Frequently Asked Questions
Are There Any Hidden Costs?
i2Visa is committed to transparency and as such, there are absolutely no hidden costs or processing fees. Our total costs for each Chinese visa and a breakdown of their component parts (consular fee, visa centre fee and handling fee) can be found at, ‘Our Fees.’
We work hard to ensure our handling fees are as competitive as possible. For this reason, our service charge is non-negotiable. However if you find a cheaper like-for-like service we will match it with our ‘Fee Match Guarantee’ - terms and conditions apply. Special consideration for handling fees may be taken for corporate accounts, partners or in extraneous circumstances.
Can Non-British Citizens Apply For Chinese Visas In The UK?
As long as you are physically present in the UK, you can apply for a Chinese visa here. i2Visa can help all the EU/EEA/CH and most non-EU/EEA/CH citizens to get a Chinese visa in Edinburgh.
Do I Need A Chinese Visa To Visit Hong Kong Or Macau?
If you are a British or Irish national, you will not need a Chinese visa to travel to Hong Kong or Macau. However if you plan to travel to Shenzhen or Zhuhai during your stay in Hong Kong or Macau, even for one day, you will need a Chinese visa.
Do I Need A Special Permit To Visit Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) or XiZang Autonomous Region?
If you plan to travel to Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) (aka XiZang Autonomous Region), you will need to get a permit before applying for your Chinese visa.
Do I Need An Appointment For My Chinese Visa Application?
As a recognised Chinese visa agency and Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (CVASC) account-holder, i2Visa submits Chinese visa applications on clients’ behalf everyday - without a CVASC appointment. If you submit your Chinese visa application to the CVASC by yourself, you will need to make an appointment in advance.
Do I Need To Submit My Original Passport For My Chinese Visa Application?
Yes, you need to submit your original passport for your individual Chinese visa application as the Chinese visa will be affixed to your original passport.
If you are applying for a Chinese Group Visa you don’t need to submit your original passport. Photocopies of individual passports for all applicants are accepted.
How Can i2Visa Offer A 28 Hour Emergency Service When Other Visa Agencies Can’t?
i2Visa’s 28 Hour Emergency Service doesn’t officially exist in the UK. This specific application is submitted and processed in special circumstances at the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (CVASC) in Edinburgh ONLY.
If you can provide i2Visa with a genuine reason necessitating your emergency Chinese visa, then it is likely that the 28 Hour Emergency Service will be accepted. As far as we are aware, the 28 Hour Emergency Service is offered exclusively in the UK by i2Visa.
How Do I Get A Chinese Visa With i2Visa?
There are two ways to get a Chinese visa with i2Visa:
Make an appointment to meet in-person at our Edinburgh or Glasgow office.
Complete the Chinese visa application online and mail all of your Chinese visa documents to i2Visa by Royal Mail Special Delivery or using a reliable courier service.
i2Visa specialists will then carry out pre-checks to ensure your application has the highest chances of success, before submitting it to the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (CVASC) on your behalf. This eliminates any requirement for you to visit or communicate with the CVASC. For more about our process, please visit ‘About Us.’
How Does i2Visa’s 48 Hour Urgent Service Differ From Other Visa Agencies?
Unlike other visa agencies, i2Visa does not require its clients’ documents until 1pm (as opposed to 9am) as its office is within walking distance of the the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (CVASC) in Edinburgh. This means that you can provide us with additional documents throughout the morning of your application deadline if your supporting documentation is insufficient. Furthermore, the cut-off time for urgent Chinese visa applications at the CVASC in Edinburgh is 2pm (as opposed to 12pm in London).
How Long Will It Take My Documents To Reach Edinburgh?
If you are using Royal Mail Special Delivery Next Day Guaranteed Service, or another reliable courier services such as DHL or UPS, your documents should be eligible for next day delivery - even from the Channel Isles. Therefore i2Visa’s 28 Hour Emergency Service should, in most cases, be possible from anywhere in the UK.
How Long Will My Chinese Visa Last?
Every Chinese tourist and business visa will last at least two years. Chinese work visas are single entry, allowing you into the country once, upon which time you should receive your work permit.
What Are i2Visa’s Delivery Options
When you send your passport and legal documents to i2Visa, they will be returned swiftly and securely to you using a method of your choice.
- FREE - include a pre-paid, addressed envelope when you send us your passport and legal documents.
- FREE - collect your documents in person from one of our offices, or send an authorised person to do it for you.
- £15 - DHL courier service (UK only) on weekdays
- Prices below - Royal Mail Special Delivery
- Royal Mail Special Delivery/Next Day Guaranteed Service by 1pm for extra £8
- Royal Mail Special Delivery/Next Day Guaranteed Service by 9am for extra £20
- Royal Mail Special Delivery Saturday Guaranteed Service by 1pm for extra £13
- Royal Mail Special Delivery Saturday Guaranteed Service by 9am for extra £25
What Does The i2Visa Fee Include?
The i2Visa Chinese visa fee comprises three parts:
- The consular fee charged by the Chinese General Consulate of Edinburgh
- The visa centre fee charged by the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (CVASC)
- The i2Visa handling fee (which will vary depending on how many entries you are applying for and how quickly you require them)
For more about our fees, please visit ‘Fees.’
