Dubai: Are you a Chinese national living in the UAE and are you in an emergency situation where you need to travel back to China or to other countries, but your Chinese passport is expired or lost? Then you could use the ‘Chinese Travel Document’ as a temporary replacement of your passport. If you are wondering what a ‘Chinese Travel Document’ is, as well as the process and cost of applying for it, you can refer to our detailed guide below.
What is a ‘Chinese Travel Document’?
According to the website of the Chinese consulate in Dubai, a ‘Chinese Travel Document’ is an international travel document that serves the purpose of a replacement to an ordinary Chinese passport in specific situations. It is issued by overseas Chinese diplomatic agencies, Chinese consulates and other overseas agencies authorised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, to a list of categories of applicants. This includes:
• Chinese citizens who do not have enough time to apply for Chinese passports in emergency situations.
• Chinese children who are born outside China, or who have one foreign parent and one Chinese parent.
• Chinese citizens from Hong Kong and Macau who don’t have the ‘Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macau Residents’, but need to go to the mainland.
• Chinese citizens from Taiwan who don’t have the ‘Mainland travel Permit for Taiwan Residents’, but need to go to the mainland.
- It is valid for two years.
- The processing time of issuance of a ‘Chinese Travel Document’ application is normally four working days, which is shorter than that of a passport by 11 working days, according to the Chinese embassy
- Though it serves the purpose of a replacement to an ordinary Chinese passport, you should consult the destination country before your travel, for any additional documents or information they require.
Chinese expatriates in the UAE can apply for a ‘Chinese Travel Document’ through the ‘Chinese Consulate’ mobile application, according to the Chinese embassy and its consulate in Dubai. You can follow these seven steps to complete the application.
1. Get your documents ready
You will need to prepare documents listed below, before starting the application process:
- Your passport front page and UAE visa page (you don’t need to offer this document if your passport is lost or stolen)
- A copy of your photograph, meeting the requirements listed below
- If you are under 16 years of age, you will need to offer your legal guardian’s (such as one of your parents) identification document, like their passport front page copy or Chinese national ID copy, documents that can prove their legal guardianship to you such as your birth certificate, as well as the ‘applicant’s statement and legal guardian’s feedback’ form signed by your legal guardian. You can find the form by following this link: http://kz.china-embassy.gov.cn/lsfw/hz/202205/P020220518592949227657.pdf.
- Filled and signed ‘explanation of the situation of loss, or destruction of passport and travel document, if your passport is lost or stolen. You can find this form here: http://dubai.china-consulate.gov.cn/lsfw/hzlxz/202010/P020210819726797146138.pdf
- The website also states that the Chinese embassy or the Chinese consulate may require additional supporting documents depending on your case.
- It also needs to show your entire face and head, without shadows in the background and without any modifications.
- Acceptable picture format is .JPEG, .JPG and .PNG.
- The size of the photo should be 33mm in width and 48mm in height.
- The width of the head on the photo should be within 15mm to 22mm, the height of the head (from the chin to the top of the head) should be within 28mm to 33mm and the distance between the top of the head and the upper frame of the photo should be within 3mm to 5mm.
2. Download the ‘Chinese Consulate’ app
You can download this app from the Apple AppStore, Tencent App Store (which can be used on Android phones), Xiaomi App Store and Huawei AppGallery, by typing ‘Chinese Consulate’ in the search bar.
3. Register on the app
You will then need to register, if you have not already done so, by following these steps:
- Enter the app and tap ‘my profile’ at the bottom right corner of the screen.
- On the next page, tap ‘log in now’.
- Then tap ‘register a new account’ at the bottom of the next page.
- Afterwards, you will be asked to choose to register an account using your phone number from China or your email address. Choose the method that is suitable for you.
- You will then need to fill in your phone number or email address, depending on which method you chose previously, and then create a password and confirm it.
- Tap the ‘send verification code’ button next and after you receive the code, fill it in the field of ‘verification code’.
- Check the box ‘I have read and I agree to the terms and conditions’, then click ‘Register’.
