The People’s Republic of China, or China as most know it, continues as a popular American tourist and business destination. China continues to grow as the number one country which Americans conduct business with, and since China has some popular sight-seeing areas, such as the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Sacred Road and the province of Hong Kong, people flock here. Good business practices and popular tourist locations have kept China as the number one tourist destination. All travelers trying to visit China will first need a passport as well as a Chinese visa, but luckily, both are easy to acquire.
Applying for a visa is relatively easy for China; travelers will simply fill out an application and submit it to the Visa Office of the Embassy or Consulate-General. When attempting to obtain a visa, you have one of two options: have a certified travel agent submit the paperwork on your behalf or submit the paperwork yourself to either office. Anyone who applies via mail will have his or her request denied because visa specifications for China state that all paperwork must be submitted in person. If you decide on having a travel agent submit your paperwork, he may also be able to help you locate affordable tour guides and plane tickets for your journey. Most travel agents can also answer questions regarding US passports to make the application process less stressful for you.
All the visas offered by the People’s Republic of China will cost about the same, with the only big differences being that most will vary in price depending on how many visas are ordered (single or group). As stated by the Chinese embassy’s website, the price for a single visa for an American resident is about $140 while a group visa will cost $120. Single, double and multi-entrance visas are good for either 3 to 6 months or for 1 to 2 years, depending on how long the trip is and the sort of visa you submitted for.
All China visas must be retrieved in person, and if you cannot obtain your visas yourself, you can order your travel agent to get the document on the date on your visa receipt. If you have someone retrieving the visa, you must furnish the friend or travel agent with a receipt of your visa information in order for the embassy to release the documents. After the visa and passport are in your possession, you can travel throughout China, excluding Tibet and other restricted places, freely. Just be sure to make a note of the expiration dates on a visa and passport to avoid any legal prosecution.