What If The Applicant Is Under 18 Years Of Age?
If the applicant is under 18 years of age then a parent, guardian or teacher will need to complete Section 5 of the Chinese visa application form with details of the child, before signing and dating it at the bottom. If the applicant is 6 years of age or under, their birth certificate must be submitted along with the other Chinese visa application documentation.
What Is i2Visa’s Cancellation And Refund Policy?
Full refunds may be available if you choose to cancel your Chinese visa application with i2Visa at the very beginning of the process.
If cancellation of your Chinese visa application is received by i2Visa prior to your Chinese visa application being submitted to the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (CVASC), you will be eligible for a full refund, less the cost of postage required to deliver your documents.
If cancellation of your Chinese visa application is received by i2Visa after your Chinese visa application has been submitted to the CVASC, you will be eligible for a part refund (of our handling fee) only.
At this point both the consular and visa centre fees will have already been taken by the Chinese General Consulate of Edinburgh and CVASC respectively.
If cancellation of your Chinese visa application is received by i2Visa after your Chinese visa has been affixed to your passport, you will not be eligible for any refund. For more information, please visit our ‘Cancellation And Refund Policy.’
If your Chinese visa application is rejected, due to Chinese visa policy enforced by the Chinese General Consulate of Edinburgh, you will receive a refund for our service charge (but not the consular or visa centre fee) when paying by cash, cheque or postal order.
If i2Visa has received and lost your passport in the process of applying for your Chinese visa, you can claim up to £200 in compensation. For more information please see our terms and conditions.
What Is i2Visa’s Fee Match Guarantee?
At i2Visa we work hard to ensure our handling fees are as competitive as possible. Our fees vary depending on the number of entries and service type (turnaround speed) you require, as well as your nationality.
Whilst our handling fees are non-negotiable, we will match the difference between our fees and those of a cheaper competitor. To be eligible for the i2Visa Fee Match Guarantee, competitors must:
- Be UK-based.
- Submit visa applications on their customers’ behalf at the Chinese Embassy in London, General Chinese Consulate in Manchester or General Chinese Consulate in Edinburgh.
- Price their services upon the same like-for-like visa application - based on the same number of entries, same service type (turnaround speed) and same applicant nationality.
To claim i2Visa’s Fee Match Guarantee you must submit the competitor’s price to i2Visa within 15 days of receiving your passport and visa from i2Visa.
What Payment Methods Does i2Visa Accept?
i2Visa accepts payments made by cash, cheque, postal order, BACS bank transfer, debit/credit card via PayPal.
Payments made by cash, cheque, postal order or BACS bank transfer do not incur any additional charges.
For customers within the UK, payments made by debit/credit card via PayPal or Amex do not incur any additional charge.
For all customers outwith the UK, payments made by debit/credit card via PayPal or Amex incur an additional charge of 5% of the total fee.
Once you have submitted your visa application you will receive an email with a PayPal link to make your i2Visa payment by debit/credit card. All major cards are accepted. Please check all of your email folders in case your email provider has incorrectly marked our email as spam.
What Services Does i2Visa Offer?
- Expert information on Chinese visas via the i2Visa website
- Online and postal visa application form submission
- Extended business hours for Chinese visa application submission and enquiries
- Document legalisation and authentication
- UK passport application service
- Collection service for Chinese passport (but not application)
- Collection service for Hong Kong ID (but not application)
- In-house concierge service and document collection
- Passport-size photo developing service
What Should I Know About i2Visa?
i2Visa UK Ltd is a company registered in Scotland. Registered number: SC464380. Registered office: i2Visa, Forth House, 28 Rutland Square, Edinburgh, EH1 2BW. VAT Number: GB274 6553 76
The i2Visa team comprises Mandarin and English-speaking British and Chinese nationals with specialist experience of the Chinese visa system. Our experts liaise directly with Chinese visa officials at the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (CVASC) and the Chinese General Consulate in Edinburgh to ensure your application has the greatest chances of success.
One of the leading visa agencies in the UK, i2Visa is committed to maintaining excellent customer service, exceptional value for money, an innovative culture and clear accountability. We achieve this through our fundamental spirit of hard work and appreciation of multiculturality.
When Should I Submit My Chinese Visa Application?
i2Visa recommends applying for your Chinese visa at least 1-2 months before your intended date of travel to China. If you have plans to travel to another country before reaching China, you should be able to apply for your Chinese visa at least 6 months in advance, so long as you are physically present in the UK.
Who Issues Chinese Visas In The UK?
The Chinese visa authorities in the UK are: the Consulate General of China in Edinburgh, the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (CVASC) in Edinburgh, the Consulate General of China in Manchester, the CVASC in Manchester, the Chinese Embassy of London and the CVASC in London.
Chinese visa decisions are made by the Chinese General Consulate of Edinburgh, but all Chinese visa agencies and individual applicants must apply for a Chinese visa directly via the CVASC.
