Going to Europe?

This April, when SARS was already a concern in the country, I listed my dream travel destination. I listed Europe as the first in my list. Now, I really begin to plan my trip to Europe this December.

Destination Countries

On my list, there are Germany, Italy, Greek and Switzland. I didn’t know more about the plan yet, since it depends on whether my passport and visa is ready then.

Yes. My Passport

I didn’t go to the Exit-Entry Administration after I lost my passport. You may have a clear idea about how bad it is to lose a passport. After publishing my adverstisement for losing the passport on May 29, 2003, I finally be able to claim a new passport on Aug 29, 2003. But I didn’t go until recently.

The famous Exit-Entry Administration is located at 333 Wusong Road. Yes. It is famous to me since I was told about this name so many times in may painful experience to claim the lost of the passport. I got there very easy. BTW, I would suggest http://www.jt.sh.cn, a perfect website that can tell you how to get around in Shanghai via public transportation. Without its help, I may never figure out go by Bus #43 and transit to Bus #17 at Chongqing South Rd is the best way to go there. The automatic queuing system told me that 155 people were waiting on the line before me. My number is 483 and the current number is 328. I went out to have my lunch and get back, it only goes to 338. Well. What efficiency! So after about 2 more hours, I handed in the newspaper with my ad, my photos and my photocopy of ID. The man on the other side of the class window told me to get the new passport in 10 days. It is the happy ending of the sad story of losing passport.

Visa

It is still not easy to get a visa to go to Europe. I am not sure whether I can get it in time. Anyway, I don’t care too much. If the God don’t want me to go, I just stay and practice my driving skills.

It is said to get a visa from any of the Schengen counties, I can go to other Schengen countries. I tried to call Consulate General of Germany, France and Italy. They give me difference experiences.

Voice System of Germany Consulate

The German consulate in Shanghai has moved! They can now be found at:

Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany

F18 New Century Plaza

188 Wujiang Road

Shanghai 200041

People’s Republic of China

Phone (021) 62 17 28 84

Fax (021) 62 71 46 50

After I called their phone, the German recorded voice greeted me. They also offer Chinese explaination. That should for sure. The second half of the story is very interesting.

Phone: For recorded information, please press 8.

Me: (pressed 8)

Phone: For visa, please press 1.

Me: (pressed 1)

Phone: For business hours of visa, please press 3.

Me: (pressed 3)

Phone: Good bye. (hung up)

Hehe. I spent 0.6 RMB mobile fee and interact with the system only to hear the sweat Good bye.

Out of business hour, their voice message became:

Phone: Hello, this is the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germanythis. Our office is closed. Our business hours are 8:30 – 11:30, Mon to Friday. Thanks for calling. (music…..)

France

France is not better than Germany. They offer France greetings and just claim their business hour. No one ansewred the phone.

Italy

Italy

Add: 12F Qihua Mansion, No.1375 Huaihai Zhong Lu, Shanghai

Tel: 021-6471 6980

Fax: 021-6471 6977

I have to say, I love Italy. Just like Nepal, a human being answered the phone. I was surprised. The man on the other side of the phone can only speak Italy and I can only speak Chinese and English. The caused big problem. I tried to explain that I want to know the process of applying a visa in English and he is trying to explain something to me in Italy. I have to compliment the good service this guy provided. Although none of us can understand each other, we were all patient enough to keep the conversation going. After about 50 seconds, the guy finally transfered the phone to another one capable of Chinese. Anyway, this is the first guy who didn’t hung up the phone when they found out we are saying the different language.

What surprised me most is, when I tried to call the Consulate General of Italy after their business hours, this is their greeting:

Phone: “Thanks for calling Consulate General of Italy. Our business hours are 9:00 – 16:00 Mon – Fri. If you want to make a reservation out of the business hours, please call 13901993054”

What? They even offered a mobile phone number? Do they provide 24×7 service? I don’t want to bother the good guy in the world. I asked the express man to get a visa application form from the Consulate and found their website at http:///www.conitsha.org.cn. I was not able to find it via Google before.

The Dream fo “Around the World”

I finally bought the book “Around the World with 3000 USD”. It is an interesting book. The author Zhuzhaorui traveled around the world in 3000 USD. It is interesting.

