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Five-step guide to getting your visa for Beijing

The 2015 World Hydropower Congress is being hosted in Beijing, China on 19–21 May 2015. To attend, you will need to obtain a visa to travel to China – this five-step guide explains how.

China visa application

1.  Register for the congress!

You should reserve your place at congress ahead of making visa arrangements (If for any reason you are unable to arrange your visa in time, you will be able to get a full refund for your registration).  

The inviting partners in China will require your completed registration in order to send you a visa invitation request form, followed by an official invitation letter which is essential for processing your visa application.

You can register for the congress here.

2.  Check your passport is valid

To obtain a visa, you need to hold a valid passport. Your passport must:

  • Have at least two blank visa pages
  • Be valid six months beyond your entry date
  • Be issued as a full validity passport
  • Not be damaged in any way

3.  Get your visa photo

For your visa you will need to provide a passport-type photograph in colour. The photo must:

  • Be taken within the last three months against a white background and printed on high quality photo paper
  • Be 35mm by 45mm in size
  • Provide the full frontal view of your head with your face centred in the middle and displaying a neutral (non-smiling) expression. You may wear neither spectacles nor headwear, except for religious purposes
  • Be affixed to your application and may not display evidence of adhesive or staples

4.  Get your visa invitation letter

You need to obtain an official invitation letter from our organising partners in China (CYTS) in order for your visa to be processed. Our partners will contact you directly to help arrange your invitation letter following your registration for Congress.  

Alternatively, if you require more urgent assistance, the team at IHA Central Office can help – you can get in touch here.

5.  Complete and process your visa application form

This is the often the trickiest part – you need to obtain and fill out your visa application form. You can find visa application forms on the Chinese Embassy website.

The forms are different depending on your activities in China, but it is most likely you will need to use the form for ‘foreigners who intend to go to China for commercial and trade activities”.

Learn more


To successfully complete the form, you need to:

  • Fully complete all answers to all questions
  • State your full job title in section 1.15 if your occupation includes media related activities, or if you are self employed 
  • Enter ‘not applicable’ for questions that do not apply to you
  • Use block capitals and black ink if you are handwriting the form
  • Not make any handwritten changes or use any correction fluid
  • Sign the form in the original – your signature on the visa form must match the signature on your passport
  • Print each page of the form on separate sheets of A4 paper

If you have been issued a Chinese visa before, you must also supply:

  • A clear copy of your most recently issued visa
  • A clear copy of the information page(s) of the passport in which the old visa was issued
  • The original cancelled passport if it contains a valid visa
  • A clear copy of your marriage / deed poll certificate if the old passport was issued in a different name to the new one    

Once you have obtained and completed your form, contact your local Chinese embassy for processing. If there is a time constraint you may need to make an appointment – express services are often available.


    If you have any problems or queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at the Congress Secretariat,, and we will walk you through the process.