I'm a canadian passport holder residing in US (SF Bay area, with green card)and I'm applying for a Chinese visa (L visa). Since this is the first time of my Chinese visa application, I was told that the San Francisco Chinese consulate would not process my application and I have to submit it to a Chinese consulate in Canada, like the one in Vancouver, BC.

Does anyone know if this rule is valid, and if I have to physically travel to Canada to complete the application? can I just mail the application to the Chinese consulate in Vancouver, or can I find an local agency to apply on behalf of me?

I couldn't find instruction on the chinese consulate website.

  • 3
    Who told you it was not possible? A friend, a Chinese Visa processing service or the Consulate itself? Normally if you have the proper visa (Green Card in your case) to be residing in a country different than your citizenship you can apply for a Chinese Visa there.
    – user13044
    May 5, 2015 at 6:40
  • I've (American with residency in Ohio) had no problem getting a Chinese visa from the China Consulate in SF when I was visiting SF as a tourist a year ago. All I was asked was to note both my permanent address and temporary addresses. Just go and try - it's free to try (minus some waiting time - get there VERY VERY early). May 5, 2015 at 8:59
  • I have applied for Chinese visas three times, each time in a different country, and never in my country of citizenship. It was never a problem.
    – Szabolcs
    May 6, 2015 at 16:00

3 Answers 3


When I applied for my 1st Chinese visa, I was like you a Canadian citizen residing in the US (Seattle area). I used a company to facilitate the process and to do it by mail ( http://mychinavisa.com/ ) and everything went smoothly (and the application was actually processed at the San Francisco consulate - that's what it says on my visa). There was never any mention of me having to go back to Canada. Granted, this was back in 2011, things may have changed since then, but I'd advise you to call a few visa-service companies like the one I linked to and to ask them.


This shouldn't be an issue. Just go down to the consulate and file your paperwork. Plenty of people have gotten Chinese visas outside of the country issuing their passport. See for example some recent questions here by user hippietrail, who has an Australian passport, about acquiring a Chinese visa in Vietnam and Cambodia.

They might not be willing to give you the most flexible visa you could get in Canada, but because this is your first time (and you're not one of a few certain nationalities), you'd most likely only get a 1/3 month single/double entry (probably the former in both cases) anyway.

Regarding mailing, it appears you can apply for and receive your visa by post via a Canada based consulate, without using an agent. Lucky! Most countries can't do this. You can of course use an agent if you want. However, I still recommend going to the US consulate first. The turn around will be much faster (imagine how frustrating it would be to find out you filled something out wrong and had to start over) and you won't have to pay for or risk posting your passport. If they tell you no, you're only out a few hours' time anyway.


Your information is wrong. If you are a U.S. permanent resident, you can definitely apply at a Chinese consulate in the U.S. You will have to show your green card when applying.

See Visa Application Guidelines from the Chinese consulate in San Francisco:

(3) Proof of legal stay or residence status (applicable to those not applying for the visa in their country of citizenship)

If you are not applying for the visa in the country of your citizenship, you must provide the original and photocopy of your valid or visa of stay, residence, employment or student status of the country where you are currently staying.

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