Last week I had to go to Hong Kong to get the correct working visa, the Z visa. At the beginning, I was so excited to go. I was looking at where to visit, where we could stay and generally just looking forward to getting out of Zhonghai.
But as the time came closer, all that changed. I didn’t want to go. I had to go during my days off, meaning I wouldn’t get a weekend. Travelling by plane, waiting for hours in an airport, queuing for hours at the visa office, spending tonnes of money on accommodation and food… no thanks. It was too much effort, too much money. And worse. It was for business.
But I had to go. So after class, me and a fellow teacher boarded a plane for Hong Kong. The plane was delayed four hours though, meaning we were put in a hotel until they called us. Great start. We arrived in Shenzhen airport at 4:30am so we decided to stay there until 7am, where we got the subway to the Hong Kong border. By the time we got to our accommodation in Hong Kong it was about 11.30am.
I would recommend you to stay in the Check Inn hostel. It is about a 10 minute walk from the visa office and the overall hostel was fine, with great air conditioning and free wi-fi in the rooms. Although it was a little bit dearer then others, I would stay there again. There is another hostel called CheungKing Mansion (not sure of spelling) and I heard it is the cheapest in Hong Kong. But if like me and you need to go to the visa office, then stay in Check Inn. Cheungking Mansion is on the mainland of Hong Kong meaning you have to get the Ferry to Kowloon Island where the office is.
For any other people needing to go to Hong Kong for their visa, listen carefully. At immigration you will get a small square piece of paper with a small blue design printed on it. It will have your name and what not on the paper. You NEED this. Don’t loose this. When you go to leave your passport into the office don’t forget to give them this along with your other documents, they will ask for it.
Another teacher who went before me told me about this. He said ‘Don’t loose that paper whatever you do’. I said ‘No I’ll make sure I have it’. What did I do? Well I didn’t loose it if you must know. When I went up to the counter, the lady looked at my documents and asked, ‘Do you have the receipt from immigration?’ I replied ‘What receipt?’ She then showed me the paper. I thought… ‘oh s..t’ She told me to go to the opposite building and get a new one, thus loosing my place in the queue. Incidentally, the other teacher left his at the hostel.
So we were walking back to the hostel and I looked in my bag, sure enough there it was. In my haste I threw the piece of paper in my bag, not knowing what it was.
So, keep that piece of paper.
Another thing I might add about the visa process. You hear people saying ‘Yes the lines are very long in the visa office, make sure you go early’. That doesn’t necessarily apply. Because we arrived late, we decided to go around 1pm. We arrived only to find out that it doesn’t open until 2. Although at this time there were about 50 people in a long queue waiting. The whole procedure was quite quick, but with our misplacement of our receipts we had to leave and come back. But by 3pm there was literally no queue. So I would suggest to people, if you are going during mid day, go at around 3pm. There is no queue because people would have went at 2pm.
Because we paid for express, our visa was ready the next day. We went in at around 3pm and picked them up. The whole process was quite easy, although we were constantly worrying in case we would be rejected.
So, make sure you have the right documents, your money to pay for the visa, and that small piece of paper, and everything should go smoothly.