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I'm a non-British EU citizen living in United Kingdom and need to apply for a Chinese visa. According to the PRC's visa processing facility in London (with similar requirement listed on the Chinese Embassy website) you need amongst others:

(4) Proof of legal status (applicable for those not applying for the visa in their country of citizenship)

If you are not applying for a visa in the country of your citizenship, you must provide the original and photocopy of your valid certificates of residence, employment or student status, or other valid certificates of legal stay provided by the relevant authorities of the country where the Visa Centre is located.

Does anyone know what sort of "certificate of residence" will satisfy them are where can it be obtained from?

  • 3
    Tell us what you've got and you'll get a much more relevant answer. – Gayot Fow Jan 9 '16 at 18:01
  • Thanks @GayotFow I have been in the UK for a while so I have tons of documents issued here over the years (some of them in an electronic form only): employment contracts, payslips, P45's, P60's, other Pxxx documents, pension letters, tax letters, bank statements, driving licence, car insurance documents, higher degree certificate, student loan statements, confirmation of a registration with a GP, dental check reminders, utility bills, Life in the UK Test Certificate, Workers Registration Scheme card, and finally a real gem ;-) Residence Permit for a National of a Member State of the EEC. – Johnny Baloney Jan 9 '16 at 18:53
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    pxxx + employment contracts + wrs should do it nicely – Gayot Fow Jan 9 '16 at 18:58
  • Great, I'll try it with such a bundle and report back. I guess some/most of what I listed belongs to the "proof that you are exercising treaty rights" set @MichaelHampton mentioned in his answer but then you are faced with the challenge of making the right cocktail. Perhaps your comment should be turned into an answer? – Johnny Baloney Jan 9 '16 at 19:16
  • Michael amended his answer and it's fine now. In summary both the residence permit and wrs card are issued by the UK as are the pxxx's. Employment contracts are good for demonstrating treaty rights. The only problem I can see is since your nationality is one of the enlargement countries, China may have an additional clause in their requirements, but I doubt it. You should be good to go. – Gayot Fow Jan 9 '16 at 19:24
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I have now received answers from two official sources, Edinburgh and London offices. It was impossible to get through to anyone in London on the phone but they responded to an email on the same day:

Dear Johnny Baloney,

Thank you for contacting Chinese Visa Application Service Centre.

As an EU national, you are not required to provide any additional proof of residence within the UK.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

They were as polite when I phoned up Edinburgh earlier on, and as soon as I mentioned that I was an EU member state citizen, they gave me a similar response.

  • Please accept your own (or an other) answer. – Willeke Jul 3 at 8:10
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You need to prove that you are legally resident in the UK, not simply a tourist or other short-term visitor. China requires that visa applicants apply from their country of citizenship or residence.

Many documents will suffice for this; for instance, a work or student visa, indefinite leave to remain, asylum approval, etc. For an EU citizen, your EU passport and some proof that you are exercising treaty rights ought to do.

As a "qualified person" you can obtain a registration certificate from the Home Office which proves your right to live and work in the UK. If nothing else works, this will.

  • Please note: legal status != legally resident... Different concepts – Gayot Fow Jan 9 '16 at 17:53
  • @GayotFow This is true. But all of the things China asks for here are evidence of residence. And they have the same requirements in most other countries as well. It's one of the things backpackers complain about when trying to get a visa for China in a third country... – Michael Hampton Jan 9 '16 at 17:59
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    @MichaelHampton If I understand the question correctly, the problem is that as a non-British EU citizen resident in the UK, you usually don't have any official papers issued by the UK authorities to prove your status. Such proof 'provided by the relevant authorities' is however required by the Chinese embassy to allow for a visa application in the UK. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Jan 9 '16 at 18:45
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo Correct. – Johnny Baloney Jan 9 '16 at 18:55

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