China replaces hand-written visa application forms with electronic versions

18 April 2018


Chinese authorities have done away with the old hand-written visa application forms and replaced them with new ones that must be typed.


Travellers who have applied for a Chinese visa before will be familiar with the application form, which has not changed substantially for many years. They will have printed it and filled it out by hand, or possibly worked out a way to type their data directly onto the PDF form.

However, on 15 March 2018, the Chinese embassy in London announced that from April 3 2018, the form must be filled out electronically (typed) first, then printed, so that applicants can sign and fix their photo to it, before submission as an original hard copy.

From now on, any handwritten forms received by the Chinese embassy, or consulates around the world, will be automatically rejected.

Travellers should note that, apart from this, the application process and the visa categories are the same.

Many people familiar with the Chinese visa system may see this as an improvement. There were concerns about the bilingual (Chinese-English) form being cramped with a large number of questions on its densely-typed pages. Some people also felt that the answer boxes were far too small, especially those for addresses and the names of family members. 

With the new system, the font size decreases automatically when the box appears to have reached its natural limit, allowing more to be added, and a request for upper case typing, should improve the clarity of applications and speed of processing. 

If in doubt, Chamber International can advise on which visa to apply for and the best way to complete the form to avoid a potentially costly rejection.


Follow Chamber International on Twitter @ChamberInt and on Facebook for the latest in international trade.

Chamber International edge - One of the most powerful technologies available to make exporting simple.