Of the three visas I applied for, this has got to be the one with the most requirements. They even ask for a copy of your SSS contributions. I already booked a Manila - Shanghai and Beijing - Manila flight, the interval for which is set at two weeks, because I was planning to do a side trip to Mongolia where Philippine passport holders can enter visa free. This means I would have to apply for a double entry visa, which I thought was a crazy thing to do. Because of the many requirements necessary, I went for the Japanese visa first. I have a used single entry visa to South Korea as well. I will try my best to recall the requirements I submitted, some of which were not necessary but I still included for a better chance of being granted a visa.
The Chinese embassy is located in that building across Mapua in Makati. Both are along Buendia. It’s not that hard to locate the said building after all these clues. If still in doubt, look for the Malaysian and Chinese flags. People would suggest going there as early as six in the morning. Even then you’d already see a lot of people lining up outside the building. The security guards won’t let you in unless it’s raining. The embassy has its own entrance, by the way. The line could be long but once you get inside the waiting area, you get divided into three groups. One is for visa applications, one is for claiming, and I forgot what the other is for. It’s also good to know that once inside, the line actually moves, which means less frustration for all of us.
My number led me to notorious counter two. Why is she notorious? Visit the Chinese Visa thread at PEX and you’ll know why. In my opinion though, the woman is really just serious and reasonably strict so that no time and effort are wasted on little mistakes or missing documents. What I submitted were:
(1) Application Form
(2) Passport Photo
(3) Certificate of Employment
(4) Form 2316 (or ITR for self-employed)
(5) Plane tickets (Manila - Shanghai, Beijing - Manila)
(6) Hostel Reservations (Hostelworld: Shanghai, Ulan Bator, Beijing)
(7) Copy of SSS Contributions (Sign up at the SSS website, then print)
(8) Copy of SSS Pink Form (They ask for an SSS ID which I don’t have)
(9) Bank Certificate
(10) Three Months Bank Statement (Not really needed)
(11) Sheet of Paper with my detailed Itinerary
If I forgot anything I’m so sorry, it’s been a few months and I should have made this article back then but as you already know, I’m just so lazy. All I know was that I had no issues with counter number two, and when I came back for my passport after five days I saw a double entry visa sticker valid for three months in it, 14 days each entry. I paid 2,100 pesos for it. You pay when you claim, not when you apply. And so there. I am going to Mongolia after all!
As anyone would probably suggest, just make sure that you have complete requirements. The Chinese embassy is known for being strict, and there have been a lot of horror stories about them, especially for counter number two. However, I got one on my first try, and double entry to boot. So can you. Good luck!