25 thoughts on “Going to Europe?”

  1. I previously read from Christina’s blog that it’s a lot of hassle for a mainland Chinese citizen to get visas to visit Europe. Is it much easier for you, since you’ve travelled on business to the US and other countries so many times already?

  2. Excellent update!

    Zhu’s book is interesting too. Thanks for mentioning it. He seems to appreciate the art of self-promotion. :)

  3. Try byecity.com. They probably can help you on the Schengen visa. It’ll also be very helpful to get a Eurail Pass — you’ll find travel by rail is very convenient.

    BTW, Switzerland is not covered by Schengen visa. You will need an extra visa to visit this country.

  4. haha it’s so iteresting!! I’m also attracted by the book “Around the World with 3000 USD” when i’m roaming at the Sikaole bookstore on meiluocheng. It’s quite interesting? maybe u can borrow me ^^ btw, where did you buy it?

  5. in fact it seems not as easy as I thought for Chinese citizen to go to Europe. I’m just making my experience trying to go for vacation with my Chinese girlfirend to my native country Germany … even I know to read all the instructions of the consulate there are still some obstacles, so aply early enough! Did I get it right: you want to go to Europe this December ? Just as hint – this is not the preferable season as it could be quite could and not very cosy, even the christmas markets in Germany are great at that time!

  6. Hi JS,

    Have you seen a series of travel book called “lonely planet” in Shanghai? These are my favorit travel books. They’ve published books on many interesting destinations. They give very detailed travel information….excellent for traveling on your own withour tour guides. That is the book I use when I travel to China. They publish a book on Europe, and another called “Europe on A Shoe String” which is for budget travelers. They were very helpful when I traveled in Europe, especially on my backpacking trip in Italy. (Italy is awsome)

    I hope everything works out for you on the Visa end. Let me know if you like to me to share my travel experience in Euorpe.

  7. Yes. I know Lonely Planet and its book. It is famous here too. I am trying to get one, but there is no Enlgish version for Europe now (of cause, no chinese translation yet)

  8. If you are coming to Europe, there is only one VISA you need to apply: schengen states VISA. With this VISA you can go to:

    Austria Germany Portugal

    Belgium Greece Spain

    Denmark Italy Sweden

    Finland Luxembourg

    France Netherlands

    Also:

    Norway Iceland

    As shown here:

    http://www.france.diplomatie.fr/venir/visas/documents/isch_001.gb.html

    To apply this VISA, you can go to one of these General Conculate in Shanghai, I bet the Belgian one is the best:

    http://www.diplobel.org/shanghai/

    On the above link, you can find this info:

    申请申根商务签证所需递交的材料

    此签证在下列申根国有效:

    奥地利、比利时、丹麦、芬兰、法国、德国、希腊、冰岛、

    意大利、卢森堡、荷兰、挪威、葡萄牙、西班牙及瑞典

    其中比利时为申请人商务访问的主要目的国.

    1) 本人有效护照:可向当地公安机关申请。此护照在申请人回国之后,仍需具有至少3个月的有效期。

    2) 4份由申请人签名并注明填表日期的申请表格。表格需以荷兰语、法语或英语填写,希望使用打字机填写。每份表格上需贴2寸照片一张。请注明申请的入境次数(一次/两次/多次)*。申请表第24、25和28项请仔细填写:入境次数及停留天数(24 & 25); 过去是否得到过申根国的签证 (28)。

    *:如果申请人在离开申根国地区、访问其他国家 (如英国、瑞士) 之后,希望重新进入申根国地区,那么必须申请2次或多次入境签证。如果申请人在递交材料后还需申请其他国家的签证,申请人可取回护照,在指定的签证签发之日前,将护照交回。

    3) 申请人的身份证复印件。

    4) 比利时公司的邀请信原件,需注明被邀请人的姓名、职位、护照号码、访问目的及时间、旅行及住宿费用由哪方面承担、比利时邀请方的电话/传真/地址/E-mail地址、邀请方负责人的姓名/职位/签名。

