Tips from KenE

20130715 pointers for applying China visa from overseas and 回鄉卡 from HK

As promised, I now put together some of the pointers for applying China visa and 回鄉卡 for our overseas compadre.

Instead of sending the below en masse, I wd suggest perhaps we store the information on the website and remind people in the next update email that people that need to apply for visa / 回鄉卡can look up in the website, which they can add their observation from their region.

Ken E

A Few Pointers on Applying China Visa in Overseas versus from HK

The general website is —  the Chinese Visa Application Service Center. They offer the choice of Apply at the Center or Apply by Post. You can download both the Visa Application Form (Form V.2011A) and the General Guidelines at

The major cities that have the Chinese Visa Application Service Center are:
US – San Fran, LA, Chicago, Houston, Washington, DC and NY.

Canada – Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal.

Australia – Perth, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney & Brisbane.

You may want to first check with your knowledgeable local travel agents that are experienced with China travel. Some travel agencies offer to submit the appl on your behalf for a small fee (here is $10). And they can tell you what’s needed to fill in and what they will turn back for more information.

You obviously have to submit a valid passport. Some suggests that the expiry date will have at least 6 months from day of travel.

You need also submit along with a picture. But unlike normal picture for passport, no need to have the picture studio stamp & date on the back. Despite they say “浅色背景”, it has to be white, at least according to the local office here.

Must have an itinerary print out to accompany the application. The itinerary can show only the air flight booking to HK and that’s good enough.
You still need to fill in 2.5 在中国逗留期间的住址及电话(按时间顺序)Residence(s)  and phone number(s) during your stay in China (in a time sequence).
You can put in 南华禅寺 广东省韶关市曲江区曹溪畔 NanHua Temple Qujiang District of Shaoguan City, Guangdong Province, 0751-8920328
As this can be a 1 day trip cross border trip from HK, that should do.

Must have the Chinese name filled in, if you’re born in HK, Macau & China.

As to previous travel to China, doesn’t have to have the exact date, as long as you filled up the month & year. I doubt they have the history database to cross-reference at this point.
If you want to do it yourself, the afternoon hours are better for less people.

If they offer in house picture taking, use it. (Tip: they will print out 4, ask them just cut out one to fit the exact size required, leave the 3 unsized and you can use them with the HK passport app.)
If you indicate you’re retired or self employed as your profession, still fill in the home address at the Current employer Mailing address. (The general rule is: fill in every box.)

If you no longer have an HKID no., can leave it blank for the box “1.11当地身份证号码 Local ID card number”. (IF you plan to apply for a Entry Permit 港澳通行证 (回鄉卡) later, you may want to leave this blank. Keep in mind, there was a period of time that the HK Government requested those that have emigrated return their HK ID Card. Hence this is an exception.)

Re: 辦理回鄉卡

1) The 中國旅行社at 沙田證件服務中心
新界沙田瀝源街7號沙田娛樂城地下B舖 seems to be very accommodating.
The whole process was less than 5 minutes.

2) At 9am when the 瀝源街 branch opened, on that day, the queue started before 8am only had less than 20 people. One of the staff told me that this office handed high volume each day (some 500 tickets). But as Daniel suggests, pre-booking wd be a good thing.

For 預約辦理回鄉卡

3) Before the door opens and still in queue, a nearby photo-shop saleswoman came by and invite people to use their picture service. The folks that have their picture and DVD prepared by outside vendor have to get to a window (another queue once inside) to have their’s
verified. The on-site service is fast (and always correct, no need to get verification) and only a few dollars more.

4) For our overseas folks, you have to have the HK Smart ID card.  And if you have not applied a 回鄉卡 before, it will be advisable to get a HK passport first. And DO NOT show them your foreign passport. They don’t want to know. And if they know, will be very hard to approve. (Ask Ah Tai about his experience). Email me if any question on how to do both HK Smart ID card & 辦理回鄉卡 in the same day.

5) My回鄉卡expired in 1998, they didn’t blink an eye when I renewed it this April.

6) The person that picks up the Card at a later date don’t have to be there with you. You assign a person afterward.

Official site:

Lastly, bring $600 cash with you, that will cover the process fee for 10 years(HK$390), the charge for photocopy (HK$4), the pictures ($70?) and taxicab fare.

That’s all I could think of now. Hope that helps.

Ken E

[forwarded by AK 20130909]

20130618 Tips on Window Utilities

Using HTML, the below list wd also have the embedded URL as to the website of each of the application.

When computer turns funny, the On demand antivirus scanners should definitely be deployed as no one Antivirus /Antimalware detects 100% of everything. NotablyESET Online Scanner (free) is deemed to the most thorough.

I also use MyDefrag to defrag my hard drive at least monthly.


Windows Secrets Newsletter

The ultimate Windows Secrets utilities list

Diagnostics and repair

Total system

    • Piriform CCleaner (free and paid versions) √√
    • SlimWare Utilities SlimCleaner (reader recommended)

Operating system


    • Resplendence WhoCrashed (free and paid; reader recommended)

Hard drive

    • EFD Software HD Tune (free and paid)



Imaging applications

General Utilities



On demand antivirus scanners

Password vaults

System/application updating

[Forwarded by AK, 20130831]

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