With relations between China and Nigeria increasing in all aspects of trade, politics and education, Nigerians have the potential to access opportunities in one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Yet despite this potential, the Chinese visa system is often complicated at the best of times and having the incorrect visa can often result in fines, deportation or even detention. As such, it is important to know which visa is correct for you and what is the correct procedure in order to obtain it.
In obtaining your visa for China, it is important to note that the Chinese government maintains two diplomatic offices in Nigeria and where you live will determine where you will need to apply and ultimately send it. These are the Chinese Embassy in Abuja and the Chinese Consulate in Lagos. Each maintains respective websites that can be found through the Chinese Foreign Affairs site.
Where you live will ultimately determine where you will need to send your application. It is appropriate to note that the jurisdiction of each office can change from time to time, so it is important that you keep up to date with any changes.
When making your application, it is first necessary to realise that there are different categories of visas for China and which one you need depends on the purpose of your visit.
How to Apply and Get Your Chinese Visa in Nigeria
The following is a summary of the most common ones applied for by Nigerian citizens:
* L – This type of visa is issued to those who intend to go to China for tourism purposes.
* Z – You will need this visa if you intend to work in China.
* M – This visa is for those who intend to go to China for commercial and trade activities.
* D – This class of visa is for those who wish to reside in China permanently.
* F – This class will be needed if you intend to go to China for exchanges, visits, study tours or other educational opportunities.
A more detailed list of visa requirements can be found here: http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/visas/t1071018.htm
It is important that you check with your respective office in Nigeria as well as be upfront and honest about your intentions in China as breaching your visa conditions will result in criminal action being taken against you.
When applying for your visa, each applicant will be charged a fee, depending on the time they wish to spend in China and the number of entries they wish to make. As of July 2014, the standard fees for Nigerian citizens are:
- Single-entry with 3 months validity = N5,000.
- Double-entry with 6 months validity = N7,500.
- Multi-entry with 6-month validity = N10,000.
- Multi-entry with 12 months validity = N15,000.
The normal processing time for visas will be 10 working days, however, there is an expedited service available for those applicants wishing to process their applications more quickly. On top of the regular fee listed above, applicants will be required to pay:
* N4,000 for a processing time of 3 to 4 working days.
* N6,000 for a processing time of 1 to 2 working days.
More Tips on How to Get a Chinese Visa in Nigeria
When submitting the application, you will require the following items:
1. An application form that is fully completed with a recent passport photo.
2. If you are applying for a class F or Z visa, you will require a confirmed letter of invitation or an endorsement for an appropriate Chinese government agency.
3. If working for a Chinese company, you will need a Letter of Introduction from immediate supervisor.
4. Original copy of a national ID and passport as well as copies of previous Chinese visas if applicable.
5. If travelling on behalf of a Nigerian company, a copy of that company’s Letter of Incorporation.
6. Accommodation booking and return travel ticket between Nigeria and China.
7. Financial document demonstrating sufficient funds for your stay.
8. Checklist of submitted documents.
Once this has been received, the applicant will be required to schedule an appointment for an interview at a designated time for their respective diplomatic office. Upon passing it, they will be then able to pick up their passport and visa when processed.
With cases of Nigerian citizens experiencing severe difficulties in China becoming more frequent, it is essential that you have the correct visa. Regardless of whether you are travelling to China for tourism, education or business, having the correct visa will not only ensure that your trip is a success but that it is a memorable experience.