Flight and Visa Information

Chinese Visas:

You have two options: (1) one is to use a visa service at the local travel agency and pay a fee; (2) the other is to go to the SF Chinese consulate in person. If you don’t request an express service, it will usually take four business days to process.  You can download the application form online http://www.chinaconsulatesf.org/eng/lszj/zgqz/ or get the form inside the consulate. Either way, make sure you have the proof of your itinerary and a passport photo. It is your responsibility to research and secure your tourist visa if required. Please read this overview of the visa process. 

Excerpt from China Embassy site:

  1. Please submit your application to Chinese Embassy/ Consulate General based on your State of residence (Locate a Visa Office that serves your state). You may submit your application in person, or use a travel agent [like Travisa] (Power of Attorney not necessary). Please note that you may be required to come to the Visa Office in person to have an interview as deemed necessary by a consular officer.
  2. Appointment is NOT required for submission or collection of your visa. Walk-in service is available during office hours.
  3. Please note that NO mail-in/online/fax applications are accepted.
  4. You or your agent will be able to pick up your passport with visa on the date printed on your Pick-up slip, unless otherwise notified by the Visa Office. Mail-back visa service is NOT provided.
  5. You must pay the visa fee once your application is processed and approved.

You will apply for a tourist visa (L visa) which is a 2-month visa (good for 10 years).You will need to provide a copy of your round-trip flight itinerary AND your hotel reservation for Beijing when you arrive. You may go to the consulate for a visa OR use a service (service fee and mailing fees apply). If you opt to use a travel agent, you will send in your application, passport, and two (2) identical, color, passport style photographs in addition to the itinerary documentation to the visa processing agent/travel company such as Travisa.

Travisa is a major visa processing agent that could save you two trips to San Francisco for an additional processing fee.

Japanese Visas:

If you are a U.S. national and a national from any of the countries/areas (including Hong Kong BNO, Hong Kong SAR, Korea, Taiwan) that have visa exemption arrangements with Japan do not need a visa. You can find out which countries they are on the consulate website. If you are from one of these countries/areas you only need your passports and air tickets when traveling to Japan. If you are a Taiwan passport holder, be sure your own personal ID number must be indicated in your passport. Chinese citizens do need to apply for a visa. You can view visa information for single or multiple-entry tourism visas on the MOFA website.  You may also consider paying an additional fee and securing your visa through a third-party provider like Travisa.
Those who need a Japanese visa, including U.S. green card holders, should apply for a visitor visa, NOT a tourist visa. To apply you need to submit the following to the visa section of the consulate-general in San Francisco in person:
  1. Valid national passport
  2. One photo taken within the past 6 months (2″x2″, front shot, white background)
  3. Single visa application form (available online)
  4. Valid US F-1 visa
  5. I-94 card of I-94 form printout from the website (the record of your entrance to the USA must be submitted; go tohttps://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/request.html and print it out; if you have any problem printing this record, call US Customs and Border Protection at 877-227-5511 or the local immigration office at 415-844-5227.)
  6. I-20 signed by the school advisor
  7. Letter from MIIS about this trip and stating that you are participating in this trip*
  8. Flight itinerary issued by the travel agency or the airlines
  9. List of the students on MIIS business letterhead*
  10. Hotel reservation list**
  11. Day-by-day schedule in Japan**
  12. Bank statement in USA for past 3 months. Ending balance is $2,000 or more each month
  13. Brochure of this school trip**
  14. Letter from International Christian University**

Booking your flight:

Students should book their own flights from the San Francisco area (San Jose is also an option) to Tokyo, and from Tokyo to Beijing, then Beijing to San Francisco.

Please note that you can choose to leave Japan in the morning or afternoon. There is a free time that morning, and if you want to add individually arranged interviews with local experts in Tokyo and the potential interviewees are available only then, you may decide to leave Tokyo in the afternoon. Regardless, we highly recommend that you take a flight with another student, so that you can help each other out when you arrive in Beijing.

Flight Bookings:

Arrival Date MUST arrive in Tokyo on Saturday March 16
     Tokyo Program on March 17-19
Tokyo to Beijing March 20
    Beijing Program on March 21-23
Departure Date Return to Monterey via SFO on March 24 (hotel is booked until noon)

You can book your return to Monterey from Beijing any time on March 24. Please note that the last Monterey-Salinas Airbus leaves SFO for Monterey at 10:30pm.