    5) 申请人在中国的工作单位出具的派遣书。派遣书需用英语、法语或荷兰语书写,并需注明申请人的职位、护照号码、以及赴比利时访问的时间和目的、旅行及住宿费用由哪方面承担。派遣书必须印有公司的抬头,注明公司的名称、地址、电话、传真和E-mail地址。派遣书必须加盖公章,由有关负责人签名,并注明其姓名和职位。

    6) 申请人在中国的工作单位的营业执照的复印件,以及此文件英语、法语或荷兰语的翻译件。

    7) 如果所有或部分旅行费用由申请人的工作单位支付,需提供派遣方的资信情况证明(银行对帐单或存款证明等)。

    8) 根据具体情况,申请人将被要求提供其他补充材料,例如:来回飞机票订单,旅馆订单等。

    注意: 所有材料(除第2、3项外)均需递交一份原件及一份复印件。

    所有材料需由申请人本人亲自递交。

    每周一到周四上午10:00至12:00接收签证材料。

    周一至周四下午14:00-16:00领取签证。

    申请人请留下名片及联系电话。

    本领事馆只接受完整材料。

    上海,2003年4月25日

  9. dear sir,

    i want’s to go in europe country for touring .so

    please help me for easily can go in europe.i am indian .im liveing in calcutta.i am the one of the son of my parent’s . my father is a buisness-man we have a shop

    of garments whole-selling and retailing .so please help

    me to go in europe for touring easily.

    thanking you.

    sudipto sarkar.

    my home adress-13,swami

    swarupananda sarani near

    post-office-ittalgacha.

    pin-code-700079.

    city-calcutta.

    state-west-bengal.

    country-india.

  10. Dear Sir,

    I am Gopal chakraborty,lived in kolkata at dum dum.my age is 25+ and i am B.com Graduates. my dream is go to U.K and do work there.i hear U.K govt is declair that many company ,farm,hotels are appointed many people for low grade post and U.K govt give work permit.this matter i hear but i can not know is it true or false.so,sir,i am very much puzzled this matter.if this matter is true piease sir advice there after what i do and give the good agencys name and address who send peopleU.K. please sir,give me right solution andi fulfill my dream.sir,give me the right advice as early as possible.thanking you

    Yours Faithfully

    Gopal chakraborty

  11. i want’s to go in europe country for touring .so please help me for easily can go in europe.i am pakistani and living in karachi so please help me to go in europe for touring easily.

    thanking you. PLZ I WILL WAIT

  12. Dear sir,

    Am yong of 25 years old born in nigeria, and school in nigeria,i wich to go to europe and i came from very poor family. can you help get the visa and help pay for ticket and get me a job if i come there i will pay you back if i started work.thanks

  13. Hi, I am currently working on my thesis which is about Chinese outbound tourism to Europe. Do you know anything about the FIT (Free and Independent Travellers) agreement between China and Germany? I heard they were discussing it in 2005 but I don’t know what the current status is. Also I would like to know if you are travelling to Europe alone or as a part of a group? Because I thought it was only possible for Chinese tourists to travel in groups to ADS countries -> I assume you are travelling on a tourist visa?

    Hope you can help!

  14. Dear Sir,

    I am Christopher,living in Kerala .My age is 32 and i am B.com Graduate and completed PGDCA course ni Computer. my dream is go to U.K and do work there.i hear U.K govt is declair that many company ,farm,hotels are appointed many people for low grade post and U.K govt give work permit.this matter i hear but i can not know is it true or false.so,sir,i am very much puzzled this matter.if this matter is true piease sir advice there after what i do and give the good agencys name and address who send peopleU.K. please sir,give me right solution andi fulfill my dream.sir,give me the right advice as early as possible.thanking you

    Yours Faithfully

    Christopher Y.

  15. Dear Sir,

    Hello,i’m a Chinese girl,25 years old this year, born and work both in South China (GZ). I would like to get the visa ( visiting visa or unmaiired visa) to go to Uk ( My boyfriend is a British ),but i dont know what’s need to the help from him to make me get this visa and he dont know too. Also i know it’s difficult to get it,do you know any difficulty,need to care about any something else? So i need to find some informations out about the details and process for him as well. So wish i can get some help from you!! Thanks you very much!!!

    Ms Cheng

  16. Hi,

    It is getting easier for Chinese to go to the UK. The fact that you have a British boyfriend will help a lot.

