As many of you know, China requires you to list your full itinerary with dates and addresses when applying for a tourist visa. I probably won't risk it, but I'm just curious, what if you said you were staying at such-and-such hotel but had never actually booked it?

Or to put it another way, how do they actually verify this? Do they have a list of all bookings in the country?

Which of course begs the question why they can't just look people up in their list rather than requiring people to list it out again on the form, but that's a separate question.


China asks for a copy of your itinerary and simply typing out something will not fulfill this need. They want to see a booking confirmation, ie from the hotel or a booking agency, same for your flights.

I don't think they actually double check what you submit. It might be difficult to check with a hotel, as the bigger OTAs like booking.com, agoda, etc, often do not send the room name list to the hotel until closer to your arrival date.

  • Ah yes, you are right. I was just going off of the part in the visa application where it asks for a detailed itinerary with addresses, but on the instructions for the L visa on their website they also ask for "Documents showing the itinerary including air ticket booking record (round trip) and proof of a hotel reservation, etc. or an invitation letter issued by a relevant entity or individual in China."
    – Stephen
    Sep 4 '17 at 17:28

From my last experience, no. My Chinese visa was issued well before I made my hotel reservation, though I did actually stat at the hotel I put on the application.

Additionally, I cancelled the flight itinerary immediately after printing it for the application.

The advice here, China 10 Year Visa Requirements only mentions providing an 'intended' flight itinerary. No mention of accommodations.

This is my personal experience, your experience may be different.

Also, the Visa application makes no mention, and I did not provide any evidence, of medical insurance. The whole process was rather uneventful.


The plane and hotel reservations have to be filed with the application in case of a tourist visa. There is some leeway about this, especially when you use a travel agency. But generally you need the documentation. Including for the travel insurance.

However, what can be done, especially if you apply through an agency, is that the agency makes some reservations, prints them, submits your application, and cancels all reservations.

For 6-month and 1-year tourist visas, I've no idea whether the reservations are still required – my travel agency has been dealing with that for the last 9 years, and I've never had to book anything.

  • Travel insurance is a requirement? I haven't seen anything about that.
    – Stephen
    Sep 4 '17 at 17:31
  • It could depend on countries. But it is required when you apply in Hong Kong.
    – user67108
    Sep 4 '17 at 17:52
  • Once you have a visa there's no application for future visits within the period of the visa and thus no way to submit documentation. In practice we provide a relative's address, no tickets and there's been no problem--but we have a long string of visits without overstays or doing anything to upset the authorities. Sep 4 '17 at 21:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.