China / Society

Singapore to halt walk-in visa applications in China

(ECNS) Updated: 2014-11-19 13:47

The Singapore Embassy and Consulate-General offices in China will stop accepting walk-in visa applications starting from December 8, according to its Guangzhou Consulate-General website.

The announcement said applicants can submit their applications to authorized visa agents such as Caissa, Ctrip, and China International Travel Service (CITS).

Lin Kang, vice president of Baicheng, said Singapore probably wants to reduce their workload and improve efficiency.

The move will sharply increase visa applicants' expenses, as they will have to pay additional money to agents.

Some travel agencies charge 400 to 500 yuan to apply for an individual visa for customers, much higher than 153 yuan the Singapore Embassy or Consulate-General offices charged.

Online agents are much cheaper, however, Ctrip charges 230 yuan and Baicheng charges only 155 yuan.

Lin said that because unified pricing has yet to be introduced to the visa service industry, it's normal for agents to charge differently.

He also said that it's unlikely to become a trend for embassies to authorize visa agents to do the service. But there is a possibility that more visa application centers will be established, he added.

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