We’re ready to go to China!

On September 1st, I sent our visa application documents to the Chinese embassy in Calgary. Due to the long weekend, we expected our documents to arrive in Calgary on Tuesday and when I checked our tracking number, I could see that they had been delivered as promised!

It was a welcome surprise to see our passports and receipts arrive in the mail today from the Chinese embassy! Our documents were processed without any issue in 4 business days and now both our passports have a page dedicated to our Chinese visas.

We’ve received our final itinerary but still haven’t received our flight information from Citslinc. Hopefully it will arrive this week!

 

Visa Applications are off to the embassy!

My dad’s visa application package arrived in my office on Friday so it was time to gather all of our documents together and get them sent to the Chinese embassy in Calgary!

Before we received the Letter of Invitation from Citslinc, we first sent photocopies of our passport data pages and photo pages to them. Citslinc then attached these photocopies to the Letter of Invitation that will go along with our visa application packages.

I had my passport photo taken on Thursday night – another requirement of the visa application process. Then on Friday morning, I gathered the Letter of Invitation along with the photocopies of the passport data & photo pages, our passports, photos, completed Visa Application forms, Credit Card Payment Authorization forms and List of the Required Documents for Postal Application forms. After reviewing all of the documents and ensuring that no pieces were missing, I set off for the nearest Canada Post outlet.

At Canada Post, I purchased a large XpressPost envelope along with a smaller XpressPost envelope that will be used by the Embassy to return our documents. I kept both tracking numbers from the envelopes so that I can track when our package arrives in Calgary as well as when our documents are being returned to us. I checked the first tracking number today and was relieved and happy to see that our packages were received by the Embassy yesterday. Now we wait!

We are still waiting for our flight tickets and travel details to arrive from Citslinc. In the meantime, we have been provided with a final itinerary. We arrive in LA at 9:30pm on October 4th and our flight for China leaves on October 5, 2017 at 1:05am so we have a slight time crunch. Fingers crossed that our flight to LA is on time! On the bright side, we no longer need a hotel for the night of October 4th. We return from China to LA on October 13th – our flight leaves at 9pm in China but we only arrive at 6pm in LA! We then leave for Regina on October 14th so have a room booked at a hotel close to the airport for the night of October 13th.

Time is flying by! October will be here in no time.

 

 

 

Discover China with me!

Hi there! My name is Michele Geres and I work as the Executive Assistant for the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce. The goal of this blog is to give you an inside look of my trip to China on October 5-13, 2017. I hope that this site will be a helpful resource for you as you prepare for your own trip in Spring 2018.

And, if you haven’t already signed on to Discover China with us, now’s the time!

Background information:

Through a partnership with Citslinc International, the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Saskatchewan is offering an 11-day all-inclusive tour of Beijing, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai for $2,299 (taxes included) per person. Citslinc International is one of the largest providers of foreign tours to China and works exclusively with over 800 Chambers of Commerce in Canada and the US. Over 20,000 people travelled with Citslinc International on Chamber tours last year alone!

This fully escorted trip is meant to be an introduction to the people, history, culture, commerce and daily life of this exciting country. The itinerary is packed with sights and activities that will provide a full and rewarding experience including visits to historic sites like the Great Wall of China and Tiananmen Square. There will also be an opportunity to make business contacts in China. The trip departs on April 7, 2018, returning April 17, 2018.  The trip includes:

  • Roundtrip International airfare from Calgary
  • 4 and 5 Star Hotel Accommodations
  • Three meals per day
  • All tour fees
  • Deluxe in-country transportation and local airfare
  • Experienced English-speaking tour guides
  • All taxes and airport fees

Prices are based on two person shared accommodation. Single occupancy is available for an additional charge of $500.

Deadline for registration is December 15, 2017.

Two information sessions will be held by me personally to give you an overview of my trip along with answers to any questions!

  • November 7, 2017 5:30pm-7pm: Sandman Hotel Inn & Suites, 1800 Victoria Ave. E., Regina
  • November 8, 2017 5:30pm-7pm: Heritage Inn, 102 Cardinal Cres., Saskatoon

To take advantage of this opportunity, contact me at the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce office by phone at 306.352.2671 or by e-mail at mgeres@saskchamber.com.

 

 

Starting the Visa Application process…

The deadline for our registration forms and full payments to be submitted was August 1, 2017 to be eligible for the October 5, 2017 trip to China. Citslinc International, our partner organization, confirmed in early August that they had received our registration forms. The next step in the process is to get our visas!

Yesterday, we received our Letter of Invitation for our upcoming trip to China. This Letter of Invitation is a requirement to apply for a visa to enter China – now it’s time to get the visa process rolling!

We have just over one month until our trip to China. I am a little anxious about the visa process – do we have enough time? What if we don’t fill out something correctly? What if we’re missing something? Luckily, the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre website is full of good information, including a Checklist that we can reference to make sure we have everything in order.

This morning, I filled out my Visa Application Form, Visa Credit Card Payment Authorization Form and started the Checklist for Application by Post. For the Visa Application Form, I needed my passport number, issue date and expiry date. Using the Sample Visa Application Form as a reference, I went through each field and filled in the applicable information. I also needed the trip itinerary information provided with the Letter of Invitation to complete a section that requires the names of the hotels and dates of our stay in each city. The first page of the Letter of Invitation also provided some necessary information. It is important to note that all Visa Application Forms must be typed and printed, handwritten forms will not be accepted. All in all, the Visa Application Form was much easier to complete than I anticipated!

Next, I completed the Visa Credit Card Payment Authorization Form. As the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre does not accept cash, this form is another requirement of the visa application process. According to the Schedule of Visa Fees, the application cost is $158.80 and will be applied to my credit card once the visa process is complete and my documents are ready to be returned to me.

Tomorrow, I plan to have my passport photo taken. Once my dad’s visa application package arrives, I will mail our passports, passport photos, Visa Application Forms, Visa Credit Card Payment Authorization Forms, Checklist for Application by Post and Letter of Invitation to the Chinese Embassy in Calgary by Canada Post XpressPost. A pre-addressed return Canada Post XpressPost envelope will also be included with the visa application packages. I will also be tracking numbers from both envelopes so that I can check on the status of our package as it makes its way to and from the Chinese Embassy in Calgary.

We are also expecting our tour packages from Citslinc to arrive shortly after September 1st. Our trip is getting closer with each day!