During our travels in Southeast Asia, we found ourselves needing to obtain a China visa in Kuala Lumpur.
We had been faced with the question of whether we wanted to continue moving through the countries in South East Asia during the summer months or head north and allow ourselves to work through Korea and China for the remainder of the summer, returning to those countries in the late Fall.
This left us with the obstacle of obtaining a Chinese Tourist Visa while we were in Kuala Lumpur. As US Citizens, we weren’t even sure this was possible.
The visa process for China is a cumbersome one, with a huge application, many documents needed and passport photos.
After spending some time doing research, we set off to apply for a Chinese visa during our time Kuala Lumpur before heading North as planned.
The process of obtaining a Chinese Visa was easier then we expected. It did involve a fair amount of time running around to collect information and then returning to the embassy for an interview, but it all went smoothly and we now have our Chinese visas in hand as we prepare to visit that amazing country.
To help others in this similar predicament, we can provide you up to date information to make the process easier.
Don’t leave home without Lonely Planet China (Travel Guide)
How To Apply For A China Tourist Visa in Kuala Lumpur
Before Visiting the Chinese Embassy
- Before you even head towards the embassy visit the embassy website and download then print the application for your China Tourist Visa (L).
- Be sure to complete all the sections completely.
- Make a copy of your passport ID pages and make sure you have 2 empty pages and 6 months validity
- Make a copy of your passport page that shows your current Malaysia entry stamp (this proves you are in Malaysia legally)
- Provide a recent passport photo
- Make a copy of your itinerary for visiting China.
- Make a copy of your hotel reservations or letter of invitation
- Use the embassy website to make an appointment for dropping off your paperwork
- Bring your passport along with all other documents to your appointment
If you are not able to make copies of stuff prior to visiting the embassy, they do have a copy machine you can use for RM0.20 per copy. They can also take passport photos for you. PLEASE NOTE: They will not print anything for you from email or a USB drive. Copies only.
Find Accommodation in China – Read reviews and check prices for hotels in China at TripAdvisor or Airbnb.
Apply for your China Tourist Visa (L)
Now that you have all your stuff together, you are ready to journey to the embassy to apply for your visa. This is where it can be confusing.
Travelers used to be able to apply for visa services at the Bank of China, however, they have now moved all visa processing services to a new location. Despite the address, you will see on the website, you must apply at the following address:
Level 5 & 6 Hampshire Place Office
Jalan Mayang Sari, 50450
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Getting here is simple, you can either hop in a taxi or take the metro. Take the metro to the Ampang Park station, when you exit, take a right and head up to the street.
Head straight until you reach the Bank of China on the corner, turn right, cross the street and head straight to the end of the road. You will see the Hampshire Place building at the end of the left.
Enter the building and go to floor 5. The application process is very smooth and you will meet with an agent that will go over your application to ensure everything is correct and ask you a few questions. They will take your paperwork, passport, give you a visa collection form and tell you when your interview is scheduled for.
TIP: Do not lose your visa collection form. Not only do you need this to collect your passport, but it also acts as a proof document in case someone asks for your passport during the time you are in the city and your visa is being processed.
Go To Your Interview
All non-Malaysian applicants must show up for a face to face interview when applying for a China Tourist Visa (L). If you do not, you will not be issued a visa. Our interview was scheduled for the next day, so we had to make an additional trip to this area.
All interviews are held at the actual Chinese embassy, which is located in the Bank of China.
The interview goes very smoothly and fast, we were in and out of there in 30 minutes including our wait time. The agent will ask you questions about your time in China and ask you to verify the information on the application you submitted.
The agent we had was very nice and easy-going. The interview is done in the main area, in front of a window. So it is casual, you will not be hauled into a small, windowless room in the depths of the embassy. I promise.
The general consensus is that this process weeds out the non-serious foreign applicants and we were told that if we showed up for the interview, we would have no issues getting a visa.
Processing Time & Cost
The rules have changed in the past years about processing time. US citizens used to be able to request expedited processing in Kuala Lumpur but we are now limited to the standard processing only.
This timeframe is 4 days and weekends and holidays are not included. We dropped our stuff off on a Thursday, were interviewed on a Friday and picked up our passports with visas on the following Tuesday.
So it is safe to assume the processing time starts the day you drop off the information.
The cost for a US citizen to obtain a Chinese visa is the same no matter where you apply from.
We paid RM520 for each visa. The cost of the visa varies by your citizenship, for more information on this you can check out the official website for the Kuala Lumpur Embassy.
After waiting the allotted time until your pickup date (this should also be on your visa collection form), you will need to make one last trip over to that area of the city.
The pickup location is located in the same building you started in, Hampshire Place. You will need the following items before arriving to pick up your passport and visa:
- Visa Collection Form
- Cash to pay for your visa
Enter the building and go to floor 6. You will be given a number and asked to wait. When your number comes up on the screen, make your way to the payment window (the screen will tell you which window this is).
Provide your visa collection form, which will be scanned and then pay your bill. Once payment is collected, your collection form will be stamped and you will be redirected to the pickup window.
Present the visa collection form to the agent. You will be given your passport and told to double-check that it is yours and that all the information on the China Tourist Visa (L) is correct.
