How to apply for Hong Kong and Japan visa in US

If you are not U.S Citizenship with American Passport, you need to apply for Visa to Hong Kong and Japan. It is worth pointing that you do not allow to apply Visa online for those countries that you need to arrive those consulates and submit the application. In Vietnam, it costs you about $90 for Hong Kong and $90 for Japan visa service. In the US, it costs you about $200$ for Hong Kong and $200 for Japan. Especially for HK visa, there is no promise that your visa application gets approved and it takes you more than one month to receive from the date you apply. Moreover, there are a few visa agencies to provide HK visa service. Therefore, I decided to do my Visa application myself since I can save money, control the time and get those visas faster. After one month, I can get both Visas that I feel so excited for my next trips. What counts is how you are willing to explore new things and places even if those ones are so simple and normal… and today I know how to use Caltrain and BART – both public transportation in Bay Area that makes me feel happy;);).

I would like to share with you guys my experience to apply that you can save time, money and be well-prepared for your trip

How to apply for 🇭🇰 Hong Kong visa

  • How long do we need to wait for Visa Approval?: around 1-1.5 months if you meet all requirements. It takes time for you to apply since China Consulate needs to send your application to Hong Kong. Make sure you get enough time for the Visa before your travel date.
  • Where should I apply? You apply for HK Visa at China Consulate. If you live in Bay Area, you can apply at1450 Laguna St, San Francisco, CA 94115
  • What time should I arrive the Consulate?: China Consulate will open at 9:00 AM and close at 2:30 PM, so I recommend you should get in-line around 2 hours before the opening time so you can find the free public parking on the street and save your time for waiting in line. China Consulate is so crowded, especially on Monday and Friday. I arrived at 7:30 AM on Thursday. There were 10 pp in front of me. At 9:30 AM, there were 20pp in front of me;(;(. I do not know where they come from. Maybe their friends reserve those spots for them:(.
  • Process: I picked up the number, then waited for my turn. It took me around 30mintues. Since I submitted enough documents, the officer gives me the receipt quickly and asked me to pay the fee upfront. It is too crowded inside that It took me 30 minutes to get in-line and pay the visa fee. The whole process was done at 10:15 AM.
  • Transportation: you can drive early and look for a free parking as I mentioned above. Or you can take either Caltrain or BART, then walk to the China Consulate or take an Uber ( I don’t recommend to take Uber. Since the traffic is heavy, it takes you around 30 minutes for 2 miles. If you take the Caltrain, your final station should be San Francisco Station that the closest one to the Consulate.
  • Feedback:
    +Watch out people in front of you if you do not want some strangers to show up at the opening time even though they do not get in-line before
    +Ask the officer which number you should call to check the status of your visa. You should follow up frequently if you want to get HK visa on time. The number they gave to me: ‭(415) 872-9091‬
    +If officer calls you to come back and submit the added documents, you should ask whether you can send via email and who you should send to. You can use this email-the one they gave to me for sending supporting document: visa.sf@gmail.com
    +There is just one line for both pick-up and apply for the visa, so first come first serve
  • Cost: $55
  • Document requirement:
    +application form ( you can download at this link or Fill the online form)
    +flight ticket & hotel booking confirmation
    +employment verification
    +your paystub/bank statement/saving or checking with at least >15k /utility bills
    +Visa photo (2”x2”)
    +Copy of your passport/green card/ID

How to apply for Japan visa🇯🇵

  • How long do we need to wait for Visa Approval?: around 1 week if you meet all requirements.
  • Where should I apply? You apply for Japan Visa at Japan Consulate. If you live in Bay Area, you can apply at 275 Battery St #2100, San Francisco, CA 94111
  • What time should I arrive the Consulate?: Japan Consulate will open at 9:30 AM and close at 4:30 PM. It is not crowded so we do not need to get in-line. I arrived at 9:30 AM on Thursday.
  • Process: I picked up the number, then wait for my turn. It took me around 10mintues. Since I submitted enough documents, the officer gives me the receipt quickly.
  • Transportation: if you drive, It is hard for you to look for a street parking since the Consulate locates in downtown. You can use the list of parking below to find the best one for you. I parked at 343 Sansome street that cost me $3.5. 2 minutes for walking to the Consulate
    Or you can take either Caltrain or BART, then walk to the Japan Consulate (30 minutes) or take an Uber you take the Caltrain, your final station should be San Francisco Station that the closest one to the Consulate.
  • Feedback:
    +I like Japan consulate since people are very polite and friendly. The officer can proceed your application quickly and professionally. They also check your documents carefully to make sure you do not need to come back again‬
    +Japan consulate just accepts the cash for the visa fee;). There is Citi bank next to the building so you can get the cash quickly.
  • Cost: $27
  • Document requirement:
    +application form ( you can download at this link or fill the online form)
    +flight ticket & hotel booking confirmation
    +your paystub/bank statement/saving or checking with at least >10k
    +Visa photo (2”x2”)
    +Copy of your passport/green card/ID

Author

Amy Nguyen

Amy Nguyen

I feel happy to share my experiences with you about Travel - Food - Life around the world. I hope to inspire you to Live-Love- Laugh :)

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