4. Complete the identity verification
Identity verification is needed for issuance of the ‘Chinese Travel Document’ through the app. You can do so by following the steps below:
- Log in the app, tap ‘my profile’ on the bottom right of the screen and tap the ‘identity verification’ button on the next page.
- Next, you will be asked to scan your Chinese National ID card or passport front page. Alternatively, you can manually fill in the information below:
• Given name
• Given name in pinyin
• Surname in pinyin
Afterwards, you will need to select from the options provided, the type of ID document you are using and select your gender and fill in your date of birth and ethnic group.
- Tap ‘Complete’ at the bottom of the page.
You need to make sure that the name that you filled in this section matches the name on your identification document, otherwise you will not be able to complete the verification process and proceed.
5. Fill out the ‘Chinese Travel Document issuance form’
- After identity verification, go back to the front page of the app and select ‘passport and travel document’.
- An information page will appear with the service details.
- Read the information page carefully, check the box of ‘I have read and I agree with the notice above’ and click ‘next’.
- You will then be asked to choose the embassy or consulate where you can apply for your passport renewal. If you are in Abu Dhabi, choose the 'Embassy of People’s Republic of China' in the UAE. If you are in Dubai and other emirates, choose 'Consulate General of People’s Republic of China' in Dubai.
- Then, choose your current document type to be used for the service and select ‘yes’ or ‘no’ under ‘is your current passport lost, stolen or destroyed’ and tap ‘next’.
- On the next page, you will be given three service options - issuance of new passport, adding remarks on passport remark page and issuance of travel document. Choose ‘issuance of travel document’ and tap ‘yes’.
- Afterwards, you will need to fill the application form following the steps below:
• Fill in your basic information, including your given name, given name in pinyin, your surname, surname in pinyin, your Chinese national ID card number, your gender, ethic group and place of birth.
• Then fill in the information of your passport, including passport number, place of issuance, date of issuance and validity period.
• Next, fill your exit information from China including the date and port of your last exit from China. Then tap ‘next’.
• On the next page, you will be asked to fill your residential address in China, name of a contact person in China, the contact person’s phone number, as well as your UAE residential address, phone number, email address and the name of the company that you work in, or own. Fill in the information accordingly.
• Next, select if you have a valid UAE visa or resident permit. Then select the visa or resident permit type, such as permanent residence.
• Afterwards, the app will ask you if you currently have a foreign nationality. Select ‘no’. If you do currently have a foreign nationality, you will not be able to apply for this service.
• The following page will ask you to fill in the information of your immediate family members, including your father, mother, brother and sister’s name, address and phone number, where applicable. You will also be asked to fill in the emergency contact section, with your emergency contact person’s name, address and phone number, as well as your relationship with this person. Then, tap ‘next’.
- You will then be required to upload your picture.
- If your photo is accepted by the system, tap ‘next’. If your photo is not accepted due to system error, you can still tap ‘next’ and carry on with the next steps. Meanwhile, you can submit your photo to firstname.lastname@example.org (if you apply in Dubai and other emirates except for Abu Dhabi), or email@example.com (if you apply in Abu Dhabi), with the subject - ‘your name + application number’ and follow up from there.
- You will then be asked to review all the information you have filled in. If the information needs amendments, you can tap on the amendment sign on the upper right corner and amend accordingly.
- If the information is correct, you may proceed to the next steps.
- In the section of uploading documents, upload all the remaining documents.
- Fill the field for ‘delivery information’.
In this area, you need to put your contact information and detailed address – your ‘Chinese Travel Document’ will be delivered to the address you provide here.
However, it is important for you to know that you are not required to send any documents by mail at this stage. You only need to send all required documents after your application passes the review by the Chinese embassy or the Chinese consulate later in the process.
- Again, make sure all information filled in is correct, then tap ‘confirm’.