If everything looks good, YOU MADE IT! You have successfully applied for and received a Chinese visa during your travels in Kuala Lumpur.
Did you find this article helpful? Let us know in the comments below.
We spent 6 weeks traveling in China and only saw a small portion of this beautiful country. It all started by applying for your China tourist visa in Kuala Lumpur.
China is not a destination we would recommend to a new traveler as very few people speak English and getting around can be a real challenge.
China is huge and it takes the minimum of an overnight train ride to get anywhere significant.
There are many wonders to see and experience in China, so we definitely recommend a visit at some stage, just be sure you bring a sense of humor.
Must Visit: Beijing, Great Wall of China, Xi’an, Pingyao, Chengdu, Yangshuo
Experiences You Shouldn’t Miss: Visit the Great Wall of China, visit imperial China in Beijing, a volunteer with Pandas in Chengdu, see the great terracotta army in Xi’an, hike in the rice terraces near Guilin.
Do you have your trip to China planned out? Check out these great tours!
Below are the tours we recommend in China. By top tour operators that only use the best of the best local tour guides.
These tours are remarkable and they will make your China experience a trip of a lifetime. Once you have applied for your Chinese visa in Kuala Lumpur it is time to start planning your adventure.
- G Adventures Classis Beijing to Hong Kong Adventure: Stand face-to-face with the Terracotta Warriors and marvel at the Master of the Nets Garden and other national treasures on this 14-day tour through China. By crossing the country via train, you’ll go from the power of the Great Wall to the bright lights of Shanghai and through the karst scenery of Yangshuo. Plus, with optional cycling tours and treks through the countryside, you’ll experience the quieter side of China, too. Discover the country’s natural and cultural highlights with the perfect combination of included activities and free time to explore.
- G Adventures Classic Hong Kong to Beijing Adventure: There may be two sides to every coin, but there sure are a heck of a lot more to China. This staggering adventure gets you to as many of those sides as we can possibly fit into 20 days (wow!). Bright-lights-big-city Hong Kong? Check. Terracotta warrior staring contest? Check. Giant panda ogling? Remote village cycling? Mountain monasteries and Forbidden City? Oh yes and so much more. Don’t just get to China; get inside what makes it drive the 21st century, starting right here, right now.
Explore China & Tibet with National Geographic Journeys
- Get over the wall for a life-changing adventure through China’s awe-inspiring interior. Explore the unforgettable city of Beijing and meet pandas at a breeding center in Sichuan.
- Discover daily life in Tibet and cruise the incredible Yangtze River on a riverboat. Cycle atop the city walls of Xi’an, and face its standing army of terracotta warriors before eating lunch in a local village. Get into China’s very heart and it will most certainly get into yours.
More on China:
- 16 Unmissable Things to Do in Beijing
- Should I Rent A Scooter in Yangshuo China
- Food Adventure on the Streets of Beijing
- Rock Climbing 101 in Yangshuo China
- Top 5 Things To Do in China
- We Were Giant Panda Volunteers in China
- Hiking the Rice Terraces in Guilin
- China’s Terracotta Army: Photo Essay
- Walking the Great Wall of China: Best Routes & Tips
- 21 Spectacular Things to Do in Hong Kong
- The Perfect Blend of Things to Do in Macau
- How to Travel Tibet: Everything You Need to Know
- RTW Recap: 8 Days in Tibet
27 thoughts on “How To Apply For A China Visa in Kuala Lumpur: Step by Step Guide”
Hello dear! Your article was indeed helpful. But I have few questions. Do I need to provide hotel booking information in China and round ticket. Because you didn’t mention them and Malasian visa because I can stay in Malasia for 30 days without any visa. And is it possible to get 180 days tourist visa there?
Yes, you will be asked for your hotel in the arrival city and for departure information from China. When we did it, we were flying into Beijing and provided our hotel there. For departure, we traveled by land to Hong Kong, so denoted that on the form. The length of visa you can get will depend on how you apply, where your passport is issued from and some other factors. Nobody is ever guaranteed a certain type of visa. For Americans, we were only able to get a single entry visa at the embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Where is we had applied in the USA, they would have issued a long term, multi-entry visa. So, you have to check in advance. Good luck!
This article was a very helpful indeed! thank you so much! follow your instructions and did the application in a very short time. Will have to collect my passport by Friday.
Love to hear that! Enjoy China. 🙂
As of December 2018, is the information kindly provided in this article still accurate? Cheers
It sure is!
This article was helpful to me so I wanted to give another update. I’m a US citizen in Malaysia as a tourist. I was just given the 10-year multiple-entry visa (max 60 days per visit) with no interview needed. I made the appointment online (tons of availability), gathered the documents, and dropped them off with an agent at the visa center (just asked a few simple questions). He told me I’d get the 10-year visa if approved, which I’d find out on pick-up. Three working days later I picked up my 10-year visa and paid. Super easy and highly highly recommend this!
That’s awesome that they are issuing 10 year visas now!! Thanks for the update and enjoy China. 🙂
Just wanted to let people know that the visa service center in KL do not accept applications from non-residents right now. All foreigners with a Malaysian tourist visa got rejected. The lady at the counter said that I’ll have to wait until November to be able to apply from here or fly to another country and try from there….
