With my trip to Shanghai, China in June, I had to apply for a Chinese visa at least a few weeks Abefore the trip, otherwise I would never be allowed entry to their country. First off, to get a Chinese visa, they require the following:
1. Filled out form wih a passport photo (white background)
2. Photocopy of your passport's information page (the one with your photo on it, etc)
3. Photocopy of the back part of your passport: the emergency contact page must also be filled out.
4. Original bank certificate with receipt issued within the month you are applying the visa for. I think you'll need at least P50,000 in the account, but if it's more then it's better
5. NBI Clearance valid for travel abroad (for first time applicants only)
6. Photocopy of your SSS ID and your contributions (you can get your contributions from the sss website, the Chinese embassy accepts that. Saves you a lot of time in queueing up at the SSS office nearest you just for a printout).
7. TIN ID & latest 2316 form if you're employed or self-employed
8. Roundtrip plane ticket & hostel/hotel/guest house booking.
So, first things first, where is the Chinese Embassy?
Well, it could be found in Buendia. From Edsa, go down at Buendia MRT then ride the jeepney going to RCBC and go down at the World Centre building. Just follow the signs to the Chinese Embassy. No need to take the elevator as the stairs going to the second floor is enough to bring you to the Embassy.
The Embassy of the People's Republic of China
Second & Third Floor
The World Center
330 Sen Gil Puyat Avenue
Makati City, Philippines
Before I go on with my experience with getting the visa, let me provide a brief background of myself: I am 20-something, employed in a multinational company for 5 years, and have been working for more than 6 years now. I have enough cash in my bank account, and also have travelled to several countries (Hong Kong, Macau, UK, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, among others).
So, my day began quite early, I arrived around 830AM at the embassy (45 minutes later than what I was hoping) so there was a small queue of people outside the embassy door, waiting to go in. Just tell the guard that you are going to apply for a Chinese visa. There is a metal detector going in, and tell the receptionist you're applying for a visa and she will give you a number.
Wait for your number to be called (it took ages for my number to be called) and once you are at the counter, just present your documents to the consul and he/she will review if your documents are complete and will ask some questions relating to your trip.
I was only asked two questions: What are you going to do in China & how long will you stay? To which I answered: "I'm going there to sightsee and I'm only staying for four days."
The consul double checked my documents again, then gave me a pink slip telling me to come back on a certain day. In my case, I applied on June 22, and he asked me to come back on June 25. Fast eh?
Since I was not free on June 25th (releasing times for the Chinese Visa is from 9-11AM), I asked if it was okay to get my passport on another date. He said that I could get a representative to get my passport on my behalf, as long as they are holding the pink paper. Sweet! Note that you do not have to pay for the visa when you submit your documents. You'll only pay for the visa when you claim your passport.
Anyway, on June 25th, I asked my mum to get my passport. She arrived at around 930-10AM at the embassy and got a number for the passport claiming.
Once her number was called, she went to Window 7 to pay P1400 (I applied for a single entry visa, valid for 3 months with a maximum stay in China for 14 days). If you're applying for a multiple entry visa then the charges are higher (I think around P2500, if I'm not mistaken).
Once you have paid the visa fee, you'll be issued a receipt and you have to fall in line in Window 6 according to the receipt number. So do remember who was in front of you at the line! In Window 6, you'll have to show the receipt and they will give your passport back!
Hurrah! That's it! Getting a Chinese visa is quite easy although the pain points are getting all the requirements ready (all the IDs and of course, the NBI Clearance) and queueing to pass your requirements (then again, it's the same as South Korea, you have to queue!)
Ahh the pains of travelling abroad when you have a Philippine Passport. Lots of time, money, effort & energy spent in securing all the needed documents and sleepless nights wondering if you're gonna be approved or denied.
Next stop for a visa-required country for me would probably be Japan! Fingers crossed! :)