Everything you need to know on how to get your Chinese visa in Hanoi

We had decided to head to Vietnam after our fantastic trip to Japan ended. We had visited Hanoi a couple of years ago but only for 2 weeks so we thought it would be fun to explore of more this country and at the same time we had read that Hanoi was a relatively simple place to get a visa for China. 

So after landing in Hanoi we decided to see if what we had read was as simple as it seemed.

We’d heard it was quite an easy process as long as you have done your research and know exactly what the Chinese Embassy are likely to ask for👍


You can either watch the video, which explains everything in detail and then shows our actual visits to the Chinese Embassy to submit and collect our Chinese Visas 
If you prefer to read how we did it, scroll to below the video and hopefully we will have explained in all correctly there.

*All information in this video and Blog is correct as of August 2019. Remember visa requirements change all the time so make sure you keep up to date.

As we have mentioned above we applied for our visas in Hanoi, we have heard that you can also apply in HCMC and we assume that the process would be similar to what we experienced but we can not say for sure. So for reference this is what happens at the Hanoi Chinese Embassy.

The whole process took 4 working days to complete. 
Day 1 (in the morning) – We submitted the application and all the paperwork with our passports
Day 4 (in the afternoon) – We returned to (hopefully) collect our passports with our Chinese Visas inside

The Chinese Embassy in Hanoi is at 46 Hoàng Diệu, Điện Bàn, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam
The embassy is directly across the road from Lenin’s park.

For Submitting your Applications 
Monday to Friday – 8.30 – 11.30 am
For Collecting your Visa in your Passport
Monday to Friday – 3.30 – 4.30pm

You can apply for up to a 90 Day Visa, (depending on your nationality, we applied with an Australian Passport, you will need to check for your Passport)
We applied for a single entry 60 day visa and that cost US$30 each
You can apply for a multi entry visa for up to 90 days and that is US$45
There are other visas you can apply for but we only researched the tourist visa for 90 days


  • Visa Application Form – V2013
    We downloaded this form and filled it in as a PDF on our laptop and then printed out the completed form.
    You can print the form out then fill in the details by hand but we had read that the embassy like the forms that have been filled in before being printed as it is often easier for them to read.
    You will need one form for each applicant
  • Two Passport Photos on a white Background for each applicant
    The photos do need to have a white background as we spoke with a guy who was applying for a visa at the same time as us and he had photos with a grey background and they were rejected. He had to get new photos taken and then submit those. This just delays the process.
  • Copy of Passport Bio Page
    Copy of your Vietnamese Visa Page
    We just took a photo of the bio and visa pages, then made a PDF of them side by side and printed this out. It just meant one less page to print and kept the passport info together.
  • Proof of a flight or travel into and out of China
    We used Expedia to book flights that could be cancelled for free, printed out the confirmation of these flights and then cancelled the flights.
    Obviously you don’t have to book flights that you actually plan to use. You just want a copy of the confirmation of the travel and this is what you need to print.
    We had been told that you could tell the embassy that you were arriving by train and that you needed your visa before you could buy train tickets but when we were at the embassy, we told them this and they insisted we needed to have a train or plane ticket into China before they would process the visa.
    She actually told us to book a plane ticket and cancel it – which we did by booking on our phone and then using the computer and printer inside the embassy to get the hard copy that she wanted.
    There was a computer inside the Embassy that we were able to use and a printer to print anything that was needed. This was all free of charge but we did have to wait a little while as it was in constant use.
    We’d recommend getting all your documents printed before you arrive to save any hassle but it’s good that this service is there if you need it.
  • Proof of Funds
    Print off a statement or something from your bank (with all the personal details blacked out) showing that you have enough funds to cover your stay in China
  • Proof of Travel Insurance
    We weren’t asked for this so we didn’t give it to them. We just had everything ready to hand over but only gave what was asked for. 
  • A Complete and Concise Itinerary
    Make an Itinerary showing where you will be staying and for how long.
    List the name, address and telephone number of the Hotel and the exact dates you will be staying there and print all the Hotel confirmations.

    We printed a page for each hotel booking and covered the entire 60 days that we planned to stay in China.
    We just made up an itinerary – We worked out a route from A to B, then chose 6 hotels on that we could cancel and made week long reservations. We then printed the confirmations.

    One thing to note is to make sure that you can cancel the booking after you have received your confirmed visa for China. As we have heard they may call the hotels to check. This might not be the case but it is such an easy thing to make sure you have an actual booking during the visa application – just remember to cancel the bookings 😁
  • The visa must be paid in cash with clean US Dollars
     For us at the time of writing it was $30 each and this is now paid at the Embassy when you collect your visa.
    Chinese Embassy Hanoi Fee Schedule
  • You have up to 3 months to enter China from the date of your Visa approval
    Then your actual visa starts after you enter and lasts for however long you applied to stay in China

The process for getting a Chinese visa in Hanoi is pretty straight forward.
You will have to go into the embassy twice, firstly to submit the application and secondly to pay and collect your visa 

Once you get to the embassy, you will probably see some sort of queue. We had read that you have to get to the Embassy early before it opens as the queue can be very long. We didn’t find this to be the case as we rocked up at around 10ish and there was only a handful of people in front of us.

A friendly security guard will indicate that you join the queue and he seemed to be letting people into the Embassy as others left, so it doesn’t take long to get to the front of the line and into the building.

As you approach the front of the queue the security guard checks you have the right documents and then he lets you inside where you then approach another member of staff who is stood next to a ticket machine. He takes your documents, has a quick look and then prints you out a number. You then take a seat and wait.

When your number is called – don’t worry it will be in Vietnamese but the numbers are displayed above the relevant window so you will know when your number has been called and where to go. Go up to the counter and hand in your form and passport. The immigration lady will check everything and ask a few questions and this is when you hand over the relevant photocopies for anything they need. Again if they don’t ask for it, don’t give it to them.
We hadn’t glued the photos to the application form as we didn’t have any glue but the lady behind the counter just stapled one photo to each form, the other photo was attached to our passport with a paper clip.

This whole process took less than 10 minutes. If you keep a smile on your face and are polite and courteous  it really isn’t a chore.

We were then handed a slip stating what date to pick up our passports (4 working days, including the application day) and how much (2x $30)

We returned to the Embassy after 4 days to collect our Passports and Visa. There was no queue outside this time and we were just waved inside. Again we went to the staff member next to the ticket machine, showed our slip of paper, a number was printed out and we were told to take a seat.

Our number was called and we had to go to the relevant window where we were asked for our US dollars.
At this point we assumed our visa had been approved as they wanted us to pay but we didn’t know how long our visa was for. We tried to ask this question but they just kept asking for the money.
All we could do was hand over the money, which was at the next window and then return to the 1st window to collect the passports.

Once they gave us our passports they moved on to the next customer, so all we could do was search for the visa in our passport and check very quickly to see if we had been given the full 60 days that we asked for. Luckily for us we had but I am not sure there would have been anything we could have done if they hadn’t 🙃 but do check that everything is correct before you leave the building, so you can address the problem straight away. If you wait until later there might not be anything you can do f there is a problem.

So if you need a visa for China and happen to be in Hanoi follow these instructions and you should have no problems – unless they change the rules which we believe they do quite frequently 😂

Comment and share your experiences with getting a visa for china, we’d love to hear from you.

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