I’m Norwegian, and met one from England and one from Spain that also got rejected today.
Good to know, thanks for the update. Cheers!
Just wanted to post an update because your guide came in handy when I recently applied for my KL visa in China. I’m an Australian citizen and despite some reports online that I could only apply for a China visa in KL if it was less than 30 days until my planned visit, I managed to successfully apply and receive my visa 60 days before my attended arrival in China. I didn’t have an appointment but arrived at 9.30am and there was no one around. If you arrive anytime after 10am you can be expected to wait hours (when I went to pick my visa up at 1.30pm there were about 50 people in the waiting room to put their applications in). I don’t think its generally the case that all foreigners need an interview- because I definitely didn’t need one. Maybe its a US thing or you guys just got asked for an interview because of the no return flight, going to Hong Kong thing. They told me when I put my application in that they might call me for an interview if necessary but if I didn’t hear from them just to come in four days later to pick my passport up. I got no call and when I went in yesterday after four days I paid for my visa and received my passport with the shiny new visa in it. I’m so relieved- have been stressing about the process since I booked the trip.
I’ve been looking all over the internet for an article explaining how to get a Chinese Visa in KL, thanks so much for this!!
I read your comment that you had to plead to get a 60 day visa, what did they ask you at the interview? I really want to get a 60 day one but don’t want to risk booking return flights for the application … only to then get a 30 day visa 🙁
Would love your advice! x
We told them we needed 60 days because we were traveling the country by train and that it wasn’t possible to see all the best sites in just 30 days! Glad you found this article useful! It’s easy when you know what to do. 🙂 Happy travels!
Let me just say THANK YOU for writing this!!!
You are very welcome! 🙂
Awesome article Lina!!! I’m doing this on Monday, fingers crossed that I’ll be able to get it by Friday! 😀
PS. Were you asked to provide an airplane ticket out of China? My plan is to exit overland via HK…
Hey! We were asked but then told them that we were exiting to HK via bus. They had no issues with that! Hope it goes smoothly for you!
Thanks for this! Do you remember how long you had to enter once the visa was issued? Thanks! Evie
The standard issue at the embassy for US passports was 30 days. We submitted a special request letter for 60 days and had to plead the case in a face to face interview to get 2 entries and 60 days on each entry. If you ask at the embassy when you apply, they will tell you if that is possible or not.
Hi lina, i would like to ask if i could apply chinese visa here in kuala lumpur? Im a philippines passport holder. Pls help ke
I do not know an answer to this for you. You will have to contact the embassy in Kuala Lumpur directly with this question. Cheers!
Hey Evie, is the location for submitting your documents still in the same place as listed in the article?
Extremely helpful, angelic almost! Thanks.
Last Visa was 2002 to PRC and was bothered.. you’ve lifted a huge load.
Thanks for all the great info! I plan to apply soon. One question- had you booked all your hotels in China, just the first one, or a few? I have a set itinerary planned but didn’t want to book everything in case I want to stay a little longer in one place or something and it wrecks all the bookings. Thanks!! 🙂
Hi Kristine, we only booked in the first city and then said we were taking the train to Hong Kong, so no return plane ticket needed either. We made so many changes to our itinerary once in China so I highly recommend leaving it as open as possible! If you need advice on places to visit just let us know! Cheers!
HI, thanks for your site and all the good information. My name is Susanne, I am 65 and I have been traveling alone for 2 years and 3 months. Just a little update on getting a China Visa in KL for US citizens.
It is now possible for US citizens to get a 10 year tourist visa as of NOV 2014. I thought I would have to be in the States to get this as this is true for a 10 year India Visa.
Anyway, I applied for the 10 year visa here and they said this is possible. It cost the same as the single entry visa. You can stay 60 days at a time. I am not sure at this point if it is extendable once inside China as other visas are.
You just check the OTHER box on the application in section 2.2 where it is asking for what duration of visa you want, and you write 10 year multiple entry visa.
Also when I went they were not automatically assigning interviews but said that if the embassy (who makes all the decisions wanted to interview they will phone you and /or e-mail you for your appointment time. I was not contacted for an interview.
Also I did not have to have a return ticket but just explained I would be taking a bus to Guangzhou and then a train to Hong Kong. I had the printed version of the time table and price. This was acceptable. You don’t mention needing a return ticket but other sites do say that you need one so it gets really confusing about which sites are correct. I trusted your site but did the research about how I would travel overland as this is acceptable for an Indian Visa. Writing it clearly that no return tickets are needed would be helpful I think as I was still unsure when I applied. Thanks again, I love your site! I will be in Yangshou studying tai chi and chi gong for 6 to 8 months and just might try the rock climbing.
Thank you for the information! Yes, a 10 year was not available when we applied and interviews were mandatory. We didn’t have a return ticket either, they did ask us for one, but we then told them we were leaving via train/bus to Hong Kong and there was no issue with that. Yanghsuo is great!! For sure check out Black Rock climbing, Aniu and his boys are great!!