In order to travel to China for tourist purposes, Swiss citizens require a China tourist visa. The visa must be obtained before departure at the responsible consular office in Switzerland. In this article, we will explain you step by step on how to receive your visa for China.
1. Determine visa type
There are no less than 15 different types of Chinese visas and each one of them comes with different requirements. It is, therefore, an imperative to first determine your required type of visa before applying. In most cases, “L Visa” (tourist visa) or “M Visa” (business visa) is required. We are providing an overview of all different visa types and trip types in our FAQ.
2. Collect visa documents
For your Chinese business visa, you will have to provide a genuine collection of your documents. For a business visa the following documents are required:
Passport (plus one copy);
Letter of invitation;
Copy of the residence permit (non-CH citizens).
We provide tailored and always up to date overview of the required documents on our website.
3. Prepare for your visit to the consulate
Chinese visas in Switzerland are issued at the consular offices in Bern and Zürich. Visa applications in Geneva are not possible. The consular sections do not accept any postal applications, therefore you will have to go in person.
The consular sections are open from Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 12:00. It is not possible to make an appointment in advance. Due to the high volume of visitors, we recommend arriving early enough, in order to secure your place in the queue. Waiting times of several hours are possible. For security reasons, you may have to queue outside, and we recommend dressing appropriately for the weather.
4. Hand in your visa application
After you have prepared your documents you can visit the closest consular section. The consular officer will do a preliminary check of your documents. You may have to answer a few additional questions regarding your travel arrangements. If all documents are completed and present, you will receive a pickup form and a date, from which you can pick up your visa. Normally the processing time is 3-4 working days.
5. Pick up your visa
Using the pickup form, you can pick up your visa on the planned date. Please note that the consular fees must be paid at the pickup. The payment is only possible with Mastercard, Maestro or Visa, and no other payment methods are accepted (no cash, Postcard, American Express, etc.)
Please make sure to check the visa for completeness (name, travel dates, etc.)
6. Travel to China
Upon arrival, the visa will be voided and it cannot be used for further entries (except double or multiple visas).
Applying for a visa requires a lot of time and good preparation. You can easily make a mistake or forget something and you might have to repeat the whole process.
You should, therefore, leave the visa applications to the professionals. Apply for your visa online with Viselio. Our intelligent system helps you fill the application form. After payment you will just need to print out the documents, sign them and send them to our visa centre in Bern. We will obtain the China visa on your behalf. Just a few days later you will have your passport and your processed visa at your door.