In the desert which is Central Asia for a traveler who wants to apply for a Chinese visa, the Chinese embassy in Tehran could be described as an oasis (these days). Generally, conditions for and availability of Chinese tourist visa (Class L) underlie extremely regular changes and the choice of embassy can be a vital factor for the amount of difficulties one encounters during application and its eventual success. As of June 2014, the Tehran embassy of the People’s Republic appears as a comparably formidable address for an application:
Apart from the usual documents (filled-in visa form, 2 passport pictures, copy of passport; observe hints below!) the Tehran embassy asks for a special letter from your home country’s embassy. This letter merely says that you are the legitimate holder of your own passport (brilliant), but in my case was easy to get for 25 Euros and within 30 minutes in the German embassy. (Note: Dutch travelers told me of major bureaucratic struggles with their embassy before they eventually got the letter; Spanish citizens apparently have to sign a statement for their embassy that they will not travel overland into China (source: http://caravanistan.com/visa/china/). Further potential pain-in-the-neck documents like flight or hotel bookings, proof of insurance or bank statements were NOT required for the visa application!
Once you have them all, hand in the documents at the Chinese embassy (Movahhed Danesh Ave. 73; Sunday to Thursday 8.30 to 12.30 and 2.30 to 4.30; Tel.: 00982122291240) and decide whether you want to pay 40 USD (wait 4 working days; embassy closed on Fridays and Saturdays) or 70 USD (wait 2 working days) at the „red“ bank directly opposite the embassy (USD only!). Earlier reports tell of a maximum possible stay of 60 days and I hence declared this as my intended length of stay in my visa form (intending to extent it to 90 days when I’m in China). The very friendly lady in the embassy, however, surprisingly proposed to replace the „60“ with „90“ and now, six days later, I am the exceedingly happy holder of a 90-days Chinese visa! And since the mentioned Dutch travelers got the same, I assume these are good times to apply for your Chinese tourist visa (in Tehran).
A 90-days Chinese visa. Yihaa!
- Visa form (filled-in electronically and printed; use CAPITAL LETTERS only; no empty fields: write N/A instead; form has to be printed two-sided = back and front)
- Copy of main page of passport
- Letter from embassy (see text above)
- 2 passport pictures (special size requirements! see http://ir.chineseembassy.org/eng/lsfw/P020120603628713777206.pdf)
NOT required (for Tehran embassy):
flight/hotel bookings; bank statement; proof of insurance;…
40 USD (4 working days processing)
70 USD („Express“: 2 working days processing)
- Latest entry: 3 months after issuing