    The key facts that you need to emphasis are;

    1) You have a stable life in China i.e. you have work, a home and friends in China that you will not leave and so will return when you say you will.

    2) Ideally you boyfriend should be living in China. If you share a house in China all the better. Hopefully you have being going out with each other for sometime, so get get letters from friends (ideally both Chinese and foriegn) in China to say how long they have known you both.

    3) Your boyfriend will need to write a letter to say that he will be responsible for you in the UK and the UK government will not bare any costs from your visit i.e. you have proper health cover and you both have sufficent money cover the trip. He will also have to include details of his salary i.e. pay slips plus copies of 3 months bank statements.

    4) If you boyfriend is living in China then ideally in the letter he writes he should include details about his job such as his office address and type of business.

    5) You should also include a PROVISIONAL flight schedule. Please do NOT buy tickets until your visa is accepted.

    6) You will need a letter from you employer saying that you have booked time off work i.e. vacation. Ideally make sure the letter says how good a worker you are too!

    7) My girlfriend and I even included pictures of ourselves from different travels we had been on i.e. Beijing, Shanghai, Fujian etc.. This again just reassures the British government that you are a serious couple.

    8)Check out: http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk

    Here you will find all the forms you will need to complete. There is also a lot of other information.

    I am not sure about GZ but in Shanghai the process took about 5 working days. My girlfriend and I also had been to other Asain countries together, so she had a number of visas in her passport which I think also help reassure the authorities that you are genuine.

    Good luck and when you get to the UK have a great time. Please also make sure that you visit a few places outside London. The UK is NOT London!

    James

    http://www.wanlingteahouse.com

    If you live in Shanghai please pop in for a cup of tea and a chat. Wan Ling has some lovely Tie Guan Yin (An Xi Oolong), Pu Er and other teas.

  17. Hi,

    It is getting easier for Chinese to go to the UK. The fact that you have a British boyfriend will help a lot.

    The key facts that you need to emphasis are;

    1) You have a stable life in China i.e. you have work, a home and friends in China that you will not leave and so will return when you say you will.

    2) Ideally you boyfriend should be living in China. If you share a house in China all the better. Hopefully you have being going out with each other for sometime, so get get letters from friends (ideally both Chinese and foriegn) in China to say how long they have known you both.

    3) Your boyfriend will need to write a letter to say that he will be responsible for you in the UK and the UK government will not bare any costs from your visit i.e. you have proper health cover and you both have sufficent money cover the trip. He will also have to include details of his salary i.e. pay slips plus copies of 3 months bank statements.

    4) If you boyfriend is living in China then ideally in the letter he writes he should include details about his job such as his office address and type of business.

    5) You should also include a PROVISIONAL flight schedule. Please do NOT buy tickets until your visa is accepted.

    6) You will need a letter from you employer saying that you have booked time off work i.e. vacation. Ideally make sure the letter says how good a worker you are too!

    7) My girlfriend and I even included pictures of ourselves from different travels we had been on i.e. Beijing, Shanghai, Fujian etc.. This again just reassures the British government that you are a serious couple.

    8)Check out: http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk

    Here you will find all the forms you will need to complete. There is also a lot of other information.

    I am not sure about GZ but in Shanghai the process took about 5 working days. My girlfriend and I also had been to other Asain countries together, so she had a number of visas in her passport which I think also help reassure the authorities that you are genuine.

    Good luck and when you get to the UK have a great time. Please also make sure that you visit a few places outside London. The UK is NOT London!

    James

    http://www.wanlingteahouse.com

    If you live in Shanghai please pop in for a cup of tea and a chat. Wan Ling has some lovely Tie Guan Yin (An Xi Oolong), Pu Er and other teas. Wan Ling’s tea house is located near Jing An Temple

  18. Dear sir

    Respect to u

    I am shambhu Ram subedi from Nepal.I would like to work at Europen country.I have study at undergraduate level.and i have hotel treaning knowledge.so please sir give me chance anywhere place

    your faithfully

    Shambhu from Nepal

  19. i have a visa, which is ETATS SCHENGEN’s visa .the type of visa is ‘C’, the number of entries is MULT. So i want to go to U K. which is Schengen’s countries.

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