzon and Im planning to apply for visa which I need before November 21. Will it be possible to fly from Mnl to Cebu and apply my visa there?


  2. Pingback: Three Days in Shanghai, China | The Adventures of Ting Ting

  3. Hi Christine!

    Thanks for this informative blog. By the way, may I know where did you address the bank certificate? is it in the embassy address in Manila or the consulate address in cebu? thanks


  4. Hi Christine,

    Thank you for the very useful information. Would like ask how many months/days is the expiry of single entry visa?

    Thank you.


  5. Thanks sa info mam. It is really helpful!. What im worried about is yong bank statement.. Wla koy bank account. Naa koy mga valid ID’s ug sa company na akong gi sidelinan og kita.. Retailer ra kog mga items. Pro yong mu support sa financial sa tourist visa pra china is yong bf ko.. Pro dli sya Chinese.. Toa sya ddto nag work. Pls any info u can help mam?. Thanks!


    • Hi Mich,

      Thanks for visiting my blog! Glad that I could be of help ๐Ÿ™‚

      You may submit a bank statement or not but it will surely help if you will be able to submit a bank statement. Actually in my case, I didnโ€™t submit an Income Tax Return but I just submitted a letter why I could not submit one. I think submitting a letter explaining why you canโ€™t submit a bank statement and explaining that he will cover your expenses while your there and also an attachment of your BFโ€™s Bank statement would be sufficient but only the consulate can confirm.

      Hopefully this helps!

      Christine ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. Very useful info mam. Pwede ko ka request sa format sa imong letter mam kay wala pud koy ITR ๐Ÿ™‚ Assist raman gud ko sa akong wife sa among gamay nga business so sya ra ang naay ITR. I hope it’s ok with you. Thanks


  7. For the Air Tickets, I am based in Cebu and currently, I only have the flights from Manila to China, do you think this is fine(without the Cebu-manila flights yet)? What did you submit on your application? Did you ahve the direct flight from Cebu or the one as mine? I have Manila – Shanghai – Beijing – Manila.


    • Hi Ekoy,

      Iโ€™m not entirely sure but I think itโ€™s okay if youโ€™ll just submit a roundtrip ticket from Manila since you only need to present proof that you have a roundtrip ticket from the Philippines to China.

      We had a connecting flight Cebu-Manila-Beijing then Shanghai-Manila-Cebu so that was what I submitted.

      Ting ๐Ÿ™‚




    • Hi Sarah,

      Funny kaayo ka hehe pero dili ko sure ay if approved namo. Kay gipabayad raman guro mo, wala niingon nga approved pero dakog chance na mapprove mo uy kay giaccept naman inyo application and complete jd to inyo requirements kay giaccept man.. pero ayha nami nakahibaw na approved mi pagpick up namo sa amo passport.

      Murag di raman sad strict ang China so approved na guro mo ato uy..
      Enjoy mo sa China! Nindot kaayong Shanghai Disneyland hehe


      • hahaah! 50-50 gyud amo feeling lagi! naa man sad mi gihatag na invitation letter from china kai gi invite man mi sa akong friend to sing there mao to nagsuwat sila ang organizer og letter! mao lagi mahibaw an ang tanan inig july 11!! goodluck to us! haha if madayon kai sa guiyang man mi og gizhou china hehe thanks!!


    • Hi,

      Sorry Iโ€™m actually not a travel agent nor a master in visa application. I canโ€™t say because Iโ€™m just posting about how I got my visa. Best way to know is to approach a travel agency that processes Chinese visas or maybe you may also ask the embassy?

      Thanks for reading! ๐Ÿ™‚


  9. hi, i do not understand what d BIR stampd ITR means. For wage earners dli na bya na estamp sa BIR we are automatically given the itr by our employer. ok na ang ITR?


      • Hi, Plano nako mag apply og 1 year multi entry mega ba! .. mo grant ba kaha sila inana ka taas na visa? na grantan nako last month og 30 days visa. pero gusto sa ako Chinese na amigo na pabalikon ko unya mohatag siya og invitation letter nako. possible ba kaha . multi entry man ipakuha kay mag adtoan man sa HK gud.


      • Mugrant raman siguro na sila basta naa kay reason ngano kailangan ka magbalik2 ug china.. muhelp sad siguro if naa nakay maattach nga ticket sa imo next travel para makaingon sila na mularga jd ka balik mao kailangan kag 1 yr hehe


  10. Hello Ms. Tin,

    Dako kaayo ni ug atbang dyod! Pwede maka ask sample letter from you maam? Dle ko confident sa ako ITR kay bag-o PAKO nag start ug work but daghan ko savings from my retail business pud. Thanks in advance ๐Ÿ’–


    • Hi MK,

      Thank you! Maayo kay nakatabang ko ๐Ÿ™‚
      Iattach lang gihapon imong ITR bahalag gamay pa ug income then sa imong letter, iexplain lang why gamay pa ang income sa imo ITR (kay bag-o paka sa imo work and ibutang when ka ga start) and iexplain pud gamay ang background sa imo retail business and ang income nimo ana.

      In-ana rasad ang way nako pag explain why wala koy ITR ato nga time. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Christine ๐Ÿ™‚


  11. Hi Christine!

    Thank you for this very helpful information! May I ask if to whom addressed imong letter of explanation? Or may i ask a copy of your explanation letter if okay lang nimo. Thanks so much ๐Ÿ˜Š


  12. Hi miss, thank you so much for taking the time to write this blog post, very informative and really helpful! Naa lang koy questions. Kung family application, ok ra isa ra ang muadto para musubmit sa requirements? And if yes, isa ra ka priority number ang kuhaon even if duha ka visa applications ang i-submit?

    In your case, nagtagsa mo ug priority number sa imong boyfriend? Hehe daghan kaayo kog gi-ask. I hope you can answer soonest kay next week nami mu apply. Thanks daan!


  13. Hi miss, thank you so much for taking the time to write this blog post, very informative and really helpful! Naa lang koy questions. Kung family application, ok ra isa ra ang muadto para musubmit sa requirements? And if yes, isa ra ka priority number ang kuhaon even if duha ka visa applications ang i-submit?

    In your case, nagtagsa mo ug priority number sa imong boyfriend? Hehe daghan kaayo kog gi-ask. I hope you can answer soonest kay next week nami mu apply. Thanks daan!


    • Hi,

      Yes pwede ra usa ang muadto para musubmit and yes usa ra ka priority number even if duha ka applications ang isubmit.

      Bag-o rami niapply 10 mi kabuok then dili mi family.. usa ra ka priority number amo gikuha then usa ray niadto para nipass ug nikuha sa passport after.. helpful raman sad ang mga guard didto mutudlo ra sila unsa imo buhaton. ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck and thanks for reading my post. ๐Ÿ™‚



  14. Hi miss Christine,
    Akong friend ang mularga, ask lang ko if pwedi ra ako ang musubmit sa documents kay busy man ang akong friend.. need pa ba na ug authorization or dli na? thank you and God bless


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