How to get a Chinese visa from South Korea

Trying to obtain a visa for a country you plan to visit while you live in a country that isn’t the same country that issued your passport (are you still with me?) can prove rather complicated, as we recently found out when we tried to get Chinese visas for our English passports from South Korea.

Recent, rather frustrating, legislation means that Westerners living in Korea who plan to visit China have to get their visas through registered travel agencies, as opposed to applying directly to the Chinese embassy in South Korea. After reading various horror stories of hiked-up prices and scams I stumbled upon Soho Travel Agency which is based in Seoul and they were brilliant. Not only were they extremely helpful in answering the bazillion questions we had about the seven pages of  visa forms wanting to know our life histories, but they also replied to our emails very quickly and in perfect English.

We posted our forms, passports, alien registration cards and passport photos off, and within 5 days we had our visas. Highly recommended!

9 comments on “How to get a Chinese visa from South Korea

  1. This post couldn’t have come at a better time. I was told by STA travel that a Chinese visa would cost £120, but Soho travel agency is much cheaper than that which would end up being around the same price as the flights. Cheers for the heads up!

  2. Hi, Is it true I don’t need a ceritificate of Alien registration if my ARC has more than 6 months left? My travel agent thinks I need the certificate, even though I have 10 months left.

    • Hey Tom! You just need to send your actual ARC card off as part of your visa application. If you have less than 6 months on your ARC you can’t apply for a visa from South Korea unless you have visited mainland China within the last 2 years but if you have over 6 months it’s just the card. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any more questions!

      • Great, thanks! I think now my travel agent wanted the certificate because he was only using a photocopy of my ARC card. Makes sense.

  3. The price in Soho is quite expensive in comparison with any of the travel agencies recommended by the Chinese Embassy in their website, which must apply only a 20.000 won fee over the fixed visa fee.

    For example for my tourist visa, single entry, price is 35.000+20.000 = 55.000, but in Soho price was 70.000. I didmit in CTS, near Myeong-dong, Exit 2, direction to Nansan. Phone 756 9906. They are chinese, so I think they manage pretty well with the Embassy. I just took my visa after 4 days.

    • Juan, where is CTS? Does CTS stand for something? We need to get visas to China, but they are a whole lot more than 55.000. I would like to go where you went to see if prices are better than what I have found so far. Thanks!

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