Obtain Visa to visit Shanghai before leaving SFO?

wik

Registered Users (C)
I need to travel to Shanghai in early December for a five day business trip. I am a Canadian Citizen (with Canadian Passport) and hold a US Green Card. I live in San Francisco.

I have consulted both the Chinese Consulate Web sites, and the online Visa requirement tools provided by Delta and other airlines, as well as spoken to a United representative when I booked my flight, and I cannot seem to get a definitive answer...

Question: Is it best (i.e., less hassle) to get the Visa from the Consulate BEFORE I travel to Shanghai, or can I get one at PVG on arrival. From what I read online, getting a visa on arrival can be a hit or miss affair (sometimes the office is unmanned, etc.). Then again, I don't want to waste a day to and from the Consulate in SF either.

Can anyone here offer specific advice about getting mainland China visas before travel, or upon arrival in Shanghai?

Thanks in advance.
 

chatterjee1

Registered Users (C)
Its better to take the visa before you leave US or Canada. I have gone to China on work 4 times and getting the visa is no biggie. A travel agent or you can get it done. Good Luck.
 
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wik

Registered Users (C)
Thanks for the info. I will get the visa at the consulate in San Francisco before going.
 

compiler

Registered Users (C)
That’s interesting. You need a visa because you are a Canadian citizen but rather a US LPR. You may have had got your Canadian citizen before you got your US LPR, right?
 

wik

Registered Users (C)
That’s interesting. You need a visa because you are a Canadian citizen but rather a US LPR. You may have had got your Canadian citizen before you got your US LPR, right?

I am not sure I understand your comment. I am a Canadian citizen by birth, with a Canadian passport, and a became a legal US PR three years ago (after 10 years here on a O-Visa).

As far as I know, almost every business visitor to China requires a Visa. The only advantage to being Canadian is that the fee for the Visa is $30 for every nationality except Americans - for whom the fee is $100!
 

compiler

Registered Users (C)
Do you have problems to understand it? He needs a visa to visit the PRC because of his Canadian citizen OR US LPR status? Do you know it?
 

Triple Citizen

Registered Users (C)
Compiler,
Visa needs are based on citizenship 95% of the time. All four of the following people need visas for PRC:-

(1) US citizen living in the US
(2) US citizen holding PR status in Canada
(3) Canadian citizen living in Canada
(4) Canadian citizen holding PR status in the US

I hope my point is clear now.
 

compiler

Registered Users (C)
I am not sure I understand your comment. I am a Canadian citizen by birth, with a Canadian passport, and a became a legal US PR three years ago (after 10 years here on a O-Visa).

As far as I know, almost every business visitor to China requires a Visa. The only advantage to being Canadian is that the fee for the Visa is $30 for every nationality except Americans - for whom the fee is $100!
I thought you are a Chinese and become a Canadian citizen by immigration. I see now. You definitely needs a China visa because you are not a Chinese.
 

TheRealCanadian

Volunteer Moderator
I thought you are a Chinese and become a Canadian citizen by immigration. I see now. You definitely needs a China visa because you are not a Chinese.

I am not an expert in Chinese citizenship law, but my understanding was that even if he was Chinese, by becoming a naturalized citizen of another country, he automatically became "not a Chinese".
 

compiler

Registered Users (C)
Both above are correct. That's why some Chinese LPR hesitate to apply for the citizenship but keep their LPR, especially those who need convenience to visit China. Are they smart? May be.
 

wik

Registered Users (C)
Conclusion

To 'bookend' this thread, I decided to obtain my business visa in advance of my travels through the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco. I opted for same day service (an extra $30) because I am never thrilled about my passport being out of my possession for any length of time, and four days is the normal turnaround time for Chinese visas.

You CAN apparently get a visa upon arrival in Shanghai, but it can be a hassle (I am told), with sometimes the visa issuing 'booth' (pre-immigration control) being unmanned.
 
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