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Can I get a Chinese visa BEFORE buying a flight ticket there?

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noticed that one of the listed requirements is that tourists to China must provide round trip air tickets and hotel reservation? Provide to who...the consulate? If I'm rejected the visa, then I will have wasted money buying a flight ticket so I want to get the visa first. Is this possible to do? Also, what is with the hotel reservation crap? I plan to stay with a friend of mine who lives there...I don't want to have to pay for a hotel reservation.
asked Jul 26, 2013 in Visa & Embassy by pance (50,970 points)

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If you go with a proxy visa service, a service that gets the visa for you for a fee, it's not necessary to have the flight info. I went to China last year and in '06 and both times, didn't get the ticket until after the Visa was granted. However, you need to provide specific dates of travel. I'd check with any proxy service you are using prior to betting on this, as the situation may have changed.

If you are looking to travel into any special administrative region of China, such as Tibet, you need an additional visa for that area and for that you MUST provide flight info.
answered Jul 26, 2013 by ccee (307,900 points)
selected Jul 26, 2013 by pance