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How to apply for a visa

The British Embassy at 21/F North Tower, Kerry Centre. 1 Guanghua Lu,Beijing 100020 handles visa applications from people living in northern, central and western China. Residents of Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangsu should apply at the British Consulate-General in Shanghai; residents of Guangdong, Guangxi, Fujian and Hainan should apply at the British Consulate-General in Guangzhou.

Before applying for a visa, please look at the appropriate information leaflets, which can be downloaded from this website. The visa section is also able to answer questions by telephone on (8610) (10) 8529 6600.

Every applicant must complete form IM2A. Any applicant who has previously been refused entry to the UK should complete form IM2E as well. Other forms may be necessary, depending on the category of visa being applied for. All the forms can be downloaded from this website. Visa forms are also available from 3pm to 4pm from the visa section of the Embassy. Information leaflets are available in English and Chinese. All forms and leaflets are free of charge.

Chinese applicants should write their names in both Chinese characters and pinyin. They should write their address in China in Chinese characters, and the address of their sponsors in the UK in English.

Private passport holders must make an appointment to submit an application. To make an appointment please telephone (86 10) 8529 6077 between 0830 and 1500, Monday to Friday. (Click here for more details)

For postal applications, a completed form, all relevant documents and a copy of your passport (not the original) should be sent to the Embassy who will reply with an appointment for the visa interview. The fee should be sent as a postal order.

To avoid unnecessary delay, it is important to bring all original documents with you and submit photocopies of them with your application. For all applicants these documents must include: an application form completed in English with two recent passport-sized photos; a passport with a valid exit permit; evidence of your financial standing and proof that you have sufficient funds for your proposed visit; a letter from your host or sponsor in the UK to say he or she will support and accommodate you during your stay, and evidence that he or she can do so; and a letter from your employer granting leave of absence and stating how long you have been employed and in what capacity. If you wish to travel to the UK on business, the company inviting you should provide a letter outlining its links with your company and giving details of what you will be doing in the UK. If the company is bearing the costs of the trip, they should say so, and give details of accommodation.

Separate procedures apply for anyone seeking to work or settle in the UK, students, and those seeking entry as dependants.

Please do not commit yourself to non-refundable expenditure on the basis of a visa application.



How to apply
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Applying for a
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