Beijing is easily accessible by all delegates. Delegates from Japan, Australia, Asia, Europe, and North America can fly direct to Beijing. Delegates from other parts of the world will find one-stop flights are available from most countries. Beijing Capital International Airport As one of five major international airports in China, Capital International Airport (PEK) services the largest number of international and domestic airlines, about 200 in total. Beijing Capital International Airport is located in northeast of Beijing, capital of Peoples Republic of China, and 25 km (16 miles) from the Tiananmen Square, center of Beijing city. It is not only an aviation gateway of Beijing and a window for international communication, but also a radial center for China civil aviation network, featured in a large scale international airport, with most important location, biggest scale, fullest facilities and busiest transportation in China. 11 domestic companies and 55 foreign companies are now operating more than 5,000 scheduled flights to 88 cities in China and 69 cities abroad.
Passports, with at least six months of remaining validity prior to entry into China, and entry visas are required to visit China. Participants are strongly advised to retain a reputable passport/visa service or travel agency within their country of residence for assistance. There are additional fees, but there is also the benefit of their expert advice and familiarity with the process.
Chinese entry visas should be sought between 30-90 days before the symposium. Check with your consultant, but US consultants do not advise applying earlier than 90 days.
The information below is intended as general guidance. Please consult with a visa expert in your country. A US-based visa consultant indicated that there are three visa types open to ISRS 2019 attendees (Chinese embassy’s description of visa types here):
Type F or Conference Visa: This type is limited to roughly the duration of the conference and requires a formal letter of invitation (which we a local organizer in Beijing will assist in providing). The limited duration is regarded as a disadvantage to some. Please note that the invitation letter is valid for three months, so these will not be sent until after February 2019. Select the following textual link to access the Visa Invitation Request Form (PDF file).
Type L or Tourist Visa: This type can often be secured with permission for multiple entry over a number of years (duration varies by country and by consular officer decision). Though the type F (conference visa) is the most accurate type of visa to apply for, one visa consultant informed us that it is “perfectly acceptable” to attend on a Tourist Visa. Please check with your consultant and note that this type of visa requires proof of travel and hotel accommodations. A formal letter of invitation from the organizer is not required for a Tourist Visa (L Visa).
Type M or Business Visa: This would more likely apply to corporate personnel, and it seems that none of the entities we are working with in Beijing can help us obtain business visas.
For any issues, please contact SRS Executive Director, Charles Metzger [cmetzger(a)srsweb.org]. Charles found the people at U.S. Visa Connection to be very helpful in gaining a visa for him. For those who are U.S. citizens or legal residents, you may learn more about their services by selecting their logo:
Once in China, participants are advised to carry their passports on them at all times because the passports may be needed to check into hotels, book airline tickets, and change money.
*Participants from Japan or Singapore do not need a visa to enter China provided that they stay no longer than 15 days.