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I read on http://www.chinaconsulatesf.org/eng/lszj/zgqz/t751633.htm (mirror), which explains the supported documents needed to apply for Chinese visas:

L Visa: 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.

Is an air ticket booking record (round trip) to Hong Kong good enough to apply for a Chinese L (tourist) visa?

I am a French citizen if that matters.

  • I can't find any authoritative information addressing your specific question, hence this is a comment but not an answer. Hong Kong and (mainland) China are two separate entities for the purpose of immigration (by Basic Law of Hong Kong SAR), and hence it is unlikely that Chinese authorities will accept a round trip booking to Hong Kong as evidence for an L visa without any other evidence. – B.Liu Nov 7 '18 at 8:11
  • I would personally compare that to applying a French Schengen Visa with a itinerary for Germany only. – B.Liu Nov 7 '18 at 8:18
  • @B.Liu since going from Hong Kong to Shenzhen takes ~15 minutes, and Hong Kong has decently sized airport, I think it's a bit less of a stretch, but maybe your right. I wonder how folks who fly to Hong Kong then go to Shenzhen via train get the visa. Maybe showing train tickets even though it costs less than 10 USD? I'm not sure how far ahead we can get those train tickets, and whether they can be purchased from abroad. – Franck Dernoncourt Nov 7 '18 at 8:34
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    I think train tickets would serve as an acceptable documentation, though for high speed rail it is only available ~30 days before the scheduled departure (availble to book online). Alternatively, hotel/hostel booking in mainland China along with a return ticket to/from Hong Kong, plus an explanation on how you plan to get from/to Hong Kong to/from mainland China would probably suffice, unless you only do day trips to Shenzhen. – B.Liu Nov 7 '18 at 8:45
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You should be fine, as long as the itinerary you provide when applying makes sense when entering via HK (eg. traveling via Shenzhen/Guangzhou).

Relevant data point: I recently applied for a Chinese tourist (L) visa, providing a flight into Russia as my flight in and a flight out of Hong Kong as my return flight. I was asked to add in writing that I would be taking a train into China, and that was it, the visa was issued.

  • Thanks, you didn't have to show any train booking? – Franck Dernoncourt Nov 7 '18 at 10:10
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    @FranckDernoncourt It would have been good to have, but not, I did not, they were happy with the train number & date. (Bear in mind that there are only a few Russia-China trains.) – jpatokal Nov 7 '18 at 10:47

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