For this reason, a Chinese visa fee will always include a consular fee charged by the Chinese General Consulate of Edinburgh and a visa centre fee charged by the CVASC.
Recognised Chinese visa agencies should have an official account with the CVASC and submit its clients’ applications without appointment.
Why Choose i2Visa?
1. Recognition. i2Visa is recognised by the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (CVASC) as an official drop-off point for visa applications in the UK. As a recognised visa agency we can submit a Chinese visa application on your behalf without any appointment. We help applicants to resolve any visa issues quickly and assist them if things don’t go according to plan.
2. Prime Location. Our central Edinburgh office is conveniently located within walking distance of the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (CVASC) in Edinburgh, offering us:
- Unlimited access to the CVASC without appointment
- Extended documentation submission cut-off time (1pm as opposed to 9am)
- Extended CVASC application cut-off time for urgent service (2pm as opposed to 12pm)
3. Fees. As a small and flexible business, we offer the most competitive handling fees to our clients.
4. Ability. With extensive experience of the Chinese visa system, including close connections with the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (CVASC) in Edinburgh and London, the i2Visa team is perfectly positioned to turnaround your Chinese visa application quickly, solve any related issues and keep you up-to-date with any changes in Chinese visa policy.
5. Flexibility. Our agile team ensures that enquiries, problems and challenges are responded to and dealt with quickly. With simple processes and procedures, decisions are made quickly and efficiently with regards to any issues such as cancellations and refunds.
6. Relationships. (i) With customers: Our customers are more than just clients, they are our friends. Since launching our business, we have built and maintained very good relationships with all our customers, from individuals to corporate clients.
(ii) To suppliers: With suppliers: Though we are not legally affiliated with any visa authorities or government bodies, we work closely with the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (CVASC). This means that our team builds and maintains strong relationships with visa officials, helping us to keep our visa policies up to date.
7. Speed. i2Visa offers its customers a 28 hour turnaround service in genuinely urgent circumstances. As far as we are aware, this service is provided exclusively by i2Visa in the UK.
8. Care. As Chinese visa professionals, we take every application very seriously and appreciate its importance. The customer is at the heart of everything we do at i2Visa. From our image and reputation, to your passport security, data protection and feedback - we strive to ensure your i2Visa experience is the best it can be.
9. Protection. At i2Visa we take data protection very seriously. We protect customers’ personal information in order to maintain their privacy. i2Visa never sells customer information to any third party. After processing by i2Visa, copies of customer documentation are destroyed or returned securely to the relevant customer. All customer information is strictly protected.
10. No Subscription Required. Subscription based services and mailing lists are widely used by businesses today. At i2Visa, we value your time and space. As such, we will only ever contact you if we have something important to say - for instance, to communicate an important change in Chinese visa policy. If you have any Chinese visa related enquiries, we will respond to them as quickly as possible.
11. Partnership/Membership. i2Visa is both an official ABTA partner and China Britain Business Council member. This means that we enjoy good relationships with ABTA members, industry experts and Chinese/British business leaders.
12. Variety. Our commitment to provide clients with the best possible experience means that we have a wide variety of services. These range from our 28 Hour Emergency Service to our 5 Day Standard Service. Our personal service means that we offer pick-up, drop-off and concierge services, as well as tailor-made ‘meet-and-greets’ designed to suit your schedule. i2Visa also accepts a variety of payment methods. For more information please view, ‘Our Fees.’
13. Expansion. An innovative company full of vision, i2Visa is always looking to the future. A professional, reliable, family-run business, we currently have two offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Our desire to offer customers a ‘local’ service fuels our desire to expand geographically.
Why Is i2Visa’s Handling Fee So Competitive?
i2Visa prides itself on its competitive pricing and value for money. Conveniently located in central Edinburgh and Glasgow, just a short walk from the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (CVASC), i2Visa enjoys cost efficiencies that cannot be rivalled by London-based agencies. Our high quality service affords us a great reputation, which means that we can reduce our advertising costs and pass on the savings to you.
Why Should I Apply For A Chinese Visa In Edinburgh?
From an expert’s perspective, Edinburgh offers a competitive advantage when it comes to your Chinese visa application. As the city is smaller than other Chinese visa application cities, Manchester and London, and generally processes fewer Chinese visa applications, it offers a sense of ‘enhanced security.’
It is highly unlikely that Chinese visa applications processed in Edinburgh will be damaged, delayed or lost, as they are not crammed in with the hundreds of other applications processed in Manchester or Edinburgh. Our professional opinion is that Edinburgh is genuinely your best point of entry to China.
Why Should I Use A Chinese Visa Agency?
There are a number of reasons why you should use a Chinese visa agency to submit your Chinese visa application, particularly if you live far from the Chinese Consulate. Take the hassle out of your Chinese visa application with our expert support, tailored to your needs.
- Save the time and cost of two journeys for drop-off and pick-up
- Avoid traffic, parking, appointments and queues for the visa centre
- Have any visa issues resolved for you by the visa agency
- Enjoy quick response support, 7 days/week, by email, phone and live chat
- Get your visa application pre-checked to avoid delays or rejection
- Receive your Chinese visa in 28 hours with our emergency service