Sometimes you need an idiot boy to frustrate you enough to buy an airplane ticket. I check SkyScanner pretty much every day, and when I saw a flight from Busan to Shanghai for $207.90 USD it was an absolute no-brainer. I purchased the ticket without hesitation, then immediately remembered the Visa application process from the last time I went to China (Beijing and Chengdu a long before this blog was born). Here’s how I got my Visa for China in Korea!
Is getting a Visa for China in Korea hard?
I was concerned that I would have to go to Seoul, send my passport away (update: which is what I did for my 2nd trip to China from Korea – it was easy), or go through a travel agent to get my visa. This is not the case AT ALL.
Visa for China in Korea Application
You can get your visa application here. It’s a pretty straightforward, albeit lengthy process. You need to attach a passport photo with a light coloured background. You’ll also need proof of payment for your accommodations (my booking.com printout was fine). Printout proof of payment for your round trip flight, too. This portion is the same whether you’re going to the Visa for China in Korea processing centre in person or sending by post.
I took the Subway to Dongbaek three and a half months after purchasing my ticket and only 24 days in advance of my flight. I was not concerned about the time-frame as I had emailed the consulate and they had notified me that the Visa Centre would take approximately 4 business days to process my visa.
From Dongbaek Station, Busan: Take Exit 3. Walk straight until you see a ramp on your left-hand side (not even a full block). Turn left and walk down that street. You should see the iPark buildings that mark the Haeundae Skyline so well from pretty much anywhere near the water. Keep walking down that street until you see the Woori Bank, Korea. From the corner where the bank is located, cross the street and keep walking down the other side until you see the Natuzzi Furniture Gallery and most notably: the Maserati dealership. You’ll see a door marked “C1” – this is where you want to be. The building itself has a Starbucks and a Gourmet Food Market of note. On the 5th floor is where you’ll find the Visa for China in Korea Application Centre.
Busan Office Hours & Location
Submission of applications: 9:00 to 15:00.
Take the elevator to the 5th floor and turn left. If you’re there in the morning you’ll probably find it’s relatively empty and getting your paperwork in order will be casual and easy with the help of one of their friendly staff members. The only gripe I have about the whole experience is that the rep who actually took my physical application only referred to the signage they have everywhere and mistakenly told me my one-entry visa (my passport expires July 2016 thus I only get one shot at visiting China on these pages) would cost KRW 55,000.
When I returned, they charged me KRW 110,000. Yes, double what I was expecting with no supervisor in sight and nobody who spoke English well. I was shocked and disappointed, but hey – I’m going to Shanghai in a few weeks. Huzzah!
Passport: 6 Month Rule
The reason I was only allowed a one-entry visa is because I have less than a year left before my passport expires (but more than 6 months – this is important. You have to have at least 6 months left on your passport to be issued a visa for China in Korea). If I had had a brand new passport or even just more than a year left then I would have been issued a multiple entry visa for exactly the same price. This is what happened with my updated passport. I now have a multiple entry visa through 2026.
Visa for China in Korea Application Centre in Seoul
In 2016 I got a new passport and needed to get a new Visa for China in Korea, this time from Seoul. I didn’t have the flexibility of schedule to make it down to the service centre, so I sent my passport and the associated documents by post. They approved my application and I sent the funds via bank transfer the day my passport was ready to be returned. I think the entire process only took about 10 days!
Seoul Office Hours & Location
6th Floor, Seoul Square building，416 Hangang-daero,Jung-gu,Seoul,the Republic of Korea[Post code: 100-714]
Nearest subway station: Seoul Station ( No.1 Line)Bus Route: No. G 7024，7016，1711,401，402，406，263，408,703，503,7016，1711
Visa counter will accept rush service (2nd working day collection) application till 11:30am.Contact information
If you have any questions about getting a Chinese visa as a Canadian (or as a Busanite/ Seoulcialite needing directions, etc.) please do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have!
BONUS: They have not one but TWO massive wine collections on the 2nd floor. One of these is in the grocery store (which has foie gras and a massive cheese and cured meats selection) and the other seems to specialize in wines of the world and champagnes. One day, my pretties. One day.