6. Complete the face recognition verification process
The app also requires you to conduct face recognition too. You can skip this step in case of a system error. However, you will then need to participate in a video call hosted by the Chinese embassy or the Chinese consulate in the later part of process after your application is submitted, which can result in a longer processing time, due to the waiting queue for scheduled video calls.
You can then track your application process in ‘my order’ or ‘message centre’ in the app. The Chinese consulate or Chinese embassy staff will send you messages there to update you on the process, or if further submission of documents is needed. During this time, if you didn’t conduct face recognition within the app, they will message you to schedule a video call.
7. Make the payment and arrange for the documents to be couriered
Once your application passes the review, you will receive a message stating ‘document ready to be made’ in the app, indicating that your ‘Chinese Travel Document’ is ready to be made. You then need to proceed to make the payment.
The cost is Dh64. You need to transfer the exact amount to the bank account listed below. If you transfer more or less than the exact amount, your application will be returned, leading to delays.
Once you have made the payment, you then need to book a courier service. When making the payment for the courier service, make sure you pay them for both the pick-up and drop-off service together, so that the embassy or the consulate can deliver the ‘Chinese Travel Document’ to you, when it is ready.
The documents need to be delivered by licensed courier companies. The Chinese consulate has mentioned two courier companies on their website, which are Yunda and DHL.
Account number: 1411003378516018
Account name: CONSULAR DEPARTMENT OF CHINESE EMBA
Bank name: FAB
Branch name: FAB UAE-MAIN
You need to add your full name and date of birth in the remark area when you transfer the money to the given bank account, so the Chinese embassy staff can confirm your payment arrival status in their account. It is important for you to choose a transaction method that enables you to add remarks, like opting for online bank transfer, instead of depositing it through an ATM machine.
After the payment is done, you are required to contact a courier company to send all documents listed below by mail to the Chinese embassy:
• Your name and application number, either printed out or hand-written on a piece of paper
• Copy of payment proof
• Current passport, where applicable
• Any additional, supporting document that is requested by the Chinese Embassy.
Here is their address:
Chinese Embassy in the UAE
P.O. Box 2741
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Account number: 1014316680002
Account name: Consulate General of The People’s Republic of China (Dubai)
Bank name: Emirates NBD
Branch name: Umm Suqeim Branch, P.O. Box No.777, Dubai, UAE
If you apply in Dubai and other Emirates, you are also required to contact a courier company to send all documents listed below by mail to the Chinese consulate:
• Two copies of ‘pick up form’ with your name and barcode – this form will be generated automatically in the app after you receive the message of ‘document ready to be made’. You can find this form in ‘my order’, then ‘order information’ in the app. One copy should be pasted on the envelope and the other copy should be placed inside the envelope.
• Copy of payment proof. It should provide information such as the name of the sender, time of the transaction, name and date of birth of the applicant in the remark area, sender’s bank account number and bank name. If the payment proof doesn’t reflect the applicant’s name and date of birth in remarks, you must write this information down on the physical copy of payment proof.
• Current passport, where applicable
• Two white background photograph, meeting the requirements mentioned above.
• Any additional, supporting documents that are required by the consulate.
You can refer to their address below:
Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Dubai
Villa 14, Street 7a, Community 357
Umm Al Sheif Road, Safa 2 Area
P.O. Box 9348
After payment is made and physical documents are received by the embassy or consulate, your ‘Chinese Travel Document’ will be made and the embassy or consulate will contact the same courier company to arrange for it to be delivered to you.
How long does the process take?
The processing time depends on the volume of requests at the time of your application and can vary on a case-to-case basis. However, it usually takes 4 working days, according to the Chinese embassy. You can track your application through the ‘message centre’ and ‘My order’ sections in the Chinese consulate app.
Contact information is listed below if you have further questions:
1. The Chinese embassy (if you apply in Abu Dhabi): 02 4434276. Working hours 9am to 1pm. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. The Chinese consulate (if you apply in Dubai or other Emirates): 04 3952208. Working hours 9am to 1pm. You can also email email@example.com.
Do you have questions related to the topics covered in Living in UAE? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.